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Digital Subscriptions > Fast Bikes > Issue 328 > BRITAIN’S GOT TALENT

BRITAIN’S GOT TALENT

Other countries have done it, other federations have been very successful at doing it, we in the UK have even tried it before, but with the introduction this season of the British Talent Team and the British Talent Cup, there is now a real platform for success.
Flying the flag from Britain, wee McPhee is doing us all proud in Moto3.

Cast your minds back to the early 1990s and you may just recall some young upstarts by the names of James Haydon, Karl Harris and Nick Hopkins among others aboard red, white and blue liveried TZ250s, mentored by the likes of Ron Haslam and the late Robert Fearnall whose aim was to unearth ‘the next Barry Sheene’.

Patriotically championed as Team Britannia initially, the powers that be decided that a more sedate ‘Team GB’ was more appropriate, even in those non-PC days, and while the concept was good (primarily funded by the ACU), the flame flickered for a while before being extinguished for good when the cash (and perhaps the enthusiasm) ran out.

Harnessing talent

Various initiatives have since followed to champion talent in the UK, mainly through promoting race series rather than specific projects (Yamaha R6 Cup and Superteens for example), but apart from a couple of significant exceptions, it’s more or less been a case of get on with it yourself, folks, if daddy’s rich then all well and good, and if you can flog your granny on eBay, all the better. And from Barry Sheene’s swansong in the mid-1980s, that’s how it was for 20 years. Not a lot to shout about really.

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