Motorcycle News (UK) - - This Week -

I’d bury my bike in the sand-trap but I should’ve jumped off. You don’t re­alise what speed you’re do­ing; it just flung me into the wall. I ac­tu­ally died at the scene. I was lucky that Lyn Jar­rett, head of A&E at Not­ting­ham Univer­sity Hospital, was on duty that day. I owe my life to him. The crash hap­pened in Septem­ber and I was in hospital un­til Fe­bru­ary. In March I went test­ing with Loc­tite Yamaha, which went re­ally well. I won the last two 1989 BSB races, but then lost my ride.”

And what did he do next? He be­came a test rider for Tri­umph. “We did a lot of rid­ing in Spain: me, Keith Huewen and [TT win­ner] Steve Tonkin. We started out with the Speed Triple and the Sprint, then I helped out with the start of their first 600, do­ing all the chas­sis stuff at the Pau cir­cuit in France, us­ing a Kawasaki 600 donor en­gine. I learned a lot be­cause when you’re de­vel­op­ing a road bike you’ve got to keep the price down. I’d tell them the Öh­lins shock was bet­ter, but we’d have to make a cheaper one as close as pos­si­ble to the Öh­lins be­cause it’s no good if the bike is too ex­pen­sive.”

What’s he up to now? In 1999 he bought a dis­used Lit­tle Chef on the A46 out­side Lin­coln and con­verted it into a mo­tor­cy­cle cloth­ing shop, sell­ing kit for road riders, road rac­ers and mo­tocross riders.

Didn’t he have a funny nick­name? Yes, peo­ple called him ‘Cap­tain’, af­ter his name­sake Cap­tain Mark Phillips, of Princess Anne’s first hus­band fame. Leg­end has it that Prince Charles’ nick­name for his brother-in-law was ‘Foggy’. Noth­ing to do with King Carl; the Prince thought that Phillips was ‘thick and wet’.

With the late Gary Pad­gett (cen­tre) Phillips runs his own bike kit deal­er­ship

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