Trial Magazine - - FRONT PAGE -

In part two, the bound­aries of which he would go to for ‘The’ im­age, are looked at through the lens of the Don Mor­ley cam­era. To say they were near death ex­pe­ri­ences is prob­a­bly a lit­tle un­der stated! Dur­ing his con­va­les­cence af­ter the orig­i­nal ac­ci­dent with the Noyce fac­tory Honda,

a photo shoot in 1979 caused even more prob­lems.

It in­volved New

Zealan­der Den­nis Ire­land, an up and com­ing rider who at the time raced a Suzuki at GP level. Hav­ing just won the Bel­gian GP the shoot was set up for pub­lic­ity pur­poses prior to the Oc­to­ber’s Brands Hatch In­ter­na­tional event. Ire­land had ini­tially planned to run his ma­chine over a few laps to check if a throt­tle-stick­ing is­sue had been re­solved by his me­chanic which had oc­curred at the pre­vi­ous week­end’s race at Oul­ton Park. The prac­tice ses­sion had been can­celled but Ire­land took the ma­chine from his van to do the tests in the pit-lane area. As it tran­spired the stick­ing throt­tles mat­ter had not been suc­cess­fully re­solved un­known to him. Don, still on crutches, po­si­tioned him­self in the pit-lane with his cam­era at the ready. Ire­land was to ride his RG500 past Don for a se­ries of shots. How­ever, the early ver­sion of the RG500 Suzuki was a bit of an an­i­mal of a mo­tor­cy­cle and sud­denly all four throt­tles jammed wide open un­leash­ing the full ninety-four brake-horse power and he couldn’t shut the ma­chine down. The Suzuki reared straight up pitch­ing Ire­land off and Mor­ley had nowhere to go; he was the prover­bial sit­ting duck. Think­ing quickly, he threw him­self to the ground to try to avoid con­tact but the way­ward Suzuki ham­mered into Don. Ire­land was cat­a­pulted into a con­crete post and was much less for­tu­nate; he suf­fered mul­ti­ple in­juries which con­fined him to a wheel­chair for many weeks and sev­eral months of op­er­a­tions and phys­io­ther­apy.

Don ac­cepts an award from the Isle of Man Gov­er­nor for 51 years of the ‘TT’ cov­er­age.

At the Mu­nich Olympics af­ter the ‘Mu­nich Mas­sacre’ 72

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