This week in...

Yamaha un­leashed the OW01 as WSB took off, and Britain was rocked by Keg­worth 737 dis­as­ter

Motorcycle News (UK) - - This Week -

1989: Sch­wantz, speed­way and new Du­cati Paso

The coun­try was still reel­ing from the Keg­worth air dis­as­ter – when a 737 crashed into the M1 as it tried to make an emer­gency land­ing at East Mid­lands Air­port. Of the 126 peo­ple on board, 47 died.

Mar­garet Thatcher was cel­e­brat­ing her tenth year as Prime Min­is­ter, and World Su­per­bikes was be­gin­ning to gain mo­men­tum. In its first year, Amer­i­can Fred Merkel took the ti­tle, but a cer­tain Mr Michael Doohan had also caused a bit of a stir with three wild­card wins aboard a Yamaha. Merkel would win the WSB ti­tle again in 1989.

Yamaha’s OW01 had caused a stir in ’89 and would go on to win many WSB races... but no ti­tles. Honda’s RC30 ruled the roost un­til Du­cati started to take over with its big V-twins.

Doohan signed for Honda in 500 GPS for 1990 and would go on to fin­ish the sea­son ninth, be­hind Britain’s Niall Macken­zie in sev­enth and Ron Haslam in eighth. Macken­zie had a fac­tory Marl­boro Yamaha and Haslam a works Pepsi Suzuki.

‘Win­ning the Suzuka GP in 1988 gave Suzuki con­fi­dence they shouldn’t have had and put a lot of pres­sure on me’ KEVIN SCH­WANTZ

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