Guest Blog: Mat Oxley: John Surtees’ unique achievement

MotoMatters.com is delighted to feature the work of iconic MotoGP writer Mat Oxley. Oxley is a former racer, TT winner and highly respected author of biographies of world champions Mick Doohan and Valentino Rossi, and currently writes for Motor Sport Magazine, where he is MotoGP correspondent. We will be featuring sections of Oxley's blogs, posted in full on the Motor Sport Magazine website, over the coming months.


In October 2011, just a few days before the end of the MotoGP season, I visited Giacomo Agostini at his home in Bergamo, Italy. Lunch was served (by the family butler and chef) and I asked him the question that had prompted the trip. Since the 1970s Ago has held the record for the number of motorcycle Grand Prix victories – a total of 122 wins across the 500 and 350 classes – and that record had never looked in danger until Valentino Rossi reached his century in 2009. But by the end of 2011 – Rossi’s disastrous first season with Ducati – It seemed once again that Ago’s record was safe.

How did he feel about that? Elated, surely?

“I’m very happy to have the most wins, and Valentino would be happy to beat my record,” said Ago. “Already I told him: Valentino, I enjoy when you win races, but please stop when you have two or three victories less than me. And he say: don’t worry Ago, of course I stop when I get near.”

In other words, Agostini had been sweating at the thought of losing his record.

Read the rest of Mat Oxley's blog on the Motor Sport Magazine website.

Comments

casey to f1?

Nevergonnahappen, and I've never thought of it before now, but as the young former world champ is going to drive cars back home, maybe he'd be an interesting tester? I guyed he doesn't have VRs Charisma or the desire to court the fans

Total votes: 38

Aligning the stars in the constellation of the (red) BULL?

Agree the chances are very slim that 'he will try to make in F1', mainly because of Stoner's need for a 'politics free lifestyle', but I'm not certain I'd put it in the 'never' category just yet.

1. Retires from MotoGP, brings Redbull with him to V8 super cars.
2. Joins the best team but in the B category using last year's championship winning machine.
3. Has an indirect link to the Redbull F1 via his friend Mark Webber.

I wouldn't be surprised to see him in the F1 Redbull pits this weekend in Melbourne, with a rather quizical look on his face, and in the odd conversation or 3 with the F1 team boss. All the indications from Lowndnes and co. is that he has 'speed' but no idea of how to prepare and race a car yet. I think he'll test the F1 car at the end of this year, race the v8's A category next year, and then you never know where his head will be at the year after next. 2016 will be when we know its 'never'.

Total votes: 44

Sebastian Loeb...

I've always been skeptical when I hear of these guys saying they may try to go F1.

Because, Sebastian Loeb, one of the greatest, if not the greatest, World Rally drivers had ambitions to compete in Formula 1. But, he was denied permission to compete based on not enough experience in the lower ranks of racing:

"he was not granted an FIA Super License, rendering him ineligible to race in F1 for the foreseeable future as he had not done enough circuit racing at lower levels."
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/S%C3%A9bastien_Loeb#Formula_One

So, if one of the greatest known drivers in the world is denied entrance, I find it hard to imagine them allowing a motorcycle racer to compete. Even guys as famous and talented as Rossi and Stoner.

Total votes: 39

Interesting habit of turning up

Casually at places, then making it fulltime...

http://www.f1fanatic.co.uk/2013/03/16/australian-grand-prix-final-practi...

Funny ol'thing...

Total votes: 23

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