Description
Description
Logo
Logo
Description
Research: 
JEEP's Archives
Motorcycle Magazines
On-Line encyclopedias
News Paper Cuttings/ Scrap Books
Submissions from readers by email.

We are always looking for contributions to the web page. Please let the web master know if you have any information or pictures for them. If we have used a picture that requires permission please contact us.
Rodney Gooch - 1960s and 1970s Racer and laterly the Organiser of the Meetigs at Castle Combe
Rodney Gooch
Description
Mr Gooch, who competed during the late 1960s and early 1970s, has worked with Castle Combe Circuit for over 22 years as sales and marketing director responsible for most sales and marketing activities.
This new part-time role will give the circuit a dedicated motorcycle specialist for the first time. The annual Castle Combe Circuit race meeting will take place next year on Saturday and Sunday, June 21 and 22, and it is hoped will develop into one of the largest motorcycle race meetings outside of the British Superbike Championship.
The circuit is thought to have been the first to organise directly-run motorcycle track days almost 20 years ago and has developed rider safety training days, the now well established BikeSafe and Castle Combe TrackDay event in April and also plays host to various manufacturer and major dealer private track events and specialist race development days.
The present day: Former TT rider Rodney Gooch was, on the 19th Dec 2013, appointed motorcycle co-ordinator at Castle Combe Circuit, near Chippenham, Wiltshire. England.
Description
Already backed by partners including Fowlers Motorcycles, MCD Insurance, BLD, Somerset Road Safety and Avon Tyres, one of Mr Gooch's responsibilities will be to strengthen these ties and to bring in new partners.
Mr Gooch said: "It will be ten years since we ran the Castle Combe Superbike Grand National, the biggest event in Castle Combe's history, and I will be working hard to make the 2014 two day event run by the NG Road Racing Club an event that riders want to come to compete in and spectators want to come to see and to grow the event into the largest race meeting outside of BSB.
Description
As Rodney commented "We are fortunate having a great range of motorcycle partners and I am already in discussion with others to further widen the motorcycle activities at the circuit."
Rodney Gooch further hyped the appeal of the track’s new motorcycle club, by stating: “Castle Combe Circuit has a long and rich motorcycle history, we pioneered the running of motorcycle track days direct back in 1994 and any customer will be hard pressed to find a more knowledgeable and experienced bunch of instructors to get them out on track". “With the NG Road Racing Club reintroducing the Past Masters Classic Parade for our bike meeting we are all really excited about the forthcoming race meeting and all our motorcycle events in general.”
Description
View
Description
Rodney Gooch - The Racing Years.
Description
View
TT Races
Although not in chronological order and as this is a 50cc History page perhaps we should consider Rod's involvement in the 1968 50cc T.T. first and move on to his other involvement in motorcycle racing a bit further down. The 68 T.T. saw the end of this class: "The WASPS", a name given to the competitors bikes by a newspaper in the 
Using his own words Rodney explained that: "it was the last year there was a 50cc race at the TT, I think 1968, the bike was owned by the then Ducati importer, Vic Camp Motorcycles, they loaned it to me for the season, mainly to race at Brands Hatch and Lydden, it handled very well so could get me into the top 5 as we passed under the chequered flag". The model was the Ducati 50cc SL-1 Sports Moped (more of this later).
"But at the TT with the road ratio gearbox it was another story. It most certainly did not like going up the mountain and I had to stay in the two lower gears to make the climb. It took me ages to get it into the little engines power-band. Bear in mind that this race was a mass start and on the opening lap,  as far as Ramsey it went very well and I was ahead of quite a few of the other bikes". 
Description
Description
"However it was mainly after the Gooseneck that it was hopeless until the course flattened out and the revs would rise easily, you could then get it into 3rd gear and then fourth. So whilst the engine was labouring loads of bikes came by. But this was still fun and I came 11th in the race".
