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Warren Willing to ride at the 2010 HBBB

Submitted by on February 5, 2010

Motorcycling Australia (MA) is pleased to announce that 1976 Australian Unlimited Road Racing Champion, Warren Willing, will return to the track this Easter at the 2010 Honda Broadford Bike Bonanza (HBBB).

Willing, whose battles with friend and arch-rival, Gregg Hansford in the 1970s are still talked about, will cut demonstration laps on the special 3-cylinder Suzuki 350, built for him to contest the 1973 New Zealand International Season.

The machine features a Steve Roberts chassis and is now owned by Darwin enthusiast Peter Shires.

Apart from a handful of demonstration laps at the inaugural Phillip Island Grand Prix in 1989, Willing has not been aboard a racing motorcycle since a serious accident at the North West 200 in Ireland in May 1979.

Willing sustained multiple leg injuries which required many operations and years of rehabilitation and recovery.

Although his stellar career as a rider was over, Willing never lost his appetite for competition, carving a new career as a Team Manager and Technician.

In his role as head of the Australian Marlboro Yamaha Team, Willing gave young Queenslander Mick Doohan his big break on the highly successful Yamaha Superbikes.

Doohan’s remarkable year in 1988 led to him signing for Honda and 1989 and going on to win five World 500cc Titles.

Willing then moved on to the international scene, acting as technician with the Kenny Roberts Yamaha squad and looking after Kevin Magee for the 1989 season.

He subsequently worked with Wayne Rainey, Luca Cadalora and Jean-Michel Bayle and became renowned as one of the best chassis and suspension workers in the business.

In a career which saw him work with the Suzuki and KTM Works Teams, and the private Roberts Squad, a highlight was winning the World 500cc Championship with Kenny Roberts Junior in 2000.

The HBBB will also feature demonstrations by US Motocross Champion Gary Jones, Enduro and Motocross star Pelle Granquist, and Honda’s first Australian Motocross Champion Brian Martin amongst others.

More information about the event is available on the MA website: www.ma.org.au/hbbb.

Images: Darryl Flack, Motorcycling Australia, Deejay51.com

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