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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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