Classic Racer - - PEOPLE -

Roy well re­mem­bers the first big meet­ing ever at Don­ing­ton Park on its res­ur­rec­tion in Septem­ber 1977... it rained re­lent­lessly all day. And to make it worse, he’d never seen the place be­fore! Af­ter splash­ing his way around the ex­tremely slip­pery cir­cuit in prac­tice, he ap­proached the 15 lap un­lim­ited race with some trep­i­da­tion. The big Yamaha screamed into life and be­fore he knew it, he was tear­ing head­long down the stream­ing Craner Curves in the lead. Keith San­der­son gave him a hard time on his 351 Yamaha mid-race, but Roy put the many lurid slides be­hind him and went on to claim a com­mand­ing victory over class rid­ers such as Gary Ling­ham, Tony My­ers, and Mat Ox­ley. Hav­ing won that first big bike race he was in­vited by the or­gan­is­ers into the main Su­per­bike race along­side Barry Sheene et al. In typ­i­cal Toyne style, he de­cided that rather than take the chance of slip­ping off in the atro­cious con­di­tions and bend­ing the team’s in­vest­ment, he’d get into some warm dry cloth­ing and head home with win­nings safely tucked away in his pocket, and live to race an­other day. From that day on, or­gan­is­ers be­gan to take note of Roy and a mod­est amount of start money be­came the norm. On an­other oc­ca­sion, Don­ing­ton Park was the scene of one of his proud­est rac­ing mo­ments, when he diced for sev­enth spot with his hero Joey Dun­lop on the works Honda, in the day’s fea­ture race. The two quiet men of rac­ing went at it ‘ham­mer and tongs’ for the ma­jor­ity of the race, with the Ir­ish­man even­tu­ally tak­ing the flag by inches. Although, the twin shock equipped frame had served its pur­pose well, a monoshock frame was def­i­nitely the way to go, so over the win­ter of 1977-78 San­dra chipped in all their ‘rainy day’ money and the Toynes in­vested in a Spon­don Monoshock frame and con­verted the whole thing to OW01 spec, sell­ing off the orig­i­nal Yamaha ver­sion. Af­ter Pop had added a set of home-made ex­pan­sion cham­bers, the Spon­don framed Yamaha proved to be money well spent. It made the bike more com­pet­i­tive against the likes of fel­low lo­cal lads Gra­ham Wood, Bob Smith, and Rob Mcel­nea. It brought him third over­all in the East Mid­land Cen­tre Un­lim­ited Cham­pi­onship in 1978 and the ti­tle it­self in 1980.


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