ED­DIE LAW­SON FRED­DIE SPENCER RANDY MAMOLA 1984-1985

Classic Racer - - PEOPLE -

The three Amer­i­cans dom­i­nated the podium for two sea­sons, with Law­son and Spencer ul­ti­mately dis­put­ing the ti­tle on their Marl­boro Yamaha and Roth­mans Honda mounts re­spec­tively. While Spencer had won in 1983, Law­son had used the sea­son very much as a learn­ing year, as he got used to both the Euro­pean cir­cuits and the trav­el­ling, and was ready to chal­lenge in 1984, es­pe­cially as he was now Yamaha’s main rider. Spencer was given an all-new and rev­o­lu­tion­ary NSR500 Honda for 1984, with the ex­haust pipes be­neath a dummy petrol tank and the fuel at the bot­tom of the bike, but the de­sign was ul­ti­mately flawed and his year got off to a dis­as­trous start as he crashed in prac­tice for the open­ing South African GP, when the car­bon-fi­bre rear wheel col­lapsed. Law­son took full ad­van­tage and never looked back, liv­ing up to his nick­name of ‘Steady Ed­die’ as he racked up the points with first-and sec­ond-place fin­ishes. Spencer won races but fur­ther crashes at Don­ing­ton Park and La­guna Seca meant he ended the year in fourth over­all. For 1985, Honda re­verted to a more con­ven­tional de­sign and Spencer dom­i­nated, not just the 500cc class but the 250cc too, win­ning no less than 14 races dur­ing the sea­son, as he be­came the first rider to win both classes in the same sea­son. Law­son had to set­tle for sec­ond. Mamola had started 1984 without a ride af­ter leav­ing Suzuki but he man­aged to lease a pri­va­teer NS Honda be­fore join­ing the fac­tory Roth­mans team in 1985, and al­though he didn’t quite have enough to beat Law­son and Spencer on a reg­u­lar ba­sis, he was al­ways there or there­abouts as he fin­ished sec­ond over­all again in 1984.

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