Rider of the year
BEFORE MICHAEL GETS TOO sozzled and refuses to acknowledge any talent other than his own, we open the prize giving, such as it is, by saying nice things about people.
“You’ve got to consider Marc Marquez before anyone else. How can he keep getting away with it? He’s a god, no less. People are going to be talking about the first time they saw Marquez save a crash, make an overtake or whatever – he’s really changed MotoGP. It’s up there with putting a man on the moon, building the pyramids... in fact, sod all that, it’s just science – Marquez is all skill and feel. I just don’t understand it.”
JM counters with another champion – Johnny Rea. “He’s so good he makes it look easy, and boring to watch. That’s got to be the highest compliment you can pay a racer – it’s like Mick Doohan. It’s not necessarily the best thing for the series, but you can’t deny he’s in a different world.”
Surprisingly, nobody has mentioned road racing. So I do: Michael Dunlop, Peter Hickman and Dean Harrison are thrown into the mix.
“We haven’t seen Michael at his best this year, which is a shame because there’s no telling if he’ll race again,” Rutter ponders. “Dean and Peter were on another level at the TT this year – it was frightening, the speed and commitment they had right from the first night of practice.”
“I was gutted for Dean, not getting the big bike wins he deserved, but when you push that hard, you are risking machine failures,” Johnny adds.
I bring up a particular Hicky moment – not the stunning Senior win and 135mph lap record at the end of the race, but his maiden win in Superstock: coming back from at least a 30-second deficit after running on at Braddan Bridge, riding out of his skin, and in his own words ‘getting away with it’...
“I didn’t see that – bloody hell, that’s some going,” Michael concedes. “Remember it was only his fourth year, too – Dean’s been racing twice as long; Hicky is ahead of the curve and bringing BSB front-runner riding to the roads,” adds McAvoy. Say no more:: Peter Hickman, Team PB’s Rider of the Year. Barkeep – another round, please...
Hickman’s TT performance was on another level
Pint No1 and Johnny’s already gurningDominik Klein’s Yamaha MT-10RR: nobody needs it, but we all want it