Description
1968 125cc TT with R. Gooch on the White Bantam
Description
No 18 Rodney Gooch with the Ducati SL-1 50cc racer at the mass start for the 1968 Ulta-Lightweight 50cc TT
Description
It also weighed only 100 lbs, which means that it was capable of hitting a top speed of 50 mph. It also had twin fuel fillers on the petrol tank, (this variation was not fitted to all SL-1s that were imported into the UK) a full year before the 350 Desmo Mark 3 would have the same feature. The 50 Sport SL-1 that was auctioned off at the 2012 RM Auctions ended up being bid on feverishly by a number of bidders. It was sold at a price of €10,530 ($13,500), well above the listed auction price range of €2,500 - €3,500 ($3,200 - $4,500).
Description
View
Description
View
Description
View
Description
View
The look of the 50 Sport SL1 might not tickle the taste buds of today’s generation, but back in its day, this road-runner was a bonafide stud on the road.
The 50 Sport SL-1 was one of the last 50cc Ducati Sports ever built. The previous model, the Sport 50, can be seen in this picture. Quite frankly, the SL-1 was one of the most elegant of this variant, boasting of a design that became popular in its time. On top of that, it also carried a moderate 50cc single cylinder, two-stroke engine that was mated to a four speed transmission.
Description
Description
A few notes on the basic bike that was used to give R.G. his 11th place in the 50cc TT.
Compeating in Other Isle of Man T.T.'s
1962 inaugural race,due to their sound and never, to date, has it been held in the Isle of Man T.T. since.
Other competitors in the picture:
1. Barry Smith..............DERBI
9. Chris Walpole..........HONDA
18. Rodney Gooch........Vic Camp DUCATI
26. T. P. Payne,,,,,,,,,,,,HONDA
4. Angle Nieto...............DERBI

10. Stuart Aspin.......ITOM
27. John Lawley.......HONDA
5. R Kunz......................KREIDLER
11. Brian Gleed............HONDA
32. Nick Mayo...........HELDUN
28. D. L. Rider.............HONDA
16. Arthur Lawn..........HONDA
7. Robin M. Udall.......HONDA
Rodney started riding in the TT in 1967 and campaigned the 125cc WHITE-Bantam from then until 1969. You can see from the chart that his bikes have been reliable with only one, the Yamaha in 1970, causing him to retire. However a Yamaha did prove sound and gave him a good placement of 9th, at a speed of 82.22 mph in the 1974 Ultra-Lightweight TT.
The first Isle of Man ride was in the 1967 Ultra-Lightweight 125cc race where he campaigned the Brian White BSA Bantam. There were seven BSA Bantams entered for this race including the Todd Bantam ridden by Fred Launchbury who finished 20th. Rod (No. 60) came in 28th with 2 other Bantams behind him in 30th and 33rd place. Out of the 7 Bantams entered only one Did Not Finish.
Description
View
Description
View
In the 1968 125cc Ultra-Lightweight T.T., Rodney Gooch was again riding the 125cc "White Bantam" wearing the number 43. This bike was one of only three of that BSA model running in this years race as compared with previous years.  The competition had grown to include machines from many countries in Europe, Japan and the continued development of the British Specials: the Brown Special, TSR with Bultaco engine, The Fahron and the New Zealand MOHR Special. Against all this competition Rodney finished in 20th place.
Editor: I have not been able to find a picture of Rodney riding No.60 in this race and would welcome a copy if anyone has one.
Description
View
Description
View
Description
View
Description
View
Description
View
An extract from the 1967 Diamond Jubilee Program
The results Listing for the 1967 IoM Ulter-Lightweight 125 T.T.
Description
View
The 1968 50cc T.T. Results
Please note that the Rodney Gooch name has incorrect spelling
To see more of the 1968 Isle of Man 50cc T.T. please click here.
The 1968 Ultra Lightweight 125 cc T.T. as reported by the Motor Cyclist Illustrated
Pictured at Waterworks, Phil Read ran second to Yamaha team-mate Bill Ivy for two laps but then went on to win the race at a record speed. (See below)
Description
This summer it is almost assumed that one of the works YAMAHAs will win its race and the other will retire. Both finished, however, in the three-lap 125 cc T.T., held Friday morning, June 15, 1968 in sunshine which for a second year running has made the word fickle" a most inappropriate adjective to apply to the Manx weather.
