Celebs galore at NEC

Published: 03 November 2004

All the top firms are rolling out the celebs on their NEC stands with hoards of top racers, TV faces and top babes putting in an appearance.

The show was opened by BBC bike sport babe Suzi Perry, with British Trials hero Dougie Lampkin launching the show with a bang by wheelieing his trials bike on to the stage through an NEC banner held by Olympic rowers and Yamaha bike owners Matthew Pinsent and James Cracknall.

Check our NEC webcam live from the show to catch all the action without leaving your desk.

Honda rolled out its race talent with Michael Rutter, Karl Harris and Karl Muggeridge putting in a show along with HM Plant Honda boss Neil Tuxworth. Muggeridge, who moves from World Supersport up to the Superbike class next year said he has already ridden the Blade but is really looking forward to his first proper test on the bike in Valencia in 10 days.

Steve Parrish hosted the Suzuki Q and A that saw John Reynolds welcoming his new team-mate Scott Smart. The show is the first time Reynolds has seen the new GSX-R1000 and the team hopes to get the new bike to start its development within the next week.

“I really like it,” said Reynolds. “And it’s a bit smaller this year so I might actually be able to do celebration burn-outs for a change.”

Ex Suzuki BSB boss Paul Dening, who is now head of the firms MotoGP operations, was also on hand with rider John Hopkins to comment on his new role.

Denning: “I was at Valencia last week for the final round of the championship and I came away with a much bigger to-do list than I was expecting. I’m almost not sure where to start but performance has to be a priority. I intend to shake things up and make the GSV-R a real contender in the series and a bike that Suzuki fans can be proud of.”

Actor Charlie Boorman, the companion to Ewan McGreggor on his round the world trip, gave an in depth interview on the BMW stand about the pair’s epic journey around the world on R1150GSs.

GP rider Shinya Nakano popped along to the Kawasaki stand to try out the new ZX-6R, while Jodie Marsh couldn’t help grabbing consecutive world superbike champions Neil Hodgson and James Toseland for a cuddle when she spotted them on the Ducati stand.