Interview: Natalie McFarlane – Motocross Memories
In part one of our interview with Natalie McFarlane we discussed Andrew’s Motocross career but in part two we’ve focused on some of her memories that stand out when she looks back to her time in the Motocross World.
If you missed part one, you can read it here.
Gatedrop: Natalie, let’s go way back. How and where did you and Andrew first meet? What sticks out from the first time you met him?
McFarlane: Andrew and I first met through a mutual friend at a Supercross. My step father, Barry Marshall used to take the photographs of the bikes so I used to go top the local events. After that night Andrew kept calling me everyday for about 3 months until I finally said yes to meeting him for our first date. He was very persistent and didn’t give up, even when I made him wait so long. What sticks out when I first met Andrew was his gorgeous smile but also that he had 2 broken wrists (poor thing). I remember we could talk for hours and hours and hours and we never ran out of things to say too one another. It was truly that rare cause of “Love at first sight. We were both infatuated with each other.
Gatedrop: How would you describe Andrew as a person?
McFarlane: I would describe Andrew as one of the kindest souls I have ever met. Andrew was always looking after me and making sure I was safe, happy and loved. The love he had for his daughter was indescribable, he was such a good Papa in every way. Andrew always had time for everyone that crossed his path. Even when he was in the zone walking to the gate to race and a fan asked for a signature he would happily sign his name and have a chat. He enjoyed helping younger kids that rode and would spend hours talking and giving them as much knowledge as he could. He was a Hero, a Champion, a good, good man and someone that a lot of people looked up too. He was cheeky and had the most infectious smile. I loved how much he made me laugh. We share the same birthday so we were very much alike.
Gatedrop: You travelled the world together, what countries that you visited did you enjoy the most and why?
McFarlane: Yes, how lucky to travel the world together doing what you love. I miss those years more than anything. We loved Italy, the people and the food, oh and the wine, Italian wine is THE BEST. South Africa was fun to see with all the animals and culture. Switzerland was so pretty and Sweden. Coming from Australia every country was so different so we really enjoyed experiencing all the different cultures. We obviously had good and bad experiences all over but as a whole was the most amazing time of our lives.
Gatedrop: When you look back to the time you spent in the Motocross world, what memories/funny moments stand out?
McFarlane: What I remember most about Europe and our time there are the people. The people we met treated us like family and I can honestly say they have the most amazing souls and they just loved Andrew and I and I feel so, so, so, lucky to have them in our lives. I am just sad Europe is so far away to visit as I miss them all so much. The food, the culture, the races.
I remember our first trip to the south of France and we stopped on our little motor home for a nap, we had a beautiful Italian driver that the team gave us Paolo. Anyway we started up driving again and stopped at the petrol station and Andrew went to pay and he said to me what have you done with my credit card and money (like I took it laughs) anyway. we went back to the motorhome and noticed the lock had been tampered with. We were then told we had been gassed and robbed. The Bandits stick a small tube in through the rubber of the window and gas you and then steal your money and credit cards. They put your wallet back and don’t mess with anything else so it looks like no one had broken in. This gives them time to use your credit card as like we did we drove for another 5 or so hours before realising. This was like our 2nd race in of the series. When we got to the track everyone then told us that oh yeah you never stop there that’s were the Bandits are. We truly felt like silly Aussies.
I remember having Italian dinners with a massive long table full of all the beautiful Rinaldi team and they all talking and laughing in Italian, Andrew and I didn’t know what they were saying but I remember we always laughed along with them and felt loved and felt a part of the conversation.
Going to the famous Rene and Angela’s for dinner was the most amazing memory. Angela’s cooking was the best I have tasted all over the world and the company from them, you couldn’t get any better. Gosh I love them with all my heart and miss them. Beautiful Best Friends.
In Sint Truiden spending time with so many beautiful friends and the many trips we took looking at the girls in the window in our Motorex car. We don’t have this kind of thing in Australia so was intriguing.
Travelling to a different country every weekend was definitely a highlight especially travelling in the motorhome, so many good times.
Definitely the crowds and die hard fans of motocross. I remember in Bulgaria Andrew gave his jersey to a little boy who would have only been about 10 years old and the boy started to cry. He couldn’t believe Andrew was giving him the jersey. Best feeling in the world to make someone’s year by such a small gesture.
In America I have so many memories of partying with Chad and Byrner and the gang. But as the saying goes “What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas” , Good Times. I cooked allot for the riders, they loved Natty’s cooking.
Interview: Andy McKinstry
Pics: Ray Archer Photo