Motocross legend Dave Thorpe autobiography announced | No Regrets

Dave Thorpe is well-known as the greatest British motocross racer of all time. He won three 500cc World Championships in the 1980s and amassed 22 Grand Prix victories. 

The Dave Thorpe autobiography front cover

IN the 39 years since Dave Thorpe’s first Grand Prix season with Honda in 1983, the Motocross World Championship has changed considerably. 

There are only two classes, now, for example, and while strictly speaking the MXGP (formerly MX1) and MX2 classes are derived from the old 125cc and 250cc classes, the performance of the bikes are more akin to the 250cc and 500cc machines. (There is a reason that the EMX250 class also features 250 two-strokes from Fantic.)

Not that riding a Honda CRF450RW is anything like riding a CR500, though. The 500s’ power delivery and linearity were of course nothing like that you find on a modern four-stroke, where you can find power pretty much anywhere in the rev range. 

But the 500s remain iconic, and Thorpe’s three titles in the premier class with Honda in 1985, 1986 and 1989 make him one of the most iconic figures in the history of British motorsport. Only Geoff Duke, John Surtees, and Mike Hailwood won more premier class Grand Prix crowns; all of theirs, of course, on asphalt. 

Despite moving to Kawasaki in 1990 (Dave Thorpe also began his career in Britain in green), he moved back to Honda for 1992, before retiring in 1993. After the end of his own racing career, Thorpe went on to manage the British Motocross des Nations team. 

In 1994, the team of Rob Herring, Kurt Nicoll and (current MXGP world feed commentator) Paul Malin won the MXdN for Britain’s first victory since 1967. Previous to that, the Americans had dominated the event for 13 years. 

This year’s MXdN will take place in Redbud in the US, where Britain’s Max Anstie will be hoping for better luck than he had there at the Pro National a few weeks ago, and to instead match the form that saw him go 1-1 in his two races at the 2017 ‘Nations, which were held at Matterley Basin.

Now, Thorpe manages the Crendon Fastrack Honda team in the UK, and runs the Honda UK Adventure Centre and Off-Road Centre.

Thorpe’s autobiography, No Regrets, is available for purchase now at £39.99.

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