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Three American Kings: Rainey, Lawson and Spencer

Three American Kings: Rainey, Lawson and Spencer

Three American Kings: Rainey, Lawson and Spencer

In the week when many will be talking about the Three Wise Men, we take the chance to look back on three real legends of motorcycle racing who made history for Honda. Although it was Kenny Roberts who was given the title of ‘King Kenny', there are three compatriots of the three-time World Champion who are equally deserving of the ´royal´ monicker; Eddie Lawson, Wayne Rainey and Freddie Spencer.

The three legendary riders were reunited again this year, although it was Lawson who was the real star of the show at the celebrations to mark the return of Grand Prix racing to America at the Red Bull GP at Laguna Seca. The four-time 500cc World Champion was inducted into the ‘Hall of Fame' - only the 17th man to be afforded that tribute – where he joins the already honoured Spencer and Rainey.

During his fantastic career, Lawson managed to win four world titles in 1984, 86, 88 and 89, the first three with Yamaha and the final one with Honda. He racked up a total of 31 GP wins and 78 podium finishes. Freddie Spencer burst on to the MotoGP scene in 1982 and finished third overall in the 500cc category. A year later he won Honda the half-litre class crown and, at the age of just 21, became the youngest ever 500cc World Champion after a memorable battle with Kenny Roberts that has gone down in motorcycling folklore.

In 1985 he won both the 250cc and 500cc world titles, the only man ever to achieve the feat, before he retired from the sport in 1987.

Wayne Rainey won three world titles at the start of the 1990s. The Californian rider dominated the 500cc scene, taking the title in 1990, 91 and 92 on board a Yamaha before a serious injury suffered at the 1993 Italian GP forced him to retire. The battles between Schwantz, Rainey, Lawson and Doohan marked an unforgettable era for the sport, and in these videos you can relive action from the careers of three truly exceptional riders.

Tags:
MotoGP, 2006

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