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Myself with Sir Norman Wisdom, taken at Alpine Cottage in 1995

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Gail Musson

I have been involved with roadracing all my life, having attended race meetings both as a spectator in a carry cot and as a helper when my mum and dad were racing.

Donnington in 97

It was my natural instinct to follow in their footsteps, so initially I learned how to ride, on a TY80 Yamaha,usually in the grounds of Cadwell Park, which was then my local circuit. I attended the TT with mum and dad while they were competing,and also many other meetings all over the country,getting to know the racing fraternity.

When I was 16 I applied for my road licence,firstly on a moped, then a trusty H100 Honda, which I used to ride everywhere on ----- even The Island.

Several reporters asked me, when at the TT in 1978,if I would like to do the TT to follow in mum's wheeltracks one day. This was indeed my ambition.

Me on my 125 LC On my 250LC at Cadwell

In 1983 I attended the Charles Mortimer race school, on a 400 RD Yamaha, tailored to fit somebody far taller than my 4ft 10ins! I saved up to buy my first track bike, a 250 LC, and in June1984 I had my first race in a half hour time trial and finished 16th out of 23, narrowly missing a 2nd class award.

In August, in partnership with my mother, we entered an endurance race at West Raynham and we were running in the top 10 until I dropped the plot, bending the handlebars and forks. We still gained a finisher's award and weren't last.

Myself and Mum at Cadwell

I continued at novice level in '84 + 85, and in '86 I competed in ministocks on an LC 125.

Due to the usual racers' dilemma ie.poverty, I didn't compete again until 1992, when mum and I purchased a new RS 125 Honda. My aim was to gain my national licence,and this I did by mid '93.

I competed in several club championships during the next three years with the following results:-

3rd in 1994 BRC 125 championship
2nd in 1995 " " "
3rd in 1994 Newmarket 125 championship
6th in 1995 Bemsee 125 championship
4th in 1996 " " "

In both the Bemsee championships I was awarded the Janet Ansell trophy for the best lady rider.

Here I am in '76 at a dinner with among others Roger Marshall, John Williams, Steve Parrish, Chas Wilkinson of Cadwell Park, John Brown and Chris Carter

My most memorable race during this time was the Bantam racing club's 50 miler at Snetterton. My partner, Martin, had a race long battle for the lead in the 125's,whilst I was 3rd and 6th overall,only being lapped by the larger machines on lap 24 of 26.

My only race of 1997 was my 1st national,at Donington and although outclassed by more modern machines it was good experience, as my objective was to enter the 1998 Manx GP. Following a petition instigated by myself and signed by many riders,it was decided to allow 125's to compete in the Manx. To my delight my 1998 Manx GP entry was accepted for the newcomers race,on my trusty 1992 125.

I obtained a small amount of sponsorship from Nursery Fresh and S&J Van Dodeweerd of Spalding,Lincs., business contacts of mum and dad,but apart from that my best help was from my partner/mechanic, Martin, who worked tirelessly on the bike.

I qualified quite easily in good weather,but race day was a different story. Wind, rain --- you know. However,I finished in 6th place and went home with a 75th anniversary medal, a finisher's medal, and the Lesley Anne Trophy for the best performance by a lady rider.

Posing at The Manx in 2000

In 2000 I again rode in the Manx, hiring a 125 from Paul Wilkinson of Ballaugh. I acheived my fastest lap on lap 2 at 92.86mph,but unfortunately the bike broke on lap 3, but I had surpassed my ambition of a 90 mph lap ---- and gone faster than my mother! Thanks Paul.

In the future I would like to do the North West 200, also ride at Daytona,and maybe the TT, but for now I'll settle for the Manx ----- the weather's better!

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Me on the 125 at Snetterton

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