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Isle of Man, 1970: Thompson rounds Quarter Bridge in practice for the Junior (350cc) Manx Grand Prix on his Kawasaki A1-R. Enlarged to 350cc by tuner-racer Terry Shepherd, the Shepherd-Kawasaki was fast but plagued by ignition gremlins, which ended Thompson's MGP efforts that year and the next.

for Testing Car/Motor Cycle" at Snetterton, at a cost of £1.80, which allowed us to test all day. And until a fatal accident on that circuit involving a racing car and GP bike in testing, we would often find ourselves with the likes ofTeam Lotus, headquartered at Hethel, not far away, and I was once nearly blown off the track by the wake generated by Graham Hill's Lotus F1 car passing me on the Norwich Straight at Snetterton.

And then there was the rain. We must have raced on plenty of fine, warm, sunny days, but the memory holds most clearly those days when it was cold and wet. Opinion in the paddock was evenly divided over whether or not to wear any kind of rainsuit over leathers, but most of us decided the effort wasn't worth it. You got wet anyway, and the suits tended to balloon at speed, slowing you down. So you just got used to racing in very wet leathers.

Riders with more money spent it to buy an extra set of leathers from Lewis Leathers on Great Portland Street, London, but few of us could afford such luxuries, even though

Isle of Man, 1970: Thompson rounds Quarter Bridge in practice for the Junior (350cc) Manx Grand Prix on his Kawasaki A1-R. Enlarged to 350cc by tuner-racer Terry Shepherd, the Shepherd-Kawasaki was fast but plagued by ignition gremlins, which ended Thompson's MGP efforts that year and the next.

a good many of us spent a lot of time at Lewis' crammed shop downstairs—the real racers' department, in effect—getting our suits repaired or buying replacement right-foot boots, which Lewis stocked because the standard British racing circuits were run clockwise, and many of us wore away so much of our right boots that they couldn't be re-soled.

This reflected not only a "style" of racing, but the realities conferred by the way our GP bikes were set up, and the tires most commonly used. Avons and Dunlop KR-series "Triangulars" were found on every grid, on every size of machine, though I first arrived at Snetterton in March of'70 with my Kawasaki Al-R wearing the same oval-section Goodyear racing tires I'd run at Daytona the year before. No, using year-old race tires wasn't

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