Following on from part 1 of my interview, last weekend with Road Racing Ireland editor Leslie Moore, it was interesting to gain Leslie’s viewpoint about the toughest interviewees, he has encountered in his journalism career.
Leslie’s thoughts on this topic, are as follows:
“Eh, I wouldn’t say there tough, a lot of riders now are awkward, just for the same of being awkward. They don’t want to tell journalists, they want to put out their own stories, on their own modern websites and stuff, so they don’t want to talk to the press.
And if they do, it’s always smart comments, they want to portray themselves as smart. Which isn’t good for the sport, which isn’t good for them.
I know one particular rider, I know at least three particular journalists who don’t even ask him anything, cause they can’t be bothered to even ask him, so they just ignore him.”
When answering the question, about what articles over the years, have provided him with a great sense of satisfaction, he candidly answered:
“Always enjoyed the time, when Joey was racing, it was always a pleasure to work alongside Joey, to portray what he had told you to the race fans. When I think back now, there was Jimmy Walker a journalist in Northern Ireland in the early days, did that and then I sort of took that on, and it will go down now as history.
I wouldn’t say that I have done the history of the sport, but there down there for everybody to read. I was very honoured to get inside the mans brain, I was able to put that down in print.
The other satisfaction of that, is that an awful lot of people have copied that, which gives me the sense of satisfaction that it was good enough for other journalists to copy. Now, I’m not a journalist that doesn’t write pure Shakespearean, I wasn’t educated in that shape of form, but it’s nice that professionals copy your work.
To me that’s like somebody patting you on the shoulder, cause nobody else pats you on the shoulder, nobody says you’ve done this well, or I’ve enjoyed that.”
“And the other thing I know about journalism, I’ve been doing it for thirty years and maybe a reflection on the younger riders now, that maybe need to look at themselves, but less than fifth percent of the people, want to read about today’s riders, they want to read about the older personal riders.
A lot of the riders now, there all this inbred personality, there all saying the same stuff, they all sound the same and there not telling you anything.
There telling you, what they want you to write about, this sponsor etc they don’t actually tell you anything, especially on the TV now, cause the TV interviews now, there not saying anything about the race.
Were as all the old riders the Steve Hislop’s, Carl Fogarty’s, and all, they all would say he beat me fair and square, no one wants to compliment, they’ve become what I call industrialised robots. Which it makes it harder for you, harder for me, I know my readers tell me they don’t want to read about them.”
Alongside reporting and striking up a good friendship with Joey Dunlop, Leslie has also over the years closely worked alongside Joey’s nephew, current Mountain Course lap record holder Michael Dunlop, who in the late 2000’s and the early 2010’s had a column in Road Racing Ireland.
It was interesting to gain his thoughts on the Ballymoney racer’s latest new challenge for this season, with the TAS Racing run Tyco BMW team.
Leslie went onto state:
“Michael wants to win six TT’s in a week, to beat Hutchy’s record, and to win six TT races, you have to have the best bike for each race. If he went to Honda, Honda wouldn’t have produced the best bikes for each class, he picked the various bikes, even the Paton, for the Super Twins.
Superstock, was an obvious choice it has to be BMW, it’s far superior, he was never going to win on the Suzuki or a Honda, so he had to go to BMW.
Same with Superbike race and the Senior TT, the BMW factory bike, is unquestionably the best bike there’s going to be. Honda are still developing their bike, there’s no Yamaha, there would be no Suzuki, other than Michael riding.
So Michael knew he had to get the BMW, the factory wanted Michael to ride a BMW, but they had to go through Tyco, so it was a forged relationship.
Michael wanted the best BMW, BMW wanted Michael to have the best BMW, but they also had a commitment to Tyco BMW.
So if they join up for four meetings, smile, win the races, BMW’s happy, Michael’s happy and Tyco’s happy.”
Words by Stevie Rial