Friday, November 23, 2012

Rob Iannucci reminded me recently of another photo sequence of a crash.
 This was the 6 September 1989 Senior Classic Manx Grand Prix when I was racing the Team Obsolete '59 Matchless G-50.

 On the 2nd lap of the 4 lap race, I noticed my friend, the inimitable Dick Miles, spectating on the hill after the Verandah and before Bungalow Bridge.

The race seemed to be going well and I was feeling good.  So, on the third lap, as I went by Dick, I took my right leg off the peg and waved it at him.

 Foot back on the peg, I pitched it into The Bungalow and the bike slid away and I went sky/ground/sky/ground.

 I ran over to the bike to see if I could restart, but it was a bit bent up and there was a puncture in the aluminum fuel tank.

So, I watched the finish of the race from the marshall's hut thinking I had just done a 'Schwantz', throwing it away when I had about a one minute lead.

 However, I was awarded the Milne Shield for the fastest lap in the race (102.52mph).  Months later, back in the shop in Brooklyn, I started working on the G-50 to get it ready for Daytona.  I took the seat off and found the two frame tubes were broken just in front of the top shock mounts.  One side was all worn smooth and shiny and clearly had been broken a while, where the other side was fresh.  I like to think that second side let go just as I pitched it into the Bungalow and that's why I went down.  It certainly could have happened at a lot worse place on the TT course.
We retired that frame (#1709) then and built all the rest of the bike into frame #1708. which Rob had acquired years before.  1709 frame was put aside until 2007 when we restored the bike to as near as we could to the way it was in 1984, when we won the Senior Historic TT, for the Centenary TT Lap of Honor.
I don't remember who took the photos but I think it may have been a photographer for one of the British newspapers(The Telegraph?????).
September, 1989


  1. The entire sequence of events from the footwave through the tumble, the fastest lap (102.52 mph)to the photo of you David... Wow! WHAT A RACER!!!!

  2. David in this crash here did you break, fracture,sprain or strain any part of your body at all? There you stand...truly amazing!!

    1. I have a vague memory of bruising my hand, but nothing that would have stopped me from finishing the race if the bike had been up to it. Four days later, I won a couple of races at Steamboat Springs, Co.

  3. It would be better if you won the race but at least you are okay. :)