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Was Hailwood really that good?


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#101 Russell Burrows

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Posted 23 March 2014 - 12:09

hi as some one,myself pete taylor and my mate john cowie,who raced with mike ,myself at 78 tt and donnington f1 round,and silverstone round,john winner at mallory 2nd hailwood ,read third,,john winner at silverstone,i dont think you guys really knew how good he was,till you have been there  and done it i think you should close the book now ,mike was the best,ask john he beat him twice,but he said he was the best,so unless you where there on the start line lets here no more       peter

Peter, it's a good thing when old racers join the forum, so welcome. It's decidely less good though when their first post attempts to close down legitimate discussion, particularly on such absured grounds.



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#102 drumwrecker

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Posted 24 March 2014 - 20:44

BT Sport is showing a Mike Hailwood documentary this week on Wednesday, I think?



#103 Paul Rochdale

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Posted 25 March 2014 - 11:30

"It's decidely less good though when their first post attempts to close down legitimate discussion, particularly on such absured grounds".

 

But Russell, that's just the point, is it ligitimate discussion to ask if Hailwood was that good? I thought it ridiculous at the very beginning of the thread, and nothing has convinced me otherwise since then. Utterly daft. Can Hamilton drive a bit, could Jimmy Greaves kick a ball, was the Malaysian airliner stolen by Martians, is the Moon made from cheese? C'mon now, this forum and it's contributors can do better. 



#104 chunder27

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Posted 25 March 2014 - 15:26

Its the same old thing,

 

"You cant have an opinion unless you were there"

 

Hogwash



#105 Telbert

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Posted 25 March 2014 - 20:12

"It's decidely less good though when their first post attempts to close down legitimate discussion, particularly on such absured grounds".

 

But Russell, that's just the point, is it ligitimate discussion to ask if Hailwood was that good? I thought it ridiculous at the very beginning of the thread, and nothing has convinced me otherwise since then. Utterly daft. Can Hamilton drive a bit, could Jimmy Greaves kick a ball, was the Malaysian airliner stolen by Martians, is the Moon made from cheese? C'mon now, this forum and it's contributors can do better. 

As the person who started this thread i thought it was a legitimate question. I was born in 63 and never got to see Hailwood race, Why is it daft to ask if people like Ago, Redmond and Minter regularly gave him a run for his money or whether Hailwood left them all wondering which way he'd gone when i wasn't able to watch those races?

 

To the folks who posted some really good anecdotes, stories and videos, thanks guys, i've loved every one of them especially the video of Hailwood and John Cowie at Mallory. It almost had me in tears. To the people offended by my ignorance, hows about some anecdotes from you to enlighten the less fortunate among us?



#106 mfd

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Posted 25 March 2014 - 22:59

When you put it like that Telbert, I can see your curiosity had grounds. It was a fair question but misunderstood.

 

I'd say that on here most folk are generous with their understanding, so don't give up please!



#107 bella

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Posted 26 March 2014 - 13:49

hi as some one,myself pete taylor and my mate john cowie,who raced with mike ,myself at 78 tt and donnington f1 round,and silverstone round,john winner at mallory 2nd hailwood ,read third,,john winner at silverstone,i dont think you guys really knew how good he was,till you have been there  and done it i think you should close the book now ,mike was the best,ask john he beat him twice,but he said he was the best,so unless you where there on the start line lets here no more       peter

What a pile of dollop.

#108 peterr12009

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Posted 26 March 2014 - 21:03

i take it you were then,



#109 bella

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Posted 27 March 2014 - 16:02

This a forum, ie a place of discussion, and it gives you no right to say whether a topic should or should not be closed off, previous racer or not.
In effect you are saying that in the future when there are no people around who had links to Hailwoods career directly or indirectly that there can be no more discussion on SMBH.
As I said earlier, a pile of dollop.

#110 peterr12009

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Posted 30 March 2014 - 15:32

typical arm chair boring no nothing old fart



#111 Richard Wood

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Posted 31 March 2014 - 07:21

It must be really great to know everything!!



#112 SMonty

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Posted 31 March 2014 - 10:29

typical arm chair boring no nothing old fart

 

For someone who claims to know so much.......you don't "KNOW" very much about grammar.

