Classic Racer

Rob Mcelnea: Boost or burden?


Rob Mcelnea could see the potential in Hislop as soon as he appeared on the scene: “If his timing had been different, I mean if I’d been a manager when he first came through rather than someone he raced against, I think we could have gone a long, long way, as I could see that he was really special. “Steve was capable of going beyond what Foggy achieved but he was his own worst enemy. When it was right he was unbelievab­le but if it wasn’t right he was useless. His dark days held him back and he didn’t compromise.the guys who go all the way are the ones who can deal with the bad days.” It was this two-edged element to his personalit­y that caused Mcelnea to refer to him as a flawed genius. “His riding was inch-perfect, I mean he was a brilliant role model on how to ride a bike,” explained Mcelnea. “He was either 100% perfect or he was crap. Same bike, same tyres, same settings and he’d either be in 15th or he’d be out there breaking the lap record. But he was brilliant with the team and a pleasure to have around. After he died, we still used Hizzy laps on our computer to show how it should be done and that was 10 years on and it was still relevant.” Sadly, for Mcelnea things didn’t end particular­ly well between the pair and it is still something that he regrets. “I had a lot of respect for him and a lot of time for him too. He rode for me and it didn’t work out so I let him go.then there was the helicopter crash and I’m sad it ended that way, as we never ggot to have a beer and say ‘no hard feelings’. It’s a shame it didn’’ t work – I feel a bit hollow about that still.”

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