"...I’ve been getting more than a little spooked lately at press intros. Or should I say “the journalist GP”. I’ve been at a point of not wanting to click into the mode needed to run with the pack. It’s been invading my confidence and I’ve spent a lot of days thinking “I don’t want to ride this fast on a public road anymore”. I’ve seen them fall before. Kevin was a great guy. Mild mannered, polite, one of the boys. Good at this job, always with a good word. He will be missed...."
Sometimes though, the unpredictable can happen, quickly. On one launch last year, some big silencers were detaching from their mounting points, and dropping off, while we were riding, fast. We pulled over, and Kevin's had already lost its nut. "That's it, we're not going on," he said, very rightly, and with concern for the rest of us in the group, to the guy leading the group. And then we scrabbled around by the side of the road, in the verges, until we found some wire. "That'll do," he said, and he proceeded to expertly bodge the big silencer back on to the bike, safer than it was before. And then he checked everyone else's too. Good bloke.
In contrast, I read a post the other day on a one-marque owners' forum by someone who seemed proud that he saved himself a measly 4 quid by sneakily photographing complete articles in bike magazines, then putting it back on the shelf. This person wanted so much to read and gain from the opinion and experience that someone like Kevin Ash would risk his life for to impart, but didn't want to pay for it. And that's just sad.