| Bird Sees Both Sides of
Motorcycle racing boss Paul Bird is witnessing first
hand the devastation being caused by foot-and-mouth in the UK. Mr Bird, who is
in the poultry trade, is currently enjoying success with his Monster Mob Ducati
team in the British Superbike Championship. The horror of the crisis is all too
close to home for him as he lives in the Lake District which has been worst hit
by the virulent disease.
From where he lives in Penrith he can smell
burning animal carcasses nearby. He said it would be 'devastating' if
foot-and-mouth did reach the Isle of Man, but at the same time recognises the
popularity and importance of the TT.
He said: 'I would like it to go
ahead, but it is very risky whether it does go ahead or not.' He added: 'It
would be very sad for the motorcycling fraternity not to have the TT. It would
be very disappointing.' Mr Bird will forever have a place in TT history as he
provided the factory-engined Honda SP1 which Joey Dunlop rode to victory in
last year's Formula One, arguably the greatest of his 26 TT victories. As yet
Mr Bird, who brought across seven bikes to the Island last year as part of his
Demon Vimto Honda team, has not finalised plans on what he will be doing for
this year's event, should it go ahead, but did say: 'We are possibly going to
be doing something with Honda Britain.'
Rumours are also mounting that
11 times TT champion and Island resident Steve Hislop, who rides the Monster
Mob Ducati in the BSB championship, will return to the road racing event. He
last competed in 1994 and only Joey Dunlop and 14 times winner Mike Hailwood
have notched up more victories on the mountain circuit.
precautions were in place for the first round of the BSB Championship at
Donington Park on Sunday when Hizzy, as he is known in the motorcycling world,
had an impressive start to the season, coming second in the first race and
fourth in the second. His return to the TT would be a major boost to the event,
but Mr Bird added that he has not been approached by the Department of Tourism
and Leisure about the possibility of Hizzy racing.
Mr Bird is clearly
impressed with the Scot who rode for the Virgin Yamaha team in last season's
BSB championship before he had a major crash in a round of the World Superbike
championships at Brands Hatch. Mr Bird said: 'He is the best rider we have ever
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