Twelve of the greatest names in motorcycle history have been shortlisted for this year’s Motor Sport Hall of Fame Awards. The prestigious event takes place on 7 June in the spectacular surroundings of the Royal Automobile Club’s Woodcote Park in Surrey, and it’s down to motorcycle fans to vote who will be the next to join legends such as John Surtees, Giacomo Agostini, John McGuinness and last year’s inductee Valentino Rossi.
The nominees for 2017 are…
- Soichiro Honda: as founder and president of the eponymous marque, Honda had a seismic impact on the world of motorcycling.
- Casey Stoner: the Australian star dominated the 2007 season with Ducati, then switched to Honda for 2011 to become a two-time MotoGP champion by the age of 26.
- Barry Sheene: motorcycling’s answer to the swashbuckling James Hunt during the 1970s, Sheene won consecutive 500cc titles in ’76 and ’77.
- Wayne Rainey: a fierce rivalry with fellow nominee Kevin Schwantz lit up the top division of Grand Prix racing, and inspired him to take a hat-trick of championships in 1990, ’91 and ’92.
- Mike Hailwood: few could forget the victorious late-1970s TT return of ‘Mike the Bike’, a fabulous encore for a peerless career that resulted in 14 Isle of Man wins and nine Grand Prix world championships.
- Geoff Duke: the Isle of Man legend was a household name in the 1950s, winning three world titles for Norton before repeating that success with Gilera.
- Kevin Schwantz: 25 times a Grand Prix winner and the 1993 500cc world champion, the hard-charging Schwantz was part of a golden era for motorcycle racing.
- Freddie Spencer: the versatile ‘Fast Freddie’ scored a historic double in 1985, claiming both the 250cc and 500cc world titles.
- Kenny Roberts: America’s first world champion and a fierce safety campaigner, Roberts secured his third and final title in 1983 after a memorable season-long battle with Freddie Spencer.
- Joey Dunlop: a genuine icon of road-racing, ‘Yer Maun’ still holds the record for the most TT wins – a remarkable 26 victories over the course of 23 years.
- Eddie Lawson: as part of an incredible group of American racers who starred during the 1980s and ‘90s, Lawson won four 500c world championships.
- Mick Doohan: the dominant force during the 1990s, Aussie Doohan won five consecutive 500cc titles from ’94.
Motorcycle enthusiasts can choose who among those great names will inducted into the Hall of Fame by going to www.motorsportmagazine.com/hall-of-fame . You can also vote by visiting the Motor Sport stand at Race Retro on 24-26 February, where Freddie Spencer will be taking part in autograph sessions and interviews on the live stage. The latter will host an unmissable blend of motoring heroes and industry experts over the course of the show, which takes place at Stoneleigh Park in Warwickshire.
You can hear Spencer discussing the 11 other nominees on a special Motor Sport podcast (www.motorsportmagazine.com/hall-of-fame/hall-fame-2017-motorcycling-podcast-and-voting), while everyone who casts a vote will be entered into a free prize draw for the opportunity to win tickets to the exclusive Hall of Fame Awards Dinner – where you will able to rub shoulders with famous faces from the worlds of two- and four-wheeled motor racing – plus Motor Sport books, luxury luggage and much more.
To cast your vote or to buy tickets, visit: www.motorsportmagazine.com/hall-of-fame