MotoMatters.com is delighted to feature the work of iconic MotoGP writer Mat Oxley. Oxley is a former racer, TT winner and highly respected author of biographies of world champions Mick Doohan and Valentino Rossi, and currently writes for Motor Sport Magazine, where he is MotoGP correspondent. We will be featuring sections of Oxley's blogs, posted in full on the Motor Sport Magazine website, over the coming months.
In October 2011, just a few days before the end of the MotoGP season, I visited Giacomo Agostini at his home in Bergamo, Italy. Lunch was served (by the family butler and chef) and I asked him the question that had prompted the trip. Since the 1970s Ago has held the record for the number of motorcycle Grand Prix victories – a total of 122 wins across the 500 and 350 classes – and that record had never looked in danger until Valentino Rossi reached his century in 2009. But by the end of 2011 – Rossi’s disastrous first season with Ducati – It seemed once again that Ago’s record was safe.
How did he feel about that? Elated, surely?
“I’m very happy to have the most wins, and Valentino would be happy to beat my record,” said Ago. “Already I told him: Valentino, I enjoy when you win races, but please stop when you have two or three victories less than me. And he say: don’t worry Ago, of course I stop when I get near.”
In other words, Agostini had been sweating at the thought of losing his record.
Read the rest of Mat Oxley's blog on the Motor Sport Magazine website.