The definitive life story of 1970s world 500cc motorcycle champion Barry Sheene - the Brit whose death-defying crashes and playboy lifestyle made him the most famous bike racer on the planet. Written by the only journalist to have ridden on the roads with him, and featuring interviews with closest friends, team mates and former rivals.
Born in London's East End in 1950, Sheene was introduced to motorsport at the age of five, with his father Frank building him his first ever motorbike. His story traces his humble beginnings as a maverick repelling to every educational influence, through an apprenticeship as a part-time rider and full-time mechanic, to a works team racer, with a host of diversions pursuing of the opposite sex.
It charts his success between 1975 and 1982, a golden period during which Sheene won more international 500cc and 750cc grand prix titles than anyone, including the world 500cc title in 1976 and 1977; this despite the horrendous series of near-fatal crashes which Sheene miraculously survived and overcame, against all odds.
Outside the sport, Sheene discovered an acting talent displayed in Covent Garden opera, the ITV show 'Just Amazing', and in numerous TV commercials, making him a household name. On his retirement, he found fulfilment in Brisbane as an expert motorsport commentator and an accomplished businessman, despite the shock of being diagnosed with cancer in 2002. He lost his battle with cancer in March 2003 aged 52.
This is the complete portrait of the greatest entrepreneur in motorcycle racing, perhaps the greatest circuit racer of them all.
- Publication Date:
- 01 / 08 / 2004
- 111 x 178mm