Wayne Rainey AMA Hall of Fame Legend
Multi-time road racing champion Wayne Rainey to be honored as AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame Legend
Three-time 500cc Grand Prix World Champion and two-time American Motorcyclist Association Superbike Champion Wayne Rainey will be honored as an AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame Legend at the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony Saturday, Oct. 17, in Orlando.
Rainey, who himself was inducted into the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame in 1999, will be honored along with the current class of inductees. The Class of 2015 includes road racing champion John Kocinski, former Harley-Davidson CEO Richard Teerlink, off-road racing champion Rodney Smith, entrepreneur and industry patron John Parham, dirt tracker Alex Jorgensen and longtime Yamaha Motor Corp. U.S.A. race team manager Keith McCarty.
“Few American motorcyclists have achieved the same level of success as Wayne Rainey, and fewer still command the respect and admiration that he so rightly deserves,” said Ken Ford, a member of the Hall of Fame executive committee and treasurer of the AMA board of directors. “We are honored to recognize Mr. Rainey at the 2015 Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony as our 2015 AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame Legend and shine the spotlight on a career that continues to inspire American racers of all ages.”
AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame Legends are previous inductees into the Hall of Fame whose lifetime accomplishments are showcased as part of the annual induction ceremony of new Hall of Famers.
“I think it’s important that kids coming up have a place, a Hall of Fame, to look to where their heroes are recognized for their achievements, particularly through the AMA — the sanctioning body that provides the environment where all this racing takes place,” Rainey said. “It’s an honor to be a part of that.”
Wayne Rainey was the top World Championship 500cc Grand Prix rider of the early 1990s, winning three consecutive World Championships riding for Yamaha in 1990, 1991 and 1992. In addition to his accomplishments on the world level, Rainey was also a star of AMA Superbike racing during the 1980s, winning that title in 1983 with Kawasaki and again for Honda in 1987.
“I started racing in AMA District 37 in Southern California at the age of 12 or 13, and I have a long history in AMA competition,” Rainey said. “When I turned pro, I raced dirt track and I thought I wanted to be a dirt track racer, but I had an opportunity to go road racing early on in my dirt track career and that changed my path. Some amazing things happened in my life through that past, and I went on to be a two-time AMA Superbike champion and a three-time world champion.”
Following a career-ending injury while leading the Italian Grand Prix in September 1993, Rainey, who also was in the points lead for a fourth straight title at the time, returned to the sport the next year as a team owner and manager. Rainey retired from that role following the 1998 season.
Today, Rainey is the president of MotoAmerica, the AMA and FIM North America championship road racing series. Rainey was the motive force behind the creation of the new series, serving as both its inspiration and most prominent advocate, insisting the series was necessary to prepare today’s American road racers for success on the world stage.
“We feel we have a chance to make our series a very competitive series that has a structure so riders can come through the AMA series to achieve their goals of being a champion here in the United States or go on to the world championships and be competitive,” Rainey said. “We want to create a series that the whole industry would like to get behind and support.”