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8 Riders that swapped 2 wheels for 4

As Andrea Dovizioso prepares to find out what racing with a roof feels like, we look back other riders that have succeed (Rossi) and failed (Stoner) in racing cars

JOHN SURTEES

It’s as easy to underestimate the achievements of the late John Surtees as it is hard to overstate them. To win World Championships at the pinnacle of both two and four-wheel competition during an era where mistakes weren’t just costly, they could cost lives, Surtees is a legend of incomparable proportions.

Scoring his first international success on two wheels in 1954 riding an NSU in the 250cc series, it took him just two years to rack up a 500cc world title with MV Agusta, a success he’d replicate on no fewer than three more times in 1958, 1959 and 1960, not to mention the 350cc titles he added to his tally in parallel seasons.

His 38 wins in 51 starts speaks for itself, while Surtees was also found time to squeeze in a win at the Isle of Man TT too.

However, while two-wheels formed the start of Surtees’ career, he’d spend the second-half on four wheels, seamlessly transferring into sportscars and onto Formula 1, working his way up to driving for the iconic Ferrari and winning the 1964 F1 world championship

Over a career spanning 111 F1 starts over 12 years, Surtees secured six wins, plus podiums at the Le Mans 24 Hours. 

The late great man is the embodiment of racing spirit regardless of what is underneath him, one that surely will never, ever be replicated at such a level. 

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