Mike Hailwood Died 20 Years Ago This Month
by dean adams (2001)

Something has been bothering me lately, something I couldn't put a finger on exactly. Not pit stops and red flags and eviscerated left legs of riders I know, but something that left me with a feeling that I'd gone to the market and forgotten something on a list. Isn't it the most annoying thing when you know there's something imporatnt you have forgotten, but you haven't the foggiest idea what it is? 

Driving down to the office this morning and putting a to-do list in my head, running today's date against the date a year ago, somehow my coffee addled brain came up with the mystery item I'd left out of the sack. 

It was twenty years ago this month that Mike Hailwood died. 

Nine time world champion Hailwood was 41 and was officially retired when he and his daughter were killed in a car accident in England on March 23, 1981. (Michele was killed instantly, while Mike the Bike hung on for two days.)

By then he'd won literally hundreds of motorcycle races in his career and was regarded as the best motorcycle roadracer of all time. 

When the year 2000 rolled around, and some were asked to name the best riders of the 20th century, Hailwood topped many of the lists I noticed, even some put together by non-Brits. 

Knowing that the twentieth anniversary of Hailwood's death was approaching, over the past year or so I asked some of the people who knew him to share their thoughts on SMB Hailwood.

Don Emde was teamed with Mike Hailwood

Kel Carruthers remembers Mike Hailwood

NCR's Rino Carrachi remembers Mike Hailwood

Freddie Spencer remembers Mike Hailwood


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