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SBK, Freddie Spencer: "devastated by Mike Velasco's passing"

One of the greatest mechanic-tuners of the golden age of U.S.-made Superbike passed away

SBK: Freddie Spencer:

In recent days Mike Velasco passed away. Dean Adams of Superbikeplanet gave us the news.
Velasco was one of America's best-known mechanic-preparers and worked side by side with superbike champions such as Freddie Spencer who, today issued the following statement.

I’m devastated by the passing of Mike Velasco today!

It was my privilege to race the bikes Mike prepared for me!
This is who Mike was for me and what his essence was:

Friday afternoon March 1981, Daytona 100 mile superbike race!
My bike caught fire (I was leading) when we restarted after the pit stop (during refueling) some fuel leaked out of the tank onto the carburator and the engine backfired and poof!

Mike was reaching in to wipe the excess fuel when it ignited…
Mike didn’t hesitated or run and never stopped trying to help me. He reached in to try and rub out the flash fire.
I jumped off and kept a hold of the left bar and Mike grabbed the right so the bike didn’t fall over and get damaged!

I jumped back on as Mike pushed me and it immediately restarted.

I lost the lead but finished second and almost caught back up to win… In that moment it was the two of us that kept me going. Team work and I always felt safe with Mike and trusted him and his judgement without question! Even when we both finished the day with less eyebrows….

After that episode we won four straight years at Daytona, three superbike wins and the 1985 Daytona 200.

Thank you my friend! I will miss you and everyone will miss the legend that you are!

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