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TonyMac

'They Retired Too Soon'

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6 hours ago, Hodgy said:

Chris Manchester immediately came to mind. He was improving rapidly but recall he had a few crashes and completely lost his nerve. He gave it another go but his head had completely gone. 

I didn't realise he had some bad crashes. I often wondered why he appeared to disappear from these shores.

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 I have recently been reading about Arthur Forest. Sounds like he was a natural talent that did well very young. Apparently he retired at 26 although I don't know why .

I wonder if Norbold can add anything about him ?

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Posted (edited)

In many ways but for very different reasons, Arthur Forrest had a similar sort of career to Michael Lee.Arthur started his career aged 16. In 1949 and retired in 1959 aged 26  going into the family business.He reached five world finals  and was third in 1956 he also represented England as an 18 year old.Lee well we all know about his history his top flight career 1975/84 was finished in 1984 he won the title in 1980 and reached six world finals finishing placed twice and fourth in 1977.

Edited by Sidney the robin

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On 7/22/2021 at 7:05 PM, E I Addio said:

Actually Sid I do think it is a mega tough era today in terms of the top level but for a different reason . Up to about the mid seventies tuners didn’t play a major part. It was as much about the rider as the bike, and that’s why we have to say Briggs , Fundin, Moore etc were truly great riders,. Today it’s as much about the getting the sponsors to fund a fortune on tuners , set ups , spare engines etc. I’m not knocking today’s riders by any means but it’s very much a different game today. Some have 30 different engines. On the other hand, take Terry Betts for example. He said in Classic Speedway that he used to buy one new engine at the start of the season, used it the whole season, never laid a spanner on it for the whole season except changing the valve springs and he was, on his day , capable of beating  the worlds best.  

I admire Jason Doyle because he became World Champion relatively  on a shoe string compared with most modern riders, but I doubt whether anyone will win it again without massive sponsorship money behind  them. The rider used to be more important than the bike, today, I think it’s the other way round.

If you talk to the older riders including Briggo they will tell you how they bought in 'special' engines for the big events, hired from the likes of Lattenhammer who had set them up for a specific rider and track. I know the 'special ones' who were handicapped for a season were set against it because it meant they had to spend far too much money on motors.

Without doubt the engines they used in the leagues would have been much more standard and for all except the busiest looked after by the riders themselves. Colin Cook told us how he had an 897 Jawa and only adjusted the tappets using it home and away for every meeting of the season.

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2 hours ago, Vince said:

If you talk to the older riders including Briggo they will tell you how they bought in 'special' engines for the big events, hired from the likes of Lattenhammer who had set them up for a specific rider and track. I know the 'special ones' who were handicapped for a season were set against it because it meant they had to spend far too much money on motors.

Without doubt the engines they used in the leagues would have been much more standard and for all except the busiest looked after by the riders themselves. Colin Cook told us how he had an 897 Jawa and only adjusted the tappets using it home and away for every meeting of the season.

 I am not sure that tuners really made much difference before the mid -seventies. I remember Olle Nygren saying he always did his own engines but that “Ivan was always messing about with tuners” but apparently not getting much mechanical advantage.

When Ivan Mauger was asked which was his most satisfying World Championship win he said 1972 because that was the last year all the bikes were pretty much the same. He said in the 1972 World Final you could line all the bikes up and race over a measured Kilometre and there would be practically nothing between them at the finish , but after that the tuners were starting to make a difference.

Of course, this is Speedway so we must take most of what is said with a pinch of salt, although we now know because Mauger admitted it that some or this experimentation involved illegal fuels, although he also said that the difference was mostly psychological, giving more confidence . 

 

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Ron Henderson of Newcastle who averaged 5.8 in his debut season of 1975, increased it to 8.3 in 1976 then quit part way through 1977 to become a social worker back in Australia. 

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