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R.I.P. John Surtees

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Re: R.I.P. John Surtees

Postby nickguzzi » Sun Apr 09, 2017 2:33 am

Damon Hill started on bikes, then won a world championship in a Williams. After he retired from F1, I think he started racing bikes again.

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Re: R.I.P. John Surtees

Postby BillT » Sun Apr 09, 2017 8:04 pm

acotrel wrote:I wonder if anyone else has noticed something I discovered. John Surtees, Tazio Nuvolari, Mike Hailwood and Jack Brabham and the German -Rosemeyer of Auto Union fame, all started by racing motorcycles them became tops in car racing. Nobody seems to have achieved the reverse. I can name three guys who started by racing cars then attempted to get into road racing bikes. Their first crash was their last.

Could it be because those starting out in racing often start out very young and race whatever is cheap to get started in?

In the US, the road to professional racing seems to follow two paths - 4 wheels starts with karting, then entry-level stock car, sports car or open wheel.
2 wheels start out with motocross then progress to entry-level dirt or tarmac.

I don't think one can do what the greats did in days past, simply because motorsport is so much more structured and compartmentalized than it was.

Look at someone like Denis Jenkinson - Won an FIM title (riding chair with Eric Oliver on a Manx-Watsonian) and won the 1955 Mille Miglia (navigating for Stirling Moss in a M-B 300SLR). Jenks was one of the greatest motorsport journalists in the English language. I doubt there'll ever be another like him, or Hailwood, or Surtees, or even another Mario Andretti. Too much structure, too much money, too much specialization of skills.
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Re: R.I.P. John Surtees

Postby acotrel » Thu Apr 13, 2017 3:25 pm

I think you miss the point of what I am saying. It is possible to progress more easily from motorcycle road racing into car racing, than it is to move from car racing into motorcycle road racing. In fact I know three racing car drivers who moved into bikes because they thought it is cheaper. All three crashed almost immediately and never got on a bike again. One of them bought a sports bike and crashed at Lukey Heights on Phillip Island. He hit his head on the road and went to hospital by air-ambulance. Then the nurse stuffed-up the oxygen supply and he almost ended up a vegetable. He had broken arm and ribs and the golden staph got into him and almost killed him.. I suggest that if you ever encounter one of these idiots - tell them to bugger-off before they become a statistic.
A motorcycle road racer moving into car racing is an entirely different proposition.
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