people power

Kevin Magee. "I think that Magee and I could have had a really good season. It was such a shame when he had the accident at Laguna. He had crashed at Suzuka in practice but he finished fourth and I was third. Once he'd have got to Europe I'm sure he would have gone well. He went well in testing, he was always riding 100% no matter what the time or the conditions he was giving it his all."

"I think that is something that might have been his downfall. He rode a lot like I did in that he always tried to win every race he was ever in. More often than he should have he ended up on the ground, similar to

what I did. I think that the difference was that at least part of the time when I didn't fall I was winning."

"He was a real fun team mate, we had a lot of good times together testing and getting ready for the season. I think that had he ever gotten back on the Suzuki he could still have gone well. By the time he got well enough to ride there were some bad feelings between him and Suzuki so that was it"

 


Kevin Magee At Eastern Creek in 1991. Thinking perhaps of what might have been, incredibly he had recovered from his accident and was back on the Suzuki, briefly.


Niall Mackenzie Gets ready to ride the Suzuki. He had started the 1990 season riding an under funded private 250 Yamaha.

Niall Mackenzie.

"Niall was substituted when Magee was injured and did very well on the Suzuki, a couple of thirds, third at the Nurburgring, third in Yugoslavia."

"I don't think that the way we approached racing was much different but you can't really compare my riding style and his. I mean Mackenzie has always looked so right on the bike. He hangs off just a little bit, his head is turned just a little bit, he's always got his head real flat to the surface, he doesn't keep his head cocked sideways so that everything's at an angle"

"If there is any kind of style you'd want to copy to look good in photos his would he the one because he really looks right on the bike. He always looks as though he is just riding around but lots of times he's going really quick. He's always been real smooth and fluid and doesn't look as though he's trying, I think that comes from his days on a 250.". "Maybe he lacked a bit of aggression back then. He realised I think early on that he had kind of been dropped into this seat cold turkey. He wasn't supposed to perform miracles. He did pretty well the first couple of races and then I think he expected a lot of himself and it never really came about. I don't know if it was aggression he couldn't find or what, it is hard to say.


Didier de Radigues. "I kind of felt that when Didier got the ride he was going to be a good team mate. I'd watched him have a couple of good rides when he rode in Ago's team on the Yamaha and I thought he'd do well hut it had been a year since he'd been on a 500 and I don't think he ever came to grips with the 500. He's a great guy, a lot of fun to be around and I spent a little bit of time with him at his place just outside Monaco. Got to see Monaco and meet some of the interesting people that he knew."

"He never really seemed to he happy on the bike. A lot of it could be to do with the fact that the first time he rode it at Eastern Creek the engine locked up and spat him off hard. He was coming out of turn five down the hill to the hairpin it locked and slammed him that hard into the road. It can happen that the first impression of a new bike sticks... no pun intended."


Doug Chandler. "Doug has a lot of knowledge from his dirt track experience as far as setting up the bike, what changes to make. Maybe some of it comes from his road racing back in the US. As I have said though I think that it steps up a level on a modern 500. Everything is a lot more complicated and I think he was another one who tried to do too much. I think if he had of just tried to relate what the problem was instead of trying to work out what the solution should be he'd have been a lot better off, with the Suzuki at least."


Mountain biking near Didier's Monaco home. The Belgian was not the only one of Kevin's team mates who struggled to match him. Garry Taylor has seen most of Kevin's Team mates battle. "I think being Kevin Schwantz's team mate is a hard number. He is so competitive and so fast that you can see him demoralizing his team mates just by the sheer speed that he can do things. Often we would sit in the truck after racing, debriefing both riders together and you see riders of enormous ability who were embarrassed to have to say why they hadn't matched Kevin. Kevin would say why he had won or come second or third or whatever and the other rider had to justify why they only came seventh or ninth. In the end I' sure that demoralize them... but its a tough sport."

With Doug Chandler we saw for the first time a team mate that could push him occasionally. At the same time that was year that we saw the embryo World Champion for the first time. Kevin rode a calculated championship, raced individual races always with a view to the championship at the end of it."

"If Doug had stayed with the team it would have been interesting to see where he would have got to. Kevin obviously rated Doug's talents highly. With Alex, only twenty two years old and yet he joined the team with six or what ever years experience. I think it helped Alex that Kevin was out there winning Grand Prix and going for the championship. I think it actually motivated Alex, he has a typically South American mentality where he figures that if Kevin can go that fast, so can I."

 

Also he liked a bike that was very different from the kind of bike that I like. The bike that he thought was competitive was not a bike that I could ride. So as team mates we both worked in opposite directions. We never really were able to benefit from each other as far as settings and testing goes. Except for tyres, there we both needed more or less the same."

"I missed the easy testing that year because I had been hurt from the Malaysian Grand Prix the previous year. The first two times I tested the bike I crashed it, Shah Alam and Eastern Creek. Doug likes something that is real real steep and turns real sharp. I couldn't come to terms with it, getting in on the brakes or trying to get out of the corner, it just tried to tie itself in knots all the time."

"He had some good results on the bike, very good in the wet at Suzuka and Hungary, he qualified on pole at Magny Cours. There he fell off in front of me about five laps before I did. The problem was I think, we were just expecting far too much of the front tyres, the way the bike was working. They worked good in the wet and were good for a couple of laps of qualifying but when it came to race distance it was hopeless."

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