The grounds of the RAC’s Woodcote Hall were the location for the prestigious 2017 Motorsport Hall of Fame awards and this year the honour went to Barry Sheene, who joins the likes of Valentino Rossi, John McGuinness and Giacomo Agostini.
The three motorcycle nominees this year were Sheene, Mike Hailwood and Joey Dunlop with Sheene ultimately winning the popular vote. The Sheene estate was on hand to collect the posthumous award.
As a fitting tribute to his racing legacy, Sheene’s recently restored 1976 World Championship winning Suzuki XR14 was on site and ridden by Freddie Spencer as part of a parade lap. Also in the parade lap was John Surtees’ 1960 MV Agusta GP bike, which was ridden by keen motorcyclist and baker Paul Hollywood.
Speaking at the event, Freddie Spencer said: “In 1980, I was 18 and had never raced outside the US. I came over for a match race and won, beating Barry – but he was the first person to come up afterwards and say, ‘Good job’. Then, in 1982, I was signing autographs with him and we’d been there about an hour. I began to stir and he said, ‘Where are you going? We stay here until the last person has their signature’. That was the Barry I knew.”
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