blurred past

Suzuka produced an epic race win for Kevin, it was classic Schwantz as he overcame machine deficiencies to charge back from a distant fifth to win a down to the wire battle with Doohan, Rainey and Kocinski.

The effort was helped by the fact that most of practice was wet. Kevin was dominant and obviously in great form, when it dried for the final session no one was more surprised than he to be heading the leaderboard still. He did not feel that the Suzuki was ready to race but the lack of dry time apparently left everyone in a similar situation.

"In practice I'd had trouble with the front end chattering, well it was more like a big hop across the road when I had the bike laid over all the way on its side. I had the same trouble in the race early on when I was holding a tighter line than the other guys."

Kevin was briefly tied into a battle for fourth with Gardner and the pair started to drop well behind the leading trio. Kevin changed his lines and worked around the problem well enough to break away from the Honda and close back up on the leaders. "I figured that I could work around the problem by running the bike into the corner deeper, getting it turned and out so it had less time laid over on its side. ~ had that figured by the time the other guys started to run into trouble as the tyres all started sliding towards the end of the race."

It looked then as though Kevin might have been mistaken in his concern for the competitiveness of the 130kg Dunlop shod '91 Suzuki. The Australian Grand Prix proved that those concerns were all too real. He qualified sixth and finished fifth, half a minute behind Rainey.

"Laguna Seca was little better, Rainey won again, Kevin was third, sixteen seconds behind. The best thing that could be said about Jerez was that Rainey did not win but he was still second and only because of a tyre problem. Kevin stopped when the Suzuki holed a piston while battling for fourth. Doohan and Rainey were romping away with the championship.

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