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Garry McCoy profile

By Dan Moakes
November 9 2005

Garry McCoy
nationality · Australian
born · 18 April 1972
grand prix début · 1992
world superbike début · 2004

Garry McCoy has spent a decade in grand prix racing, proving his ability many times. Taking advantage of his small stature, he first raced in 125s with no little success. But he really seemed to burst onto the scene in 2000, when he won the season’s first 500cc race in spectacular style, entertaining the fans, and his rivals, all year long. His ability to go faster by sliding the rear of his bikes has its roots in speedway riding, and has once again found an outlet on a World Superbike Ducati 999

1977
Began riding motorcycles

1989
Began a three-year stint in speedway, racing in New South Wales and Victoria

1991
Made road racing début

1992
3rd in Australian 250cc Production championship, with a Suzuki; won 250cc Production Triple Challenge, at Eastern Creek; World Championship 125cc début
Carrying the number 63, Garry raced in three grands prix, replacing injured riders at AGV Team Germany and Ditter Plastic-Stauch. He rode Peter Öttl’s Rotax twice, qualifying twelfth first time out and running eighth, and was on Oliver Koch’s Honda for his third outing. He failed to finish on each occasion

1993 AGV-Team Germany, number 31 Aprilia
Scheduled for a full season in the 125cc World Championship, McCoy was forced to miss three mid-season races due to injury. Nevertheless, he managed five points finishes, including tenth twice and seventh in the United States. 25 points put him nineteenth in the final table

1994 AGV-Attac Racing, number 19 Aprilia
A second year in the 125s saw more progress made, with Garry reaching the podium in third place at both Eastern Creek and the Salzburgring. Missing the last three races meant he dropped from a possible top ten placing to finish the season thirteenth, with six points scores in total. His tally was 56 this time

1995 Team Europa Zwafink, number 13 Honda
1995 looked like being a breakthrough year. McCoy qualified third in round one and sixth in round two, and in the latter race, at Shah Alam in Malaysia, came through to win in heavy rain. This GP was cut short because of the conditions and, as a result, Garry only scored half points. He added a twelfth place in Spain but, due to internal problems, split with the team after only four outings. With no ride, he was left in 22nd place for the season, with just 16½ points

1996 Scuderia Alfa Bieffe, number 72 Aprilia
A full 125 season in 1996 saw Garry back on track. There were only thirteen points scored in the first ten races, with a best result of ninth in France. However, in the last five events he had a run of good form, taking a fourth, a second, a fifth, and finishing off with another win at home. 87 points meant he was classified twelfth overall

1997 Marlboro Team Alfa Bieffe, number 72 Aprilia
1997 was McCoy’s most consistent season yet, with top ten finishes in nine rounds. These included three fourths, and third places in Italy and France, where he had also recorded his first pole position. Garry was classified seventh in the final table, on 109 points

1998 Shell Advance Racing, number 18 Honda
After five years in the 125s, for 1998 he was offered a ride in the 500cc class, with a Honda V-twin. In his second race, Garry finished tenth, and he went on to score in six of the first nine rounds. However, an ankle injury sustained at the next meeting effectively ended his season. 23 points in total placed him 17th overall, but he was also second of the privateer runners

1999 Red Bull Yamaha WCM, number 24 Yamaha
Out of work at the start of the year, Garry soon got the call from WCM to replace Simon Crafar on the V4 Yamaha. Returning to action from round seven, McCoy scored in all races bar one, with a high point of third in Valência, behind race winning team-mate Régis Laconi. Seventh was the Australian’s best elsewhere, and a tally of 65 points meant fourteenth place overall

2000 Red Bull Yamaha WCM, number 24 Yamaha
From the start of 2000, McCoy’s choice of the softest 16½" tyres proved advantageous, as his controlled sliding technique allowed him to outpace smoother looking riders on the way out of corners. This worked well from the off, and he won the opening race in South Africa. Four front row starts followed, as did wins in Portugal, from pole, and Valência. A total of eight top five results meant fifth overall, with 161 points, plus one fastest lap

2001 Red Bull Yamaha WCM, number 5 Yamaha
The 2001 season started with Garry second in Japan, but injury worries in the early part of the European season upset his chances. With a handful of top six grid positions, the Australian recovered to come third in both Portugal and Malaysia, and nine points finishes in total gave him 88, and twelfth overall

2002 Red Bull Yamaha WCM, number 8 Yamaha
In the first year of the new MotoGP formula, injuries would again affect McCoy’s prospects, along with the fact that his team were left with the 500cc two-stroke bike. After missing four early season races with a broken leg, Garry was able to return and put his Yamaha on the front row four times, including second at home. He scored points in eight of twelve outings, with a best of ninth, but was several times beaten by young team-mate John Hopkins. McCoy ended up 19th equal, on 33 points

2003 Kawasaki Racing Team, number 8 Kawasaki
With WCM, Red Bull and Yamaha parting company, Garry’s first taste of the new four-stroke machinery came when he joined Kawasaki. The Ninja ZX-RR had raced in Japan, and done a few GPs in 2002, but was far from developed. The new team leader found it a struggle to qualify on the fourth row, and only wrestled it to three points finishes. The best of these was ninth in France, and eleven points only marginally outdid five-race wildcard Alex Hofmann. McCoy made it plain he would be elsewhere in 2004

Garry McCoy - photo by Raceline photography
Garry McCoy in 2004 - photo by Raceline photography

2004 Team Xerox Ducati - Nortel Networks, number 24 Ducati
Without a Grand Prix ride, Garry went for the option of a competitive customer Ducati in World Superbikes. The 999’s outright pace has been enough for second and third row qualifications, but McCoy’s racing form has not deserted him. Seven top six finishes to date have included a deserved win at home, when both the works Ducati riders crashed out. He is on target for the top six overall

2005 Foggy Petronas Racing, number 24 Petronas

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