Race Across The Great Divide celebrates the decade that saw Australia emerge from a motorcycling backwater to become the epicentre of some of the most successful two-wheel talent the world has ever seen.

Featuring 330 photographs over 320 pages, the coffee table book explores motorcycling’s spread across the regions in the 1970s that inspired a new generation of rural racers to take on the world in numbers never seen before.

The foreword is written by Australia’s first world 500cc champion, Wayne Gardner.

Gardner emerged from Wollongong’s minibike scene in 1974 to capture motorcycle racing’s most coveted crown just over a decade later.

“It might be a cliché, but the 70s was the Golden Age of motorcycle racing and I will never forget it,” he says.

“It was an amazing time with bikes and racing all over Australia, and I’m so fortunate and proud to have been part of it.

“It is interesting that I was the first Australian world champion to come from a regional centre, because just about every Australian-born world motorcycle champion since has emerged from a similar background,” he adds.

Written by Don Cox and Darryl Flack, Race Across The Great Divide is rich in anecdotes with 330 unpublished and classic images, bringing to life the Easter Bathurst races, Castrol Six-Hour, Laverton TT, New Zealand’s Marlboro Series, and many races in between.

Part road trip, part reflection on the Golden Age of motorcycle racing, the book is also a celebration of the most iconic era of Aussie and Kiwi racing through its colourful characters and the victories that made them legends.

They range from Ron Toombs, Bill Horsman and Bryan Hindle to Geoff Perry, Warren Willing, Gregg Hansford, Ken Blake, Kim Newcombe, Murray Sayle, Peggy Hyde, John Woodley, Stu Avant, Graeme Crosby, Rick Perry, Ray Quincey and Ron Boulden.

Due for release in early November 2018 (just in time for Christmas), Race Across The Great Divide is distributed by Bellbird Publishing. For more details, or to pre-order the book, visit www.bellbirdpublishing.net

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McKay

Peter McKay started in journalism writing about rock music, then motor sport, before easing into general motoring at a Holden Sunbird launch in 1976. Not a great start. But went on to edit Motor magazine ever-so-briefly before starting an unbroken freelance career in 1981, around the time of his first of seven Bathurst 1000 starts. Byline has lobbed in Wheels, Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, Sun-Herald, Sunday Telegraph, The Australian, Top Gear, Australian Penthouse, Motor Trend, F1 Racing, Men’s Health, Inside Sport. Still admits he prefers driving cars to dissecting them.