April 13, 1996 |
Driving a Toyota Celica GT at 70 mph in a celebrity race isn't quite like racing a high-strung Yamaha 180 mph on a twisting world championship Grand Prix motorcycle road course, but for Wayne Rainey, it's a worthy challenge. "You should have seen his eyes light up when he got into his uniform and pulled his helmet on," said Rainey's father, Sandy, as the three-time world champion prepared to practice for today's Toyota Pro-Celebrity race as part of the Long Beach Grand Prix.
September 7, 1994 |
Crumpled face down in a sand pit at the Misano racing circuit after crashing, tumbling and cartwheeling at 130 m.p.h. in the Italian Grand Prix last September, Wayne Rainey thought he was dying. He heard the roar of motorcycles racing only a few yards away and thought they were going to run over him. He tried to get up. He couldn't. In 24 years of racing, Rainey had fallen many times, but only once before had he been unable to move his legs.
September 12, 1993 |
Since the day Kevin Schwantz moved up to Grand Prix motorcycle road racing in 1986, he has dreamed of being world champion. Now he has it, but it came with mixed emotions. Schwantz, 29, clinched the championship when his nearest rival, three-time defending champion Wayne Rainey, crashed and suffered a broken back, leaving him paralyzed from the chest down, in last Sunday's Italian Grand Prix.
September 7, 1993 |
Sunday was to have been a homecoming for Wayne Rainey. The three-time world motorcycle road racing champion from Downey moved his family into a new home in the hills above Carmel Valley last March. From the 2 1/2-acre estate, he could look down on Laguna Seca Raceway, where Sunday he expected to be riding in a world championship Grand Prix he had won three times. Now things are on hold.
September 6, 1993 |
Wayne Rainey of Downey, three-time defending world motorcycle road-racing champion, suffered a serious back injury Sunday after taking a bad spill during the Italian Motorcycle Grand Prix. Rainey, 32, skidded off a bend exiting turn 1 on the ninth lap while leading on his Yamaha at the Santamonica track. He landed heavily, his bike hitting him as he slid.
March 27, 1993 |
An international motorsports wall calendar for 1993, featuring Grand Prix motorcycles, has a picture of Wayne Rainey on its February page. Under it, the caption reads: "Injuries ended Wayne Rainey's chances of winning a third 500cc World Championship with the Team Marlboro Roberts Yamaha YZR5." Rainey did win it, but the caption writer could almost be excused for his error.