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Mamola: If this is heaven, it's a great place...

11 July 2006

13 times 500cc race winner Randy Mamola made his first ever visit to the Goodwood Festival of Speed last weekend - and brought the Ducati Desmosedici two-seater with him.

"I'm really enjoying it, it's an amazing event," the American told Crash.net at Goodwood on Sunday. "I've been invited for the past four or five years but the MotoGP schedule didn't fit in with it. This year we had a free weekend and decided to come - I've brought the family as well - and it's really good.

"I'm riding the 2004 grand prix Ducati two-seater that I do rides with at MotoGP. (Goodwood owner and organiser) Lord March said it would be great to do it and as far as I'm aware it's the first time that anyone has taken a passenger up the hill on a bike.

"Lord March himself is actually going to come with me up the hill on the two seater today (Sunday), I gave his daughter a ride up the hill yesterday and she loved it - it was her 21st birthday a week ago, so it was kind of a gift - after she rode on it I think it kind of paved the way for him to have a go!"

Mamola, who does TV commentary and rider management at MotoGPs in addition to the two-seater outings, was also asked to sum up how special the event is for the motorsport community.

"I think (legendary motorsport commentator) Murray Walker said it best: Jackie Stewart was sitting in the first year Tyrell on the start line and Murray came walking up - I think Murray is 86 years old - and he said 'you know, this morning I thought I'd died and woken up in heaven'. I looked around at all the motorsport history and said 'man, if this is heaven it's a great place'," smiled Randy.

Current MotoGP riders James Ellison, Chris Vermeulen and Casey Stoner joined Mamola in riding up the Goodwood hill.

The Festival of Speed attracts over 150,000 spectators each year.


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