All in all the Parque de Retiro meeting had been a success as far as I was concerned and we all had quite a celebration at a local restaurant close to our campsite that evening. During the banter which went on well into the night, I overheard, with some amusement, Ramon Robinson giving his account of the 250 race start which went something like this:-
“I was right behind Morley at the start and determined to stay with him this time! I got a good start and was right on his tail when we all braked for the first left-hand bend, but Morley did not seem to brake at all! – he just dived straight into the bend and I thought he was a goner. Once around the bend I looked about but could not see him anywhere, he had just plain gone!”
Some riders were finding it difficult to accept that the racing season had come to an end here in Madrid and facing the prospect of returning home to the cold Winters of Northern Europe. So the beer flowed and there were many more tales told throughout the evening and well into the following morning. For me, the time had come to start packing up & heading for home.
Before leaving Spain, and with the help of a local hotel receptionist, I made contact by telephone with Parilla in Milan, The call was to find out if the new 250 G.P racer was ready for testing as we had discussed and planned back in June.
The news from Parilla was very disappointing and in summary, it came down to ‘project postponed due to budgetary constraints.’ All very similar to the position at Ducati Espania and yet another clear indication of the problems European motorcycle manufacturers were beginning to face as the Japanese enjoyed ever increasing sales into traditional European motorcycle markets. The very clear message I got at the end of the telephone discussion with Parilla was “We will call you, don’t call us”
The end of yet another dream?
On my return to the UK, the 125 short stroke Parilla with the 5/6 speed gearbox and the 256 Racer together with the long stroke 125 engine, were all returned to Capriolo/Parilla in Croydon. The MD, Cyril Ashford, very generously gave me the 250 Parilla to keep.
The Bedford Dormobile, now with 3500 more miles on the clock and in much better service condition than when I had collected it, was returned to the Tooting depot.
I then cleaned and put my leathers and all my other racing gear away knowing this was, perhaps, for the very last time?