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On this day in 1988: Rainey takes first ever win

On this day in 1988: Rainey takes first ever win

On this day in 1988: Rainey takes first ever win

The 7th August is an historic date in the history of the MotoGP World Championship, as it was on this day in 1988 that the legendary Wayne Rainey took his first ever 500cc Grand Prix victory. Rainey's debut success at Donington Park went on to spawn three World Championship titles in what many regard as the golden era of the sport.

On a hot and busy day for the British Grand Prix, that had only moved to the East Midlands from Silverstone the year previously (1986 being the last event at the current F1 circuit, won by Honda's Wayne Gardner), Rainey faced tough opponents in the form of reigning champion Gardner, the Australian's arch-rival Eddie Lawson as well as the American's own nemesis - Suzuki's Kevin Schwantz.

Gardner had been struggling with the ill-handling NSR 500 that crew chief Jerry Burgess and his team dubbed ‘The Shark' as much for its bite as the angled lines of the fairing and couldn't match the Californian's speed around the British curves, the Honda seemingly ready to spit him off at every opportunity.

It was a close race in terms of on-track proximity but Rainey was largely untouchable, leading from the lights to the flag. Yamaha placed two riders inside the top three when Christian Sarron, who became the first Frenchman ever to win a 500cc race in at Hockenheim 1985 grabbed third spot.

Remember Wayne Rainey's glorious career by clicking on the video link at the top of the page.

MotoGP, 2004

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