Words of Whitham


Devoted to the on-air nuggets as supplied by the legendary former rider and now race-commentator on World and British Superbikes for British Eurosport, Jamie Whitham.                                                                                                        

June 2014

It seems the powers that be over at British Eurosport have decided to keep Whit and ‘Old Mother ‘Burnicle apart, like naughty school kids. I think I’m right that now the Dynamic Duo only commentate on the British Superbikes and support races. Burnicle for his sins has been banished to the Ice Speedway tracks of Russia and the Elite league conventional Speedway tracks of Sweden, where the plethora of Russian, Polish and Scaniavian names has presented a significant challenge to Jack’s tongue, much to this veiwer’s delight. Notwithstanding the fact that ‘Old Mother’ Burnicle could commentate on the opening of a bag of crisps he has shown a remarkable lack of knowledge about everybody’s ‘love it or loathe it’ sport. He knows everyone’s birthdays of course, but can someone take him aside and explain the starting procedure and the rules re: starting tape infringements?

Whit once called him the ‘GiddyEnthusiast’.  Perfect description as he wound up this week’s offering from Piraterna and Rospiggarna, a 45-all draw, by promising to go to Redcar, next time he is up at his Mum’s to watch speedway there! Imagine Martin Tyler commentating on a Spanish Liga fixture and saying ‘Well, that was great, I must go and see Middlesborough next time I’m at my Mum’s. It’s great this football.’

Bless him. In the meantime, here’s some vintage Jack.

October 2013

Whit makes it into ‘Private Eye’

‘The glove’s on the other foot now’

World Superbikes, Philip Island 24th February

We’re back for another season of superbike mayhem. And the question everyone is asking me is where was Marco Melandri’s six foot grease monkey  Manuela Raffaetà at Philip Island? Are the rumours true she has shacked up with ‘Old Mother’ Burnicle at his luxury pad in Northallerton or Thirsk – Or wherever it is. We need to know.

British Superbikes, Assen 23 September

On discussing Nori Haga’s brave attempt at riding with a collarbone smashed into 15 pieces:

James: “You do not want to do that. All those bits of bone rubbing together like sandpaper … Ughhh !”

‘Old Mother’ Burnicle: “You know James, I’ve never actually broken a bone.”

James: “It could be arranged.”

It’s just as well the boys were at Assen and not Portimao. I dread to think what they would have made of Milandri’s on-track antics and his missus’ responses from the BMW garage.

British Superbikes, Oulton Park 7th July

“Daft as an egg” … “Like a wounded fox” … “Yep, yep, yep, yep, yep”

On Nori Haga in the gravel trap after chucking his bike down the road “He’s looking for his contact lens!”

On Haga’s bad posture “If he’d have gone to my school he’d have been told to sit up straight!”

On Kirkham’s 130 mph faceplant “His teeth are still in the fence!”

‘Old Mother’ Burnicle on Josh Brooks’ qualifying: “Of course, he doesn’t have to worry now James” “True. Unless it’s about his hair. He ought to worry about his hair!”

Fair play to Josh Brooks for getting his own back and sabotaging Whit’s day 2 starting grid interview. “Well, I’ve had some grip issues” “Oh yeah?” replies our hero. Brooks: “Yeah, I’ve  been getting callouses on me hands!”

World Superbikes, Aragon 1st July

Shame on the ‘Dynamic Duo’ for suggesting that Manuela Raffaetà, BMWs ‘Tart with a Heart’ has no idea what she’s watching, when Marco’s at work and she’s jumping up and down in the garage or biting her nails to the quick with a ‘Vacant Look’

“Ohhh look it’s a race” teases Whit, much to ‘Old Mother Burnicle’s glee. Jack meanwhile is fascinated with the amount of day-long tender attention Marco receives from Manuela. “Aye, just hand over the credit card int’ morning” says Whit.

Listen, I’ve warned you boys before. Have  you seen the length of her reach?

‘Old Mother Burnicle’ is ruminating about Aprilia boss Gigi Dall’Igna’s modest motor home. “Oh he doesn’t sleep in it” Says James. “It’s for all his grooming products.”

British Superbikes, Snetterton 27 May 2012

You can see it coming as Whit and ‘Old Mother’ Burnacle take in a panoramic view of one of the banked viewing areas courtesy of British Eurosport cameraman.

“And what a lovely view, James…” Camera man starts to focus in on the crowd, and in particular a girl right in the middle wearing what appears to be a pink bikini.

“Yeah! it’s a lovely view”

Careful boys. Remember what happened to Andy Gray.

World Superbikes Donnington 13 May 2012

After failing to spot Melandri’s move for over half a lap, in race two James is moved to suggest “One of us ought to keep our eyes on the screen with the bikes at all times”

Meanwhile, the winter lay-off has not dampened ‘Old Mother’ Burnacle’s obsession with Melandri and Manuela – That ”Praying woman” his voice quivers breathlessly as the camera shows a shot of her kneeling in front of the seated Marco. “What are they going to do next? I think the camera better move away…”

Jack? Jack? It’s the middle of the afternoon. You’re commenting on motorcycle racing, remember. Jack?

