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To say I was disappointed after watching this DVD is an understatement.
During the late 1990s I was heavily in to World Superbikes and religiously followed every single race and round. I was lucky enough to attend the British rounds held at Donnington Park and the Irish rounds held at Brands Hatch with my father for around 5 years in succession.
Foggy, probably Ducati's largest marketing tool ever, was my hero and I always hope that one day I would be able to crank a bike over at 45 degrees around a bend like he could.
Foggy was awesome both on and off the track. Behind the hard-man image and those trademark 'eyes' was a real family man that devoted a lot of his life to his wife and two daughters.
I have just finished reading his auto biography "Foggy". Obtaining a copy of this book was a mission in itself. It was first published in 2001 and has taken me almost 7 years to finally get a copy and read it. I always wanted a copy in hard back but I could never find one. I stumbled across what appeared to be the only copy in Gatwick Airport whilst waitng to go on holiday.
The book is fantastic. In this book Foggy is completely honest and outspoken. He wears his heart on his sleeve and talks about his racing career, how he started, his run ins with his father, his wife and how supportive she was over his racing career, and his two daughters. It is a compelling and inspirational read.
I imagined that the DVD would be the same. I though it would be interviews of Carl Foggarty, his long standing mechanic "Slick", his wife and children, his team bosses etc about his racing career, his childhood and his struggles. I thought it would be like the book but in a visual form.
How wrong I was. This DVD is pretty much awful. As soon as the play button was pressed it looks cheap and tacky. The intro gives a brief insight of the content of the DVD including racing, red mist, crashes and victory celebrations.
The DVD is the legendary (and arguable best world superbike commentator of all time) Keith Heuwen interviewing Foggy.
The DVD follows no real structure. It jumps from Foggy's world superbike career to his Isle Of Man triumph, back to his world superbike career, to his North West triumph, to his world superbike career. It is all over the place.
Admittedly there are some classic pieces of footage, like when Kocinski knocked Foggy off, when Chili lost the front end and blamed Foggy and went on to smack him after the race. but these will be meaningless unless you followed Foggy in his heyday.
The footage is broken up with Foggy's comments on certain races. The answers given were very technical. There were no opinions, no feelings expressed or anything like that.
After the racing aspect the DVD plummets very fast. It goes on to show spectacular and very painful looking crashes. Who wants to see that? I know a lot of people go to spectate races purely for the crashes - they see it as the best part. What about the actual racing? What about the spectacular overtakes? The angle of lean that the bikes are cranked over to? This IS what racing is all about. Watching bikes slide down the track with the rider not far behind is not appealing. Watching a rider being catapulted 5 feet in the air via a highside is not appealing.
This DVD does not only cover road race crashes. It also shows motocross, supercross and speedway. Throughout the crashes there is Foggy and Heuwen making comment and laughing at other misfortunes. This is not my sort of viewing.
Following the crashes there is a 'red mist' section. This shows riders losing it and getting angry post crashes and race incidents and trying to take it out on other riders. It shows a few scuffles and one scene where a rider is caugt with a right hook square on the jaw by another rider. If I want to see this violence I would watch a boxing match or go down Prince Of Wales Road on a Friday night after pub kicking out time. It is not something I like to watch at home.
After the red mist section there is a section known as 'stunts'. As its name suggests it shows talented stunt riders, such as Gary Rothwell, doing what they do best. It also shows home footage of what I call hooligans performing wheelies, burnouts and the like on public roads. Don't get me wrong I like wheelies, I like speed and I like burnouts but I do have common sense. The tricks are fine in controlled environments but on the public road?
If you want to hurt yourself with doing tricks then that's fine. But when you're putting the general public in danger then that is another story altogether. This is where the line is drawn and should not be crossed. If I ever injured someone doing a trick to show off then I would never ride again. Sure, I enjoy my bike but there is a time and a place for everything.
I think this sort of DVD puts a 'it's OK to perform these tricks on the public roads' message. This is wrong. Again, I don't want to see people pulling wheelies on mopeds or doing doughnuts on goldwings etc. It doesn't interest me.
After the stunts there are a few more crashes and then the end of the DVD. At this point I was relieved it was over and a bit peeved that I had just wasted over an hour watching such tripe.
This DVD had the potential to be good, probably very good. If it portrayed the real Foggy (like the book does), and combined interviews from team managers, team mates, old rivals, his family etc, and then the classic video footage it would have been fantastic. Maybe I should be a director!
If you are someone that likes to watch crashes, mindless hooligans performing dangerous stunts on the public highway, punch ups and a little bit of classic racing then this DVD is for you.
If, like me, you like to get under the skin of an individual and find out what makes them tick and what gives them the passion, motivation, drive and edge to be the best in the world then this DVD is not for you. I would recommend that you stick to the book.
I also note that there is a Hell for Leather 2 USA. This is one DVD I definitely will not be watching.