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AMCN Archives – The Year was 2003 | Columns | Gassit Garage

The motorcycling world lost a racing great when Barry Sheene passed away.

The Space Shuttle Columbia disintegrated on re-entry, killing all seven crew members; this was the second tragedy in the program after Space Shuttle Challenger had exploded shortly after lift-off in 1986. An outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) in China peaked in early 2003, infecting more than 800 and causing 34 deaths. In March a US-led coalition invaded Iraq, starting the Iraq War; a month later they seized the city of Baghdad, essentially ending the reign of Saddam Hussein. The dictator fled Baghdad before the invasion and was on the run until his capture in December; he was convicted by a military court on charges of crimes against humanity and executed three years later. The motorcycling world lost a racing great when Barry Sheene passed away.


Farewell, Barry Sheene thanks for the memories

Barry Sheene died on 10 March after losing his battle with cancer. The famous #7 may be gone, but his memory will last forever.

Barry’s rise from novice to champion was meteoric. “One minute he wasn’t racing, the next he was winning everything,” one contemporary observed. Barry’s first outing on a racebike was in 1968, his last at Gooodwood almost 35 years later. In between he won two world 500 championships and countless fans.


Ducati 749s

  Engine       748cc

  Power       75.8kW @10,000rpm

  Torque       76.5Nm @8500rpm

  Gearbox       Six-speed

  Final Drive     Chain

“Wherever the big bikes lead, so the smaller versions follow. But does that mean smaller is second best? The answer is a definite ‘no’ after tasting Ducati’s 749S on Australian roads. In fact, I’d go so far as to say that with the 749S, I’d book up a lot of track time at the same moment I handed over the cheque if I was to buy it. There’s no doubt about it, this is a racetrack refugee.”


Loris Capirossi was in no mood for second best at Catalunya – for lap times or top speed.

Australian Chad Reed won Round 13 of the THQ World Supercross Championship, held at St Louis stadium in Missouri.

World Championship Results

MotoGP Valentino Rossi

250cc Manuel Poggiali

125cc Dani Pedrosa


At first we thought the ad was cut off, then we got it. Well played BMW.


Ducati blitzes Honda

AMCN Vol 52 No 18       $5.95 140 pages
On sale 27 March 2003
    Editor: Ken Wootton