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Whatever happened to...Warren Willing

Discussion in 'Racing, Motorsports, and Track Days' started by rc36, Aug 16, 2005.

  1. Most of us know the answer, of course. He's the engineering guru (along with Harold Bartol) behind the phenomenal success of the KTM grand prix team.

    Most Netriders are too young to remember that, a long time before this, Willing was one of Australia's top road racers himself. So what happened to him?

    Willing, like most of the top Aussies of the day, went OS, specifically to Britain to try and break into Grand Prix racing. But ion the first weekend in August in 1979 it all went wrong for him at the North West 200 in Ireland.


    The reading of this article is horrible enough. To think of that many deaths in one meeting at on weekend just beggars imagination, but the simple statement that Willing suffered a broken leg doesn't even begin to explain what really happened.

    Arriving over the crest of a blind brow, Willing found the track blocked by thick smoke billowing from the two crashed bikes. He tried to steer to safety but was flying blind and crashed into one of the downed bikes.

    His leg was so badly damaged that there was considerable thought given to amputating it so sure were the doctors that it couldn't be saved.

    However, through the pain and the painkillers Willing said no and his girlfriend of the time also insisted that he be spared that. It took over 2 years before Willing was able to walk again unassisted and many years before he was finally able to dispense with a walking stick altogether.

    Even today you can still sometime see a glimpse of him in the pits with a stick.

    In another thread we're talking about how long it is since a rider has been killed in motogp. Trust me, peoples, it's faster today, but it's 1000% safer.


    That first weekend in August 1979 was a black weekend, not just because of the events in Northern Ireland. Here in Australia, Danny Oakhill, a well-known "A" grade Queensland rider, was killed in an accident at Lakeside Raceway, and, in Belgium, multiple Australian Champion Ray Quincey crashed his TZ 350 Yamaha during a wet race and slid across the track, hitting his back on an exposed telegraph pole.

    He says that when he opened his eyes, he looked down at his wet leathers and saw his legs stretched out on the ground and he couldn't feel them. He reached out and touched one of his legs and he said, "It was just like patting a dead dog."

    Ray is still in a wheelchair today and the team for which he was riding have never paid him a cent of what they owed him or offered any assistance to cover his immediate or on-going medical expenses.
  2. Last motogp rider killed was 2 years ago.
    That poor Japanese fellow who was Sete Gibernau's partner.
  3. Daijira Katoh
  4. Daijiro Katoh?
  5. Spelling may be wrong, but the name is correct, sorry, didn't get time to google.
  6. Video of the unfortunate incident :(