peteg's blog - noise - movies - 2018 09 10 Wayne


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At The Ritz, 18:10, Cinema 2, $10. Two blokes and me I think. Very few sessions, and this was the only one I could make on a work day.

This film by Jeremy Sims documents Wayne Gardner's rise from racing dirtbikes near Wollongong to winning the Moto GP in 1987. It showcases the height of Australiana in the 1980s, specifically the Bicentennial in 1988, and the shysters and sportcasters of the day. Taking up more than a third of the story is his girlfriend, later wife, later good-friend ex Donna Fraser.

I didn't and don't know enough about the Moto GP to understand what he was riding when (there is some early talk of 250cc and 500cc classes, and the smaller three-cylinder bikes being far easier to ride than the monstrous fours) but it's clear from the footage that the bike Honda supplied him with in 1988 was not up to scratch. The way they concurrently hired his arch-rival Eddie Lawson has got to make you wonder. Some time is spent on the construction of the Australian GP at Phillip Island. Most of the interviews are gold. Casey Stoner is a notable absentee (and a fellow victim of Honda engineering?).

Afterwards I aimed for Jack's Pizza on Coogee Bay road, but he's decided to retire from Mondays, so I ended up at the North Indian Diner closer to the beach.

Paul Byrnes.