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Freddie Spencer Honored in Detroit

4312 Views 3 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  marc
I don't think there's any doubt Freddie is one of the true legends in motorcycle racing. What's not always so obvious to the uninformed is how his incredible talent is combined with an unrivaled understanding of how a motorcycle works. Because of this, he has been incredibly important to the development of the motorcycle technology we enjoy today.

Some racers are simply phenomenally talented. They can ride a bike way beyond what is thought possible by most mortals. Often times, this talent isn't combined with an understanding of how it's possible -- a young phenom will just go out there and do it effortlessly and not really know how they're able to do it. Spencer, however, has a unique understanding of what the rider's actions are and how the bike responds, and why.

It's because of this ability that Spencer was able to help Honda develop systems on the bike like the front brakes and the front suspension that work with the rider's inputs to make precise riding work.

Looking at GP technology on bikes from the early eighties, it's amazing how far we've come. It's because of people like Freddie.

What's more, Freddie's still really active in contributing to the sport. Besides running his school and mentoring up and coming racers like Jason DeSalvo, he still attends most major races and appears on Speedvision. A lot of former world champions and other racers who've had a full career of racing and have retired are quite frankly tired of going to the track. It's a schedule that requires a horrendous amount of travel and as much as the fans enjoy their less frequent visits, year after year it seriously wears on the people who do it for a living. Still, Freddie finds the energy to do it because the sport is so much a part of him.

I 've heard people criticize Freddie for "staging comeback attempts." I think after the accomplishments he's had, he's got nothing to prove to anyone. Maybe some people think that if you've reached the point where winning everything isn't the most important thing to you, you should hang it up and never have anything to do with racing again. I would much rather see people who've achieved the highest levels of racing continue to contribute as much to the sport as Freddie.

I'd love to see Freddie out on the track again, especially in AMA. It's not about a comeback. He's still phenomenally quick and his ability is well beyond that of many competitors today. They could learn a lot from him, and they fans would love to see it.

-- a fan
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I met Freddie Spencer at the AMA nationals one year when he was broadcasting. He spent about a half hour talking to me and my friends about the old days and the new days about the sport of motorcycle roadracing. What a guy! He was very affable and willing to answer all of our questions and even asked us some. He posed for a bunch of pictures with us and then said he had to go back to work. He then shook all of our hands and wished us a good weekend at the races. Congrats, Freddie!

Wow, what an eloquent and interesting post "streetlegal". Very well written! Props are due to one of bike racing's most special people, and it's good to see it happening.

I've also found Freddie is very personable (posed for pics at Daytona), and an outstanding communicator as well. When you think of the contrast to some of today's top riders who clearly display obvious attitudes and star trips, it makes you appreciate Freddie all the more. I wish for the sake of the sport there was someone else out there like him today...
i had few heroes as i grew up. when i got into riding motorcycles, i also became aware of the racers, the guys who went fast. when i saw agostini ride, i knew motorbike racers could be heroes. freddie spencer became my hero, one i admire to this day. here is a guy who acheived greatness through dilligent effort and tireless pursuit of his goals. i wouldn't call them "comeback efforts", i look at it as refusal to stop doing the things he loves best. we are, after all, created equal, simply human. freddie is a little "more" than the rest of us, and for that we are all standing a little taller. i admire mike the bike, ago, king kenny, barry sheene, geoff duke, joey dunlop, but above them all...freddie, he's the man. congratulations on your honor, freddie, you deserve it.
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