Mark Kay won the 1988 Classic Sidecar TT over the Billown Circuit near Castledown

Mark Kay in the Isle Of Man

Mark and Richard at Donington Park



(Extract from MV Agusta Fours - The Complete Story by Mick Walker, continued)


MV Agusta had won just about every solo class in the Isle of Man, but not the sidecar class. However, all this changed in 1988 when the Classic TT was moved to the bumpy Billown circuit near Castletown (the home of the Southern 100 races), and classic sidecars were included for the first time. This time, the driver was Dave Kay's 20-year old son Mark, passengered by Richard Battison.

Commenting later, Mark Kay said, "We geared for 8500 maximum revs because of the bumps, we normally use 9500 on short circuits, but over there they have so many bumps that you could be up to 10 000 and more before you could shut it off. So we just geared it high and used the torque of the motor"

After bad weather during practice, race day 6 June dawned dry and sunny. By the second lap, Kay junior and Battison were up to third place; on the third lap, the pairing made their first challenge for the lead, but spun out on the notorious Four Ways Hairpin Bend.



Mark Kay and Richard Battison racing at the Isle of Man

Mallory Park Hairpin



Sidecar race - Mark Kay driving, Ricahrd Battison passenger

After this setback, it took another lap the get back with the leaders again and this time the MV got past and stayed there, increasing its lead on each lap. At the finish, it was thriteen seconds ahead of its nearest rival.

The win was an unforgettable first, not only for the victors, but also for Dave Kay, who had worked so hard in preparing the machine. It was the first time in over a decade that an MV had won a TT race, so the team was in great demand among both radio and newspaper reporters. The cup won by Mark Kay and Richard Battison was given to Mark's dad 'for all his invaluable help and advice over the years, and considering the lack of any real trade sponsorship. I cannot stress too highy the debt of gratitude we owe him', said Mark after the victory.


Here is a picture of the Kay MV winning the 1988 Classic Sidecar TT over the Billown Circuit near Castledown, crewed by driver Mark Kay (then 20 years old) and passengered by Richard Battison


Click here for more details about the winning machine


Mark Kay had great success in the Classic Sidecar TT over the Billown Circuit near Castledown