The start of the first race was eventful, with Nichol crashing heavily on the run to the first corner and badly damaging his Matchless. The result was a near-invincible combination. suffered significant injuries from a motorcycle incident. Although he recovered from his injuries he never returned to Wearing a tailored all-in-one black leather racing suit (he is credited with developing the one-piece race suit) and pudding basin helmet, Duke had a silky smooth riding style. Arguably, his race record was even more impressive than the championship wins. popularity made him a very successful business man. With a week to spare before his final engagement at Longford, Tasmania, Duke could have been expected to relax with a spot of sight seeing, but he chose to compete in a local scramble at Springvale, where he rode a pre-war 250 Empire Star BSA, provided by Jimmy Guilfloyle, complete with rigid frame and girder forks! I was indeed sorry that the necessity for returning to Italy, to test machines for the coming season, prevented me from competing at the Easter meeting”. Again, a bumper crowd poured into the scruffy Mount Druitt circuit to see the world’s top rider in action, and this time the weather was much more benign. He was No reviews yet. OBA is published seven times per year. These cookies do not store any personal information.

His first victory came in the 350cc class at the Haddenham Airfield circiut in 1949 shortly followed by wins in the Senior Manx Grand Prix and the Senior Clubman's TT later that year. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in any form without prior authorisation.Your use of this website constitutes acceptance of nextmedia's Privacy Policy and Terms & Conditions.
A parallel scenario actually happened 54 years ago, when reigning 500 World Champion, the dashing 31-year-old Geoff Duke, arrived on our shores with two works 500 Gilera fours. This website uses cookies to improve your experience. To put things in perspective, Duke was the first motorcycle racer to become a post-war media megastar. This lifted the machine and

Geoff Duke was the first global superstar of Grand Prix racing, the first to win three successive world championships and the first to win two in the same year. 1951 Motorcycle World Championships DVD. We also share information about your use of our site with analytics partners who may combine it with other information that you’ve provided to them or that they’ve collected from your use of their services. His whirlwind tour had taken him to every state except Queensland, and his charming and eloquent manner did incalculable good for motorcycling. Aboard the Gilera, he won 9 GPs in 1953 and 54 to take back-to-back titles. I was catapulted off. Alas, while holding fifth place, the ancient engine cried enough. It transpired that the magneto armature had lunched itself, and the machine was whisked back to local star Doug Fugger’s workshop in Albury for emergency repairs. Even so, as Gawler was officially an emergency site in case of bad weather for the main Adelaide airport, a proviso was that aircraft still had right of way! With the unit beyond repair, a frantic phone call to Melbourne, where the other Gilera was already packed ready for shipment back to Italy, had the magneto removed and on a plane to Tasmania, where it arrived late on Sunday afternoon. racing career called In Pursuit of Perfection, 30 years after his He secured six world championships and six Isle of Man TT wins. Duke later wrote an autobiography in 1989 focusing on his £8.99 £14.99 Buy. For a rider accustomed to the classic circuits of Europe, the sight of the crumbling strip was somewhat sobering. But opting out of some of these cookies may affect your browsing experience. Words: Sophie Bell | Photos: Mortons Archive. Royal Enfield. Then Amm was injured in England, and Kavanagh withdrew for personal reasons, leaving Duke on his own. They attempted to direct PREVIEW: November/December issue of Classic Racer. You can also subscribe for your iPad, PC, Android or iPhone on Zinio. It is mandatory to procure user consent prior to running these cookies on your website.
This category only includes cookies that ensures basic functionalities and security features of the website. The beginning of Second World War meant the racer had a delayed start to his sporting career.

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£10.99 £12.99 Buy. He'd lived on the Isle of Man since retiring from motorsport and had built several successful businesses there.

The legendary bikes and the courageous, talented heroes that mattered then and still matter now. demonstration of the possibilities of transport by land, air or water. The following day, accompanied by several members of the Auto Cycle Union of NSW, he was flown to Bathurst to inspect the nation’s pride, the 6 kilometre Mount Panorama Circuit. In the start of Duke’s racing he won 350cc and 500cc doubles on a British Norton at the 1951 TT and World Championship, just three years after his first race. It also had a profound effect on the local riders, serving as a stark reminder of the gap between our rather primitive scene and the European big time. We all hoped that no-one would outbrake themselves and torpedo him.”  On his home turf, Maurie Quincey was in fighting form, and led the 500 race until clutch slip set in.

Geoff Duke riding in his final TT in 1959.

Geoff Duke, who became one of the world's first motorcycling superstars, made his racing debut in 1948 in the Junior Isle of Man Grand Prix. However, Duke did face adversities when he was suspended As some consolation, Ehret then fitted a ‘chair’ to the Vincent and won the Sidecar TT! he was also a mainstream star, a pin-up boy, a … His first victory came in the 350cc class at the Haddenham Airfield circiut in 1949 shortly followed by wins in the Senior Manx Grand Prix and the Senior Clubman's TT later that year.Duke significantly improved the image of motorcycling and motorcyclists in the 1950s. Shortly after achieving one His number one machine was off song after its diet of Gawler grit, and he was unwilling to use his spare Gilera (the bike used in the World Championships by Irish star Reg Armstrong) so early into his tour. Even obtaining the use of this rugged site was difficult, and only the intervention of the directors of the Adelaide Children’s Hospital (the charity which would benefit from the meeting’s proceeds) saw permission granted for its use. The audience hung on the champion’s every word as he recounted tales from the European theatre, while diplomatically avoiding any criticism of the local scene. Before the first lap was completed however, it was the blood-red Gilera out in front, running away to an easy win. His suspension was punishment for supporting a rider, who was His role was to help develop the GP5 250cc production racer, run an Enfield race team and generally endorse the whole Royal Enfield model range.

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