The majesty of Wayne Rainey.
Wayne rainey is a legend. In a time of greats he was the greatest. he dominated 500cc GP racing for years almost from his first race in 1988 on a Yamaha YZR500 through to his career-ending crash at Misano in 1993 where he was left paralysed from the chest down. In between was a fierce rivalry with countryman Kevin schwantz and the ability to take three world titles against not only schwantz, but riders such as Eddie Lawson, Wayne Gardner, Mick doohan, John Kocinski, Kevin Magee and our own Niall Mackenzie. this shot shows Wayne at spa, in Belgium. he says: “In 1990 in spa you would go from the racing part of the track back onto the public road and it was raining so hard that the dips in the road from made from heavy trucks would be wet and I would go across them with the bike going ‘whaaa-whaaa-whaaa’ hydroplaning – you’d be dancing across the water in sixth gear at 170mph. “It was perfect. sometimes you and the bike would have such confidence and it would almost be scary. You could maybe lose the bike at any time: but I looked forward to that part of every lap at spa that year.” After a shaky start in the class in 1988, Wayne won at donington Park that year. he says: “I knew that was the only place to be – on top. I guess it was still good for me to get thirds or seconds in my rookie season, but taking a win meant more later in my career. When I dominated racing, not winning was bad. “If there was a chink in my armour it was that – especially against Kevin. so, if I could change one thing it would be to accept being beaten.” things changed after Wayne’s first world title in 1990. he says: “After that title there was a maturity that came with it. I didn’t need to focus on Kevin, nor he focus on me. Everyone out there knew I was going to be up there come race day – wherever I qualified. Knowing that made me feel good, I enjoyed the battle but lining up for the race was what I loved to do.”
Wayne Rainey World 500cc champ:1990-1992.