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Classic Racer - - NEWS -

As you will have no­ticed by now, this is a spe­cial is­sue of Clas­sic Racer. As soon as we heard the news about John Surtees, both Malc and I agreed that CR should de­vote the first, se­ri­ous sec­tion of this is­sue to the man him­self. As I sit here at Clas­sic Racer tow­ers, in a build­ing that Mr Surtees opened for Mor­tons in 2004, I am re­minded of how the man who won seven mo­tor­cy­cling GP world ti­tles con­ducted him­self each time I met with him.you can watch one of those meet­ings in the DVD at­tached to this cover (dig­i­tal and ex­port read­ers visit: clas­s­i­cracer.com/185dvd/). In it you’ll see Mr Surtees re­laxed and happy, talk­ing about racing. We can all re­late to our shared pas­sion. Over the years, whether we talked about the his­tory of mo­tor­cy­cle racing, the cur­rent state of the sport or what­ever had caught our eye in the world of road bikes, Mr Surtees was al­ways the same – ed­u­cated, in­ter­ested and forth­right. Of­ten I spent far longer than I was sup­posed to talk­ing with Mr Surtees when I had the chance. We would end up dis­cussing specifics of a cer­tain mo­tor­cy­cle, about how it would ‘talk’ to the rider when be­ing rid­den. I found that there was a very great in­ter­est in ex­actly how mod­ern rider aids and elec­tron­ics work, too. Once, I met with Mr Surtees di­rectly from a ride on a mod­ern bike with all the lat­est rider elec­tron­ics fit­ted. We talked for over an hour on how the giz­mos worked and – more im­por­tantly for the, then, just turned 80-year-old JS – how they feel when rid­ing fast. His cu­rios­ity for find­ing out how changes can make some­thing quicker was still burn­ing bright – still that pure racer at heart. The legacy he leaves is one of style, speed and suc­cess. His like will not be seen again and we have lost both a true le­gend and a true gentle­man of racing in his pass­ing.

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