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A Few Minutes with Eddie Lawson

16619 Views 21 Replies 19 Participants Last post by  staff
Great stuff Gabe...Good Questions... "I never did any of that stuff. We just rode." Love that...line.."Just seat time" right.... I agree Gabe there is more than that....he is so modest...The Hayden question was a good one..why aren't there more Americans in GP racing? I think we Americans are just to fat dumb and happy now and there is so much other stuff for kids to do X-Box, PlayStation, etc. Instead of taking your kid riding you buy him motoGP...Versus the Europeans kids who still use motorcycles and scooters for transportation. Just my crack pot theory. Lots of Aussies still around though not too much at the GP level..
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Thanks for that. I have always found Eddie to be one of the most personable champions. He doesn't have a "chip" on his shoulder. He just rides, and he is just another one of the guys.

Curious what he thought of the ZRX1200R.
Who's your multimedia Daddy !

17-minute audio file ! One MO' reason e-zines beat print mags. Thanks Gabe.
WOW!!I hate Kawi for taking away the T -Rex.Great interview.
That wasn't Kawasaki

Most experts blame that on a huge asteroid impact.

Now, the Z-Rex is another story.
Re: That wasn't Kawasaki

Hahahahaha !man ,you got me!
Americans have never been too concerned with motorcycle roadracing, although I would argue that even then, it's down from where it once was. Kids just wanna buy their sportbikes to go wheelie and sit around the lake trying to pick up chicks, not to get on the track and really learn how to ride. I am thankful that I can now look upon them with utter disdain, but by all means, let the squids keep buying and destroying them, thereby keeping those companies profitable and the new revisions coming.

It might also have something to do with the fact that a weekend of club racing, even in the lightweight class where you only go through one set of tires a weekend, costs about a grand. Not too many people are willing and able to blow a grand a month racing.
i wonder if having an american manufacturer who built racing bikes would do anyting for it? just throwing that out there...

with all the riders riding bikes not of their nationality, this might not be a good theory, but it couldn't help but generate some interest, eh?
Great surprise - nice interview with the champ. Lawson is a true champion and a positive role model on and off the track. Sports in general could use more Lawson's.
As I own a ZRX 1200-R, I've always tried to keep track of Eddie Lawson. I remember lawson's ELR back in my high school days. It was the bike everyone wanted. Since the ZRX has been out, Lawson has been affiliated with Yamaha. I'm guessing Lawson can't say to much about the ZRX either way.
Damn. Eddie gives good motorcycle, but he sure gives a pretty sorry interview. Just cuz you're famous (and a nice guy) doesn't mean that you're a good talker. Maybe y'all should hunt down other (more chatty) '80's GP stars...where's Freddie Spencer?
Rode one in Daytona, awesome bike!!!
Nice piece on Eddie Lawson. I've always been a big fan of his. Anybody know of a comprehensive biography of Eddie. It'd be nice to have a coffee table style book of his career.

Thanks, Steve
And now the reason we're not there in numbers...

This paucity of American riders is not a mystery to me. The Americans brought a revolution to the world road racing scene beginning with the end of the 60's. Here's why:

In the 1960's road racing here in the U.S. was an anomoly practiced mostly by a motly group of pub crawling anglophiles. They wore poridge pot helmets, black leathers, and stadium goggles. When they raced at small club events, their Goldstars, and Manxes, were all polished up. They had skinny Dunlop triangular tires and well polished alloy rims. They qued up neatly in the turns displaying little real speed.

Next scene: American dirt track races, beginning with amature scrambles events were everywhere: novice, junior, & expert events with 50,100,125,250, 350, 500 & open classes run at almost every event!

In AMA districts 36/37 where I grew up there was Halls Ranch, Fremont, Hayward, Salinus, San Jose, etc. You could race Friday, Saturday & Sunday. All those tracks are gone!

In the 1960's in order to win the AMA #1 plate, you had to compete at short track, TT, 1/2 mile, mile, and road races. American dirttracks were cut no quarter bullrings. Riding was fast ,intense. You could literally get rubber streaks up the back of your calf and left thigh, and along your rear l/h number plate as people behind tried to push you off the groove!

Scene 3: Regional road races in Californina: Orange County, Vacaville, Cotati, Sears Point, Laguna Seca. In order to learn how to road race the AMA dirt track boys showed up at these events - Colorful jerseys, high bars, linemans boots, square shouldered Dunlop K81's. The result: They kicked the a**es of the ..oh so proper.... real road racers. And in the process they learned how to really road race!

Remember the trans-atlantic series with England? There were not just a few of these guys! Steve Baker, Cal Rayborn, Don Castro, Dave Aldana, Mert Lawill, **** Mann, Kenny Roberts, Mark Breslford, Gene Romero, Don Emde, Jim Rice, these are just a few!

Not all of them became international stars, but they set the stage for the american road racing revolution that followed! The crucible of american dirt track gave them the ability to do things that no european had ever seen anybody do on a motorcyle before!

Barry Sheene came over to watch Ascot, just to see where in h*** these guys came from!

From the trans- atlantic series until now american riders stayed nearly supreme at this pinacle of motorcyle speed. The farm system that gave us those guys is long gone!

Racing is now specialized and you only get to be #1 in your particular venue. This is a shame, and unless we somehow return to racing basics, we will never again produce champions in the quantity we once did!

The nearest hope that I see is supermotard, but that is not in nearly the same numbers as our old weekend dirt tracks!
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Great rider and a good article,but what have the makeup people done to poor Eddie?They somehow turned him bright orange, and had me searching for a KTM logo.
"I'm a fair weather rider."

Interesting to me how few MotoGP guys are excited about street riding.

Hard to believe that these hard guys who spend their time WOT around a track are afraid of a little traffic!

Although I distinctly remember leaving my last track day thinking, "crap, I gotta be careful now. These people in cars can kill you."
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Top tier motorcycle racers are racers first, not motorcyclists. Few of them ride off track for pleasure. In fact many bottom tier racers don't ride on the street either. Racing is a totally different thing. It is competition which drives them.

A common element in motorcycling, racing and non racing ,is danger. Few racers and fewer non racers will admit to it but the lure of danger plays a part in why most of us ride. Lawson sees danger in a wet road and cannot even imagine someone choosing to ride on one. For him the pleasure of motorcycling has nothing to do with going down the road to get somewhere so the risk to him seems absurd. It's all about the competition. Being the best.

On the other hand for me to try and sqeeze major seconds off a lap times much less battle in a real race would offer little reward vs the danger. I'm just not very competitive.

The racing experience is worlds away from the street riding experience. So much so they are as I said two different things.
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Re: That wasn't Kawasaki

I believe the ZRX is still available--just not here in the U.S.
I've always liked reading about Eddie Lawson; some very good details in the Motocourse books per season and race. Would love to get my mitts on a tape of the '88 USGP....a great racer and seems like a very good person. Can't say that about most professional athletes.

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