New to motogp.com?Register here

Tickets purchase
VideoPass purchase

Laguna honours legendary Rainey

Laguna honours legendary Rainey

MotoGP Legend Wayne Rainey became an official ‘Legend of Laguna Seca' today at the scene of this weekend's Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix, as Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca's 50th anniversary celebrations continue.

MotoGP Legend Wayne Rainey became an official ‘Legend of Laguna Seca' yesterday at the scene of this weekend's Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix, as Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca's 50th anniversary celebrations continue.

Rainey was inducted as a MotoGP Legend at Donington Park in 2000 and has now been acknowledged by his home track as they saluted the man who reigned supreme in the premier class during one of its most intensely competitive eras.

Rainey spent his entire Grand Prix career with Yamaha, riding his YZR500 to the 1990, 1991 and 1992 500cc World Championships and defeating such well-known and talented fellow former dirt track heroes from the USA and Australia as Mick Doohan, Kevin Schwantz, Eddie Lawson, Wayne Gardner and John Kocinski.

The American star won 24 500cc Grands Prix and amassed 64 podium finishes between 1988 and late 1993, when his racing career was prematurely ended by an accident which left him paralysed from the chest down. Rainey is credited as being one of the driving forces behind GP racing's rapid development in modern era, as he took commitment, professionalism, the use of technology and riding technique to new levels.

The Californian's record at Laguna Seca in particular was formidable, with three consecutive U.S. Grand Prix wins between 1989 and 1991, in addition to 1983 and 1986 AMA Superbike Championship victories.

Following his riding career Rainey moved into team management, fronting Yamaha's factory team for several years and he also played an instrumental part in helping to bring the MotoGP World Championship back to California for the Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix.

Turn nine at Laguna was named the Rainey Curve in his honour in 1995 and he was also inducted into the International Motorsports Hall of Fame in April 2007. Following his induction ceremony today as one of the ‘Legends of Laguna Seca' a permanent walk of fame tribute is planned for the Corkscrew area track later this year.

Tags:
MotoGP, 2007, RED BULL U.S. GRAND PRIX

Other updates you may be interested in ›