Barry Sheene


Barry Sheene

Infobox Former Grand Prix motorcycle rider


Caption = Barry Sheene at the Daytona 200 (1976)
Name = Barry Sheene
Nationality = flagicon|UK British
Years = 1970 - 1984
Teams = Suzuki, Yamaha
Races = 102
Championships = 500cc - 1976, 1977
Wins = 23
Podiums = 52
Points =
Poles = 19
Fastest laps = 18
First race = 1970 125cc Spanish Grand Prix
First win = 1971 125cc Belgian Grand Prix
Last win = 1981 500cc Swedish Grand Prix
Last race = 1984 500cc San Marino Grand Prix

Barry Sheene MBE (September 11, 1950March 10, 2003) was a British former World Champion Grand Prix motorcycle road racer. [cite web
url=http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2003/03/11/db1101.xml
title=Barry Sheene - Telegraph
publisher=www.telegraph.co.uk
accessdate=2008-03-10
last=
first=
]

Biography

Sheene was born in London, England the second child of parents Frank (resident engineer at the Royal College of Surgeons) and Iris. He grew up in Queen's Square, Holborn, London.

He became the British 125cc champion aged just 20, and finished second in the World Championships for that class a year later. A spectacular crash at the Daytona 200 in 1975 threatened to end his career, breaking his left thigh, right arm, collarbone and two ribs, yet he recovered and was racing again seven weeks afterwards.

In 1976 he won five 500cc Grands Prix, bringing him the World Championship. He repeated as champion in 1977 with six victories.After the 1979 season, he left the Suzuki works team, believing that he was receiving inferior equipment to his team-mates. He shifted to a privateer Yamaha machine, but soon started receiving works equipment.In 1981, Kenny Roberts was the reigning World 500cc Champion for the third time, and Barry Sheene, now on a competitive Yamaha, was determined to regain the championship. Ironically, Sheene and Roberts battled all season and let Suzuki riders Marco Lucchinelli of Italy and American Randy Mamola beat them for the top two spots. Roberts finished third and Sheene fourth for the 1981 championship. A 1982 crash largely ended Sheene as a title threat, and he retired in 1984.

Sheene was a colourful, exuberant character who used his good looks, grin and Cockney accent to good effect in self-promotion, and combined with an interest in business was one of the first riders to make a lot of money from endorsements. He is credited with boosting the appeal of motorcycle racing into the realm of the mass marketing media. He also tried his hand as a TV show host and starred in the low-budget film "Space Riders".

He moved to Australia in the late 1980s in the hope of relieving some of the pain of injury-induced arthritis, moving to a property near the Gold Coast. He combined a property development business with a role as a commentator on motor sport, first at Nine Network with Darrell Eastlake, then moving with the TV coverage of the motorcycle Grand Prix series to Network Ten.

In later years, Sheene became involved in historic motorcycle racing. A little-known piece of trivia is that Sheene invented the motorcycle back protector, with a prototype model he made himself out of old helmet visors, arranged so they could curve in one direction, but not the other. Sheene gave the prototype along with all rights to the Italian company Dainese - they and other companies have manufactured back protectors since then.

He died of cancer of the stomach and oesophagus, and is survived by his wife Stephanie McLean and two children.

Following reconstruction of the Brands Hatch Circuit in England for safety concerns after requests by the FIM, the Dingle Dell section was changed for safety, and shortly after Sheene's death the new section was renamed Sheene's Corner in his honour. The FIM named him a Grand Prix "Legend" in 2001. At the 2004 season, V8 Supercars Australia made a memorial medal, calling it the Barry Sheene Medal. A memorial ride from Bairnsdale, Victoria to Phillip Island is held by Australian motorcyclists annually, before the MotoGP held at the island. [ [http://www.motogp.com.au/default.aspx?s=newsdisplay&id=1216 News Display ] ]

Motorcycle Grand Prix results

Books

*cite book| last =
first =
authorlink =
coauthors =
title = The Story so Far
publisher =
date =
location =
pages =
isbn =

*cite book| last = Marriott
first = Andrew
authorlink =
coauthors =
title = The Sheene Machine
publisher =
date =
location =
pages =
isbn =

*cite book| last = Scott
first = Michael
authorlink =
coauthors =
title = Barry Sheene: A Will to Win
publisher = Comet Books (softcover edition)
date = 1983
location = UK
pages = 223
isbn = 086379095X

*cite book| last =
first =
authorlink =
coauthors =
title = Leader of the Pack
publisher =
date =
location =
pages =
isbn =

*cite book| last = Barker
first = Stuart
authorlink =
coauthors =
title = Barry Sheene 1950-2003: The Biography
publisher = CollinsWillow
date = 2003
location = UK
pages = 335
isbn = 0007161816

*cite book| last = Scott
first = Michael
authorlink =
coauthors =
title = Barry Sheene
publisher =
date = 2006
location =
pages =
isbn =

*cite book| last = Parrish
first = Steve
authorlink =
coauthors = Harris, Nick
title = Barry
publisher =
date = 2007
location =
pages =
isbn =

Notes

External links

* [http://www.motogp.com/en/MotoGP+Legends/profiles/Barry+Sheene Barry Sheene career statistics at MotoGP.com]
*imdb name|name=Barry Sheene|id=0790694
* [http://sameerkumar.blogspot.com/2006/09/stephanie-mclean-barry-sheene-was.html Interview] with Stephanie McLean on her husband, Barry Sheene


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