IT'S not often you can get close up to Valentino Rossi's actual World Championship winning machine but Phil Morris will be bringing one of the 125cc Nastro Azzurro Aprilias, on which Vale won the 1997 title, to this year's Thundersprint.
Phil has one of the best collections of racing motorcycles anywhere in the world and is looking forward to having his GP style, mobile museum at the Thundersprint.
He said: "We have some fantastic bikes in the museum and we like bringing them to big events – and there's none bigger than the Thundersprint.
"One of the things which makes the Phil Morris Racing Museum unique is that all our bikes are completely track ready.
"It's just a question of filling them with fuel and firing them up.
"So, as well as Valentino's bike we will be bringing a whole collection of the factory V&M Yamahas.
"Nick Jefferies will be having a play in the Thundersprint on the ex-David Jefferies' machine which is one of my favourite V&M bikes.
"We're also going to bring the 2007 HM Plant works Honda which was campaigned so successfully by Ian Hutchison and Steve Brogan.
"What makes this bike so special is that it is incredibly original.
"Mainly through one piece of luck after another, the Honda was never modernised, or improved, like the other factory machines.
"This means that although it is seven years old – which is ancient for a race bike – it looks just as you would have seen it in the TT or the British Superbike Championship.
"The Honda is not only one of my favourite machines in the collection but my guest riders love it too and there's normally a queue to ride it.
"I'll make sure that it is out on the track for everyone to see in action as well as in our display in the paddock."
Phil has an incredible collection of racing motorcycles – many of them unique.
But it's not only the bikes which are world class. Phil's passion for racing is very special and his willingness to make his priceless machines freely available to race fans is a delight.
We are very honoured to have Phil, and his bikes, join us at the Thundersprint.