Now back where she be­longs – ditch­ing F1 for Mo­togp – Suzi talks hot bikes

Motorcycle News (UK) - - This Week - EE S O G D N A DD LL OO GG

What came first for you, road bikes or race bikes?

I’ve rid­den since my mid-twen­ties, just be­fore I got into work­ing in the sport. It was partly rac­ing that got me into it though; I’d been watch­ing for a few years and rid­ing out with friends as a pil­lion. But then I re­alised ‘I don’t want to be do­ing this – it’s a bit bor­ing’, so I went out and got my li­cence.

And do you still ride?

Yes, al­though I’ve not done that much road rid­ing in the past few years, just be­cause I’ve been so busy that I haven’t had time. But I’m get­ting back into it now in quite a big way! I’m go­ing to be do­ing a lot of rid­ing in the next few years, I feel! I was out rid­ing re­cently with Neil Hodg­son for a project we’re work­ing on and we ended up be­ing out on the cold­est day of the year, freez­ing our ar­ses off! We were stand­ing out­side this pub at 9am and the owner came out to ask what we were do­ing. He took pity on us and asked if we wanted to come in for a cof­fee, and we were so cold, we dived inside!

So what’s in your garage?

I have a Tri­umph Bonneville, a new gen­er­a­tion one not an old oil leaker, which I’ve had for about five years now. It lives in my house in the south of France, which is great be­cause the weather is much nicer down there for older bik­ers! There are some fan­tas­tic roads down in that part of the world, and the Bonneville suits them per­fectly. I love the bike – it’s easy to ride, it’s com­fort­able, and it’s still cool. I come back to it some­times to find peo­ple stand­ing around look­ing at it, which is al­ways a nice feel­ing.

And your coolest ride?

The best bike I’ve ever owned was prob­a­bly my Du­cati Mon­ster. I had a 750, and it was a cool bike to own, and cool to ride. But my best bik­ing ex­pe­ri­ence has to be rid­ing with Valentino, be­cause not many peo­ple can say they’ve done that! I know I’ve just com­plained about be­ing a pil­lion, but if you get a chance to get on the back with Valentino, you can’t moan too much! It was a lot of fun for me, def­i­nitely one of my high­lights. I’ve been lucky enough to have gone around tracks with some top rac­ers – Steve Par­rish, Randy Mamola, James Hay­don. To ride with real riders that brake prop­erly and throw you around a bit is al­ways fun. The days of me jump­ing on a bike and open­ing up the throt­tle to see how fast it goes are gone – I’ve slowed down, a lit­tle bit!

And your dream bike?

I’ve al­ways said my dream bike would be Carl Fog­a­rty’s 916 from my World Su­per­bike days – and it still has that ap­peal. I love the look of it, the sound of it. It’s the clas­sic era of WSB, and I’m not sure we’ll see any­thing like that again.

Four im­prac­ti­cal lu­natics to thrill you

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