Still, remember the time when Formula 1 was unknown and a distance away and all we have was the Bike GP (Grand Prix)?
And to colour them was Rothmans Honda, Lucky Strike Suzuki and Marlboro Yamaha. I still remember entering my uncle’s room one day and there on the wall, was a large poster of Kevin Schwantz taking a corner on his Lucky Strike Suzuki.
Me and my cousins used to get excited whenever we see replicas of the Rothmans Honda, Lucky Strike Suzuki or Marlboro Yamaha on Malaysia roads (although it is not of the same model). The Motorcycle Grand Prix came in 3 classes – 125 cc, 250 cc and 500 cc. One needs to agree that the most intensive competition lies in the 125 cc class but at the end of the day, the juicy stuff lies in the 500 cc class.
Freddie Spencer / Wayne Gardner and Rothmans Honda
One of the most outstanding achievement by Freddie is being the 250cc and 500cc Grand Prix World Champion in the same year. I still recall watching Fast Freddie way up in the front, riding rather casually whilst the nearest competitors fighting off for the second place. Wayne Gardner continued carrying the Rothmans Honda challenge thereafter to be the first World Champion from Australia (way before Mick Doohan came into the picture)
Eddie Lawson and Marlboro Yamaha
The 4 times world champion and were the one who everyone else would try to outrun in the Grand Prix. Steady Eddie was Kenny Roberts’ partner before taking the helm at the team.
Kevin Schwantz and Lucky Strike Suzuki
Kevin Schwantz was a blast with the corners – he introduces the sliding when taking corners. This way he was able to catch up with the front runners when they slowed down for the corners. He was battling with Wayne Rainey for the championship and managed to be one in 1993.
Whilst the riders are the main focus when we were watching the Grand Prix on the television, the colourful bikes were the focus especially on the colour of the tire rims as the riders were taking the corners.