My Interview with Dave Despain
by far the most recognized personality in motor-sports journalism. As a kid, this man's voice was piped into my house as my dad and older brother watched virtually any coverage of motorcycle racing.
Over the last 50 years, this voice has interviewed every single one of the titans of motorsports racing -
From ABC's Wide World of Sports, to
, Speed and
, my sit down with Dave Despain offers a unique insight on how he got started and his career highlights. Click
to see the interview on MAVTV.
There I was just hanging out and telling stories at the 2014
, a big yearly gathering of fellow off-road enthusiasts, when I thought I saw Dave Despain. I didn't think it could really be THE Dave Despain, but then it hit me - yes, it really was him. He actually agreed to sit down with me and share his career and motorcycle riding experience.
How Did You Get Started?
I started with asking Despain a simple question: “How did you get started in the motorcycle industry?”
“I wanted to be a racer,” explained Despain. “All I lacked was the talent, courage and stature. Of course I was too big to be a motorcycle racer.”
He soon found his motorcycle racing niché, which was announcing it. “In 1972 I ended up with a job at the
writing press releases and covering the sport. This is how I got into the sport,” Despain said.
The 1975 Daytona 200 was Despain’s first on air experience. He recalls, “
needed an expert analyst and I was given the opportunity to tell the world why they should come to the
. This was easy for Despain, he knew the sport and he had a burning passion for it.
Despain had the opportunity to interview
. Gordon was just starting his career but Dave had a feeling he was going to become someone special.
After that interview came an interview with Kenny Roberts.
was another great interview I will never forget. I interviewed Kenny at 17 and he was a tough interview, he didn’t really talk much,” Despain said.
I asked Dave what had been the ride of his life. Despain responded, “That is really tough. The last dirt track race that I rode at Sedalia, Missouri, I had gone there and spectated as a kid. The fore mentioned
was the team I watched at the racetrack.
was the man on the mile races, that was a huge thrill for me,” Despain explained. “To get to race on that race track, was pretty hot stuff.”
I learned that David Despain has had a life full of powerful moments and fantastic memories. Not only is Despain a world-class journalist, he is a true off-road/motorcycle enthusiasts.