Carrying on the theme from the previous blog, but with more of a European taste.
Usually, greatness is rated by your achievements against your peers; the more known they are the greater your stature is.
To demonstrate this point I can use some American teams and players.
Mention Joe Montana; who comes to mind? Not the 12th round draft pick that nobody wanted but the 4 time Superbowl winner with names like Roger Craig and Jerry Rice.
Dan Marino brings to mind the two Marks (Clayton & Duper)
Ken Stabler and Roger Stauback comes up
Terry Bradshaw and you think of the Steelers with Lynn Swann and Franco Harris.
I mention Jim Zorn and you think??????????????
Jim is known as a coach these days but he did play as a QB for some years, I suspect that unless you are a die-hard NFL fan the name means little. Yet, he was QB to probably one of the greatest recievers of the 1970's other than Jerry Rice. Do you know is team and the man in question?
I had a discussion with my friend Jack about this and I agree totally with him. The subject of this article is depending on your age and interest. To many new fans, Rossi is the greatest rider, yet to my knowledge he has not ridden the Island track.
In the world of Motorcycle & TT racing, while there is no doubt who is the worlds greatest rider; that honour goes to Giacomo Agostini, there will always be the arguments over who is the greatest British rider.
The argument centres on two riders Mike Hailwood and Joey Dunlop.
For this writer at least there is no doubt, it has to be Mike, it has little to do with the fact I was brought up with Murray Walker's commentaries of racing in the UK and the mentions Mike got in the battles with Agostini.
It has to do with statistics and riding competition. There is little doubt in any motorcycle fan's mind Joey's record TT wins are phenomenal."King of the Island", I would agree with no doubt.
But to be best in the world, you have to race on tracks of various lengths and all over. Joey rarely raced off the Isle of Man, other than in his home country of Ireland.
He only raced at Donnington twice, his best finish being 3rd. His only other trips to race off the Isle of Man or Ireland were two trips to Hockenhiem,one to Le Mans, one to the Hungaroring in Hungary and one to Estonia, where Joey got his best results when he won the 600cc & 750cc events shortly before his death while leading in the 125cc event.
I know money is a factor but he was the main British rider for Honda. Other riders like Peter Williams also had this issue to resolve.
There other things to take into account the main one being the competition. While Joey raced against the likes of brother Robert, Ian Louther and Dave Jeffries. They are well known and respected British riders. Mike rode against Phil Read, Agostini, Peter Willliams, John Surtess, Jim Redman and Gary Hocking a well as the US riders.