Photos & Musings: British Championships

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Killer holeshot!

1987 was my best season in the British Championship, finishing 5th.

This race at Lyng was televised on BBC Grandstand as I recall, complete with Murray Walker commentating (*see Murray anecdote below).

This was the race where DT bailed off spectacularly. It was a big one but he was OK and was back out for the next moto. (See video clip below).

I can't remember my exact results this day, but I pulled this awesome holeshot in one race and must have been top three I guess.

Other riders that I recognize are Thorpe (1), Andy Nicholls (8), Wille Simpson (9), Rob Herring (14), Jeremy Whatley (5), Mervyn Anstie (3), Greg Hanson (4), Rob Meek (17) and Stuart Coyle (16).

I remember I must also have been well placed for the overall because the TV cameras were focussing on me when I was on the line for the last moto.

When someone sticks a TV camera in your face it's quite disconcerting. Where do you look? Do you look away? Stare into infinity? Try and look cool? Wave? Look straight at the camera? For how long? Er, are they actually filming?

It's weird. Even the F1 and Moto GP guys don't seem to know what to do in this situation!

*Murray Walker, motorsport commentating legend, used to do the occasional motocross race for the BBC. He was a nice chap and very thorough, always going through the pits early on Sunday morning to get everybody's name right and get some background info. A true pro.

One year he commentated on a race at Canada Heights, and I got a good start but was taken out by someone on the first lap and we got all tangled up. By the time we were sorted and I was back in the race I was a lap down but running around 10th (but lapped). I moved up a few places and finished somewhere in the top 3 or 4, but, obviously still lapped so it wasn't really top 3 or 4...

Murray, bless him, came looking for me to congratulate me on my fine finish. He came into our caravan and Claire fixed him a cup of tea. It was a cold March morning and his glasses went into steam-up overdrive, poor bloke.

I really didn't have the heart to tell him he was wrong and that I was a lap down.

Holeshot at Lyng, 1987 Enlarge image