2 weeks ago
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Episode 20 of the MotoGP™ Podcast is out and this week you’ll be treated to a feature interview with motogp.com pitlane reporter Simon Crafar, as the former Grand Prix winner discusses his career in-depth.
“Until then, I was playing. I know now I was playing,” comments Crafar when speaking to hosts Matt Dunn and Fran Wyld about the very early stages of his career. “Meaning, I think it’s important for young riders to enjoy it and play, and they want to keep riding and learn, but at a certain point you have to make a decision as a rider when you’re going to go full on and I wasn’t in that mindset then, I was 15, by the time I got to just before 17 I’d run out of money, the shop I worked for said ‘no more on the account’ and I had to sell everything up to get back to zero and not ride for the next couple of years. And I did that because when you’re 17 there are so many other distractions…girls, alcohol…for a year and half I enjoyed that. It’s what I wanted to do, and I thought I couldn’t race anymore.
“But I feel so lucky because after that year and a half I went and did a proper race meeting on my beat up street bike, that was also my transport, and it went really well. I got a third, a win when it rained…somewhere around there. The local racers were going ‘you’ve gotta do this’. On the ride home with my girlfriend, I rode home from the race, I stopped and called my dad and said ‘I really want to do it. Properly this time.’
“And I realised then I had to really commit. The people I love putting in money, my bosses, they’re not going to take me seriously if I don’t. So I told them I was going to win, win the National Championship, but I wasn’t even sure myself. But you know when you decide that in yourself it makes all the difference, I hadn’t won any national races before but I felt I could. And I won eight out of nine national races. The only one I didn’t win was the first one and that was because I didn’t believe I could. After that I went ‘Yes, I can.’”
Crafar then moves onto a story of him being in the gym, and it was that moment he knew he wanted to make the switch from Superbikes to 500s.
“So I’m on the bike in the gym, and the gym owner is a bike fan and he’s got a poster of Norick Abe up on the wall that listeners will remember with the hair, on the Yamaha and he’s looking back over his shoulder in this one. I remember looking at it and thinking ‘I finished sixth in the Superbike world championship this year, he finished sixth in the 500 World Championship…everyone knows who he is, and no one knows who I am. That’s the ultimate and where I should be aiming. And the second thing was, If I say no to this, I don’t want to get to 40 and wonder if I could have ridden a 500, you know?’”
Hear plenty more from Crafar by heading to the episode through this link!
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