Yamaha is celebrating its 65th anniversary, and all the greatest champions in its history have dedicated a video to the Iwata factory. Wayne Rainey is undoubtedly one of the symbols for the Japanese company, having won three 500 world titles in the golden age of American riders in the world championship. He beat riders like Lawson, Schwantz, Doohan, and only that darned Misano crash prevented him from continuing to succeed in the following years.
Rainey wanted to send his best wishes to Yamaha his own way, remembering the most significant moments spent together. And, it’s interesting to discover, that the American rider’s favorite memory does not concern one of his many triumphs on the track, as much as the spirit that existed in the pit lanes when things weren't exactly all a-okay.
"I started racing and using Yamaha bikes in the 70s, but I became a professional rider for Yamaha in 1984, when I used the TZ250. I raced for my entire Grand Prix career with Yamaha.
I’ve been very successful. I’ve won races and championships. But I think the best memory I have with Yamaha is when the races weren't going so well. Sometimes I wouldn’t qualify well, maybe I was in the second or third row. I remember that, on Sunday, we’d completely turn the bike inside out, but we wouldn't always find a solution.
Then the Japanese technicians, who were Sakurama and Nakajima, would come to my garage and look at the disassembled motorcycle. They’d do something and then would leave, and I knew it would work. Later, I’d line up on the grid, and I knew that with that Yamaha I could always get on the podium.
And we did it more than twenty times. Yamaha has always been there for me, it has always helped me find the right set-up. My heart will be always with Yamaha. They were always great with me throughout my career and even after my accident. They’ve been great even with MotoAmerica.
Happy anniversary, Yamaha."