Kirk McCarthy tribute

Kirk McCarthy by Herod Lowery Few people go through life with a smile and laugh all the time - Kirk was one of those few. We met in 1997 when Kirk was riding the WCM ROC Yamaha 500 GP bike for Bob MacLean and Peter Clifford. At Jerez,...

Kirk McCarthy by Herod Lowery

Few people go through life with a smile and laugh all the time - Kirk was one of those few.

We met in 1997 when Kirk was riding the WCM ROC Yamaha 500 GP bike for Bob MacLean and Peter Clifford. At Jerez, WCM took over the Powerhorse Yamaha team and remade it into the Red Bull Yamaha with Luca Cadalora and Troy Corser. Clifford asked me to drive his motorhome to Italy while he and MacLean flew to Austria to do the deal with Red Bull. His only instructions were "here's a $1000, go find Kirk and caravan your way to Milan".

"Are you Kirk McCarthy? We're supposed to go to Italy together." Incredibly easy to get along with, Kirk was a great guide to driving in Europe. When Clifford's motorhome overheated and blew a radiator hose in southern France, it was Kirk who was able to reassure me that the head wasn't warped or cracked.

Did Kirk complain about not being moved onto the factory bikes? Not at all. His time came when Corser was sacked and Kirk got a real factory 500 at Donington, complete with a big colour photo in Motocourse. Kirk never complained, but expressed gratitude as he knew he was lucky to have a ride at all.

He had another photo in Motocourse that year - at Paul Ricard, running away from the tumbling and crashing Yamaha. With a great deal of ribbing from his crew in 1998, he cheerfully autographed my copy of Motocourse with the tumbling Yamaha.

Kirk was on the 1996 factory Suzuki world Superbike team, with a dismal organisation behind him. "I thought there was no way I'd ever get a ride after the Suzuki deal, it was a bad situation. Bob and Peter saved my career when they called me a few weeks before the IRTA tests."

On to the Castrol Honda world Supersport team for 1998 then a few years in the British Superbike series and then home to Australia.

In the years I knew Kirk, he was a tremendous friend, always smiling and upbeat and positive. When he came to the AMA Pro Thunder series in 2002, crushing the opposition and setting lap and race records everywhere, on a bike he'd never seen, on tracks he'd never seen and with a team he'd never met before showing up at Daytona, Kirk was a champion.

Few people go through life with a smile and laugh all the time - Kirk was one of those few.

Goodbye, Kirk. It was a pleasure to know you.

Note:
After consultation with Suzuki Australia and the McCarthy family, an email address has been established by the website www.mcnews.com.au where all messages of condolence may be forwarded. These will be collated by Suzuki Australia and forwarded to the McCarthy family. Send your condolences to kirk@mcnews.com.au

-courtesy of motorcycle australia-

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About this article
Series Other bike , General
Drivers Troy Corser
Article type Obituary