MotoGP and F1 team members joined family and friends at a service of thanksgiving this week for the life of Rizla Suzuki's Operations Manager Charlie Moody, who sadly passed away last month.
Nearly the complete 2011 Rizla Suzuki team was present at the service, held close to Moody's home in Gloucestershire, England. The church was overflowing with members of the MotoGP and F1 paddocks, in addition to his family and numerous friends. Moody had succumbed to Motor Neurone Disease following a short spell in hospital after contracting pneumonia; he was 55 years old and leaves his wife Arlene and sons Wil and Nic.
Charlie Moody was a native of Chesterfield, in Derbyshire and after leaving Sheffield University joined Walter Wolf in Formula One as a mechanic. He worked with Jody Scheckter, James Hunt and Keke Rosberg during this time and stayed with Rosberg as the Finnish driver moved to Williams and won the F1 World Championship in 1982. Moody's next progression was to run the Benetton test team and he then moved to Leyton House in the same role, before becoming its Race Team Manager.
Moody then moved to Simtek Grand Prix as Team Manager before heading to the British Touring Car Championship to run the Janspeed team, afterwards returning to Formula One to run the Williams BMW F1 test programme. Amongst his many achievements, Moody was also the very first person to strap Ayrton Senna into a Formula One car in the Brazilian's inaugural Grand Prix test at Donington Park in 1983.
Moody then turned his attention to two-wheels, joining Kenny Roberts' MotoGP organisation and he became an important and integral part of the company, before moving to Rizla Suzuki in 2009. He was an instantly recognisable figure in the MotoGP paddock with his long hair and trademark jacket, worn in even the hottest of conditions!
He had an infectious and warm personality as well a thoroughly determined streak to get the job done. His many achievements and fun-loving character were summed up in readings at his memorial service. Charlie will be sadly missed by all who knew and worked with him.
Charlie Moody will be remembered as being a true gentleman, as well as a gentle man.
'Charlie' – Charles William Moody 1-7-56 – 22-11-11 R.I.P.
Donations in memory of Charlie can be made to the 'Charlie Moody Foundation': JustGiving.com/Charlie-William-Moody