blurred past

"I felt pretty good on Sunday. I wanted to be as close to Wayne as I could. I was twelve points ahead of him before the race and I was hoping to leave Hungary at least on even terms with him. I was thinking he would be near the front and if I could get a few points I would still be pretty close." Things worked out even better than that, it rained and the wet took the physical load off Kevin, he made a cautious start but overhauled Rainey to finish, four seconds in front of Wayne.

'To finish where I finished, actually in front of him, was almost a race win in itself for me. To have had Wayne as far out in front of me as he was early in the race, to reel him in and pass him and to leave with more points on him was great."

No one knew how long Doohan was going to be out of action but it was obvious that both Kevin and Wayne could now take the championship. Unfortunately bad luck continued to plague Kevin. He fell at the French Grand Prix when the front wheel slid away "There were about eight laps to go and I got into this tight right bander, not hot, got the bike set, turning and the front started to push. I just couldn't do anything with it physically to try and get the bike stood back up. I was just hanging off the inside had the thing turned, was already committed with the thing back on the gas when it started to push. I couldn't do anything as far as try to stand the thing up because of my arm, I just didn't have the strength."

So the legacy of the Lawson/Assen incident stripped more points from his total. Another crash in the British Grand Prix at Donington was even further from his control. "I got a pretty good start, third or fourth and I was able to stay with the guys at the front, Rainey, Lawson, Gardner. I was able to stay with those guys fairly easy."

Kevin ponders machinery problems. "It was still a bike that had just such a fine line on which it was competitive you have got to be so close to exactly the right setting the whole time or the bike just didn't work. That was pretty much what happened to us all through the '92 season, again inconsistency. We'd get it close but getting it close was still outside tht margin where you could win.

After a few laps he worked his way into the lead only to be repassed by Gardner. "He was riding really well, really hard and I was watching him spinning the rear tyre quite a bit and thinking that if I could keep the gap to a second, half a second or something like that and let him abuse the tyre like that I should be able to do away with him at the end of the race."

"We had put a little bit of a gap on the others and I was six tenths, eight tenths of a second behind Gardner just trying to keep it right there. Into the first turn and I fell down. Didn't really know why except that I knew there was something on the track. I knew that I didn't make that big a mistake that I could have just lost the front and fallen down like that."

"I jumped up and looked over and my team mate was standing there with his helmet off. So I walked over to Doug and said, 'what are you doing, what happened'. He said, 'There was something on the track, I fell down.' So I said, 'Why didn't you tell somebody, get to the marshals and get them to get the oil flag out?' "

"I didn't get an answer, I kind of looked around and then heard Carl Fogarty sliding off. I turned round and I'd had all I could take. I checked nobody was coming and ran across to the flag Marshall and grabbed the oil flag because he was just standing there with it not doing anything much and was half way round the corner - I got back up the straight twenty or twenty five yards so that I could flag and signal to everybody to get on the outside line."

'Kociuski's bike had broken a primary gear and that had come out the side of the cases, gas, oil and everything went everywhere."

"I was running a real tight line going in and that was right where John had gone so I fell on the brakes. The other guys were going in a little bit wider and taking a shorter run across the oil. Gardner said that lap that he fell as well, he was down, on his knee and had pretty much crashed but got the bike stood back up and managed to turn around and look to see me sliding off into the dirt. Rainey said the same thing. A lot of guys out there thanked me for getting on the flags. Gardner and Rymer said that had I not got the flag out other people would have fallen because the marshals weren't doing what they were supposed to."

Chasing Gardner at Donington, on the way to the gravel trap and the flag waving incident. His reaction impressed Garry Taylor. "We saw a very special bit of Kevin's magic, very few people having had happen to them just what had happened to him, would have had the concern for his fellow competitors to get up and start waving oil flags."
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