Express elevator to hell
I don’t want to bang on about this, but it’s a good point that you’ve raised there - so I will (but only a tiny, tiny bit)!
Honda’s philosophy demands the perfection of the machine and all of its support systems. I think most race fans - and racers, too - can recall that among Rossi’s stated reasons for leaving Honda was the immutable fact that Honda considered the bike to be the focal point of all their efforts, and the rider - any rider - was simply there to ride the machine; in other words, the rider “didn’t matter”, it was the machine that would win the race.
In contrast to the above, Yamaha (the last of the Japanese manufacturers to enter the motorcycle market in 1955), originally built reed organs and pianos. Their philosophy demanded not only "harmony", but also “beauty that fulfils its design function as it moves the heart of the user”. Well, the M1 MotoGP bike certainly moved Rossi’s heart and he soon began to refer to it as “my M1”, which highlighted a relationship that he’d never once expressed while with Honda. Remember his “love letter” to his bike - and the “Bye-bye baby” T-shirt when he tore himself away from Yamaha? Contrast that with “The Chain Gang” uniforms and trackside rock-breaking protest with his buddies when he wanted “away” from Honda!
I’ll leave it there, but; good shout, Cougar - a really good shout.
Oh, dear - here I go again!
I never met Joey Dunlop - never saw him race - but in 2017 I went to the Manx Grand Prix with a few mates and there, during a night out, we walked into a pub and the first bloke I saw was Michael Dunlop. He was sitting at a little table having a pint with a pal of his and… everybody just left him alone and carried on with their own enjoyment.
He’s just a bloke. No, no - not an “ordinary” bloke; he’s "just a bloke" with an almost tangible aura that finds its way into the deepest channels of your mind - whether you want it to or not - and no matter who you are, powerful, rich, poor, famous or a nobody. He’s a bloke who absolutely commands respect.
I wonder what his dad was like?
Wasn't 2017 the year we met at Quarterbridge...? I was marshalling and you were there with an oppo. We had a quick chat through the fence before I had to get back to it.
I never met or saw Joey (or his brother Robert) race but Michael is certainly an unassuming guy to meet (as was his brother)....that is, until you got them on a bike...! One thing I've really enjoyed over the years marshaling on the Island is that the riders (with very, very few exceptions) are down to earth and thoroughly approachable blokes. It's another facet of what makes the sport of road racing almost unique.
If you've not yet seen the movie "Road" about the Dunlops then I can wholeheartedly recommend it. It is up there with "On any Sunday" as one of the greatest movies about motorcycling.
I defy anyone not to be moved by the part which covers Michael's win at the NW200 days after his father was killed there.
His book "Road Racer: It's in my Blood" is also well worth a read.