Minichamps MIN122976101 1997 Honda NSR 500 Team Repsol Honda GP Motorcycle - Mick Doohan (1:12 Scale)
"Mick Doohan had a different riding style from me. He didn't use so much corner speed, so he had less of a problem with settings. He used to slide and go, like a real 500 rider. I think I'm now quite good on 500s, but I've seen some of Mick's data readouts and, *#!@, he was very fast! It was him that made the difference, not the bike."
- Valentino Rossi
Born on June 4th, 1965, Michael "Mick" Doohan is an Australian former Grand Prix motorcycle road racing World Champion. He won five 500cc World Championships, and ranks behind Giacomo Agostini and Valentino Rossi in total number of championships won.
Originally from the Gold Coast, near Brisbane, Doohan made his Grand Prix debut for Honda on a 500cc motorcycle in 1989. In 1991, he was paired with Wayne Gardner on a Honda RVF750 superbike and won the Suzuka 8 Hours endurance race. Doohan competed successfully throughout the early 1990s until a serious crash in 1992 at Assen, in the Netherlands. He suffered permanent serious damage to his right leg due to medical complications and, at one stage, risked amputation of the leg. At the time, Doohan was 65 points in the lead of the championship, but could not compete for eight weeks after the crash. After an arduous recovery, Doohan returned to racing for the final two races but could not prevent Yamaha rider Wayne Rainey from winning his third consecutive title.
Throughout 1993 he struggled to regain fitness and the ability to race the Honda at elite level. However in 1994 he won his first 500cc World Championship. From then until 1998 he dominated the class, winning five consecutive 500cc World Championships. In 1997, his most successful year, Doohan won 12 out of 15 races, finishing second in the other three.
Despite up to eight rivals on almost identical Honda motorcycles Doohan's margin of superiority over them was such that in many races Doohan would build a comfortable lead and then ride well within his limits to cruise to victory. Although pure riding skill clearly played a large part in his success, his ability to perfect the suspension and geometry of a racing motorcycle gave him an enormous advantage over his rivals, even though other Honda riders (particularly Doohan's teammates) benefited somewhat from his ability to perfect the bike's handling. It is generally accepted that his development of the Honda throughout the 1990s helped the company to dominate racing for many years. At the time of Doohan's retirement, the Honda had developed into a much better handling machine than it had ever been previously.
Pictured here is a 1:12 scale replica of a 1997 Honda NSR 500 Team Repsol Honda GP Motorcycle driven by Mick Doohan. Comes with a kickstand and a handsome presentation case.
Length: 7 inches
Height: 3.5 inches
Release Date: July 2008
Historical Account: "Accident Prone" - One notable trait of Doohan's post-crash riding style was the use of a hand-operated rear brake, which he operated by a "nudge" bar on the left handlebar. Some commentators have argued that this technique offered Doohan an additional advantage in rear brake control, though there was nothing to stop other riders from trying it (and some did).
In 1999, Doohan had another accident, this time while qualifying. Once again he broke his leg and subsequently announced his retirement from racing. He was somewhat unlucky, as his accident rate was far lower than many competitors.
For all his time in 500cc class his chief engineer was Jeremy Burgess, who after his retirement became Rossi's chief engineer. After his retirement, he worked as a roving adviser to Honda's Grand Prix race effort. At the conclusion of the 2004 season, Doohan and Honda parted company.