Bedfordshire’s Steve Linsdell will ride an exotic 500cc GP machine in this year’s Senior TT, lining up on one of the last 500cc two-stroke machines ever built for Grand Prix competition.
The TT stalwart, who has stepped on to the podium on no less than seven occasions, has acquired one of the unique Paton machines that scored points in the 2000 500cc GP season and his decision to race the machine will give the prestigious Centenary event a distinct, and unique, Italian flavour. Two stroke enthusiasts will also take delight in hearing the shrill sound of the four-cylinder machine around the Mountain Course.
The Paton marque is no stranger to TT competition and after Pepe Pattoni built his very first machine in 1958, numerous riders competed on his bikes including the one and only Mike Hailwood whilst Fred Stevens also enjoyed success during the 1960’s on his 500cc version. What Pattoni lacked in money he more than made up with passion and he single handedly designed, built and developed his machines, which included 125cc, 250cc, 350cc and 500cc four strokes, before moving into two-stroke design in the late 70’s. Linsdell’s 500cc version is similar in design to that of the all-conquering NSR500 Honda and, indeed, Mr Honda himself always took interest in the work of his fellow enthusiast and engineer.
Speaking about his decision to race the machine Linsdell said:
"This is a fantastic project to be involved in and, having enjoyed the support of owner Giovanni Cabbassi during the last three Manx Grand Prix’s, I am delighted to have the opportunity to race the 500cc machine at this year’s event. Roberto Pattoni, son of Mr Pattoni is also fully committed to the project and I am confident we will give a very good account of ourselves with a bike of great interest. I know that I’m not going to win the race, and have no thoughts in doing so, but we will not get in the way and I am firmly aiming at achieving my first 120mph lap. I would not be happy with anything less and delighted with more!"