Kiwi icon signs on for MotoFest 2019

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Words: Nile Bijoux
7 Jan 2019

The second iteration of the Mike Pero MotoFest will feature the homecoming of a Kiwi hero.

Taihape-born Simon Crafar, who managed a win at the 500cc level in 1998 and is now a commentator for Dorna as well as a rider advisor, will return for the March extravaganza at Hampton Downs.

“I’ll be aged 50 by the time I get to New Zealand for the Hampton Downs MotoFest event,” said Crafar.

“I last came home for a week in May 2017, just to see my parents and sister. I’m embarrassed to say my previous New Zealand visit was eight years before that.”

On his 1998 win, he said it wouldn’t have meant as much as it did had Mick Doohan not been part of the race.

“My other podiums that year actually mean just as much because my third place at Assen was my first in GP, so it was very special. My second podium at Phillip Island was the most enjoyable ride of my life and I got to stand on the podium and see my parents and grandparents in the sea of people. That’s a special memory.”

In addition to meeting and greeting fans and catching up with friends and family at MotoFest, Crafar will be running the Legends Rider Clinic on Thursday, February 28, and he will be riding several bikes of note in the Legends Track Sessions. He will attend signing sessions and the Celebration Dinner on the Saturday night of MotoFest.

The special motorcycling event kicks off on March 2.

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