BSB: Gearlink Kawasaki's Norma de Bidaph has died

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Gearlink Kawasaki’s Norma de Bidaph has passed away after a long battle with cancer.

One of the biggest characters in the BSB paddock, Norma ran the Gearlink Kawasaki Supersport teams alongside husband Michael and enjoyed much success. Becoming Kawasaki’s official Supersport squad in 2008, the team has achieved in excess of 100 podiums in the 600cc category.

Norma played a huge role in the development of the team and the young riders it brought through the paddock, as well as lighting up the rest of pit-lane with her colourful personality. The emotion she put in to racing was often visible through what became iconic pit wall reactions in the closing stages of races.

Announcing the sad news this morning, former Gearlink rider Ben Wilson said: “It is with the greatest sadness I have to inform everyone that our dearest darling Norma has passed away peacefully. She spent her last few days still fighting a very aggressive cancer with her loving husband Michael and I constantly at her side.”

Tributes have already started pouring in from the BSB paddock, “Norma was the matriarch of the BSB paddock and will be very sorely missed,” said series boss Stuart Higgs.

Andrew Irwin, who finished second in the 2017 British Supersport Championship with Gearlink said: “Woke up to the most horrendous news this morning, the lady that gave me the opportunity to make a career in motorbike racing Norma de Bidaph passed away last night after battling cancer. My thoughts are with Mike and everyone from Gearlink.” 

23-time TT winner John McGuinness added: “Sad to hear of the loss of this colourful character. You’ll be sadly missed by so many”.

Motorcycle News wishes to join the wider racing community in sending our condolences to Michael de Bidaph and family, as well as the rest of the Gearlink Kawasaki team at this time. 

Oli Rushby

By Oli Rushby

Former sports reporter covering British Superbikes, World Superbikes and road racing