THE LEGACY ‘We went out to din­ner & there was a pic of Dad on the wall’ Barry SHEENE

Ex­clu­sive in­ter­view SHE Y AR EN E’ RS S E FI V R I S N T A I T R L A E E 4 ANNIVERSAR Y Y 0 40-YEAR - - 0 Y 4 E E 1976 A Spe­cial L R T I A N T I RS VE FI ’S RS SHEENE ARY •

Motorcycle News (UK) - - Features - Fred­die Sheene

Barry’s son Fred­die was only 14 years old when he trag­i­cally lost his fa­ther to can­cer. He’s now 27 and lives in Aus­tralia, although he did live in Eng­land with WSB and Moto2 stars Alex and Sam Lowes be­tween 2011 and 2014. He is a part­ner in a car ex­port busi­ness, has tried his hand at rac­ing, and still takes part in pa­rade laps in tribute to his dad, some­times on one of his exrace bikes. We asked him what it’s like to have such a fa­mous fa­ther.

When did you re­alise that your Dad wasn’t just an av­er­age ev­ery­day bloke? I was quite young when Dad passed away but I went over to the UK with him in early 2000 and he had a bike over there so we’d ride around and go to dif­fer­ent cafés and stuff. We went to one re­ally fa­mous restau­rant – though I can’t re­mem­ber the name – and there was a pic­ture of my Dad on the wall and every­one was crowd­ing round him and there were cam­eras go­ing off ev­ery­where. I guess that’s when I re­alised he wasn’t just a nor­mal bloke. In Aus­tralia we didn’t get any­thing like that. Would your Dad have cared much that it was the 40th an­niver­sary of his first world ti­tle or was he not fussed about stuff like that? He would prob­a­bly just have been pissed off to re­alise that it was so long ago and that he was 40 years older!

Does it make you feel very proud when peo­ple like Valentino Rossi cite your dad as one of their he­roes? Yes, of course. When Dad passed away Valentino won the race at Phillip Is­land and then car­ried a flag with my Dad’s num­ber on it on his slow-down lap. Valentino had made it from a bed sheet in his ho­tel. That was re­ally nice to see. When you see the im­pact Dad had on the rac­ing com­mu­nity it re­ally does make you think.

Are you do­ing much rid­ing these days? I’m not, to be hon­est. When I was in the UK I was rid­ing all the time be­cause it was so easy. Don­ing­ton Park was just down the road as I was liv­ing in Derby and I had my own Yamaha R6 and a Honda 450 flat-tracker. But here in Aus­tralia there’s not many tracks within easy dis­tance and it’s a lot harder to get parts for bikes so I don’t ride at all in Aus­tralia. In fact, I don’t even own a bike now.

What about rac­ing? Did you ever try your hand at that se­ri­ously? Not se­ri­ously. A guy asked me if I wanted to ride his bike in the Span­ish Cham­pi­onship but I was on a stock 600 in a com­bined class with Moto2 bikes and the per­for­mance dif­fer­ence was huge. It was quite in­tim­i­dat­ing to be rid­ing 10 sec­onds a lap slower than the Moto2 guys, so it wasn’t ideal. I en­joyed it a lot but I never thought about it as a ca­reer choice – it was just a bit of fun.

Will you be in­volved in the movie that’s be­ing made about your Dad? Yes, the pro­duc­ers have been in touch with us and we’re help­ing as much as we can but it’s up to them now to try and get the fund­ing in place.

Are you still sur­prised by how much love there is for your Dad out there? I never knew the full scale of how much my Dad was loved in the UK. But go­ing to Good­wood in 2010 I was so over­whelmed by the amount of peo­ple ask­ing for my au­to­graph and I just couldn’t un­der­stand why! And hear­ing all the sto­ries from rac­ers like Kenny Roberts and Wayne Gard­ner, I re­ally started to re­alise how much of an im­pact he made on the rac­ing com­mu­nity.

‘At Good­wood I started to re­alise the im­pact he had made on rac­ing’

The Sheenes: all packed and bound for Aus­tralia Sheene Jnr got tips from mates Haslam and Lowes Barr y Sheeneõs style left a last­ing im­pres­sion on Rossi Sheene: com­ing to a screen near you

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