Chrissy Rouse died on Thursday last week, following an accident at the 10th round of the British Superbike Championship at Donington Park. Chrissy would have turned 27 years old today.
If the outpouring of grief online is any measure of the standing in which Chrissy was held, then he stands as one of the great personalities of the BSB community and a person who was massively highly regarded by fans and competitors alike. I can think of no other recent motorcycle racing competitor who’s untimely passing has been marked with such widespread and heartfelt shock and sadness.
Chrissy started 2 wheeled road racing aged 12 in the FAB Racing Series before moving on to the Aprilia Superteen Championship, which he would win outright in just his third season of competitive tarmac racing. There followed many years racing in the BSB support series paddock, on 125cc, Triumph Triples and 600cc Superstock before finding his home in the 1000cc National Superstock support series. With the Covid pandemic making participation in the 2020 season particularly difficult, Chrissy nevertheless managed to get a ride organised with the Crowe Performance team, competing at the front all year long and lifting the championship in the final round of the season.
What comes across clearly when reading the comments made by friends and colleagues is the immense charm, intelligence and work ethic that Chrissy put into his racing. Like so many competitors up and down the pit lanes of the world, racing was almost the easy bit. The sheer work involved in raising money and getting the equipment needed to race was immense, and yet you won’t find any photos of Chrissy where he isn’t wearing his trademark grin; a man who loved what he did, no matter the difficulties involved.
After occasional appearances in the full Superbike class, 2022 would finally see Chrissy full time in the premier division. With budget and support limited, the season was always going to be a challenge but a 10th place finish at Donington Park of all places back in May showed what could be achieved. Indeed, so committed to the endeavour was Chrissy that he had elected to take a break from his hitherto full time profession of teaching mathematics to secondary school pupils. Total dedication is what it takes, along with immense skill and fortitude. Chrissy Rouse had all of these attributes and many more.
I didn’t know Chrissy. Aside from a very brief chat at Brands hatch last season, I knew Chrissy vicariously as so many did, via the excellent Chasin’ The Racin’ podcast which he recorded regularly with his great mate and 2 wheeled racing brother in arms Dom Herbertson. Chrissy was the calm and uber prepped foil to Dom’s laddish, shoot from the hip style. It worked, as the show’s loyal following and long roster of guests attested.
And so to October 2nd at Donington Park. It serves no purpose to dwell on the accident that occurred at the end of lap 1, other than to emphasise once again that motorcycle racing remains and ever will be a dangerous business. Enormous advances have been made over the last couple of decades in terms of protective gear, trackside protection and on-site medical facilities. Thankfully, this work continues tirelessly and if any good may come out of Chrissy’s accident it will be to illuminate once again the terrible peril of being struck by a following machine, a hazard which is magnified in the early stages of a race (and as we saw again just this Sunday with the accident which befell Dutch racer Victor Steeman in the Supersport 300 race in Portimão). Helmet and body suit technology is the best it’s ever been but hopefully further advances can be made in this area. Any such progress will be a fitting legacy to a man who loved his bike racing and approached all aspects of his sport with wit, intelligence, and resolve.
The MotoPod hosts, past and present, send their sincere condolences to Chrissy’s family, friends and fans, as well as to all of the teams who Chrissy worked with, in particular Crowe Performance and GR Motorsport with whom Chrissy was most recently associated and to Dom Herbertson at Chasin’ The Racin’.



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