Roger Harvey: A Life of Motocross

England’s Roger Harvey (HRC Advisor for MXGP) isn’t just one of the most experienced people inside the MXGP paddock, but he is also one of the most popular. Starting as a racer in the 1960’s, winning a British Motocross Championship and representing his country at the Motocross of Nations, Harvey then moved into team management both in road racing and motocross. A life of being involved in the sport.

It is looking very likely that the always smiling and friendly Harvey will hang up his boots in 2021 and leave a sport that has given him so much. A good friend, and somebody who always seems to be in a good mood, we caught up with his and asked him a few questions about his final year in the sport.

“I am going to miss it that is for sure,” Harvey said. “I won’t miss the travelling; I have been doing it for a lot of years. I still enjoy the racing side and being involved, and I have always enjoyed it. I loved being a racer and nothing replaces that, but to work with some of the best in the sport, that is interesting and fun. The excitement the buzz and when you are the rider, that is where you get the buzz and that goes to some extent when you stop racing.”

Despite racing for three decades, the time to quit came rather quickly as a massive accident in France saw Harvey forced out of racing.

“I never thought I would stop racing, but in 1985 I had a big crash and broke both my hips and laying in the hospital, I thought maybe I needed to get a real job. I asked the doctor when I can race again, and he wasn’t very positive about that, so that was it really.”

The highlight of his post-racing career actually came when he moved to Honda Europe and eventually HRC. Championships and GP victories came thick and fast for the red machines and Harvey was a major part of making sure Tim Gajser got what he needed from Japan.

“I think working with HRC, that has been a highlight. When we moved from Honda Europe to HRC, and we had the three-year plan to win and beat KTM for GPs and championships. That has been successful, and it has been the hardest and best times of my non-racing career.”

And the relationship between the old veteran and the young lion in Tim Gajser has been something that Harvey has enjoyed more than any part of his non-racing career. The man with so much experience watching this young Slovenian challenge the world and come up a winner has been very enjoyable for Harvey.

“The biggest satisfaction I have gotten out of it in recent years are the World championships with Tim and HRC. Honda hadn’t won many from 2000 until recently and he has four, and that has been pretty amazing to be a part of. Tim is such a good kid, a lovely kid and I think that is what I will go away thinking, that that was good.”

So, if you get the chance to see the white-haired man with a big smile and a cheeky laugh, then get on over to the HRC tent and say goodbye, to somebody who gave his whole adult life to the sport so many of us love.

 

Photo Copyright: Bavo Swijgers

Author: 
Geoff Meyer

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