Bill Ivy led in the early stages, and second time round repeated the ‘l00’plus lap he had turned during practice by lapping in 22 min 34 sec to raise the record to 100.32 mph.
Read was also circulating at above record speed and when Ivy experienced inexplicable engine trouble which reduced his lead over Read from 15 sec to 1 sec in the 10 miles between Ballacraine and Ballaugh and had him 5 sec down on Read in the next seven miles to Ramsey - shades of Bruno Ruffo protesting at Moto Guzzi team orders some years ago? - his senior partner carried on to win the race at a record average speed of 99.12 mph. Even with his engine trouble, Ivy finished second at 97.78 mph, still above his own 1966 race record of 97.66 mph.
That covers the admittedly impressive performance of the two men on four cylinder YAMAHA's. What of the rest of the field? From Heinz Rosner starting near the back (No.53) on the lone MZ two-stroke to the gallant trio of home tuners entered by the Bantam Racing Club consisting of No.26 Fred Launchbury, No,43 Rodney Gooch and No.44 Chris Gregory.
There were 47 starters from an original entry of 58. At the end of one lap they had been reduced to 34 and a total of 21 reached the chequered flag. Because of Rosner’s later number Read and Ivy were Nos. 2 and 9, it took some time to sort out positions around the course but at Ballacraine they made Rosner third, some 25 sec behind the Yamaha pair. Chris Rogers Bultaco and Pat Walsh (Honda) appeared to be making good time and this was confirmed by Ballaugh. Ramsey had Ivy leading Read by 5sec, it was the same at the Bungalow and by there, Rosner was already 1 min 53 sec behind the second Yamaha. Kel Carruthers (Honda) was 48sec down on Rosner.
Then the leaders were through the start and away on their second lap and the first official times were being announced. Ivy had done his opening lap in 22 min 58 sec (98.57 mph-a record] and was 4 sec ahead of Read. Carruthers, almost half a minute behind Rosner held fourth place by a fairly narrow margin from Tommy Robb (Bultaco), Gordon Keith (Brown Special], Canadian Dave Lloyd (Honda), Bo Gustafsson (Honda) and Martin Carney (Bultaco}.
Among the first lap retirements were Jean Louis Pasquier from Monaco. who pushed his Bultaco all the way from the start to Bray Hill without persuading it to fire; John Wet?erall from Malta, who dropped his Mondial in Ramsey and similarly mounted Derek Chatterton who came unstuck at the Bungalow; Dave Simmonds {Kawasaki},who was among those early smitten by engine trouble and after his promising start, Chris Rogers misjudged the fast curves at Keppel Gate and was whisked to hospital with leg and arm injuries.
lvy's second lap time was 22 min 34 sec. the first-ever lap at over 100 mph in the 125cc race (100.32 mph) and Read's was 22 min 41.6 sec (99.76 mph and well above the old record). Third man Rosner came in late being down to sixth place, behind Carruthers, Robb and Keith then changed a plug, got going again but had his engine fail altogether on the switchback Cronk-y-Voddee straight, 11 miles away.Also affected by engine failure was Martin Carney, the British 125 cc champion,who joined his friend Derek Chatterton. the 250 cc champion, to watch the racing from the Bungalow.
Sweden's Bo Gustafsson delayed himself by falling off on the slow Glen Helen turn, got going again but then had to retire. On the last lap there was the sudden change of positions for Read and Ivy. But with third man Carruthers nearly 9 min behind these two and around one minute intervals separating him from Robb. After Robb and Keith there was no great excitement from skirmishes for the other places and for once the usually reliable Bantams suffered a retirement, with Chris Gregory having his motor seize on the second lap.
Description
Description
View
"I remember the after the start at the bottom of Baarregarroo there was a bike really smashed up and I thought no one could crash there and live. It was No.4 Nieto on the Derbi and of course he did live, albiet with a broken ankle, as sometime last year at a Moto GP the commentator said there is Nieto talking to Alonso".
