Three-time 500cc GP World Champion and two-time American Motorcycle Association Superbike Champion Wayne Rainey will finally receive the only distinction that has eluded his glorious motor racing career: a spot in the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame.

Some of you may be too young to remember him, but anybody who followed the American motorcycle racing scene in the late 80s and early 90s knows that Rainey was considered the top American motorcycle rider of that era. Not only did he win three consecutive World Championships while riding for Yamaha from 1990 to 1992, he preceded that run of dominance by winning the AMA Superbike Championship in 1983 and 1987.

An unfortunate injury sustained at the Italian Grand Prix in September 1993 cut short Rainey’s career, robbing him of the chance to claim his fourth world championship in a row. But as one for closed for Rainey, another one opened. In the following year, the American traded his racing overalls for a pair of suits and headphones as a team owner and manager, a role he served until the end of the 1998 season.

These days, you might recognize him in his new job as the president of MotoAmerica, the AMA and the FIM North America championship road racing series. His role in the creation of MotoAmerica is particularly significant because he wanted to inspire a new generation of young American riders to strive to compete in the top-class.

For all of his contributions both as a rider and an as an influential behind-the-scenes powerbroker, there’s no other person who deserves a spot in the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame more than Wayne Rainey. It’s a long overdue honor, but thankfully, none of us have to wait any longer for Rainey to get his due in the Hall of Fame.

Continue reading to read more about Wayne Rainey’s upcoming induction to the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame.

Why it matters

If I had my way, Wayne Rainey’s induction in the Hall of Fame should’ve happened a long time ago. It’s easy to brush aside everything the man has accomplished, especially for those who aren’t old enough to see the man in action. Those who remember him will attest to everything Rainey has accomplished. It’s no secret that pockets of the American motor racing family consider him as one of the greatest American motorcycle riders in history.

What’s more impressive about Rainey is that his contributions to the racing scene in the US extends far past his riding career. Sure, his career may have been cut short but that didn’t stop him from continuing to put in the work to help promulgate the growth of motorcycle racing in America.

Look no further than his prominent involvement in the creation of MotoAmerica, something he believes will help create a breeding ground or farm system for young and up-and-coming riders in the US.

Say what you will about Wayne Rainey, but nobody can deny the imprint he’s had in the US motorcycle racing scene. He did first as a rider, establishing a peerless career that still stands the test out of time. Now, he’s doing it from behind a desk. It’s a different platform, but he’s no less influential now compared to what he was back then.

Congratulations, Wayne Rainey! It’s a well-deserved honor for a man who should’ve made it to the Hall of Fame a long time ago.

Source: American Motorcycle Association

Kirby Garlitos
Automotive Aftermarket Expert -
Kirby’s first exposure into the world of automobiles happened when he caught Knight Rider on television as a five-year old boy. David Hasselhoff didn’t leave much of an impression on him (that happened later on in Baywatch), but KITT certainly did. To this day, Kirby remains convinced that he will one day own a car with the same ‘spirit’ as the original KITT (not the 2008 monstrosity). He doesn't know when that will be, but until then, he’s committed to expressing his love for KITT, and all cars for that matter, here at TopSpeed.  Read More
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