The monthly newsletter for Supermono lovers

October 2014

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Brough Bravado in Moto2

A major recent project for Britaliamoto was working on Taylormade Racing’s Brough Superior Moto2 bike.  Alistair started working on this bike in the US in 2010. He was brought in to co-ordinate the bike assembly in preparation for presentation at the US round of the MotoGP races of that year.

With a carbon-fibre monocoque design and a fuel tank incorporated into the chassis, the FIM did not have its own test to accept it into GP Racing, so the bike had to be showcased at Laguna Seca to gain its credentials.

Three years later and fast forward to a wild card entry into Moto2 at Silverstone and Alistair was called back to work on the bike for further testing in preparation for this amazing opportunity. 

In the lead up to Silverstone he went as crew chief to Fontana in California to race the bike with British rising star, 21-year old Luke Mossey as its new rider.  Luke ended up not racing and was replaced by test rider Sean Higbee who won the race.

The bike was then shipped to the UK to our new premises in Bruce Street a month before Silverstone. Bennetts Motorcycle Insurance came onboard as a major sponsor and a number of smaller sponsors followed suit. The project was gaining traction.

Alistair had imagined his role as crew chief to be a more overseeing role than a rebuilding one. But two weeks to go to the race, the arrival of the owner Paul Taylor from the US and trial track days at Silverstone, Cadwell and Mallory Parks heralded much modification and burning the midnight oil.

Luke Mossey decided not to take on the challenge, and at the 11th hour

Jeremy Williams, Grand Prix 250cc winner, a MotoGP podium presence, and

pole position for the very last 500 MotoGP race at Philip Island on the Modenus 3 cylinder 500cc, decided to take it on.

It was touch and go on eligibility as Jeremy had already celebrated his 50th birthday, but according to MotoGP rules he was eligible to race in his 50th year but not his 51st.

Having such a seasoned rider as Jeremy on the Brough Moto2 was certainly a feather in the cap for all concerned and the team welcomed the feedback after his first practice ride at Mallory Park on improvements needed to be made.

This was when the 22-hour days really began. 

After qualifying and a couple of crashes on practice, Jeremy, with his broken nose and black eye, gamely took a rear position on the grid. His riding was a an inspiring and tenacious display and he gave it his all, finishing not last and with plenty of tales to tell and more suggestions to make.

The Brough Moto2 is now back in its temporary home of Bruce Street, waiting to be tested in Spain in late October. Watch this space.

A whole is greater than the parts

Carl Fogarty’s replica 1994 World Superbike championship winning Ducati 955 Corse was created over a nine month period in the Britaliamoto workshop through the meticulous labours of Alistair. The bike turned up in cardboard boxes with the wish of its owner that it be brought back to its former glory.

The challenges included getting the carbon shrouded carbon front brake discs made (last used in 1994) – he had to fabricate all the aluminium carriers and spacers including the brake caliper mounting brackets; fabricating footrest brackets, pegs and heel guard; and the fuel injection mapping to optimise power output.  The vast majority of time was spent sourcing all the small components needed to complete the project – thank goodness he got a faster computer for Christmas.    

The customer was thrilled that so much effort had been put into every little detail. It now has pride of place in his living room.

On an airfield with Barry Sheene’s bike

Alistair was contacted by the BBC to be Man-on-the-Ground Technical Engineer as Steve Parrish and Jim Moir (aka Vic Reeves) rode Barry Sheene’s 1968 Bultaco 250cc for the TV programme Racing Legends

Part of the programme revealed the ancient art of push starting and how tricky this was to get right.

For Alistair it meant a day out at RAF Wittering in glorious sunshine and the chance to share long anecdotes of racing history with the bike’s owner Frank Allinson.

The programme will

be screened around

Christmas time, and

other legends that

have been

featured include

Stirling Moss, Jim

Clark, and Jackie


Glorious Goodwood

Back to the Revival and this time Alistair had the chance to work on a long stroke 1952 Manx Norton entered for the Barry Sheene Memorial Race held over the weekend of September 12-14. This bike was the only original Manx Norton from 1952.

Obligatory aged blue overalls and a flat cap proved to be welcome when the sun went in, but as has been the blessing this summer and autumn, the weather was warm and sunny during the day. 

Thirty bikes entered each race with two riders apiece. It was a Le Mans start with a pit stop to change riders. Bar a few small hitches, all went off smoothly and the owners were happy with their overall 14th place.  

A trip to Spa Francochamps

Back to the historic Belgian track for an outing of Alan Cathcart’s Ducati 851 Superbike Kit bike from 1988.  This classic event sees a parade of bikes and this year it was a special display of racing Suzukis.  For Alistair, this was another nut-and-bolt build and Spa was its first public outing.

Another wonderful weekend of weather and Alistair’s chance meeting with Roberto Gallina (pictured below with Alan Cathcart) made it all the more special.

Left to right: The Goodwood team Rider/owner Joachim Folch Jnr, Alistair Wager, Andrew Cathcart, rider Ajandro Tejedo, Ben Stevenson, and kneeling Barry Smith

Far right: Bruce Anstey tries out the Brough Superior for size at Mallory Park

MotoGP Tonight

As part of the promotion for the Taylormade Racing Brough Superior, the bike got its media airing at the weekly MotoGP magazine show presented by BT Sport’s Craig Doyle and former Olympic athlete and avid biker Iwan Thomas at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park Studios in Stratford.

This studio-based show is for bike fans, featuring the best racing action from the weekend and special guests from the paddock.

In an interview Paul Taylor was asked why he was doing the race “It’s like Everest – it’s there and Bennetts are backing a British bike with a British rider”. 

As a companion, the show brought in a 1929 Brough Superior ss100 – a top of the range bike back then. Alistair was in charge of pre-shooting prep. 

Right: Jim Moir and Steve Parrish enjoying Barry Sheene’s beauty

Builder: Alistair at Britaliamoto on
Webmaster: Lotte at liberate-u

Above right: Taylormade Racing’s Brough Superior Moto2 bike at Brands Hatch, under bright lights in our Bruce Street workshop, and being pushed out at Silverstone