The Sports Motorcycles Ducati 900SS, a Honda 297cc six, and the 750cc BSA Rocket III that Mike Hailwood rode in the 1972 Daytona 200 will be the stars of a spectacular tribute to Hailwood at Castle Combe on July 8-9. The 1967 Honda will be ridden at the 1.85-mile circuit by the factory's latest TT signing, Guy Martin.
Organiser Rodney Gooch expects around 50 machines representing the career of the nine times world champion to appear in the Mike's Bikes Parade at the Combe's Grand National meeting, to celebrate 60 years since the legend first competed at the track. Steve Wynne, who prepared the 900SS on which Hailwood won the 1978 F1 TT, will take care of the bike for its American owner. Honda UK race chief Neil Tuxworth is providing the six, and collector Mike Braid is bringing the Rocket III.
Other bikes and riders include:
250cc Honda four (ridden by Stuart Graham), 650cc Triumph Bonneville on which Mike won the 1958 Thruxton 500-mile race with Dan Shorey, 500cc Honda RC181 replica (ridden by Freddie Spencer), replica of Mike's 1961 125cc TT-winning Honda, 125cc MV that Mike raced at the Combe in 1957 in his second ever meeting (ridden by David Hailwood, Mike's son), replica of Mike's 500cc Lancefield Norton, 250cc NSU Sportsmax and a 500cc RG Suzuki (ridden by Steve Parrish).
Mike's widow Pauline is supporting the event, and more notable bikes are expected to be added. The Grand National meeting is run by the North Glos club and offers races for modern and classic bikes, including the 125 and 250cc British championships through to the Open Class, and rounds of the Bonhams British Historic Championship. There will also be a parade for Classic and Specials.
The Grand National is the only bike meeting that is run on the West country's only road racing circuit. The Hailwood parade, for bikes of the type raced by Mike, will run on the Sunday, and a second parade will feature machines with a lesser Mike connection. Steve Wynne is appealing for all Ducati owners to support the event.
The Mike's Bike Parade forms part of the North Glos club's Grand National event at the Combe, which features around 20 races per day. Check the Castle Combe website for news of latest entries.
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