Rider Of The Week examines the career of a famous motorcyclist to see how much they accomplished. Resiliency is an important trait of all riders and few came tougher than Australian racer, Mick Doohan. A horrific crash brought him close to losing his leg, and Dooham was never the same after the accident. It didn’t stop him from continuing to ride and his tenacity made him a five time 500 cc world champion.
Growing up on the Gold Coast near Brisbane gave Doohan and appreciation for open roads that he channeled into motorbikes. He came to prominence in the 1980s, winning the Superbike World Championship races at Oran Park in 1988. He also won the Australian motorbike Grand Prix.
In 1989, Doohan made his Grand Prix debut as part of the Honda team. He claimed his first victory for them at the Hungarian Grand Prix in the 1990 season. Dooham was partnered with Wayne Gardner in 1991, winning the Suzuka 8 Hours endurance race. Doohan looked to be on the way to winning his first world championship when he was involved in a practice crash before the 1992 Dutch TT.
Doohan suffered severe damage to his right leg, which led to the Australian developing compartment syndrome. With gangrene setting in, Doohan would have needed to have his leg amputated if not for the efforts of a doctor called Claudio Costa. Costa stitched Doohan’s legs together and set them in a cast for two weeks.
Retirement and business career
Doohan remained ferociously competitive, returning at the end of the season to try and stop Yamaha’s Wayne Rainey from winning the title. Although he was unsuccessful, Doohan showed tremendous heart by getting back onto the track. No longer able to use his right foot properly, he switched to a left thumb-operated rear brake.
Doohan persevered and went on to win his first 500 cc world championship in 1994. From then until 1998 he dominated the class, winning four more championships. In 1999, he was involved in another accident, breaking his leg again and this caused him to retire.
After retirement, Doohan invested in various businesses, going on to own Australia’s largest private jet company. In an interview with Motorcycle News, Doohan commented on his approach to the business world. “Much of business is the same set of tools I used when I was racing, just a different application…it’s the same as in racing: you learn a lot by your mistakes – things happen that you don’t want to happen again, so you go, how did that happen?”
Credit – https://www.autoevolution.com/news/motogp-legend-mick-doohan-drives-in-the-race-of-champions-this-november-in-select-company-98048.html
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