Rennie Scaysbrook | December 7, 2022
Winners Sinners Grinners: More top tales from MotoGP, the TT and beyond is the latest book from highly acclaimed motorcycle journalist Mat Oxley.
It is not a new piece of work, rather a collection of stories he has amassed over a career that spans the last four decades of talking to, interviewing, and writing about the biggest names in motorcycle racing.
Winners Sinners Grinners: More top tales from MotoGP, the TT and beyond is the third book in this particular collection of racing stories, the others being The Fast Stuff and Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Racing. This volume features 80 bite-sized stories from the sport’s heroes—Valentino Rossi, Kenny Roberts, Wayne Rainey, Marc Marquez, Jack Miller, Peter Hickman, Toprak Razgatlioglu, Kevin Schwantz and more—as they divulge everything from the secrets of riding a motorcycle on the ragged edge, to dissing the odd rival, remembering a legendary race like Suzuka 1991, to hearing how KTM designs their RC16 motor.
There are other offshoot stories, too, such as the incredible story of Poland’s Leo Kuzmicki, the former Russian World War II Prisoner of War who not only survived a harrowing journey three quarters of the way around the world to England but made his mark on international motorcycle racing by increasing Norton’s single-cylinder power output 30 percent to ensure Geoff Duke dominated the 1951 500cc World Championship against the more powerful Italian four-cylinder Gilera machines.
Winners Sinners Grinners: More top tales from MotoGP, the TT and beyond is a massive 412 pages of motorcycling entertainment written by one of the very best in the game today.
Standout Feature: Where do you start? It’s packed with two-wheel gossip and tales, all in quick five-minute reads.
List Price: $36
|Exceptional historical knowledge from the writer|
|Funny little side stories littered throughout the book|
|It’s thoroughly distracting, so keep it out of your office space!|
|Very little, although I’d have loved photos for each story, but sometimes each piece is so odd-ball that this simply isn’t possible.|
I have an enormous respect for Mat Oxley. The man has produced (in my opinion) an exceedingly large portion of the best English-language literature on motorcycle racing I admire for the past couple of decades—when I really started paying attention to the stuff.
He has a back catalog of stories and interviews any writer would give their left arm to have. It has been cultivated through decades of dedication to the craft of getting some of the often shyest, introverted and downright obtuse people to start revealing themselves, to let us all know how they really tick.
A former pro-level racer who has competed in many an Endurance World Championship event and raced and won at the Isle of Man TT, Mat’s written take on racing is therefore unique. He’s as no-bullshit as you can get, leaving emotion for the most part out of his interviews which allows the rider or engineer, fan, desk clerk or whomever he’s interviewing to really open up, which is a tremendous skill to have.
For all those reasons and, especially, as the 80 individual stories don’t take long to read at all, Winners Sinners Grinners: More top tales from MotoGP, the TT and beyond is a book I found annoyingly hard to put down.
There are so many brilliant quotes littered throughout the book, as is often the case with top-level motorcycle racers.
“I destroyed the bike, then got up and bowed to the crowd. Frank wasn’t happy. They gave me the remains of the bike as a lampstand,” says British racing ironman Dave Croxford.
Or, “I’d sooner go down Bray Hill than go to the dentist,” a brilliant quote from 23-time Isle of Man TT winner and the man with the biggest teeth in racing, John McGuinness.
I’ve been down Bray Hill in a TT. It’s terribly frightening. I don’t think the dentist is that bad.
One of the things I love about the book is the cover. Strange to say, I know, but the cover was created by Mat literally cutting out magazine pictures and pasting them onto a board to make a collage, just like a kid with a scrapbook did back in the day. No computers here. None needed.
Winners Sinners Grinners: More top tales from MotoGP, the TT and beyond will be a worthy addition to any bike-racing lover’s library, and while you’re on the site, you can check out the other two books in this collection in The Fast Stuff and Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Racing.CN
Click here to read the Winners Sinners Grinners review in the Cycle News Digital Edition Magazine.
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For more information, visit matoxley.bigcartel.com