It took 26 long years, but three-time MotoGP (500 cc) World Champion and Daytona 200 winner Wayne Rainey has taken to the track again. Paralyzed from the chest down, Rainey has been forced into a wheelchair since his crash at the Italian Grand Prix in Misano.
But it’s difficult to keep a champion down and Rainey decided to take to the track once again. Yamaha adapted a street-legal stock Yamaha R1 to accommodate Wayne’s injuries.
Yamaha made the bike track day ready by removing mirrors etc. and made some other changes. A special seat was made to ensure that he stayed on the bike. A quick shifter was adapted to thumb control on the left grip. A special footpeg/clip combination was installed to keep his feet attached to the bike. Other than those changes, the bike was stock. MotoAmerica recorded all the action.
When Rainey first mounted the machine, he was a bit uneasy. By the time he went out for his second session, Wayne let it rip. Asked if he would do it again, Rainey says he will definitely do it again at an event in Suzuka. Congratulations Wayne Rainey, you’re a World Champion and you proved you are still a champion.