Alan rolls back the years on US quest

Alan Bott in action

Alan Bott in action

A Wigan man has just returned from a triumphant “bucket list” motorsport mission across the Atlantic.

Dad of three Alan Bott - a former works motorbike racer-turned-tyre dealer - set off on a two-wheeled adventure to the USA to turn back the years.

Alan on his replica Steve McQueen bike

Alan on his replica Steve McQueen bike

His stirring effort in front of thousands of fans was featured and later broadcast by Blood, Sweat and Gears, an American cable version of Top Gear.

Alan flew to California to be re-united with the fearsome Maico Moto-X bike he rode on this side of the Pond to stunning effect in the 1980s.

The World Vets Motocross Championships drew huge nostalgic crowds to the famed Glen Helen Raceway near San Bernardino for the blue riband event for some of the planet’s top racers.

And saw the 52-year-old throw a leg back over the very 490cc machine he made such a name for himself on more than three and a half decades ago.

He was delighted with his placings particularly as all the other ex-champs from around the globe were racing modern machines.

Alan, who owns Pemberton Tyres, was determined to put on a good show and had promised he wasn’t there for a “wave and a ride round” on the German machine. He had returned to a punishing weight training regime to make sure he had enough strength to wrestle the powerful machine.

The Standish Lower Ground man’s successful years in moto-x in his 20s were eventually cut short by a serious wrist injury.

A lover of the long history of the sport - probably better known in this country as scrambling - one of his proudest possessions on display at his Chapel Street tyre depot is a limited edition of his icon, the late great screen actor and bike racer and enthusiast Steve McQueen’s Metisse Triumph “desert sled.”

More than 1,200 racers took part in the Vets.

Delighted Bott managed two seventh places and was even heading for a fourth until a gear box problem pushed him back to eighth place.

In the over-50s category of the Elsinore GP a fortnight later he grabbed a first and a second to more celebrations.

Bott said: “It felt like a marriage made in heaven all over again when I got back on the Maico. I thought that the power of this engine and this mighty track would be better suited for my riding style and this 50 year old - and counting - body!

“My bike was more than probably the only one over five years old and then you can add another 30 years to that, so it stuck out like a sore thumb!

“There were lots of onlookers giving me a wave and some very nice comments, which made it extra special.

It seemed fate was decreeing that the pair should be re-united again one last time in front of the chequered flag.