D THE LENS
What’s the best race you photographed? PG: French Grand Prix in 1988 at Paul Ricard – four riders going for it, last lap, no-one knew who was going to win. They all crossed the line wheelying and it was just an incredible race. DM: I think the last time the full circuit was used at the Nurburgring in 1979. The riders were on the verge of striking, but it was the end of the season and Sheene, Roberts and Ferarri were on roughly equal points. They didn’t want to race but they had to. I remember Steve Parrish wheeling out his Suzuki and saying he had a secret weapon; turns out he’d cut swastikas into his slicks. Safe to say it didn’t go down the way he hoped it would! But anyway, it was a hell of a race. GH: I wish I had all your memories. I think the best for me was the last round at Valencia last year – that kind of atmosphere is just brilliant. So many plots and stories, so much to play for and unbelievable tension.
Who’s the best rider you’ve ever photographed? GH: Marquez. Just incredible. Or maybe Stoner. Because of the way they throw the bike around, it’s so dramatic. They’re out of shape all the time, fighting the bike, sliding and wheelying. DM: If I really have to come up with one it’s Geoff Duke. World champion six times, should’ve been 10 times. His titles were mostly won on single cylinder Nortons against exotic MV Agustas, Gileras and Moto Guzzis. He lost three world titles consecutively because his Avons shed their tread race after race. And he still won six titles. He was the Rossi of his generation and the father of modern racing. First person to wear one-piece leathers, even. PG: Can’t be anyone other than Kevin Schwantz. He just broke the mould; wild, loose, all knees and elbows, just hanging on to these unrideable machines. Kevin just kicked the Eddies and the two Waynes, and was like, yee-har! while he did it.
Who’s the most overrated rider? PG: Alex Criville. He won his title because Doohan didn’t. DM: Barry Sheene. Sorry. I hate saying it. He was a great rider and great for the sport, but he was there at a time when the Suzuki was head and shoulders above everything else. Almost whoever rode it was going to win the title and
‘Barry Sheene had a higher opinion of himself than perhaps he should’