Mick Grant

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For other people named Michael Grant, see Michael Grant (disambiguation).
Mick Grant
Mick Grant 800.jpg
Mick Grant at Parliament Square, Ramsey, Isle of Man demonstrating a 1980s Suzuki during a Classic Parade in 2007
Nationality British
Motorcycle racing career statistics
Grand Prix motorcycle racing
Active years 19701984
First race 1970 350cc Isle of Man TT
Last race 1984 500cc British Grand Prix
First win 1975 500cc Isle of Man TT
Last win 1977 250cc Swedish Grand Prix
Team(s) Kawasaki, Honda
Starts Wins Podiums Poles F. laps Points
25 3 9 1 3 143
Isle of Man TT career
TTs contested 16 (1970 – 1985]])
TT wins 7
First TT win 1974 Production 750 TT
Last TT win 1985 Production 750 TT
Podiums 16

Mick Grant (born 10 July 1944) is an English former professional motorcycle road racer and TT rider. A works-supported rider for Norton, Kawasaki, Honda and Suzuki, he is a seven-time winner of the Isle of Man TT motorcycle race on various makes, including 'Slippery Sam', a three-cylinder Triumph Trident.[1] The son of a coal miner, the soft-spoken, down-to-earth Yorkshireman from Wakefield, was a sharp contrast to the brash, playboy image presented by Londoner Barry Sheene during the 1970s.[2]

Race career[edit]

Grant began his racing career as a privateer, entering his first Manx Grand Prix in 1969 on a Velocette 500 cc, and his first TT in the following year, again using the Velocette and placing 18th in the Junior (350 cc) class on a Lee-sponsored Yamaha TD2.[3][4]

Later supported by businesses including Clive Padgett, heading Padgetts of Batley, on TD2 250 cc and TR2 350 cc Yamahas, and Brian Davidson of John Davidson Group on TZ Yamahas,[5] he was equally versatile on either two- or four-stroke machines.

Mick Grant demonstrating a Kawasaki in 2009

He quickly became a works Norton rider alongside Peter Williams and Phil Read, part of the first Norton factory team since the Norton race-shop was disbanded in 1962, headed by ex-racer Frank Perris.[6] In 1972, he teamed with Dave Croxford to win the Thruxton 500 endurance race on a 745 cc Norton Commando,[7] and finished second to Williams in the 1973 F750 TT.[8][9]

In 1974, Grant was the chosen rider for the then-new, UK-based Boyer Kawasaki Racing Team, based on two air-cooled triples. Stan Shenton, head of motorcycle business Boyer of Bromley, previously having a long background of racing Triumphs, was Team principal. They were one of a selected network of regional Kawasaki dealers, part of a controlled expansion and roll-out to establish a UK dealer-network. As part of the development process, Grant's racing included Ontario, California in late 1974.[10]

In 1975, it was Grant who finally broke Mike Hailwood's absolute TT lap record for the Isle of Man Snaefell mountain course, set in 1967 on a 500 Honda,[11] raising the average-speed of one lap to 109.82 mph on a Kawasaki 750 two-stroke triple entered by the Boyer team and Stan Shenton.[4][12] Although Grant failed to finish the race, retiring at the Gooseneck with a broken chain caused by a mis-aligned rear wheel spindle,[13] he won the 500 cc Senior TT race.[14] In 1977, Grant raised the lap record to 112.77 mph, again on a 750 cc Kawasaki.[13]

A motorcycle rider racing on a public road
Grant racing in the North West 200 in Portrush, 1975

Grant raced in the Grand Prix motorcycle racing circuit in 1977 for the Kawasaki factory team alongside team-mate Barry Ditchburn and the following year with Kork Ballington and Gregg Hansford.[15] In 1979, Honda chose Grant to help develop their exotic oval-cylindered NR500, unfortunately with disappointing results.[16] Grant also won the Macau Grand Prix in 1977 on the Kawasaki KR750 and again in 1984, riding a Heron-Suzuki.

He usually raced with number 10 and carried the initials JL on his helmet, even after retirement from competition, as a tribute to his early sponsor – mechanic, fabricator and frame-builder Jim Lee of the 'Dalesman' marque.[4][11][17][18]

Grand Prix motorcycle racing results[1][15][edit]

Points system from 1969 onwards:

Position 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Points 15 12 10 8 6 5 4 3 2 1

(key) (Races in bold indicate pole position; races in italics indicate fastest lap)

