New to motogp.com?Register here
When you talk about some of motorcycle racing’s all-time greats, a few names can crop up in conversation and this week’s MotoGP™ Podcast guest is certainly one of those: Kevin Schwantz.
The 1993 500cc World Champion sits down with the Last On The Brakes team to discuss all sorts of juicy topics, including the recognition he still receives from the likes of Valentino Rossi (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP), Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) and one of Suzuki’s current stars Alex Rins – to name a few. And away from Grand Prix racing, the likes of NASCAR’s Tony Stewart and IndyCar’s Dario Franchitti are two names that idolised the American as kids.
“To sit up on stage alongside the likes of Tony Stewart and Dario Franchitti, to be recognised alongside them and for the likes of Dario to tell stories about watching you race; I remember Dario said: “When I was a kid, I had a Kevin Schwantz poster hanging in my room!” That’s one of the things Tony Stewart said later that night was “Ah, Dario, now I know what’s wrong with you - I had a Linda Vaughan poster hanging in my room!” But to be recognised alongside motorsport heroes like them absolutely brings it to be…” recalls Schwantz.
“Any of the current guys, Rossi’s always said that I was who he idolised growing up and Dovi of course, who knows how fast he might be on his bike if he still had a 3-4 instead of an 0-4! Yeah, and Rins saying last year after being asked who he’d like to race on a 500, he said to me! To still be mentioned in some of the conversation with the generation out there right now is really special.”
Schwantz later discusses modern day rivalries, having just delved into his and Wayne Rainey’s much-talked-about rivalry. “They’re great for the sport and for the rider who’s getting the better of it, it’s great for him especially,” says Schwantz. “I think the Marquez - Dovi rivalry, as it comes to battles down to the last laps, maybe Dovi has a bit of the upper hand on him but overall, Marquez has championships and many, many more wins. Probably the most unique thing about motorsport that I see now is how little interaction there ever is amongst the riders.
“We used to race, the classic example, when we raced at Assen the race would finish on the Saturday afternoon, we’d go to their hospitality unit, have dinner and whatever and then as riders, we’d all stay in our motorhomes that night - long after the paddock had cleared. It was too late to go anywhere so we’d pick somebody’s motorhome and we’d go sit outside and have some beers! We’d have a bit of back and forth a bit about the race but at the end of it all, you’d see Lawson, myself, Rainey, Doohan and Gardner sitting down, having a drink together and ending up at a dinner somewhere... Jerez, the classic example, that restaurant outside the front gate, all the teams went there in 89 after Lawson won and there was the biggest food fight that we all got in trouble for!”