1989 - 1994
Becoming Championship winning
The RC588 and RCW588 were the Norton Works racers from 1988 to 1994, initially in air-cooled and later water-cooled forms. In late 1988 Steve Spray dominated the PowerBike International at Brands Hatch on the racing prototype and sponsorship from John Player Special followed for the 1989 season, with Brian now as Senior Development Engineer.
It was the high-profile and the distinctly black and gold JPS bikes that then stole the public’s hearts. A glamorous rider line up headed by Trevor Nation and Steve Spray saw the Crighton-designed Nortons dominate race after race throughout 1989, culminating in both the 750cc Supercup Championship and the British F1 title.
Such success brought a change in a management, technical direction and riders, but Brian’s point had been made, and the master was back in 1993 with his Duckhams-liveried Roton machines, having teamed up with Colin Seeley. Once more the Crighton rotary machines dominated the season, this time with the Championship won outright in dominant style.
It was all too good to be true. So good, that the race regulators then banned the rotary engine from the competition scene, leaving Brian Crighton’s contribution to the Norton marque’s illustrious racing pedigree indelibly recorded in the history books.