34 to 1

"Instead we were still three points in front. It was hard to look at that weekend with anything good coming out of it but there was. There was no point in dwelling on things anyway for there were still four races to go and it was off to Brno."

"The next weekend was a lot tougher because I felt that we should have done a whole lot better. The last time we were there in '91 our bike didn't work but then we were on Dunlops. I felt that going back to Michelins like we were in '89 and '90 we should have been in a position to get some points back on Wayne."

"We got there and Wayne was feeling better even though not 100% fit." Kevin was not feeling that wonderful having hurt his shoulder either in the practice crash or the race or both. His right wrist was also injured but neither troubled him that much at Brno. What troubled him was the fact that the bike just refused to work well and nothing the team tried significantly improved things. "It was really hard to stay out there and race for fifth the way that the bike was working but at the same time every little point mattered."

Wayne won and grabbed the championship lead back. "Leaving there eleven points behind was pretty tough. I had been going to go home to Texas. I changed my mind and went straight down to Italy. I said to myself, 'Well the only thing I can do is to try and be as prepared as I can be when the race comes around.' My shoulder still hurt quite a bit, my hand was still bugging me a little bit though it still hadn't got too bad as far as the numbness was concerned at that point."

"I got down to Misano with the motorhome, camped up and spent all week riding bicycles and trying to convince myself that things weren't over. I kept reminding myself that we had gone well in the test at Misano and all we had to do was keep our heads down and concentrate."

An historic moment in the pits at Jarama. Kevin's number thirty fours are stripped from the Lucky Strike Suzuki and replaced with the number one for a post race parade. A tiny 34 is added just for old time's sake. The emotional moment was captured on film by Shirley who admitted, "I cried."

There is a framed quote on the wall of Gary Taylor's office in the Edenbridge headquarters of the Suzuki Grand Prix team. "Serious sport has nothing to do with fair play. It is bound up with hatred, jealousy, boastfulness, disregard of all rules and sadistic pleasure in witnessing violence: in other words it is war minus the shooting."

The race quickly developed into a three way battle between Kevin and the two Yamahas with Luca looking well capable of helping Wayne. "It turned out that the wrist was going to be a much bigger problem than we realised."

"It was giving me quite a bit of trouble by the tenth lap. Already down the back straight away I was swapping hands, reaching over and holding the throttle open with my left. That straight away at Misano is about ten yards long. You come out of the last fast left, get the thing stood up and a second later you are on the brakes. So I wasn't getting much rest and the hand was consistently getting worse, lap after lap."

Kevin was staring defeat in the face, the situation was not of his making but to beat Rainey was going to take a bigger risk than he had taken all season. Was this the time to throw caution to the wind, change the game plan at the crucial moment?

Previous PageNext Page

© Schwantz/Clifford 1994 No part of this publication may be stored in a retrieval system,
or transmitted, in any for or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or
otherwise without prior permission in writing from Peter Clifford or Shirley Schwantz.

All rights reserved © 2000 Brand 34, Inc