Adrian Archibald calls time on roads career

Adrian Archibald at Ballacrye in the 2003 Senior TT
Adrian Archibald at Ballacrye in the 2003 Senior TT

Adrian Archibald has conceded he is unlikely ever to race again, summing up his decision as ‘no big deal’ in the same blasé manner that has characterised the Ballymoney man throughout his stellar career.

The 43-year-old believes the time is right to leave motorcycle racing behind after discussing his options for 2013 with sponsor Nigel Henry of building contractors FB McKee & Co Ltd.

With finances tight, Archibald has embraced retirement with the minimum of fuss but leaves a legacy that includes three victories in the blue riband class at the Isle of Man TT - two of those coming in the historic Senior race.

Never one to court the limelight or trumpet his landmark successes, the County Antrim man reverted to type as he confirmed his time in the sport was up, offering an indifferent analysis of his fate so typical of his carefree nature.

“I sat down with my sponsor and we decided that we wouldn’t run the team this year and after that I decided that I’d just forget about it,” he said.

“Sponsorship was going to be light enough this year and between the two of us we decided that would be it.

“I would say I probably won’t race ever again, but it’s not something that bothers me. It’s just come to that time now and it’s no big deal.”

His emotional Formula One and Senior double at the TT in 2003 achieved under the dark cloud cast by the tragic death of his TAS Suzuki teammate and Mountain royalty, David Jefferies, was easily his proudest feat.

He went back to the TT the following year and again lifted the Senior silverware for the Northern Ireland team to cement his own little piece of history in Island lore.

Archibald has also won at the North West 200, earning his solitary victory at his home event in the Production race in 2003.

His strike rate at the Ulster Grand Prix - an event Archie rates as his favourite alongside the TT - is more prolific, with six triumphs in total.

He also won well over 100 National races throughout a career spanning 21 years.

“I’m happy enough with my career when I look back at it,” he said.

“I won races everywhere so there’s not much I can complain about. I think I had five or six wins at the Ulster Grand Prix and a win at the North West 200, plus three at the TT.

“My TT wins are obviously the biggest ones for me - the TT and the Ulster Grand Prix were always my favourite races and no doubt I’ll probably miss them a bit.

“I think I was lucky to be racing in some of the good times because we had big grids for every race and there was a really good, quality line-up.

“I just tried to keep it as safe as I could over the years and I was just lucky that I got away with it,” Archibald added.

“But now it’s time to forget about it.”