I’ve been around motorcycle racing a very long time; in fact I’ve been around motorcycle sport, in all its forms, for a very long time.
Growing up in a small Lincolnshire village within earshot of Cadwell Park I guess it was inevitable I would get hooked, and once I was my older cousin, Colin, who was racing mad and had his own motorcycle, fed my growing addiction by taking me regularly to Cadwell on the back of his bike.
When it was time to start gainful employment a motorcycle was the only way to get to work. Afterwards the little Francis-Barnett eventually led to bigger and better bikes, and a first visit to the TT. Then I was really hooked.
Racing in the Manx Grand Prix for the first time in 1974 led to the TT proper in 1976, which I raced in right up until 1990, with three podiums in the TT along the way.
So you get the picture; I’ve really been around the sport we all love for a very long time.
However, in all that time one of the nicest things, connected with the sport that has ever happened to me, took place at the International Classic MotorCycle Show at Stafford in April.
Completely unbeknown to me Stuart Hicken and Eddie Roberts, who have done such a great job of keeping Mallory Park alive, presented me with a lifetime pass to Mallory. But what made it extra special was that one of my boyhood heroes, Mr Mallory himself, John Cooper, was presented with his at the same time. Lovely gesture lads, thank you.
Our great sport lost two extremely talented and pleasant young men last month, who both would have been future TT stars.
All at Classic Racer send sincere condolences to the family and friends of Billy Redmayne and Malachi Mitchell-Thomas.
Enjoy this issue.