Special surprise for motorcycling legend Roger Marshall
LINCOLNSHIRE motorcycling legend Roger Marshall was left speechless by a special surprise at Cadwell Park – and Kirmington star Guy Martin raced up from Birmingham to unveil it.
Marshall arrived at the circuit for a get-together of former Lincolnshire racing rivals – but he had no idea Pete Boast, a talented all-round racer from Market Rasen, had arranged the delivery of a 1976 Machin & Saunders Yamaha.
The bike, one of 12-time British champion Marshall's favourite machines, had been restored to pristine condition.
One of Marshall's favourite races around Cadwell came when he rode the Yamaha model in front of 50,000 partisan fans in September 1976 amid an epic duel with 500cc world champion Barry Sheene.
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At Boast's request, former Grimsby Telegraph motorcycling correspondent Keith Martin hosted the event at Cadwell, near Louth, in front of about 80 guests.
And Isle of Man TT racer and television star Guy Martin jumped at the chance to unveil the special bike to a "stunned" Marshall.
"I was amazed how many Lincolnshire racers, from past and present, were there in the clubhouse, where the newly re-vamped Yamaha was centre stage and covered up," said Keith Martin.
"When I asked our local Channel 4 TV star Guy Martin to unveil the machine, Roger was absolutely stunned.
"He couldn't believe his eyes and, much to my surprise, was totally overwhelmed and absolutely speechless."
Thirteen-time TT podium finisher Guy Martin said: "When I found out about the night for Roger, I had to make it. I had been filming my new series, but I drove straight from Birmingham to Cadwell.
"When Keith asked me to unveil the bike, I was delighted. And when I saw it, I was even more delighted. It was a mega job – no wonder Roger liked it so much!"
After regaining his composure, Marshall thanked his former mechanic Don Briggs and his sponsor Dave Saunders for their help early on in his 19-year career.
Marshall is now a British Superbike steward and attends race meetings across the country.
Among the Lincolnshire racing figures that attended the event to pay their respects to Marshall were Honda supremo Neil Tuxworth, former Yamaha GP racer Rob McElnea, renowned 'king of Cadwell' Derek Chatterton, and Guy Martin, along with his dad Ian, who was also a top rider in his day.
Guy Martin added that he hadn't seen so many local riders together since the 1980s when Lincolnshire Road Racers Association members used to meet at the Winter Gardens.
His suggestion that those meetings should be restarted at another local venue was met by a resounding cheer by the audience at Cadwell.