"But then at Ramsey the bike lost out as it was impossible to get it into the powerband due to the road gearbox ratios from I think 2nd to 3rd, or it might have been 3rd to 4th untill we got up on the mountain mile.
We had to give the Ducati back to Vic Camp at the end of the season and then he was talking about up-rating the bike. The factory was thinking of supplying a special cylinder and close ratio gear box for the following year but he didn't sell enough of the road bikes to warrant it and he lost interest. My recollection is that the bike was sold as a racer to a guy in North London who then put 18" wheels back on it but the guy in Kent was also sure it was converted back into a road bike and sold. I dont think anyone else raced one at the time".
"I have a few clear memories of the first lap of the 1968 50cc T.T." on the Ducati, it had big 19 inch wheels on this model and 125cc tyres, once at Snetterton the Scrutineer waved us away saying we are only doing 50's now, he had looked up and thought it a 125. So on some of the flat out twisting bits like Ballacraine to the Cronk ne Voody straight it had a bit of an advantage as it was very stable over the bumps compared to some of the other bikes with their tiny rims and narrow tyres. There were 3 or 4 bikes, including Canadian Nick Mayo on his Heldun very close all the way to Ramsey, one of us would take ages to overtake another and then lose the place again. (early slip-streaming?)
The only other 50 I had was a Massarti which I sold for I think 20quid. I did also try and buy one of the Simmonds brothers framed Itoms from Brian Kettle who had got a CR 110. I'd agreed to buy it drove to Guildford to pick it up, got there, to be told it wasn’t for sale after all, that would have been quite special
Although not a 50cc race this and following reviews of the 125cc T.T. races, from the Motor Cyclist Illustrated magazine, are given to complete the picture of Rodney Gooch. 
The 1967 Isle of Man T.T. race:  WITH 11 non-starters there were 51 competitors on the grid for the 11a.m. start of the international three-lap 125 cc T.T. on Wednesday morning, June l4. The glorious weather still held with a fresh breeze to temper the heat and perhaps save the tar from bubbling through the road surface at is was the previous afternoon in some places. The little machines are often more ?ckle on starting than the big-uns and even Phil Read's Yamaha cost him a good 5 sec before it burst into action. Kevin Cass's Bultaco was even more sluggish and, near the back of the grid both 
Description
Several members of the Bantam Racing Club took part, among them Bob Newby — here seen passing Cronk-ny-Mona on his first lap.
J. B. Jackson (Ducati) and M.Allen (Honda) had to wheel back to their pits for a plug change before getting under way.
By then the leaders on the road were well past Ballacraine - where unofficial timing made Bill Ivy (Yamaha) leader of the race by 3 sec from his team-mate Yoshimi Katayama. with the third Yamaha man, Phil Read, 9 sec farther back. Then, 3 secs behind Phil, came the Suzuki pair. Stuart Graham and Akiyasu Motohashi.
Graham, No. 2 and joint ?rst man away with No. 1 Peter lnchley (TSR), still led on the road at Ballaugh, where it looked as if Read was rapidly pulling back some of the seconds which separated him from the other works Yamaha's. But the amateur timekeeping at Ballacraine and Ballaugh must surely have been at variance, for Ballaugh—only another 10 miles round the course—reported Graham and Motohashi as joint leaders of the race, 8 seconds up on Read, who was ahead of his team-mate Ivy.
Ramsey con?rmed this. Graham was leading by a narrow margin from Read who, riding No.10, was already in front of lvy, No.6 on the road. At the Bungalow Graham had a 2sec lead over Read. Ivy was, in due course reported as touring past that point and, if it was any consolation for Ivy, Suzuki's Katayama was also “ touring.”
Graham rasped through at the end of his ?rst lap and when Read followed him there was very little in it, just 1.4 seconds to be precise, in favour of Read. The Yamaha man had lapped in 23 min 31.6sec (96.23 mph): his Suzuki rival in 23 min 33 sec (96.13 mph). The only other rider to do a standing lap in under 24 min was Motohashi, third after getting round in 23 min 46.2 sec.
