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Roger Keen: an obituary

Published: 31 March 2015

Updated: 31 March 2015

Legendary engine builder and former MotoGP technical controller Roger Keen has passed away after a short illness. A former competitor himself, Roger made his name as the man behind the two stroke engines that took many British racers of the seventies, including Steve Parrish and Keith Huewan, to Grand Prix success.

He also founded a close relationship with International Race Team Association boss Mike Trimby in those days; a friendship that saw him become the technical guru at IRTA and leaving him heavily involved in setting rules and scrutineering bikes in the MotoGP paddock up until 2001.

Through Trimby’s other role as the organiser of the Macau Grand Prix, Roger also became rider liaison officer at the Far Eastern race for some twenty-two years – and bore witness to some of the legendary antics of the Brits on Tour that live on to this day!

He also had a role on the silver screen, taking to the track in 1980 as none other than the Silver Dream Racer himself, after signing onboard as technical advisor for the film and acting as pop star David Essex’s riding double.

Roger’s dream of taking a young British star from rookie to Grand prix success also lives on today, in the work of son Mark. Team Manager of the KRP Moto3 Team, Mark – under the tutelage of Roger of course – has been one of the people behind Bradley Smith and John McPhee’s GP successes.

Roger will be sorely missed by wife Karen and children Mark, Jenna and Christine. His funeral will be held on Friday 17th April at 2pm at St.Swithuns Church, High Street, Sandy, Bedfordshire, SG19 1AG, and Roger’s family would like to welcome anyone wishing to pay their respects to attend.

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