Highly respected motorcycle writer Ken Wootton has passed away.
The “Woose” was holidaying in Europe, where he passed away in his sleep on Sunday, 24 July in the Czech Republic. He was 57.
In a career that had a wide range of varied roles, Wootton was the man who set Australian Motorcycle News on its successful modern course, sat in the editor seat at Motorcycle Trader, possessed an incredible motorcycling and Australian road-racing knowledge no-one can rival, helped many Australian road racers on their path to success and tested all genres of motorcycles.
Wootton was also a former editor-in-chief of Auto Action.
Five-time World 500cc champion Mick Doohan was shocked to hear the news when contacted by Speecafe.com today. Wooton was one of the premier motorcycle journalists right through the course of Doohan’s career, including his championship years.
“That is terrible news,” Doohan told Speedcafe.com.
“He was a terrific bike enthusiast and a great person for the sport.
“He was a great editor of Motorcycle News for so many years and always professional and positive.
“Every now and then he would show up at a Grand Prix somewhere and we would catch up for a chat.
“He always had a smile on his face and was a good guy. He will be missed by the sport and the industry.”
His voice was also heard at race tracks across the country, including the MotoGP and World Superbike Championship events at Phillip Island, plus all rounds of the Australian Superbike Series. His work included TV commentary and a regular spot on Melbourne-based sports radio network SEN.
The loss of Wootton will be deeply felt not only on two wheels, but also four. One of the real nice guys on the Australian motor sports scene, Wootton was highly regarded by competitors, officials and fans alike.
His passion for motorcycles took him around the world, visiting not only race events, but he was amongst a privileged few who rode some of the world’s great machines both on the track and on the road.
Wootton was regarded at the highest level by motorcycle manufacturers both on the local scene and even more impressively at the factories in places such as Japan, Italy and the UK.
Speedcafe.com passes on its condolences to the Wootton family and the many people who called Ken a friend; that number reaches into the thousands.
SEN’s Kevin Bartlett speaks with Australian Motorcycle News’ Sam MacLachlan about the late Ken Wootton