 

I must also add we don't really go for this type of tone on here. We're a bit more chilled and gentlemanly. So calm yourself down a little.



#113 knickerbrook

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Posted 31 March 2014 - 12:59

 

I must also add we don't really go for this type of tone on here. We're a bit more chilled and gentlemanly. So calm yourself down a little.

I second that!

 

Aside from his riding ability, Hailwood was a remarkably nice man - a true gent - who must be turning in his grave at the thought of all this bickering in his name.

So lets all be nice and enjoy the brotherhood :kiss:



#114 bella

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Posted 31 March 2014 - 14:43

For someone who claims to know so much.......you don't "KNOW" very much about grammar.
 
I must also add we don't really go for this type of tone on here. We're a bit more chilled and gentlemanly. So calm yourself down a little.


Very true.
He needs sending across to Motobanzai, the ever so slightly lower tone there will suit him.

#115 roger9650

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Posted 03 April 2014 - 14:38

For one awful moment I thought I'd strayed on to the TT Forum!

Mixed feelings about the documentary recently shown on BT Sport.  Great to see some of the old faces and another side of Mike, I thought Pauline seemed particularly nice, she must've had a hard life at times.

What the producers clearly didn't realise though was that the noises were important too, to have an MV drowned out by some trite ditty was a sacrilege.  

Nevertheless worth watching though. 



#116 RC162

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Posted 04 April 2014 - 18:15

hi as some one,myself pete taylor and my mate john cowie,who raced with mike ,myself at 78 tt and donnington f1 round,and silverstone round,john winner at mallory 2nd hailwood ,read third,,john winner at silverstone,i dont think you guys really knew how good he was,till you have been there  and done it i think you should close the book now ,mike was the best,ask john he beat him twice,but he said he was the best,so unless you where there on the start line lets here no more       peter

 

Hi Peter

              Had a look at your results on the TT database ( only one Peter Taylor ) and from what I see you wouldn't have seen too much of Mike Hailwood to judge his ability either !      :lol:



#117 Roogazza

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Posted 04 April 2014 - 19:58

Hi Peter

              Had a look at your results on the TT database ( only one Peter Taylor ) and from what I see you wouldn't have seen too much of Mike Hailwood to judge his ability either !      :lol:

:clap:   MH was always my hero as a young fella and getting to meet the man at a Marlboro Series NZ piss up

mid seventies, was a joy.

I travel every year to Mugello for the GP there. I hope to to be able to say I met V Rossi one day too ?

Maybe ,just maybe, this year ?  

Enjoy popping in here every so often. Turning 65 next week !wow !



#118 GD66

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Posted 05 April 2014 - 00:28

You're everywhere, Gaz ! :wave:



#119 Russell Burrows

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Posted 06 April 2014 - 02:46

"It's decidely less good though when their first post attempts to close down legitimate discussion, particularly on such absured grounds".

 

But Russell, that's just the point, is it ligitimate discussion to ask if Hailwood was that good? I thought it ridiculous at the very beginning of the thread, and nothing has convinced me otherwise since then. Utterly daft. Can Hamilton drive a bit, could Jimmy Greaves kick a ball, was the Malaysian airliner stolen by Martians, is the Moon made from cheese? C'mon now, this forum and it's contributors can do better. 

Dont think anyone disputes the guy's talent, Paul.  Must be legit though to ponder his career, the what ifs and maybes ?



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#120 Roogazza

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Posted 09 April 2014 - 06:38

You're everywhere, Gaz ! :wave:

Lol yeah Glen , birthday tomorrow !    :wave:



#121 cregnybaa

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Posted 10 April 2014 - 17:42

Hi Peter

              Had a look at your results on the TT database ( only one Peter Taylor ) and from what I see you wouldn't have seen too much of Mike Hailwood to judge his ability either !      :lol:

And what results do you have from the IOM that would allow you to make a comment like that.



#122 Classicpics

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Posted 10 April 2014 - 19:49

MikeMontage_zps893f2262.jpg

 

 

Shall we quit this thread?

 

We, the lucky ones, who saw him and met him know how good he was and the type of man he was.

 

The ones who didn't see him can only read about his life and make an judgement from what they find.  :cool:


Edited by Classicpics, 10 April 2014 - 19:49.


#123 Yendor

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Posted 11 April 2014 - 07:44

Was Hailwood really that good? 

