Eddie Lawson

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Eddie Lawson
Eddie Lawson 1990 Japanese GP.jpg
Lawson aboard the Yamaha YZR500, 1990.
Nationality United States
Born (1958-03-11) March 11, 1958 (age 56)
Upland, California
Motorcycle racing career statistics
Grand Prix motorcycle racing
Active years 19831992
First race 1983 500cc South African Grand Prix
Last race 1992 500cc South African Grand Prix
First win 1984 500cc South African Grand Prix
Last win 1992 500cc Hungarian Grand Prix
Team(s) Yamaha, Honda, Cagiva
Championships 500cc – 1984, 1986, 1988, 1989
Starts Wins Podiums Poles F. laps Points
127 31 78 18 21 1429

Eddie Lawson (born (1958-03-11)March 11, 1958 in Upland, California) is a former four-time Grand Prix motorcycle racing World Champion.[1][2] His penchant for not crashing and consistently finishing in the points earned him the nickname "Steady Eddie".[3]

Biography[edit]

Chuck Long, a former army motorcycle messenger and grandfather to young Eddie Lawson taught him how to powerslide a motorcycle on the dry lake beds in the California high desert. Lawson began his motorcycle racing career in the Southern California dirt track circuit.[2] When it became increasingly difficult to find machinery able to compete with the dominant Harley-Davidsons, he switched his attention to road racing.[2] In 1979, Lawson finished the season second behind Freddie Spencer in the AMA 250cc road racing National Championship.[2] Afterwards, he was offered a ride with the Kawasaki Superbike team and won the AMA Superbike Series in 1981 and 1982. He also won the AMA 250cc road racing National Championship in 1980 and 1981 for Kawasaki.[2]

Lawson accepted an offer from Yamaha to contest the 500cc World Championship as Kenny Roberts' team-mate for the 1983 season. Lawson spent the 1983 season learning the ropes of the Grand Prix circuit. In 1984, Lawson began winning regularly and won the 1984 World Championship.[1] It would mark the first of four world titles Lawson would go on to win.[1] After winning two more titles for Yamaha in 1986 and 1988, Lawson shocked the racing world by announcing he would be leaving Yamaha to sign with their arch-rivals Rothmans Honda as team mate to his own arch rival, Australia's 1987 World Champion Wayne Gardner. By switching teams, Lawson also fulfilled his desire to work with Erv Kanemoto. After Gardner crashed and broke his leg during the third round at Laguna Seca, Lawson went on to win the 1989 title for Honda, becoming the first rider to win back-to-back championships on machines from different manufacturers. By winning with both Yamaha and Honda, Lawson silenced his critics who believed he would not be as successful away from the factory Marlboro Yamaha team.[2]

Lawson also won the ABC Superbikers event at Carlsbad Calif. in 1983 and 1985 which pitted the best riders from several disciplines against each other on a combined dirt and paved course. He was riding a specially equipped factory YZ 490 Yamaha. [4]

In 1990, Lawson won the Suzuka 8 Hours endurance race on a Yamaha FZR750R paired with Japanese rider Tadahiko Taira.[5] Lawson also won the Daytona 200 in 1986 and came out of retirement to win it again in 1993.[6] When he retired from GP racing in the early 1990s, he ranked third on the all-time 500cc Grand Prix wins list with 31.[2]

After finishing his motorcycle career, Lawson pursued a career in open-wheel single seater racing in the United States competing in the Indy Lights series and eventually to CART.[7] In the 1996 IndyCar season, he competed in 11 races with his best results being two sixth place finishes at U.S. 500 and the Detroit Indy Grand Prix. His passion for speed remains undiminished and the former World Champion now enjoys driving 250cc Superkarts often accompanied by his great friend and rival Wayne Rainey, who races in a specially modified Superkart to cope with his spinal injuries.[3]

Honors[edit]

Racing career statistics[1][edit]

Points system from 1969 to 1987:

Position 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Points 15 12 10 8 6 5 4 3 2 1

Points system from 1988 to 1992:

Position 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15
Points 20 17 15 13 11 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1

(key) (Races in bold indicate pole position; races in italics indicate fastest lap)

