Who else stands out for you in history?

Nick Harris:

They are all stars in their own right. Geoff Duke in those early years who lifted Britain post-war on British machinery. Agostini, 15 world titles speaks for itself, he had some easy races, but he still had to ride the bike and they were still not easy things to ride. He did win on the two-stroke as well.

I think the most underrated rider ever is Phil Reed who rode four-strokes, two-strokes, 250cc, 350cc, 125cc and the 500cc MV Agusta as well and won so many world titles.

Mike Hailwood is my absolute hero because he came from Oxford and I came from Oxford. I was at that age when you had heroes as sportsmen. But all the way through there were different eras, different riders, different machines and different circuits.

Can anyone challenge Agostini’s record of 15 titles?

Nick Harris:

I think Agostini is right up there but nothing will surprise me with Marquez if he just carried on and on and started to do Moto2 and MotoGP in the same season! Nothing would surprise me. But I think Ago’s 15 is never going to be touched because it was an era when he could ride a 350cc and a 500cc quite comfortably so could win two world titles in a season. I think that is a record that will stand forever which will put him very near the top of the list as the greatest rider of all-time.

So, are you still watching the races then after stepping away from MotoGP?

Nick Harris:

Yes, I’ll be honest and say at first it was very difficult and last year the first race in Qatar I didn’t watch and I wasn’t going to watch the next race in Argentina. But my mates rang me up and said ‘you’ve got to watch it, Jack Miller is unbelievable’. A few years ago I met Jack and I had a lot to drink with him after the season in Valencia. I started watching the Argentinean race and thought I was being silly before.

Away from MotoGP you are keeping yourself busy then with the book and other work?

Nick Harris:

Yes, around where I live I am known more as the football man. I have covered Oxford United for BBC Radio Oxford for longer than I have covered MotoGP, so a very long time! I am busy and I still work for Dorna, blogs and cover old race commentaries. Friends of mine are involved in classic and vintage racing – I went to Castle Coombe last month for the first time. I’ll always be busy until the day I die.

What’s the best advice you’ve been given in your career?

Nick Harris:

The best advice I can give is to follow your dream and there is always a lot of rough rides on the way but stick at it. You must do a lot of things to achieve your goals, probably things you don’t like to do jobwise, but you must stick at it. Never lose your objective and if you stick at that it can happen. When you see the chance take it with both hands.

What’s the best advice you can give?

Nick Harris:

It’s a tough one but it is about being truthful, being honest with people in your profession because if you don’t it will come back and bite you at some point. It goes back to the advice Colin Fenton gave me all those years ago. If something awful happens be professional and for the person it has happened to the respect you show them, the best possible way you can do it, is doing it in a very professional way.

Never Say Never by Nick Harris is out now, published by Virgin Books.



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