with Mike Baldwin as they wait to go out for practice at Assen.
In the background is Masura Mizutani, Suzuki's key man in the Japanese
National 500 Championship.
First 500 Ride. Though the Race of the Year at Mallory Park in 1986 was Kevin's
first public outing on a 500 he recalls throwing his leg over a
square four before that. "The first 500 I ever rode was at
Ryuyo, Suzuki's test track. It must have been '85 and I was testing
for the 8 hour. Mizutani was nice enough to let me have a ride on
his bike. I don't think that at that stage of my career most guys
would have bothered. He et me do three or four laps. I just remember
it was all wheelies and speed, Ryuyo is fast."
Martin Brookman was already a Grand Prix mechanic of great experience and ability
when Suzuki asked him to work on Kevin's bikes for Assen and Spa
in '86. Here he is passing on a bit of that experience to Kevin
who is wearing the red cap. Leaning on the back of the bike is chief
mechanic Keith Reed. In the foreground is Martin Ogbourne, he was
the race engineer for the Skoal Bandit Suzuki team and his rider
Paul Lewis Stands in the background. Brookman was impressed with
the way Schwantz handled his first Grand Prix. "Considering
what he was riding and what he was doing, I thought he was the business,
straight away. The way he was sliding and drifting the bike around."
the Grand Prix bike, we didn't know but they'd has trouble with
carburetor sticking, the first time they stuck was in the race and
he was off.