 

Yes he was.



#124 mfd

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Posted 11 April 2014 - 09:08

That'll do Rod !



#125 Jim77

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Posted 22 June 2014 - 12:07

What decided it for me was when I saw him ride the BSA in the Production event at Silverstone.



#126 twotempi

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Posted 30 June 2014 - 03:38

Was Hailwood really that good? 

 

Yes he was.

 

No need to yell !!

 

Hailwood was a good rider in the same way that Michelangelo was a better than average interior decorator who specialized in ceilings. And yes , I saw him ride.



#127 Russell Burrows

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Posted 30 June 2014 - 10:22

I saw him ride too; when on equal machinery - Manxes, 7R's, G50's - he was often beaten by the likes of Minter, McIntyre, Read, Neville et al.  Only a fool would doubt the guy's brillance, but I wonder if his status of near sanctification would apply if he had lived ?   Another thought on my class warrior theme : SMBH is on record as telling us that he considered Minter as his main rival during the early sixties, someone who due to parental disaporoval and lack of funds couldn't race until age 21, the same age as SMBH first became World Champ . 



#128 cregnybaa

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Posted 30 June 2014 - 17:10

I saw him ride too; when on equal machinery - Manxes, 7R's, G50's - he was often beaten by the likes of Minter, McIntyre, Read, Neville et al.  Only a fool would doubt the guy's brillance, but I wonder if his status of near sanctification would apply if he had lived ?   Another thought on my class warrior theme : SMBH is on record as telling us that he considered Minter as his main rival during the early sixties, someone who due to parental disaporoval and lack of funds couldn't race until age 21, the same age as SMBH first became World Champ . 

 

I wouldn't mind betting he still beat them more often than they beat him on equal machinery.

In the 67 season he won 2 world championships and almost a third then was forced to retire from GPs due to Honda pulling the plug, at this time he was still only 26 years old having won 9 world championships and 12 TTs amongst many other achievements. if you really want to know how good he was just ask AGO and many others including Luton boy that were around at the time.



#129 Russell Burrows

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Posted 30 June 2014 - 22:37

I wouldn't mind betting he still beat them more often than they beat him on equal machinery.

I wouldn't bet my house on this being so in Minter's case. 



#130 Telbert

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Posted 03 July 2014 - 20:42

What decided it for me was when I saw him ride the BSA in the Production event at Silverstone.

Any chance of telling those of us who weren't there what happened Jim? 



#131 chunder27

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Posted 03 July 2014 - 22:12

I think as I recall he won an event on a total bog standard bike, even had mirrors, a reg plate and lights!

 

But I might be wrong.



#132 Jim77

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Posted 04 July 2014 - 01:11

Telbert,  03 July 2014 - 21.42, said:

Any chance of telling those of us who weren't there what happened Jim?

All I can remember at the 1965 Hutchinson 100 was rain and how Hailwood managed to control the BSA . I’ve since looked up and found that Phil Read and Percy Tait came in 2nd and 3rd  riding Lawton&Wilson Bonneville’s (think they were factory bikes), Hailwood’s  bike was entered by Tom Kirby. I know from watching  production events at that time the BSA’s didn’t handle very well, have you heard the expression handles like a camel! This is the reason I bought a Bonneville the following year to eventually try my hand at racing.

 

At the same meeting Hailwood won the 500 and 350 races riding MV and AJS.

 

Found this image of the BSA at  https://www.theimage...&id=12886296602 notice the silencer!


Edited by Jim77, 10 September 2014 - 12:33.


#133 drumwrecker

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Posted 19 July 2014 - 20:54

How the heck do I post a URL on this site?

http://www.asianmoto...s/story0726.asp

Had to type it in.

The above story is exactly as I remember it except I thought Mike had broke his thumb in the accident.

I was in the paddock when Stan Hailwood was asked how he thought today would turn out and he replied Mike on the MV, Minter on the Gilera at Brands, it has to be Minter.

What a pity we were not to find out. but that first race sort of made up for the disappointment.

 

And the link still don't work so add the http to www.asianmoto.com/news/story0726

 

I just don't understand the box that appears to put a link in together with emails etc. Why.


Edited by drumwrecker, 19 July 2014 - 21:03.


