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A top North Wales biker has a starring role in a new all-action PlayStation2 game.

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A top North Wales biker has a starring role in a new all-action PlayStation2 game.

Post by jason on Mon Jul 07, 2008 4:50 pm

One of the virtual riders in the game is based on speed king Paul Owen, from Llangollen.

Paul, 36, is fresh from competing in the legendary Isle of Man TT series for the 12th time.

Bike fans will be able to see his collection of powerful TT motorbikes and trophies in real life soon.

Hes going to be putting them on display at the Motorbike Show in his hometown in August.

But Paul can next be seen in action on the small screen thanks to Jester Interactive, developers of TT Superbikes Real Road Racing Championship, a PlayStation 2 game that is released this Friday, July 4.

Gamers will be able to choose to race as Paul, from Llangollen, in his leathers, aboard his Kawasaki 1000cc superbike, on circuits from the Isle of Man to Macau in China.

That should prove a talking point when Paul brings his speed machines, ranging from a 125cc Honda up to the 1000cc Kawasaki and his haul of six trophies from the most recent TT series to the inaugural Motorbike Show on Saturday and Sunday, August 2 and 3.

The event is at the Royal International Pavilion showground when organisers also hope to give visitors a taste of the new game.

The man behind St Asaph-based Jester, the creators of the game, is a motorbike enthusiast Clark Evans, from Gwyddelwern, who said: I got to know Paul at road racing events because Im a big fan.

In developing the games they have done other motorbike-based games for the PlayStation we have to visit the circuits, map them and recreate them and I met Paul and got to know him.

We need to make the games as realistic as possible and that means paying attention to the finest details so we can recreate everything in 3D, from circuits to bikes and riders.

I thought it would be good to represent a talented privateer like Paul as well as the top riders like John McGuinness.

Ive seen Paul race and he has real ability and speed, so its good to be able to showcase him as well.

So when you play the game you can choose to race as Paul with his leathers on his Kawasaki 1000cc bike, round the circuits.

Its a thrill for Paul, one of three generations of his family to climb onto a racing bike the others are his dad Gareth and eight-year-old son Thomas.

He said: Its brilliant that Clark has used me in the game. I cant believe it but hes been really helpful to me in my racing.

It went really well on the Isle of Man this year and I picked up six trophies and lapped at over 120mph for the first time.

Pauls actual best lap on the terrifying 37.75 mile circuit was 121mph and he reached speeds of up to 196mph on its twisting, narrow, stone wall lined roads.

He added: My dad Gareth raced bikes and Thomas has a dirt bike and a mini motorbike, a smaller version of my bike theres no fear in any of us so its lucky my wife Debbie is the sensible one.

But I love road racing and the TT and have been going there with my brother Gary and a group of mates for years and now Im in the top 30 fastest ever round the TT circuit.

As well as Paul, the game features the sports top riders including John McGuinness who equalled the great Mike Hailwoods 14 Senior TT wins this year.

Also featured is American Mark Miller, from California, who has used Jesters games to familiarise himself with the circuit.

Clark, the 43-year-old who founded Jester Interactive in 2004, explained: Its only during TT week that you can actually race a bike round the circuit so for Mark and many other riders playing the games is a good way to learn about it.

I was in Douglas in a bar and Mark came up to me and said, Thanks for saving my life. Without that game I wouldnt have known where I was on that circuit, that was nice.

Jester is based at the Optic Technium Centre in St Asaph but creating the games takes Clark all round the world, mapping circuits exactly from Aberdare Park in South Wales to Macau in China.

He said: Because theyre accurate you can race them in the game at real speeds on the right lines and find out what its like to do a really fast lap like John McGuinness or Paul.

Jester have also developed the Supertrucks racing game for the PlayStation and a number of music titles but bikes are Clarks real passion.

I was hooked 30 years ago when I saw Barry Sheene race and I have a few bikes and would really love to have a ride round the TT circuit.

Ive ridden round Aberdare Park in South Wales on a 250cc and thats a scary little track I wouldnt want to come off there with all those trees around.

The Motorbike Show is the brainchild of David Green whose Xuberance event management company already run the hugely successful Balloon Show, Gardening Show and Llangollen Food Festival.

He said: Were delighted that Paul is coming to the show and that Jester are using him in their latest PlayStation2 game.

This isnt the Isle of Man but Llangollen and the surrounding area is a real Mecca for bikers in its own right with thousands of them regularly visiting the town and the nearby Horsehoe Pass, one of the most popular rides in the UK.

We want to celebrate every style of motorbike from the vintage and classic bikes, to the array of road bikes to the freestyle motocross machines.

When I started speaking to people, I was astonished at the number of local people who are leading figures in a whole host of motorbike disciplines including motorbike games.

We have got guys like Paul who have competed at the top level and very few people know about them.

Weve got TT racers, weve got top trials guys, weve got top road race specialists and freestyle motocross experts and weve got the Horseshoe Pass so we want to highlight what weve got on our doorstep.

There are great road links into Llangollen and the showground is the ideal location at the base of the Pass.

The pavilion itself will be devoted predominantly for exhibitors, selling everything from breakdown cover, to leathers and helmets, to tyres and oil.

On the outside, there will be lots of displays in the arena and weve got a funfair, catering and bar and live music.

jason
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