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Author Topic: Wayne Rainey: Circuit Of The Americas Update  (Read 519 times)

Offline GreenMachine

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Wayne Rainey: Circuit Of The Americas Update
« on: April 06, 2015, 07:09:47 pm »
Made me think of some of you guys going for it in AFM.

We feel every class is going to have a headline grabber. He could be a current guy that we think is going to dominate Superbike or one of the new riders who is moving up from a 600 into Superstock 1000 and competitive against factory Superbike riders—like Dane Westby and Jake Gagne were at the test.

I made a similar transition in 1981. I was riding Kawasaki GPz550s and 750s in AFM club racing, and I was offered a ride on a two-stroke 250cc Kawasaki at Loudon, New Hampshire. Back then they had a 250cc Novice class. That was the first time I rode a two-stroke competitively, and I won the race, which was held in the rain, probably because of my dirt-track background; I felt comfortable riding that bike in wet conditions.

That performance got the attention of Gary Mathers at Kawasaki, and he signed me to a contract the next day. There’s no reason that can’t happen to these guys. With a good result at the right time, they could have the same career that I had.

Superbike was a big jump for me. At the end of 1981, I went to Daytona for a pro-am race. Eddie Lawson was down there along with Wes Cooley and Mike Baldwin, I believe. I didn’t have a license to race in Superbike, so I rode the amateur portion of the race. I remember rolling around the banks on that 1000cc Kawasaki, and the faster that big Superbike went, the tighter I held on to the handlebars and the more that thing shook its head. Coming on to the main straight, it almost bucked me off. One of my mechanics finally told me, “Why don’t you just let go of the handlebars a little bit? It probably won’t shake its head so bad.” I went out there and did that, and he was absolutely correct.
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