MotoGP legend Rainey to ride 500cc bike for first time since life-changing crash

The MotoGP legend suffered life-changing injuries in 1993 when he crashed during a race at Misano, which ended his career and left him paralysed from the waist down.

Rainey won three 500cc titles between 1990 and 1992 for Yamaha, and went on to manage a team for the Japanese marque before retiring in 1998.

Since 2015 he has been the president of MotoAmerica, which has helped revive the AMA Superbike scene in the United States.

SPECIAL FEATURE: How Sir Frank Williams helped a MotoGP legend after his own life-changing accident 

Rainey will make his first appearance at the Festival of Speed this June and will ride one of his grand prix bikes for the first time since his accident – which will be modified around his injuries – up the famous hillclimb.

“I’m incredibly excited to not only be attending my first Goodwood Festival of Speed this summer, but to be riding my 1992 Yamaha YZR500 up the famous hillclimb,” Rainey said.

“It’s truly a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and one that I just couldn’t pass up.

“I want to thank the Yamaha Motor Company for preparing my 1992 YZR500 and adapting it for me to ride, MotoAmerica for helping make the entire project fly, and The Duke of Richmond for really making this a reality.

“I can’t wait to meet the fans who come from all over the world for the Goodwood Festival of Speed.”

Wayne Rainey and Loris Capirossi, Yamaha

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

Yamaha MotoGP boss Lin Jarvis added that Rainey riding his 1992 YZR500 is something he “never imagined could be possible”.

“The Goodwood Festival of Speed is an amazing event that is a showcase for two and four-wheel motorsports legends – both human and mechanical,” Jarvis added.

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“Wayne Rainey is a true motorcycle racing legend who achieved three 500cc world titles with Yamaha before his career-ending accident and injury.

“The thought of Wayne riding the legendary 1992 Factory YZR500 bike that he rode to his final championship victory is something truly amazing that I for one never imagined could be possible.

“I know it will mean so much to Wayne, and it will be something truly special for all the fans at Goodwood and all around the world. We are proud to be able to support Wayne make his dream come true.”

Rainey rode a modified Yamaha street bike at Willow Springs back in 2019, marking his first ride on a motorcycle in 26 years since his accident.


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