Although his Kawasaki twin took some time to ?re on both pots at the start, Dave Simmonds had wasted no time on his opening lap and was fourth on the leader-board, ahead of lvy who came in at the end of a 25 min 55.8 second “touring" lap, spent some time at the pit, got his machine just about running on all four, had it ?uff out again and paddled towards retirement.
Sixth place at the end of the ?rst lap was occupied by Kel Carruthers (Honda) and the order behind him was Fred Curry (Honda).Peter lnchley on the Bultaco-powered Terry Sheperd "special." Tommy Robb (Bultaco), Bo Gustafsson (Honda). Gary Dickinson (Honda) and Malcolm Carney (Bultaco). 
On the second lap. Graham was a couple of seconds up on Read at Ballaugh, 1 second at Ramsey and still in front at the Bungalow. Third man Motohashi was steadily losing ground. On the chase down the Mountain, Read again pulled back some of his disadvantage, but 
Description
Approaching Crank-ny-Mona, J. R. Hudson (125Honda) and R. Hardy (125 Bultaco), with another rider sandwiched between them.
just not enough. After getting round for the second time in 23 min 6.4 sec (97.94 mph) Stuart Graham was leading the race-BY A MERE ONE-FIFTH OF A SECOND!-from Phil Read.
And again the Suzuki was the faster machine along the road towards Ballacraine, for by the time the two rivals had passed there, Stuart was 3 sec to the good. Phil snatched back one of those seconds by Ballaugh. And at Ramsey, Read was clocked through exactly 40 sec after Graham, their starting interval: so they were dead-heating as they started on the long mountain climb. At the Bungalow, almost at the top of the climb, Read appeared to have the advantage by 1.6 sec. And on the long chase down to the ?nish the four-cylinder Yamaha was just a little too good for the twin-cylinder Suzuki. Graham was ?rst man home, but Read had narrowed the gap a little more to win by a margin of 3.4 seconds, after turning the fastest lap of the race in 23 min 0.8 sec (98.36 mph—a little below Bill lvy’s 1966 record of 98.55 mph).
Description
Winner of the race. Phil Read (Yamaha, 10)about to lap Kevin Cass (Bultaco, 14) at Signpost Corner.
Motohashi, on the second surviving Yamaha, was third; Dave Simmonds was fourth on the Kawasaki. And a long, long way farther back, ?fth and sixth places were taken by Kel Carruthers on the single-cylinder, Gates Honda and Jim Curry on another little Honda. Bad luck for Gary Dickinson. In the running for 10th place, he had to push home and eventually ?nished last but one.
With regard to Rodney Gooch, he had a great ride on the White BSA Bantam finishing 28th at 1hr 39min 48.8secs. giving an average speed of 68.06 mph for the race. A good achievement for his first Isle of Man T.T.
He was behind:
Fred Launchbury on the ToddBSA Bantam came 20 at 1hr 31min 50.4sec at a speed of 73.96mph.
C. J. Rodgers BSA Bantam came 26 at 1hr 35min 13.6sec at a speed of 71.23mph
R. J. Ware BSA Bantam came27 at 1hr 36min 13.6sec at a speed of 70.59mph
And in front of:
R. W. Newby BSA Bantam came 30 at 1hr 40min 15.6sec at a speed of 67.75mph
F. M. Cripps BSA Bantam came 33 at 1hr 42min 27.8sec at a speed of 66.3mph
Chris Gregory was, unfortunately a non-finisher.
Description
Logo
An extract from the 1968 Isle of Man T.T. Official Program.
Chris Rogers (41), Bantam Club member mounted for a change on a Mondial, passes club mate Fred Launchbury No.26 (Mounted on the 125cc Todd Bantam) on the verandah. On the otherside of the Mountain Chris crashed at Keppel Gate. Fred finished in 13th place at an astounding 76.93 mph - which suggests that his little BSA must have a -100 mph top speed.
Description
Logo
The 1969 - 1974 TTs and the Short Circuits
Return to the Racer Index
NOT YET COMPLETED 
Rodney Gooch
$SIGNUP$
$VALIDATION$
Working... Please wait