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In tribute to the late IRTA CEO Mike Trimby

Mike Trimby

If anyone could claim to have done the most to  fashion MotoGP into its present form it would be Mike Trimby.

Sadly he died at the San Marino Grand Prix while going about his business running IRTA, the International Roadracing Teams Association which he helped found in the early eighties. He was 74.. 

It was formed to represent the interests of riders and teams to the FIM and Grand Prix race promoters. And its great successes in driving huge safety advances included the removal of Armco, mostly installed for Formula One purposes, and installing bigger run-off areas plus other safety innovations.


But he also pushed for better financial rewards for the teams and on all these causes he spoke with experience of racing starting off with working and riding for the well known Syd Lawton. 

And later working in what you might call a proper  business. He also rode in the Isle of Man where he and his wife Irene have lived for the last 20 years and the F750 World Championship. He also became involved with the Macau GP.

Prior to the creation of IRTA, riders were not immune to threatening strike action as they pushed flor an increase in pay. Indeed there were strikes and the threat of a breakaway series led by none other than Kenny Roberts.

IRTA became the official body for race teams with the demand that they be involved in some of the decision making and were fairly treated. But this had followed the formation of a sort of Union for the riders and was led  by Trimby helped  by his very able wife Irene.

They helped increase TV coverage and achieved better organisation of the paddock, teams, grids etc.

His influence assisted by Dorna and other powerful figures in the sport, although not all did he find as helpful, contributed to turning MotoGP into the success it became to the point of being seen  by the new owners of F1 as something to learn from.

It led to being awarded the Royal Automobile Club’s prestigious Torrens Trophy in 2022 in recognition of his ‘tireless’ work in improving circuit safety and representing riders, teams and the commercial side of MotoGP.

Speaking at the RAC club, the Chairman of the Nominations  Committee Barrie Baxter
described Mike Trimby as ‘one of the biggest unsung heroes  of British motorcycle racing.’ Dorna CEO Carmelo Ezpeleta described Mike ‘a very key pillar in our sport.’

He went on:”He has been part of motorcycle racing for decades and in our time working together I have seen the dedication he’s given to the paddock which has made the sport better and safer than ever.”


The recipient, modest as ever, replied:”I am surprised  but honoured to receive this award. My achievments were made possible only by the initial support from the leading Grand Prix riders and subsequently the union of the teams within IRTA.

But none of this would have been possible without the partnership with Dorna which started in 1992. Dorna CEO Carmelo Ezpeleta and his staff are  equally passionate about rider safety.

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