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Classic TT: Unique tribute to iconic Norton racers

Thirteen legendary Nortons will participate in a special parade lap as part of the Classic TT festival in a unique tribute to the famous British marque on Saturday.
One of the highlights of the Classic TT festival this weekend will be a special parade lap featuring 13 of the legendary Norton machines.

Scheduled for a 6.15pm start on Saturday evening, the line-up includes past and present racers in a unique exhibition.

While the Norton Rotary has appeared in many parade laps around the Mountain Course, never before have so many appeared at one time on the island.

The first incarnation of the rotary developed by Brian Crighton, the driving force behind the machines, was the RCW and this forms more than half of the parade line-up with eight of the black-clad John Player Special liveried machines lining up on the grid, which are being ridden by the ITV4 broadcasting trio of Steve Parrish, Steve Plater and James Whitham with Malcolm Wheeler will ride a fourth.

Trevor Nation and Steve Cull both secured international road race podiums on the JPS Norton, with Nation finishing second in the 1990 Senior TT.

Both will be reunited with their old mounts, while William Dunlop will also ride one of the RCW machines, representing his late father Robert, who powered to a famous double at the North West 200 in 1990 and added another Superbike win for Norton the following year at the event.

Michael Dunlop will ride another version of the 588cc machine, the NRS, which his father powered to third place in the 1990 F1 and 1992 Senior races.

The final works NRS Norton Rotary in the parade is arguably the most famous: the iconic 'White Charger' that the late Steve Hislop famously rode to victory in the 1992 Senior, with John McGuinness riding the machine.

After leaving the official Norton team, engineering guru Crighton first created the Roton and then the Duckhams QXR Norton, the latter version going on to dominate the British Superbike Championship in 1994.

The late Mark Farmer first rode the bike in 1992 before Jim Moodie finished second in both the Supercup and British Superbike Championship in 1993.

However, the team enjoyed their finest moments in 1994 when they expanded to a two-rider line-up in the shape of Ian Simpson and Phil Borley.

Between them, the duo took no less than 14 wins and 31 podiums on their way to finishing first and third respectively in the British Superbike Championship.

Simpson will ride the number 25 machine that took him to the title with the other bike being ridden by Peter Hickman, whose dad Dave played a major part in the Norton Rotary's success, working with Crighton on the machines from 1987 onwards.

The riders will leave the line in single file in chronological order to a narration read by Manx Radio TT Anchorman Tim Glover, which will tell the story of Norton's remarkable history as well as the riders who competed on them.

On Monday, William Dunlop will compete in the Motorsport Merchandise Formula 1 race on a 588cc Norton for the National Motorcycle museum, prepared by Crighton.

Picture courtesy of Motorcycle News.

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Trevor Nation and Steve Spray on the JPS Rotary Nortons. Picture courtesy of Motorcycle News
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