he all time greats passed away today.
Carl Fogarty and his Foggy PETRONAS Racing team today paid tribute to racing icon Barry Sheene, who died today aged 52 after a seven-month battle against cancer.
Carl said: “It’s a sad day for British motorcycle racing. He was the biggest household name that the sport has created here in Britain. Even though there had been other British world champions before him, he was the first person to make that cross-over from racer to celebrity.
“Barry lived life to the absolute full and he did more in his 52 years than most people would in 100 years. But, as well as the lifestyle, he was also a great racer, as his two world titles prove.
“He did a lot to bring the sport to the attention of the British public, especially with those two big crashes at Daytona and Silverstone, which were shown on the News at Ten. People still come up to me and think that I used to race against Barry, even though he retired so long ago, which is a measure of how well known he still is even to a new generation of fans.
“We always got on fine and had a laugh whenever we met up, even if we might have done a bit of verbal sparring in public! My sympathies go out to his wife and children.”
FPR rider Troy Corser added: “He’ll be sadly missed by many fans and friends, including Sam and I. Barry introduced the two of us in 1994 whilst I was testing and Sam worked for Sky TV, and we’ve been together ever since, so I owe him a great deal for his involvement in my early career and my future with Sam.
“He was a big inspiration on my career and he found me the chance to come to Europe, start my career and be successful at what I’d always wanted to do as a youngster.
“Whilst it’s great to be going back to Australia to race later this month, I don’t think this year will now have quite the same upbeat feel as in the past due to Barry’s loss. He didn’t come to England often so it was always good to catch up with him once a year in Oz. Our thoughts and love are with his family and friends.”
FPR team-mate James Haydon added: “Although I did not know Barry personally, everyone knows his name and he was a great ambassador for the sport. He was a motorcycling legend and enjoyed a fantastic career.”
(Note: Sheene is survived by his wife, Stephanie, and two teenage children, daughter Sidonie and son Freddie.)