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To celebrate the 25th anniversary of the collaboration of the FIM, IRTA, MSMA and Dorna, Kenny Roberts & Kenny Roberts Jr. talk racing.
MotoGP™ Legend and triple 500cc World Champion (1978, 1979, 19870) Kenny Roberts played a major part in the development of the World Championship, as we know it today. Not only by becoming the first American World Champion and going on to inspire a whole generation of future stars or buy his revolutionary dirt track riding style that allowed him to get the most out of the vicious 500cc two stroke machines of the time, but also by his time spent as a team manager and for the part he played in bringing in major safety innovations in to the sport.
Twenty years after his dads last title, Kenny Roberts Jr. would go on to lift the 2000 500cc World Championship, making the Roberts’ the only father and son to have ever gone on to become World Champions. Kenny Roberts Sr. explained though, that when his son first suggested he wanted to follow in his footsteps, he wasn’t best pleased: “When he was three years old he was racing a little dirt bike, which was fine because its slow and safe, and he was winning. He said to me, ‘I want to road race!’ I said to him, ‘Ah yeah, that’s another problem. I’ll talk to you when I get home.’ ”
“So when I came home I explained to him, no matter what you are going to do, you will never be as good as me. Because people will always say, ‘You are not as good as your dad!’ That’s just normal. I said if you can accept that, then I will let you race…as long as you do everything I tell you to!”
On his triumph in 2000 Roberts Jr. said: “It took some time to achieve, but in the end we did it. Being a World Champion for Dorna is special, whether it’s ten or one!” To which his dad responded, “Yeah but everyone said the same thing like I told him, ‘You are not as good as your dad!’ He won the World Championship, especially with that kind of pressure on your shoulders, so he probably did more than I did!”
4 years ago