usa Vs uk =500

Kevin returned for a second go at the Match Races in '87. At Brands Hatch that Easter there was one particular epic race that seemed to sum up the much talked about rivalry between Wayne Rainey and Kevin Schwantz that was the center of the US Superbike battles. The needle was there for all to see, as for who started the pushing and shoving...it depended on your point of view. "It was different every race, every meeting," recalls Kevin/ "The only good thing about '87 was that I seemed to have an advantage on him with the tyres and the bikes. Had I not made some silly mental errors in '87 we could have beat him for the Superbike championship."

"At Brands Hatch I feel like he instigated it, I feel like I was on the line, he came up underneath me and smack. There was oil all around the middle of the corner so there was only a single narrow line, you couldn't get two bikes through there side by side. He came up on the inside, hit me..across the oil sweep I went, lost the back, the front, had it all crossed up, should have crashed right then but stayed on the bike, got it squared off and driving down the hill and back underneath him down the dip and up to the hairpin."

"Pissed off as I was I was so happy tat I stuck it back underneath him that I went wide at the next corner and he went by again. So then I thought, "Oh great, this is my opportunity to show you what running into somebody is all about so I stuck him back in the corner before Clearways. I ran up al over the kerbs on the inside and just polished his leathers with a bit of Michelin."

"It was different every weekend, sometimes I'd instigate it more than he did, sometimes he would. You ask either one of us , I'll say he instigated it more than I did and he'll say the opposite. We never did a lot of fairing banging after that. We'd et close but after that we both realised that it was a bit silly. We were going to have to race against each other all year long and probably a lot longer than just 1987 so we couldn't hope to last if we carried on like that.

"I know how close I came to falling down that day and I know Wayne did as well, he complained about it enough, 'Oh no, look there's tyre marks all over my leg,' So he'd tried to send me through the tyres...it was all good fun."

Kevin leads Wayne across the line at Brands Hatch, further apart than they had been all race.

 

Wayne smiles about another fierce battle at Donington.

The GSXR750 Suzuki looks like a tank compared with Kevin's more recent machinery.

Kevin and Yoshimura mechanic Don Sakakura ponder on what to do about the Honda while Doug Polen ponders.

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