Steve Parrish

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Steve Parrish
Nationality English
Born (1953-02-24) 24 February 1953 (age 61)
Cambridge
Motorcycle racing career statistics
Grand Prix motorcycle racing
Active years 1977 - 1985
First race 1977 500cc Venezuelan Grand Prix
Last race 1985 500cc British Grand Prix
Team(s) Suzuki
Championships 0
Starts Wins Podiums Poles F. laps Points
52 0 1 0 1 92
Isle of Man TT career
TTs contested 8 (1975, 1977, 1981-1986)
TT wins 0
Podiums 0

Steve Parrish (Stephen J Parrish, born 24 February 1953 in Cambridge, England)[1] is a former motorcycle and truck racer, who is now a motorsport television commentator and speaker/entertainer.[2]

Racing career[edit]

Parrish turned professional at the age of 22 in 1976, winning the ACU Solo title in the British Motor Cycle Championship. Parrish was team mate to Barry Sheene on a Suzuki in the 1977 500cc world championship,[3] finishing fifth overall,[4] but returned to British based riding to become the 1978 500cc ACU 'Gold Star' Champion. He also won the Shell 500 title in both 1979 and 1980, and a Superbike title in 1981.[citation needed]

Team management[edit]

After retiring from motorcycle racing in 1986, Parrish led a dual career both managing a successful Yamaha factory team to three British Superbike championship titles;[5] and starting a successful truck racing career, winning the 1987 British Open Truck Racing Championship. Parrish took both the European and British Truck Racing championship titles in 1990, then held the British title for four years and retained the European title for three years driving for the BP-Mercedes Benz team.[6][7] Parrish regained the prestigious European crown again in 1996 in Jarama. The most successful truck racer ever, he retired in 2002 at the age of 47 to hand over to Terry Rymer.[8]

Career Highlights 1976: Winner, British Solo Championship 1976: Winner, Grovewood Award, Best Young Rider, Motorcycles 1977: 5th, 500cc World Motorcycle Championship 1978: Winner, 500cc ACU 'Gold Star' Championship 1979: Winner, 500cc Shellsport Motorcycle Championship 1981: Winner, British Superbike Championship 1987: Winner, British Open Truck Racing Championship 1989: 2nd, British Open Truck Racing Championship 1990: Winner, European and British Truck Racing Championship 1991: Winner, British Open Truck Racing Championship 1992: Winner, European and British Truck Racing Championship 1993: Winner, European and British Truck Racing Championship 1994: Winner, European Truck Racing Championship 1995: 2nd, European Truck Racing Championship 1996: Winner, European Truck Racing Championship 1997: 8th, European Truck Racing Championship 1998: 5th, European Truck Racing Championship 1999: 4th, European Truck Racing Championship 2000: 5th, European Truck Racing Championship 2001: 6th, European Truck Racing Championship

Commentary career[edit]

Steve provides commentary and analysis for ITV's week-long coverage of the Isle of Man TT, alongside former racer James Whitham, shown on Velocity Channel in the US.[9] [10]

In 1985, Parrish started commentating for the BBC radio, and then transferring to television with Sky with Barry Nutley. From 1990, he commentated on the British 125 championship for the BBC, before transferring to their Moto GP coverage, in conjunction with Charlie Cox until the BBC lost its contract at season-end 2013.[11][5] The pair had a rapport and commentated on a number of series for the BBC from the late 1990s, including British Touring Cars, British and WorldSuperbikes and now MotoGP.[12] A qualified pilot, Parrish is also a commentator for the Red Bull Air Race series for Channel 4.

Other work and achievements[edit]

Away from television, he regularly tests various vehicles and racing machines, and is an expert witness for motor racing incidents. Parrish holds the Guinness Book of Records world record for the “Fastest Speed Achieved in Reverse” (85 mph) using a Caterham car.[13]

With journalist and broadcaster Nick Harris, Parrish co-authored Barry: The Story of Motorcycling Legend Barry Sheene (2008), a biography of his former team mate Barry Sheene.

Personality[edit]

A notorious practical joker, Parrish is known to have carried out various pranks.

  • He is permanently banned from the Chinese administrative region of Macau after blowing a brothel up with a home-made bomb made out of firecrackers, when several of his fellow riders were being 'serviced' inside.
  • He once posed as a medical doctor to allow John Hopkins to fly from Japan to the Australian GP.[15]
  • He upset his fellow village residents by registering PEN 15 as his car number plate.
  • He once sabotaged a Mini Moke belonging to Team Bike, (a group of benefactors, mechanics, racers, journalists and helpers) by undoing every single wheel-nut to the last thread, in a revenge prank. The prank was discovered shortly before the vehicle was going to be driven off.[14]
  • He once posed as Barry Sheene in a qualifying session when the two were team-mates, as Sheene had turned up to the session with a hangover. Parrish put on Sheene's helmet/overalls and qualified on his behalf, then put his own clothing back on and qualified further down the grid as himself.[14]
  • Parrish owns an ambulance and has been seen using the ambulance to park on double yellow lines with the doors open in visits to his local bank.[14]
  • He also owns a fire engine and once hosed down the inside of a friend's packed pub on a Sunday afternoon.[14]

Personal life[edit]

Parrish commonly goes by the nickname of Stavros, thought to refer to his somewhat swarthy looks and mop of black curly hair back in his racing days. Divorced from wife Ruth, the couple have two children.

References[edit]

External links[edit]