Year Class Team Machine 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 Points Rank Wins
1983 500cc Marlboro Agostini Yamaha YZR500 RSA
8
FRA
NC
NAT
3
GER
9
ESP
6
AUT
2
YUG
3
NED
5
BEL
5
GBR
4
SWE
5
SMR
3
78 4th 0
1984 500cc Marlboro Agostini Yamaha YZR500 RSA
1
NAT
2
ESP
1
AUT
1
GER
2
FRA
2
YUG
4
NED
3
BEL
4
GBR
2
SWE
1
SMR
4
142 1st 4
1985 500cc Marlboro Agostini Yamaha YZR500 RSA
1
ESP
2
GER
4
NAT
2
AUT
2
YUG
1
NED
NC
BEL
2
FRA
4
GBR
2
SWE
2
SMR
1
133 2nd 3
1986 500cc Marlboro Agostini Yamaha YZR500 ESP
2
NAT
1
GER
1
AUT
1
YUG
1
NED
NC
BEL
2
FRA
1
GBR
3
SWE
1
SMR
1
139 1st 7
1987 500cc Marlboro Agostini Yamaha YZR500 JPN
NC
ESP
2
GER
1
NAT
2
AUT
NC
YUG
3
NED
1
FRA
NC
GBR
1
SWE
2
CZE
2
SMR
2
POR
1
BRA
2
ARG
1
157 3rd 5
1988 500cc Marlboro Agostini Yamaha YZR500 JPN
3
USA
1
ESP
2
EXP
1
NAT
1
GER
4
AUT
1
NED
2
BEL
2
YUG
10
FRA
1
GBR
6
SWE
1
CZE
2
BRA
1
252 1st 7
1989 500cc Rothmans Kanemoto Honda NSR500 JPN
3
AUS
5
USA
3
ESP
1
NAT
DNS
GER
2
AUT
2
YUG
3
NED
2
BEL
1
FRA
1
GBR
2
SWE
1
CZE
2
BRA
2
228 1st 4
1990 500cc Marlboro Roberts Yamaha YZR500 JPN
DNF
USA
DNS
ESP
INJ
NAT
INJ
GER
INJ
AUT
INJ
YUG
INJ
NED
3
BEL
3
FRA
5
GBR
3
SWE
2
CZE
3
HUN
2
AUS
4
118 7th 0
1991 500cc Cagiva Corse GP500 JPN
6
AUS
6
USA
5
ESP
6
ITA
3
GER
4
AUT
5
EUR
DNF
NED
4
FRA
3
GBR
6
RSM
DNF
CZE
8
VDM
MAL
126 6th 0
1992 500cc Cagiva Corse GP500 JPN
14
AUS
6
MAL
DNF
ESP
11
ITA
11
EUR
6
GER
6
NED
DNF
HUN
1
FRA
5
GBR
4
BRA
11
RSA
DNF
56 9th 1

American open-wheel racing results[edit]

(key)

Indy Lights[edit]

Year Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 Rank Points
1992 Leading Edge Motorsport PHX LBH DET POR MIL NHA TOR CLE VAN MDO NAZ LS
18
NC 0
1993 Leading Edge Motorsports PHX LBH MIL DET POR
8
CLE
9
TOR NHA
10
VAN
3
MDO
17
NAZ LS
2
12th 42
1994 Tasman Motorsports PHX
3
LBH
18
MIL
2
DET
2
POR
3
CLE
1
TOR
5
MDO
2
NHA
11
VAN
7
NAZ
5
LS
3
4th 139

CART[edit]

Year Team Chassis Engine 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 Rank Points
1996 Galles Racing Lola T96/00 Mercedes-Benz IC108C MIA
15
RIO
21
SRF
7
LBH
9
NZR
17
500
6
MIL
20
DET
6
POR
15
CLE
24
TOR
15
MIS MDO ROA VAN LS 20th 26

External links[edit]

References[edit]

Preceded by
Wes Cooley
AMA Superbike Champion
1981–1982
Succeeded by
Wayne Rainey
Preceded by
Freddie Spencer
500cc Motorcycle World Champion
1984
Succeeded by
Freddie Spencer
Preceded by
Freddie Spencer
500cc Motorcycle World Champion
1986
Succeeded by
Wayne Gardner
Preceded by
Wayne Gardner
500cc Motorcycle World Champion
1988–1989
Succeeded by
Wayne Rainey