#134 Russell Burrows

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Posted 19 July 2014 - 22:11

http://www.asianmoto...s/story0726.asp



#135 drumwrecker

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Posted 20 July 2014 - 21:02

Thanks Russell.



#136 jaybee49

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Posted 23 December 2015 - 21:36

Hailwood rode Mike Collins 500 seeley in the 1969 Race of the Year and finished 5th first single home.

 

Hailwood won the 61 TT on a single at an average speed of over 100 mph ( 6 Laps ) when doing just one 100 mph lap was an achievement and he was only 21.Nobody else achieved that in that

 

era.

 

John Cooper on his 350 air cooled Yamsel  ( I think it was 1970 ) was just about unbeatable and won 30 plus races that year.

 

I was at Snetterton 69 I think when John Cooper rode Hailwoods 500 Honda and Percy Tait and others were not happy as he was getting in the way in the corners ( to slow ) but left them in the dust on the straights.

 

A few snippets of information which I am sure I will be corrected on by the very knowledgeable posters on here..

This is not totally correct. Mike did not ride Mick Collins 500 Seeley G50 in 1969 ROTY. Mick only had a 350 Seeley 7R which he had worn out in the MGP. Once it was on for Mike to ride in the ROTY Colin Seeley fitted a G50 engine into it. Mick's bike had the long Blair exhaust megaphone. Colin also secured the the loan of Derek Woodman's Seeley G50. Mike was not able to practise before the meeting and which he tried both bikes in the morning on the day. He decided to use the Derek Woodman example with the standard short stubby megaphone. There are pics from the meeting of Mike riding both examples. Though in the race shots its on the the Woodman bike. John Cooper rode the Reynolds framed Honda at Snetterton Race of Aces meeting on August the 31st 1969. He finished fourth in the 500 race. Hope that helps.



#137 tonyed

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Posted 24 December 2015 - 09:54

Just finished the Bob Guntrip book 'Racing Line'.

 

There is a section page 170 addressing Coopers exploits on the 500 Honda powered HRS..

 

Joe Ryan (Fireplace Norton fame) shook his head at the HRS after Coop finished 4th at Snet  and commented:

 

'You couldn't keep it in a ten acre field'

 

Cooper reflected some years later:

 

'I don't whether it was because the engine ran backwards that it handled so  badly. It was so bad to ride yet Hailwood won on it, I don't know how'.

 

Lets face it Wadder wasn't a bad rider.

 

I was watching that day at Snetterton, yes it was drizzling and not the best of track conditions but Cooper couldn't control the bike well. I'd seen Hailwood on it earlier in the season and despite the machine obviously being a handful he won on it.

 

As to whether SMBH was the greatest, who cares, he and all the others gave there best to the sport and as an ex-rider, who never rode against Hailwood, therefore not entitled to an opinion, but if I was I would say that if he wasn't the greatest he was certainly up there with them. 



#138 GTPRacing

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Posted 24 December 2015 - 13:28

For my part, a good rider is a good rider, regardless of personality or how rich they or their families were/are. OK, in many cases, because of personal circumstances, some never have the opportunity to realise there full potential. I know of a couple of local riders to whom lack of finance brought a premature end to their careers, despite winning at club & national level. They were still quality riders though.

I was fortunate enough to have seen SMBH race both in the 60's on Singles, MV's and the Honda's (and even one time on a 125 EMC at Aintree). He was without doubt a brilliant rider, who could ride anything, anywhere, anytime.

He was just a natural. Despite having the advantage of coming from a wealthy background, he still had to ride the bike, no amount of money can replace natural talent.

As others have mentioned, it is impossible to compare different eras, but to me "Mike the Bike" is the greatest. I agree with Telbert about Jarno Saarinen, having watched him demolish a high quality field in the Mallory Race of the Year on a 350 Yamaha. It was truly a sad day when he lost his life at Monza.

We still have similar issues in our sport today. With the news that Casey Stoner is to return as a Ducati test rider, with perhaps the odd "Wildcard" ride thrown in. Already, the Rossi fans are complaining that "The Aussie Moaner is back".

To me, the fact that a top quality rider may return to MotoGP can only be a good thing, surely!

As I started this comment with, a good rider is a good rider, regardless of anything else (Personality included) This also applies to Luton's finest, who, despite all is still a great rider.

