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MotoGP, Farewell to Garry Taylor, Kevin Schwantz’s Team Manager in Suzuki

Winner of two world titles as manager with the Texan rider and with Kenny Roberts Jr., he was remembered by  many for his affable and sociable demeanor. His daughter, Phoebe, announced his passing with a message on social media. 

MotoGP: Farewell to Garry Taylor, Kevin Schwantz’s Team Manager in Suzuki

Garry Taylor has passed away. Class of 1949, he is remembered above all for his endless partnership with Suzuki, which lasted from the late 1970s to the early 2000s, therefore, from the Barry Sheene era, until the advent of the four-stroke MotoGP. In between, he had two major wins with the official team: in 1993 with Kevin Schwantz and in 2000 with Kenny Roberts Junior. Garry was very attentive to human relations as a manager and tried to maintain relations among the riders, the mechanics, and with very top management. 

He had loved racing, ever since he was a child, and was literally dumb-struck by it when he ended up accompanying a car-racing friend of his to the Brands Hatch and Lydden circuits. He then had a go at it himself by showing up at the start of the events with the same car he used during the day. After running out of money, in order to remain on the scene, he started marshalling, so he was able to experience the competitions from every angle.

Garry had applied for a PR and marketing position, convinced it was for an F1 team. It, instead, turned out to be Suzuki’s Grand Prix team. This was 1976, the year Sheene won the first of his two consecutive world championship titles. By the mid-1980s, when Kevin also joined the team, Garry was already team manager. Along with the American, with whom he remained from 1986 until Kevin's retirement in 1995, he won one world title and 25 GPs.

After a few uneventful seasons, the Hamamtsu brand shone again in 2000 under his management, when Kenny Roberts’ son managed to get the best of Valentino Rossi. With the desire to spend more time with his family, and also due to health problems, Gary retired in 2004. He spent his retirement years indulging in various hobbies but still loved to immerse himself in the sounds and colors of motorsports, like participating in the Goodwood Festival of Speed held every year in England. His last participation was in 2023.

Garry’s daughter, Phoebe, posted the following message on Facebook: “I can't believe I have to write this. Dad, you fought hard and for a long time. Rest in peace now, lying on the sofa, surrounded by the loving dogs you adored so much, finally without pain. Thank you for bringing good humor even in the darkest of times and for being my best friend. The end of an era for a great man who meant so much to so many people.”


Translated by Leila Myftija

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