people power

Kevin is honest about his admiration for Wayne's ability. "I've always wished I could ride like him. He has always been real smooth on the brakes, never really rushed things getting into the corners, always carried heaps and heaps of corner speed and has tons of drive coming out. He hasn't always had the fastest bike but lots of times it looked like he had because he'd just pull away from you as you leave the corner. If you scrub off ten K more than him going through the corner it is going to take a couple of hundred yards to pick that ten K back up. Meanwhile he's just stretching away down the straight."

"In the past the only way I felt I could beat him, with the bikes we had, was to try and outbrake him, stuff it up the inside of him or find a way around on the brakes. Now the bike has allowed me to change my style, make it a bit smoother, keep up the corner speed and try a few different things."

"There would be certain days, certain weekends when our bike was better than his or the other way around. As far as riding goes I don't think he or I have ever really had an advantage. Myself and the Suzuki both, were better on the brakes, the Suzuki was maybe a bit more agile than the Yamaha, I could flick it around a bit more and maybe get away with things because it was more forgiving. The Yamaha worked really good until it did get out of shape and once it got out of shape it really wanted to tie itself in knots and slam dunk you."

"I'm going to have to say that Wayne has been more of a fighter than anyone else. If you compare it to a war, he'd be the guy to get down in the trenches and fight, fight, fight, hand to hand, whatever it took. Eddie was always a good rider because he seemed to get the thing working so well. He didn't do anything extraordinary, he rode the bike as good as it was every weekend. Ed was dead consistent and most of the time his bike was the best one out there and he rode it that way. I'm not saying that he rode something that was rocket fast but he always managed to have a bike whether it was him or his team, that worked extremely well."


His flamboyant best, Kevin heading Wayne through the chicane at Assen in 1989.

"Wayne did a lot with his bikes when they weren't 100% right. I think that Wayne was prepared to risk a little bit more, hang it out that extra little bit. I think he and I have both adapted riding styles that suited our bikes. It was not that when we came in to racing that was the way we rode, that is what has evolved from the way our bikes dictated the way we had to race."

"Riding Superbikes we were probably a little bit closer, maybe I was still into the corners a bit deeper than he was, he was still concentrating more on typical road racing style which is in slow and out fast. I always seemed to do it ass about face. Maybe it was at least partly learned early on."

 

"Wayne and I... when we started racing, we hated each other."

"We didn't really think that motor cycle racing was a big enough sport that two of us could actually be at the top and succeed side by side. We thought that there was only room up there for one of us. Its funny because he and I talk about it now and we were in a situation that had we realised we could have made life easier for ourselves. We could have said, 'OK, if we keep going like we are going there is plenty of space up there at the top for the both of us, maybe your going to win more championships before I do, maybe your going to win more of them but there is always going to be enough sponsors and enough bikes to go around."

"We didn't realise that and he and I used to go at it so hard. Its amazing that we both survived everything we did to each other. That time he stuck me going into Paddock at Brands Hatch. I could still be out there finding my way out of the meadow. To be able to get back underneath him exiting the corner and pass him back was great. Then to try and stuff it back under him at Clearways, it was stupid, there are not two ways to describe it. It was just plain flat out dumb."

"That was just the way that we felt like we had to race. We both felt that there was something we needed to prove to everybody out there. At that stage in our careers maybe we did need to prove something. I am just glad that as Grand Prix progressed and after a couple of seasons when we each won races and so on that we matured enough that we could race together close."

"Wayne's a guy that whenever you race with him, with the exception of '87, you could always count on him giving an inch if you needed an inch. If you got into a corner underneath him and you were in too hot, he'd move out. He wouldn't force the thing down on you and make both of you fall. He'd give you that bit, he might tell you about it a little later. He might say' 'Hey, what the f*** were you doing, how were you thinking,' he might question your racing judgment but he'd never stick it to you and that was something that always made racing against him a pleasure. You didn't have to worry about him carving you up and doing something stupid."

 

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