Thursday, January 2, 2014

Pushing the Limits

My lovely wife gave me a copy of Casey Stoner's Autobiography titled 'Pushing the Limits' for Christmas.Being an unabashed Stoner fan myself I couldn't wait to start reading the book. Whether you love him or hate him there is something in here for any MotoGP fan with some real insights into the world of MotoGP. This is my review on the book with excerpts from the book in blue text.
I started to read the book after boxing day and found it so enthralling I couldn't put the book down. I just wanted to find out more and more on this kids amazing rise to the top of the motorcycling world. This autobiography is truly one of those rags to riches story's that you sometimes hear about.

It starts out with Casey's early days of dirt track racing in Australia with him winning just about everything there was to win, some of the local parent accused the Stoners of cheating because Casey kept winning all the time. He was just that much better than everyone else, why can't some people just accept it.

At age 14 Casey applied to the Australian Junior road racing association(AJRRA) to which he was screwed over big time and was denied a license. This turned out to be a blessing in disguise as it made them pack up and head to the UK to start his road racing career.

"We'd left Australia with a fair amount of money but it didn't go far. The exchange rate at the time wasn't good, about $3 to the £1. By the time we bought the van, the caravan and the bike, there wasn't much left so we had to live as frugally as possible to stretch the money out. We'd bought one way tickets to get to the UK and the plan was if things didn't work out we could sell the bike to get back home"

"Dad was earning £40 a day but could only work 3 or 4 days a week because I had to go racing, so a lot of weeks he could earn £120 at the most. It cost us £150 in fuel just to drive down to Brands and back, so we were already dipping into what was left of our savings. With baked beans at 9p a tin and bread 15p for a loaf we were eating enough beans on toast to last a lifetime."

Luckily Casey got noticed fairly quickly and got into the Spanish championship. He was running in both the British and Spanish rounds at the same time which sometimes clashes with each other.

Casey talking about one of his 125 races in the Albacete Spain - "I was going well, running in the top five when the organisers stopped the race for a crash. Pretty much everybody else went in and put new tyres on, but of course we didn't have any spares because we couldn't afford them. So I had to go back out on the same rubber, or what was left of it. The whites of the cord was actually showing through and I ended up dropping a couple of places and finishing fifth in a race won by Toni Elias. Afterwards one of the other riders must have been complaining about his tyres because his team manager dragged him into our pit box to show him what I was riding on. He shouted at the rider in Spanish, something like, 'Now don't bust my balls!' "

I loved the style of the writing of the book as it reminds me more or less of reading someones blog rather than a professionally written book. I found that appealing because its from the heart and Casey pretty much tells it how he saw it. Some people don't seem to like it and label him a whinger or what ever. Get over it, he's just a good honest down to earth bloke who tells it how it is and I love that. Casey is a true champ both on and off the track and it shows in everything he does.

Casey goes on to show us the other side of the racing that we don't get to see in all it's raw unabashed glory. From tyre manufacturers, to competitors to the politics behind the MotoGP juggernaut. For any fans of MotoGP this is a fantastic read and I highly recommend it to anyone interested in either Casey's story or MotoGP. It's a fairly short book at 280 pages but I couldn't put it down once I'd started reading.


7 comments:

  1. I'll have to add that to the reading list. Thanks for the review.

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    1. Hopefully you will enjoy it as much as I did.

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  2. It is always nice to hear about the ones that come from humble beginnings that work hard for what they have achieved. It sounds like he was born to ride and luckily his parents did all they could to make it happen.

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    1. You hit the nail on the head there Brandy. He's done pretty well out of it.

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  3. thanks for a little insight into that book was looking at reading it and sounds like a great read
    great blog with some good areas ridden

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  4. not sure if the first reply went thru
    thanks for the insight into the book
    have been looking at getting that to read
    great blog as well

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    1. Hi Dunc
      Thanks for dropping by. I checked out your blog too, its pretty good. Keep at it mate.

      Steve

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