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Art Print - Barry Sheene Clermont-Ferrand 1974

Jan Burgers image printed on 250gsm Kodak paper:


This photo of Barry Sheene at the French Grand Prix was taken just two weeks after the 1974 Imola 200 unsurprisingly won by Giacomo Agostini.


On an evening prior to the race, Sheene, Gene Romero and Kenny Roberts had been raising merry hell in the town of Imola with some amorous locals, and hopped in to their Fiat rent-a-car to raise a little more hell. Roberts was driving, and a giggling Romero was trying to work the pedals from the passenger seat at about 130km/h with Roberts fighting him off, when, for a "bit of fun", Sheene pulled the hand-brake on from the back seat.


"Roberts thought he'd be clever and turned into the slide," Sheene said. "So it rolled twice, slid on its roof, went down an embankment upside down, hit a tree, went up in the air, somersaulted and then landed upside down in a river. We wondered why it'd been such a soft landing when we started hearing this 'glug, glug, glug' of water  ̶  the thing started sinking!


"The door wouldn't open so I kicked the windscreen out. Romero got out then dragged me free. Romero and I were laughing and then Romero thought: 'Shit, I better get Kenny or I'll get the sack if he drowns!"


As the pair guffawfed, a struggling Roberts, who had survived years of motorcycle racing, was preparing himself for the afterlife... 'is this how it ends?'


Sheene and Romero got Kenny out in time.


"We all clambered up this really steep embankment covered in mud laughing our heads off, and this guy took us back to the hotel," said Sheene.


“Yamaha's then team manager [Rodney Gould] appeared. Hardly believing his eyes, he asked. ‘What in the hell have you three been up to!?!’ Roberts said, "We crashed a hire car." Gould asked, "Whose hire car?" and Roberts said: "Yours!"

Art Print - Barry Sheene Clermont-Ferrand 1974

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