Merry Christmas & a Happy New Year to everyone :clap:           



#139 Robin127

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Posted 24 December 2015 - 19:53

 

For my part, a good rider is a good rider, regardless of personality or how rich they or their families were/are. OK, in many cases, because of personal circumstances, some never have the opportunity to realise there full potential. I know of a couple of local riders to whom lack of finance brought a premature end to their careers, despite winning at club & national level. They were still quality riders though.

I was fortunate enough to have seen SMBH race both in the 60's on Singles, MV's and the Honda's (and even one time on a 125 EMC at Aintree). He was without doubt a brilliant rider, who could ride anything, anywhere, anytime.

He was just a natural. Despite having the advantage of coming from a wealthy background, he still had to ride the bike, no amount of money can replace natural talent.

As others have mentioned, it is impossible to compare different eras, but to me "Mike the Bike" is the greatest. I agree with Telbert about Jarno Saarinen, having watched him demolish a high quality field in the Mallory Race of the Year on a 350 Yamaha. It was truly a sad day when he lost his life at Monza.

We still have similar issues in our sport today. With the news that Casey Stoner is to return as a Ducati test rider, with perhaps the odd "Wildcard" ride thrown in. Already, the Rossi fans are complaining that "The Aussie Moaner is back".

To me, the fact that a top quality rider may return to MotoGP can only be a good thing, surely!

As I started this comment with, a good rider is a good rider, regardless of anything else (Personality included) This also applies to Luton's finest, who, despite all is still a great rider.

Merry Christmas & a Happy New Year to everyone :clap:        

      

Pretty well put.  I believe though that the great riders from each era would still be great riders if they grew up in another era.  They all had/have that something extra that sets them apart from the others.  People like different riders due to ability and personality but as you said having a different personality doesn't take away their ability.  Regarding the man from Bedfordshire I think a lot of people, due to the personality factor, don't appreciate just how good he was

 


Edited by Robin127, 24 December 2015 - 19:56.


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#140 roger9650

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Posted 24 December 2015 - 21:55

Whether he was or not, (and he certainly was BTW), he was definitely capable of riding in more than one race in one day, on vastly different machinery.



#141 JtP2

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Posted 25 December 2015 - 00:33

Probably the best judgement of a rider should not be the races he won with the fastest bike or car, but the races he won when at a disadvantage and should not have won. Consider how many races Hailwood won when at a disadvantage, including a TT changing gear with his hand after falling and damaging the gear lever on the first lap.

#142 greg1953

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Posted 25 December 2015 - 08:44

I saw Mike win the Mallory round, it's on YouTube and still looks impressive, I was also at Olivers Mount '72 when Saarinen cleaned up which is the single most incredible piece of riding I've ever witnessed, both riders of unbelievable talent.

People still criticise todays stars because they don't ride in multiple classes but modern bikes require so much setting up it wouldn't be possible, there was very little to set up on the old bikes. At a recent chat evening with Freddie Spencer he told me of how difficult it was in '85 when he won the 250 & 500 championships and didn't think anyone could do it now.

I think comparing riders from different periods is pointless, they were great at their time and gave us amazing memories.

Greg.

P.S happy Christmas



#143 Merv29

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Posted 29 December 2015 - 12:44

I first saw the legend that was Mike the Bike in 1963 at Cadwell, he amazed me with his talent for years at races in the UK.

When I became aware he was making his comeback for the 78 TT I booked my tickets.

To win the TT on a privately entered and prepared "non-works" bike was astonishing.

To follow that by winning the Mallory race of the year on that same bike was incredible.

He may not have been the best of all time but nobody ranks higher in my opinion. 



#144 ensign14

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Posted 29 December 2015 - 13:56

So it's pretty obvious Hailwood really was that good.

Question is, why?  What did he have that made him a cut above?



#145 Merv29

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Posted 29 December 2015 - 14:06

Raw, natural talent and determination, being first loser was never on his radar (apparently)



#146 chunder27

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Posted 03 January 2016 - 14:33

I personally think he is the best ever rider. Not only for what he did in his prime, but for what he did in F1 and what he did when he came back.

And also for being a thoroughlly decent bloke despite being a God in most fans eyes!

 

Something just abotu every other rider in his position would do well to remember!