Become Valentino Rossi’s mechanic
Aussie spanners for the Doctor in the Yamaha Motogp squad
“It’s all about word of mouth! I was a decent motocross racer, and became an apprentice mechanic for a bus company to support my habit. I became friends with great riders and worked on their bikes, which led to people asking about me when they were successful.
“One day, I was at home with a broken tailbone from a motocross crash and the phone rang. It was the manager of the Australian Yamaha Motocross Team, asking if I would like to work for them. I took a huge pay cut and went for it. I then got offered a job in the
’93 motocross season, which led to a call from Jeremy Burgess with a job offer in road racing.
“Nearly every mechanic in Motogp has a similar story. Almost all have no official qualifications in mechanics. Most started helping a friend at a local club or bike shop, working for free to get better and to meet more people. That’s how it starts. You need to be able to get on with others and talk to everyone about everything because that’s how others find out about you. Word of mouth is the most powerful employment tool in this game.”
need endurance. Your core strength is really important too. On some sections of the TT I’m really light on the controls, just using my core to move around. I won’t train at the TT or North West as your body takes such a battering. I’ll do some swimming if I get the chance as it’s a good way to get the muscles to relax, or I’ll get out on the push bike and do a bit of light cycling.
“When I first started racing we used to have a skin-full every Friday night. But now I try to be professional. After TT practice I’ll have a huge carvery, or chicken and rice, as you’ve burnt so many calories, and need to replenish. If I have two races in a day I’ll have a healthy breakfast, a light meal between races, and stay off the drink until the last night. The TT really takes it out of you, it’s important you refuel and keep healthy.”