The letter arrived a week after the MotoGP championship was decided at Motegi. It came in an ordinary brown envelope, neatly addressed to our sister publication Motorcycle News, and the sender had been thoughtful enough to put a donkey sanctuary sticker on the back which bore his name, and a genteel Cotswolds address. "Dear Sir, How dare you devote so many pages to that little shit Marquez. Never in all my life..." (you can imagine the rest). It is amazing how some people still haven’t noticed what a sensational motorcycle racer Marquez is. Even if you don’t like him, surely you can still appreciate the sight of him knifing through a third-gear corner, or braking from 200mph? Anyway, we’ve got plenty of Marquez in this issue. You have been warned.
I guess the whole point of a motorcycle racing magazine is for fans to discover what the people who do such incredible things on bikes are all about. If you agree, you might as well go directly to page 88, and read Stephen Davison’s spine-tingling article about Michael Dunlop’s early years. Stephen has known and photographed Michael since he was a nipper. The result is one of the best things we’ve ever published. (There’s also a simply unbelievable picture of Michael in action. We’ve been saving it up all year just to put it in this issue).
Actually, there are dozens of great pictures in this issue. My favourite is Cal Crutchlow and Jack Miller doing a Morecambe and Wise, but I wouldn’t blame you for preferring Guy Martin destroying a GSX-R600, Dan Linfoot almost crashing a Fireblade or Chippy Wood’s grasstrack action.
And I’d like to thank a Mr V. Rossi for supporting our efforts throughout the year - Please consider taking his advice and getting yourself a subscription. It’s ridiculously good value.
As usual, making this magazine with just two people has almost killed us. We hope you think it’s worth it.
MotoGP stars on why they love a scrap
Exclusive interviews with Rossi, Crutchlow, Lorenzo, Marquez, Pedrosa, Dovizioso and Iannone.
It’s been a grim year for accidents. What’s being done to make the racing safer?
Young Michael Dunlop
How his upbringing with the Dunlop dynasty instilled the winning mentality.