Year Class Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 Points Rank Wins
1970 350cc Yamaha GER
-
YUG
-
IOM
18
NED
-
DDR
-
CZE
-
FIN
-
ULS
-
NAT
-
ESP
-
0 0
500cc Velocette GER
-
FRA
-
YUG
-
IOM
NC
NED
-
BEL
-
DDR
-
FIN
-
ULS
-
NAT
-
ESP
-
0 0
1971 350cc Yamaha AUT
-
GER
-
IOM
7
NED
-
DDR
-
CZE
-
SWE
-
FIN
-
ULS
-
NAT
-
ESP
-
4 36th 0
1972 250cc Yamaha GER
-
FRA
-
AUT
-
NAT
-
IOM
NC
YUG
-
NED
-
BEL
-
DDR
-
CZE
-
SWE
-
FIN
-
ESP
-
0 0
350cc Yamaha GER
-
FRA
-
AUT
-
NAT
-
IOM
3
YUG
-
NED
-
DDR
-
CZE
-
SWE
-
FIN
-
ESP
-
10 17th 0
500cc Kawasaki GER
-
FRA
-
AUT
-
NAT
-
IOM
3
YUG
-
NED
-
BEL
-
DDR
-
CZE
-
SWE
-
FIN
-
ESP
-
10 17th 0
1973 250cc Yamaha FRA
-
AUT
-
GER
10
IOM
-
YUG
-
NED
4
BEL
-
CZE
-
SWE
-
FIN
-
ESP
-
9 23rd 0
350cc Yamaha FRA
-
AUT
-
GER
-
NAT
9
IOM
NC
YUG
-
NED
9
CZE
-
SWE
6
FIN
-
ESP
-
9 22nd 0
500cc Yamaha FRA
-
AUT
-
GER
-
IOM
NC
YUG
-
NED
-
BEL
-
CZE
-
SWE
-
FIN
-
ESP
-
0 0
1974 250cc Yamaha GER
-
NAT
-
IOM
2
NED
10
BEL
-
SWE
6
FIN
-
CZE
-
YUG
-
ESP
-
18 10th 0
350cc Yamaha FRA
-
GER
-
AUT
-
NAT
-
IOM
2
NED
-
SWE
5
FIN
-
YUG
-
ESP
-
18 11th 0
500cc Yamaha FRA
-
GER
-
AUT
-
NAT
-
IOM
NC
NED
-
BEL
-
SWE
-
FIN
-
CZE
-
0 0
1975 250cc Kawasaki FRA
-
ESP
-
GER
-
NAT
-
IOM
NC
NED
-
BEL
-
SWE
-
FIN
-
CZE
-
YUG
-
0 0
500cc Kawasaki FRA
-
ESP
-
AUT
-
GER
-
NAT
-
IOM
1
NED
-
BEL
-
SWE
-
FIN
-
CZE
-
YUG
-
15 14th 1
1976 500cc Kawasaki FRA
-
AUT
-
NAT
-
IOM
NC
NED
-
BEL
-
SWE
-
FIN
-
CZE
-
GER
-
0 0
1977 250cc Kawasaki VEN
-
GER
-
NAT
-
ESP
-
FRA
-
YUG
-
NED
1
BEL
14
SWE
1
FIN
2
CZE
-
GBR
-
42 8th 2
1978 250cc Kawasaki VEN
-
ESP
6
FRA
-
NAT
-
NED
-
BEL
-
SWE
-
FIN
7
GBR
4
GER
-
CZE
-
YUG
-
17 14th 0
350cc Kawasaki VEN
-
AUT
-
FRA
-
NAT
-
NED
7
SWE
9
FIN
-
GBR
3
GER
-
CZE
-
YUG
-
16 14th 0
1979 500cc Suzuki VEN
-
AUT
10
GER
-
NAT
-
ESP
-
YUG
-
NED
-
BEL
-
SWE
-
FIN
-
1 35th 0
Honda GBR
NC
FRA
-
1984 500cc Suzuki RSA
-
NAT
-
ESP
-
AUT
-
GER
-
FRA
-
YUG
-
NED
-
BEL
-
GBR
17
SWE
-
RSM
-
0 0

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Mick Grant career profile at the Isle of Man TT web site
  2. ^ Barker, Stuart (2003). Barry Sheene 1950–2003: The Biography. UK: CollinsWillow. p. 148. ISBN 0-00-716181-6. 
  3. ^ [1] TT Official site, Mick Grant TT and MGP results. Retrieved 14 February 2014.
  4. ^ a b c [2] Silverstone GP programme 1975, competitor profile by MCN's Norrie Whyte. Retrieved 14 February 2014
  5. ^ Motorcycle Mechanics, November 1973, p.56/57. Mick's Giant Killer. Yamaha TZ350 track impressions by Charles Deane. "...Mick Grant kindly brought his race wagon complete with a brace of Yamahas to Snetterton..." "You'll find she's much more flexible than the two-fifty...". Accessed 25 July 2013
  6. ^ Motorcycle Mechanics, March 1972, p.26. Frank Perris interview Accessed 14 February 2014
  7. ^ [3] Southampton and District Motor Cycle Club Thruxton 500 Race Results Retrieved 1 January 2014
  8. ^ [4] IOM TT Database 1973 F750 TT race results Retrieved 1 January 2014
  9. ^ Motorcycle Mechanics, December 1974, centrepage MCM Superstars Mick Grant. "Kawasaki's No,1 rider of the Boyer prepared 750H2R, he regularly storms to success on the John Davidson Yamahas in the 250 and 350 classes...Mick Grant must make an even greater impact for Kawasaki next year". Accessed 1 January 2014
  10. ^ Inside the Hundred-Horsepower Race Teams, Bike, October 1975 pp.32-39 by Jim Greening. Accessed 21 May 2016
  11. ^ a b McDiarmid, Mac (2004). The Magic of the TT: A Century of Racing over the Mountain. UK: Haynes. p. 121. ISBN 1-84425-002-4. 
  12. ^ [5] TT Official site, 1975 races overview. Retrieved 21 July 2013.
  13. ^ a b TT '78 A Motorcycle News Special. p.42, section writer Peter Howdle. Accessed 25 May 2016
  14. ^ [6] TT Official site, 1975 Senior race result. Retrieved 21 May 2016.
  15. ^ a b Mick Grant career statistics at MotoGP.com
  16. ^ Mick Grant at world.honda.com
  17. ^ Motor Cycle 19 August 1966, p.207 Orpin's latest flyer by David J Dixon. "The new frame, built specially for Peter Williams by ace welder Jim Lee of Leeds..." Accessed and added 26 December 2014
  18. ^ Dalesman Retrieved 27 December 2014
Sporting positions
Preceded by
Chas Mortimer
Macau Motorcycle Grand Prix Winner
1977
Succeeded by
Sadao Asami
Preceded by
Ron Haslam
Macau Motorcycle Grand Prix Winner
1984
Succeeded by
Ron Haslam