MotoGP paddock stalwart and International Race Team Association CEO Mike Trimby has died on the eve of this weekend’s San Marino Grand Prix at Misano.
Trimby was present at Misano for the event as usual and had been in the paddock earlier on Friday. He was 74.
A former racer and mechanic in the Isle of Man TT paddock in the 1970s, Trimby was the man the Grand Prix paddock turned to in the early 1980s to lead their efforts in a dispute against race organisers. Following multiple rider strikes and even a move launched by Kenny Roberts to form a rival breakaway series, Trimby was asked to become the figurehead in the fight for improved conditions for racers.
He formed IRTA in 1986 to oversee GP racing’s next steps into the modern world, with Trimby’s job changed from running a riders’ trade union to a body representing the teams.
From that point on, Trimby (ably assisted by his wife Irene) became an instrumental driving force in shaping MotoGP into what it is today, by increasing TV coverage, working to make tracks and equipment safer, and by organising the championship’s teams and races.
Responsible in his role as IRTA CEO for essentially everything from the circuit gate to the pit garages, his team are the people who keep the show on the road every weekend as well looking after key functions within the paddock such as stewarding and technical controls, providing an invaluable service that Mike has led for 30 years.
For 34 years Trimby was also responsible for organising the Macau Motorcycle Grand Prix before stepping down in 2011. In his tenure he attracted such riders as Kevin Schwantz, Joey and Robert Dunlop, Ron Haslam, Mike Edwards, Steve Hislop, Carl Fogarty and Jamie Whitlam.
He was honoured for his incredible legacy in the sport in 2022 when the Royal Automobile Club presented him with its prestigious Torrens Trophy, awarded to an individual or organisation considered to have made an outstanding contribution to motorcycling in Britain.
“I am surprised but honoured to receive this award,” said Trimby at the time. “My achievements were made possible only by the initial support from the leading Grand Prix riders and subsequently the unity of the teams within IRTA.
“None of this would have been possible without the partnership with Dorna, which started in 1992. Dorna CEO Carmelo Ezpeleta and his staff are equally passionate about rider safety.
“I also want to share this award with my wife Irene, who has worked with me at Grands Prix since 1982. Whatever achievements I am credited with would not have been possible without her support.”
We join the wider racing community at this time in wishing our deepest condolences to Irene, to Mike’s family and friends, and to his team at IRTA.