At the moment I’m sitting on the sofa watching the MotoGP qualifying while tucking into the remains of last night’s Chinese takeaway. What is it about takeaway food that makes it taste so much better cold the next day?
It’s been quite a rush of late. The other week I spent a few days in Wales with Honda, at some place I can’t even pronounce let alone spell. We were at an off-road event for the Africa Twin, so I was on hand to pull skids and generally have a laugh. I didn’t think a 230kg roadbike would be any use off-road, but it was really impressive what you could get it to do.
I turned up at Silverstone for a chat show the other week. The event was full of car types in blazers and mustard coloured trousers. I rolled in wearing leathers; they didn’t quite get it! Where do you actually buy mustard-coloured trousers anyway?
That wasn’t the only time I was at Silverstone this month, I also managed to blag my way into the F1. It’s surprising just how many F1 types are motorbike fans, I was noseying at the cars and all the mechanics just wanted to talk about bikes! I had a quick chat with Damon Hill, who was pretty handy on two-wheels at Brands in his day.
I was chatting to Martin Brundle, who also rides, and saw Bernie Ecclestone walking by. You don’t get the chance to speak to Bernie every day and I just got the urge. It was going to go one of two ways – he would either tell me to piss off or chat. He was cool, used to run a bike team and after a quick natter about the TT he lent over and whispered in my ear ‘these boys have got no balls...’
I got a grid pass for the F1, which is full factory. It was proper chaotic as it pissed down with rain drops the size of 50p coins as the grid formed! I was soaked to my balls but I toughed it out despite getting banged and barged out of the way as all the mechanics went into meltdown! It was funny, I’m obviously not a big enough celeb in the F1 world to get picked up by the TV crews, so I just hovered around and tried to get in the back of a few shots! I even wore a shirt with a collar and a pair of boating shoes. Maybe I should also have had a jacket and mustard trousers...
Halfway through the F1 weekend I jumped in a car with Ewan and headed over to Cardiff for the speedway GP. How good is that? Two top-level GP events in one weekend. It’s an amazing event and a great night out. The 40,000-strong crowd went bonkers. The racing was awesome and although Tai didn’t win, I was glad Antoni Lindback did. He’s had a rough old life; he was orphaned in South Africa before a Swedish family found him in a slum and brought him up. He’s a nice kid, but his dreadlocks make him look like Predator when he is on a bike! A worthy winner, unlike myself apparently...
I did a bit of classic endurance racing at Spa this month, which has always been a dream of mine. It’s a proper old-school big balls track! I was on a Harris Magnum framed 1982 Honda with a chap called Steven Neate as my team-mate and we won the Legends class. But we were disqualified because, at under 50, I was too young! We were actually protested by some miserable old ex-racer, I mean, how petty is that? There wasn’t even any prize money at stake. I didn’t care but I felt a bit sorry for Steven. Although I was a bit distracted as on my way to Spa I discovered my credit cards and bank account had been cloned. I got a call asking if I had just spent £10,300 in John Lewis. My first thought was “what the hell has Becky bought now?” But she was sitting next to me, and then the rest of the banks started to call. It’s all sorted now, but I had to laugh as I’ve just got a John Lewis loyalty card through the post and my loyalty points balance is through the roof!
Before Spa I gave the 2016 Mugen a run up the hill at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, which was a nice change from the usual petrol bikes and the first time it has been there. I love Goodwood but the weather was terrible a few days beforehand. I took the McGuinness motorhome and the campsite looked like Glastonbury! I was rally driving it through the site and my pride and joy was up to its axles in mud.
The Goodwood ball was the usual drunken affair and the bike riders didn’t let the side down – even Tom Sykes sank a fair few beers, which is unlike him. I banjoed myself trying to get Steve Mercer drunk and we were the last to leave. I don’t actually remember this, but apparently I moonied as I left, while a few girls shoved flowers between my arse cheeks...
John McGuinness, road racer