MotoGP: Mike Trimby has died

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Mike Trimby, founder and CEO of the International Road Race Teams’ Association (IRTA) has died at the age of 74.

Trimby passed away on Friday and had been at Misano as normal ahead of the San Marino Grand Prix. He was a key figure within the GP paddock and played a huge part in making MotoGP what it is today.

IRTA was created as the official body for race teams in 1986, setup to ensure that they were involved in the decision-making process in the championship and are fairly treated. In the years that followed, Trimby has helped to increase TV coverage, ensured that the safety of circuits and equipment within the paddock continued to improve, and organised the paddock, grid, teams and riders.

Prior to the creation of IRTA, Trimby, helped by wife Irene, led a union for Grand Prix riders in 1982 to help improve safety conditions, as well push for an increase in pay. This came after multiple rider strikes and a threat of a breakaway series by Kenny Roberts.

Mike Trimby chats to Herve Poncharal

Trimby started racing when he was a teenager in the 1960s and became a mechanic for tuner Syd Lawton to help fund the start of his career. Trimby competed at the Isle of Man TT and F750 World Championship. He organised the Macau GP in 1978 and did so until 2011.

Trimby was awarded the prestigious Torrens Trophy by the Royal Automobile Club earlier this year, which “celebrates an individual or organisation considered to have made an outstanding contribution to motorcycling in Britain.”

“I am surprised but honoured to receive this award,” Trimby said at the time. “My achievements were made possible only by the initial support from the leading Grand Prix riders and subsequently the unity of the teams within IRTA, but none of this would have been possible without the partnership with Dorna, which started in 1992. Dorna CEO Carmelo Ezpeleta and his staff are equally passionate about rider safety.

“I also want to share this award with my wife Irene, who has worked with me at Grands Prix since 1982. Whatever achievements I am credited with would not have been possible without her support.”

Mike Trimby pictured with Carmelo Ezpeleta at COTA

A statement from MotoGP regarding Trimby’s passing was published on Friday evening:

“Mike Trimby has sadly passed away. Founder and CEO of IRTA, and an icon of MotoGP, Trimby will forever be remembered.

“Dorna Sports, and the entire MotoGP family, send their deepest condolences to Mike’s wife Irene, his family, friends, colleagues and loved ones at this most difficult time.

“Mike was one of the most important figures in the history of motorcycle grand prix racing.

“His life, achievements and memory will be celebrated during the remainder of the San Marino Grand Prix as the paddock joins together to honour him.”

A press conference will take place at Misano today (September 9) with Jorge Viegas (FIM President), Carmelo Ezpeleta (Dorna CEO) and Herve Poncharal (IRTA President) set to pay tribute to Trimby. A minute silence will then be held at 18:00 once track action as finished for the day.

Our thoughts are with Mike’s family and friends at this difficult time.