WHAT­EVER HAP­PENED TO TT hero Jim Moodie Visit Call the hot­line NOW

51 is­sues for £85 when you pay by di­rect debit or 51 is­sues for £97 when you pay by credit / debit card / Paypal FACT FILE Born: Dum­fries, Fe­bru­ary 15, 1963 Ca­reer high­light: Win­ning the Bri­tish Su­per­sport ti­tle in 2000 Eight “I never of­fi­cially re­tired!

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Jim Moodie was one of the last of the breed of rac­ers who could emerge vic­to­ri­ous from the very dif­fer­ent de­mands of the TT and short cir­cuits. He won three Bri­tish cham­pi­onships and eight TTS be­tween 1993 and 2002.

A tough, wiry Scot, Moodie was caught up in the ac­ci­dent that killed TT le­gend David Jef­feries dur­ing prac­tice for the 2003 event and was lucky to es­cape the smash with his own life.

He suf­fered badly in an­other crash a few months later and drifted into re­tire­ment. Moodie is now quite a busi­ness­man, with a mo­torhome deal­er­ship in Tampa, Florida. He splits his time be­tween Scot­land and the US.

Moodie could hack it on short cir­cuits and the roads, so which gave him the big­gest buzz? You’d prob­a­bly ex­pect him to say the TT: rock­et­ing be­tween walls and hedges at 180mph is surely go­ing to

Num­ber of TT wins: Re­tired:

get your heart ham­mer­ing more than whizzing around Don­ing­ton? But you’d be wrong. Short cir­cuits were his big­gest thing. “I was suc­cess­ful at the TT and I got paid quite a lot, so that kept me go­ing back, but my main thing was al­ways the short cir­cuits; that’s where I got most sat­is­fac­tion.”

What kind of bikes did he ride? Moodie won the 1993 Bri­tish Su­per­sport ti­tle on a CBR600, the 1998 prod­die ti­tle on a GSX-R750 and the 2000 Su­per­sport crown on a CBR600 and an R6. Dur­ing his ca­reer he ex­pe­ri­enced the fastest-ever progress in sports­bike de­sign. “Ev­ery year saw a new model: five more horse­power, lighter, bet­ter. When I first started Su­per­sport bikes they were like flexi road bikes, by the time I stopped they were proper lit­tle racing bikes.”

Hang on, you say he took the 2000 ti­tle on a CBR and an R6? Moodie was con­tracted to Honda UK for 2000, rid­ing a CBR600 in Su­per­sport and a Fire­blade in BSB. “Honda wanted me to ride the Fire­blade, but I didn’t want to be­cause it wasn’t com­pet­i­tive, so I had to leave. I’d been a pro­fes­sional rider since 1993 and I was earn­ing good money, so I went from that to racing for free, rid­ing an R6 for Jack Valen­tine. I led most of the Brands World Su­per­sport race on Jack’s bike, which was bril­liant be­cause it re­minded me why I went racing: I was do­ing it for no money, but just for my own pas­sion. At the end of the year I won the 600 ti­tle and that was the big­gest sat­is­fac­tion I ever had.”

Eight TTS! This is le­gend ter­ri­tory. How come he isn’t more fa­mous? They were mainly in the less glam­orous classes – his first win came in 1993 in a spec­tac­u­lar 400 Su­per­sport and 600 Su­per­sport dou­ble. And he was the first rider ever to lap at over 120mph on a prod­die bike.

How was Moodie was caught up in DJ’S TT ac­ci­dent? Jef­feries died when he crashed on oil as he rode through Crosby vil­lage at around 170mph. An­other bike had blown its en­gine but no oil flags were shown. Moodie ploughed into the ca­bles of a tele­graph pole felled by DJ’S bike. “The ac­ci­dent came very close to get­ting me. The only thing that gave me an in­kling some­thing wasn’t

right was a spec­ta­tor jump­ing off a wall and try­ing to get his red jacket off. I thought what the hell’s hap­pen­ing here? I was eas­ing off, then I went round the corner and I was try­ing to avoid the wreck­age. I saw this ca­ble at the last sec­ond. It snapped but not be­fore it had opened up my neck up. I was prob­a­bly do­ing around 120mph. That ac­ci­dent should never have hap­pened. I took some shit for some things I said about the TT but at least they started get­ting things done.”

It surely can’t be true that he de­cided to buy a he­li­copter while high on mor­phine? On yes it is. Moodie crashed at Cregny-baa in 1989 and was air­lifted to Nobles hospi­tal. “They he­li­coptered me to hospi­tal and I thought ‘this is pretty cool’. I missed most of the 2001 sea­son so, to keep me oc­cu­pied, I went and bought a he­li­copter and learned to fly. I still go to the TT most years. I fly into Kirk­michael, then fly back home.”

How did Moodie be­come a mo­torhome king? “I went over to the States to buy a new ‘bus’ and ended up buy­ing five: one for me, one for Mcguin­ness, one for the Haslams, one for Brian Mor­ri­son and an­other. It all grew from that.”

What else does he do? He trains rac­ers. “I just give rid­ers an idea of how it should be done – an idea of how com­mit­ted you have to be. I’ve got an MX track, quads and all that up in Scot­land. Mcguin­ness spent a whole win­ter with me, Ian Hutchinson has spent a lot of time up there, plus Glen Richards, Stu­art Eas­ton and Alex Lowes.”

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1993 Ju­nior TT podium with Brian Reid (cen­tre) and Joey Racing be­tween the walls in 1999 but it was short cir­cuit racing that re­ally got Moodie go­ing To­day: mo­torhome mogul and trainer

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