World Superbikes Final Round Portimao October 16th

On Marco Melandri, ahead, mid-race, as seen from (presumably) Checa’s on board ‘Race Cam’: ‘He’s so small in’ee?’

‘It’s like being on your Dad’s bike!’

Once again, after a second race win, Marco Melandri and his girlfriend the ‘Yamaha Amazon’ are the focus of attention. Statuesque Manuela leaps up and down with glee as Marco negotiates the lap of honour. The consequent movement of her considerable frame (at certain points anyway) almost enough to pose a danger  to low-flying aircraft. The TV cameraperson makes a meal of this, such that ‘Old Mother’ Burnicle is prompted to weakly plead:

‘Oh! … Don’t do that Love!’

British Superbikes Final Round  Brands Hatch  October 16th

On the sizzling run up to Tommy Hill’s 6ooth of a second last gasp, sphincter-clenching, Championship-winning, last round, last lap, last corner pass of Space ‘Hopper’ John Hopkins at Brands:

‘This is Blokes this is. It’s Blokes’ stuff. The biggest Man’s gonna be the winner!’

… and he was. I think.

Pic credit © Sky Sports

World Superbikes Round 10 the Nürburgring September 4th

Continue to have my worries about ‘Old Mother’ Burnicle, who during the second race podium presentation dropped all talk of numbers of podium finishes, pit-crew dedication, constructors’ awards and the inevitable champagne to comment: ‘That’s quite a remarkable swan’s neck that Lady has …’ as we saw a close up of one of the podium girls reaching up to give a rider  a peck on the cheek (it won’t have been Marco then,) as she presented him with the obligatory flowers.

(Sort of like this)

Once again, Manuela Raffaetà provided a distraction for Jack: ‘Here, James have you ever had a girlfriend who was a foot and a half taller than you?’

‘No. But then if you were Melandri’s size, you’d be bound to have had one or two’

(‘Hey, ‘Micro You justa keep you eyes peeled for that stronzo Burnicle’)

Whitham, on seeing a robust member of (I think it was one of Guintoli’s team) coming to congratulate the rider (Quite energetically, it has to be said) as he came to a halt in Pit lane after the race. ‘Mind out, mind out! Fat man coming through!’

Unfortunately, I missed the crack about Olive Oil – I must have got too immersed in the racing!

British Superbikes from a rainsoaked Cadwell Park July 17th

As we watch sodden riders and machines disappear into gravel traps here and there, ‘Old Mother’ Burnacle is moved to comment: ‘I’m optimistic it’ll clear up’ Our James replies ‘Whaaaat? That’s not optimism that’s insanity!’

World Superbikes Round 8 Brno July 10th

Jamie continues to frustrate as he keeps his nose clean for another WSB weekend. However, with regard to the ongoing interest in first race winner Marco Melandri and girlfriend, am getting increasingly concerned over ‘Old Mother’ Burnacle, who felt compelled to comment this weekend: ‘I bet he (Marco) does a lot of talking to those bosoms. They are just at his eye level’

I’ve got to say, I’m struggling with this. Either I’ve been half asleep or our James is really behaving himself this season. The nearest we got to a ‘Whit-icism’ at Knockhill was his suggestion that ‘Hopper’ be eligible for a ‘marionette’ award upon his highly entertaining post-spill ‘paddy’ in race two. However, I do think Julian Ryder should warrant a special mention from Silverstone after he told us a little too much information about what goes on in the British Eurosport commentary box on race day.

‘ I’m not superstitious but I’m desperately grabbing wood’

No 2 and 3: 26/27th March 2011.

World Superbikes from Donington Park. 

Once again on the subject of partner of  first race winner Marco Melandri, apparently one Manuela Raffaetà. She is dressed in ‘Paddock/Promotional Girl style. As the camera lingers on statuesque Manuela a little over-long our hero is moved to say:

“I dunno what you’re selling Love, but I’ll take three bags”

Whit better watch his step as Manuela stands at over six feet tall with her flip flops on, while ‘Mini’ Marco, bless him, is still dwarfed by his fellow riders even when on the winner’s – and thus, highest – podium step! A situation which prompted James to wonder if Melandri wasn’t:

“Punching a bit over his weight”

with the Italian Supermodel, who fellow commentator  ‘Old Mother’ Burnicle, clearly smitten refers to as that ‘Fine-looking Lady’

No 1:  26th February 2011.

World Superbikes first race of the season from Philip Island, Australia.

On Marco Melandri’s third place podium finish in the second race of the meeting:

“Never mind Melandri, where’s his missis?”




His Missus




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3 thoughts on “Words of Whitham

  1. What a shame I don’t get your commentary in Malaysia. We have to put up with the over excited Jonathan Green and the long suffering Steve Martin who gets interrupted all the time!

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