Comeback ‘King of the Castle’

The gates are down, the clutch is dropped and already riders are pawing the air.

As history will record, American Suzuki rider Brad Lackey would finish the season as world champion. However, at this stage in our story that was still to come and the motorcycling press here in the UK was full of how well the British riders could do at their home GP.

In a full page preview of the Farleigh Castle contest, MotorCycle Weekly reckoned things looked good for a home winner. With British stars such as former 500cc world champion Graham Noyce, reigning 250cc world champion Neil Hudson and rising star Dave Thorpe all consistently being in the top five at the previous nine GPs, you can see why the press felt this way.

In interviews with the three Brits, all of them felt that at this stage in the season maybe the championship for 1982 was out of reach for them – to be fair, neither Thorpe nor Hudson had expected to be winners in their first full season of 500 MX GPs and told MotorCycle Weekly so. Both felt this would be a learning year and in Thorpe’s case would lead to three future championships. Noyce, however, continued the run of bad luck which had plagued him since being crowned  1979 world champion. Never one to give in, Noyce pushed himself harder and harder despite injuries and paid the price in the American round when he crashed and damaged his left knee even more.

Read more in the Autumn issue (No.44) of CDB – out now!

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