A former MotoGP champion paralysed from the chest down has ridden his world championship winning bike.
Wayne Rainey won the 500cc world championship (now MotoGP) three times in a row from 1990-1992, and was leading in 1993 when he was paralysed in a crash at the Italian Grand Prix.
For the first time in 29 years, Rainey rode his 1992 winning Yamaha YZR500 in a demonstration at the Goodwood Festival of Speed in southern England. He was accompanied on this ride with former team boss Kenny Roberts, and later in the weekend will ride with Aussie Mick Doohan and former arch-rival Kevin Schwantz.
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Rainey’s legs were strapped to the bike, while a crew member put the bike into first gear. Rainey then completed the short demonstration without needing to shift out of first gear.
Prior to the run, Rainey said he didn’t think he’d ever get the chance to “throw a leg over a Grand Prix bike again”.
“Kenny played a major role in my racing career and my life so having him with us at Goodwood is going to make an incredible experience even more so,” he said.
“And many fans know Mick and Kevin were a couple of my greatest rivals during my Grand Prix career, and it means so much to me that they are making the trip to the Festival of Speed for what will be a very special time.”
The festival will run until Monday morning (AEST) and is livestreamed on the event’s Youtube channel.
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