Top positive review
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Great book for the MotoGP enthusiast.
on 6 December 2013
I'm a big Casey Stoner fan just so that's out in the open.
Pushing the Limits is pretty damn good. It's an incredibly fast book to read - I got through it over a few nights before bed - but it's somehow very informative in it's easy prose and succinct style. I learned a lot about the guy and the sport and how each affected the other.
As he tells his story from toddler to MotoGP champion you can see how his thoughts on this machine evolve over time. Think sausage: you might like the taste of it, but you don't necessarily want to see how it's made. I think for Casey, exposure to the making of MotoGP, the wheeling and dealing, the lies and half truths - the game if you will - didn't suit a guy who is of the "say what you do, and do what you say" persuasion.
One "small" aspect of this that sticks out to me are his thoughts on tires in the 2006 season - honestly I didn't know that the allocation could be so capricious. It backs up what Vale said about his tires in the last race, something that I sort of felt was an excuse, but that turns out was a definite issue - that the tires changed on, let us just say, whims. A guy who believes in honesty and following through with your word clearly would not be pleased in such a system.
He doesn't say too much about his teammates or other riders that he hasn't already said, but when he does elaborate, especially on Dani Pedrosa it's interesting. He mentions enough about his time at Ducati for his thoughts on the bike to be insightful though perhaps not definitive. Does he say why he could ride that bike to victory while others couldn't? Not outright but from the preceding chapters you learn that his whole career up to that point was spent on hand-me-down bikes with numerous issues that had to be ridden around - and winning on them. Take that as an explanation.
He does mention that after the 2007 season, Ducati chose not to fund real further development of the bike which clearly irked him. There's regret in his tone when he wonders what might have been had the majority in Ducati listened to him and spent the money to develop and further improve the bike. What's fascinating is that he really liked the Ducati on certain tracks MORE than his Honda.
I won't rehash the whole book but but suffice it to say, he goes into a lot, leaves out some, but overall it reads like a fair minded (positive) assessment. It's not like "What if I had never Tried It?" which was entertaining but comes off like an infomercial.
I really enjoyed the book and think anyone who has an interest in MotoGP, Stoner fan or not, would enjoy reading it.