John Kocinski

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John Kocinski
John Kocinski 1990 Japanese GP.jpg
John Kocinski at the 1990 Japanese GP
Nationality United States United States
Motorcycle racing career statistics
Grand Prix motorcycle racing
Active years 1988 - 1994, 1998 - 1999
First race 1988 250cc Japanese Grand Prix
Last race 1999 500cc Argentine Grand Prix
First win 1989 250cc Japanese Grand Prix
Last win 1994 500cc Australian Grand Prix
Team(s) Yamaha, Suzuki, Cagiva
Championships 250cc - 1990
Starts Wins Podiums Poles F. laps Points
99 13 35 20 15 1037.5
Superbike World Championship
Active years 1996 - 1997
Manufacturers Ducati, Honda
Championships 1997
1997 Championship position 1st
Starts Wins Podiums Poles F. laps Points
48 14 29 6 11

John Kocinski (born March 20, 1968 in Little Rock, Arkansas) is a retired Grand Prix motorcycle road racer whose successes include winning the 1990 250cc World Championship, and the 1997 Superbike World Championship title.[1][2]

Career[edit]

Early years[edit]

At age seventeen, Kocinski was already a factory rider for Yamaha, in the AMA Championship Cup. He won the AMA 250 Grand Prix Championship every year from 1987 to 1989, and won the 1989 Supersport race at Daytona having started 53rd in a field of 80 riders. In 1988, he won the pole position at the 250cc US Grand Prix and finished the race in fourth place.[1] He would also place fifth at 1988 250cc Japanese Grand Prix.[1]

Middle years[edit]

1989 was also the year of his 500cc World Championship debut. In 1990 he raced in four different championships, but the highlight was winning the 250cc World Championship in his first full season on a Team Roberts Yamaha YZR250.[1] He was a full-time 500cc racer for the next two years, finishing fourth and third in the championship and winning the final round in both seasons.[1]

During his first year in the 500cc class, Kocinski infamously told reporters that if a rider hadn't won the World Championship within 2 years of starting in the class, then they should give up racing. This statement would come back to haunt the American as he competed in the top class for over five seasons without ever becoming World Champion, with many reminding him of his comment in later years.

Kocinski started 1993 in 250s, taking Suzuki's first-ever podium at this level, but switched back to 500cc mid-season after falling out with the Suzuki team. He won Cagiva's first ever dry-weather 500cc win at Laguna Seca, and came 11th overall with only four appearances.[1] He opened 1994 with a win in Australia and finished the season in third place.[1] After Cagiva pulled out of Grand Prix racing, Kocinski concentrated on becoming a professional water skier.

Later years[edit]

Kocinski came back to world-level motorcycle racing in 1996 when he joined the World Superbike series on a factory Ducati and came close to winning the title in his first attempt, despite falling out with Ducati during the year.[3] He joined the factory Castrol Honda squad for 1997, and won the title with nine wins and seven podium finishes.[2][4] In the final round of the season at Sentul in Indonesia, Kocinski led team mate Aaron Slight going into the last lap of the first race. Slight needed to win the race to wrap up second in the championship and give Castrol Honda a 1-2 finish, and despite the Kiwi rider passing Kocinski early in the lap, the American re-passed Slight in a move that almost took out Slight's front wheel to take the win, meaning Slight only finished third in the championship. Kocinski's actions caused him to fall out with both the team and Slight.[5]

He returned to the 500cc world championship in 1998 with Sito Pons' Movistar Honda team, and the following year in 1999 riding for Erv Kanemoto's sponsorless team but failed to win a race.[1] He raced at home in AMA National championship in 2000 for Vance & Hines Ducati, and tested for Yamaha for the next two years[6] before retiring. He is currently a property developer in Beverly Hills, California.

In January 2008, he was reported to have been looking for a professional motorcycle racing ride for 2008 in the AMA, SBK and 250cc sections.

Grand Prix career statistics[1][edit]

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

Points system from 1993 onwards:

Position 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15
Points 25 20 16 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 16 Points Rank Wins
1988 250cc Marlboro-Yamaha TZ250 JPN
5
USA
4
ESP
-
EXP
-
NAT
NC
GER
NC
AUT
-
NED
-
BEL
-
YUG
-
FRA
-
GBR
-
SWE
-
CZE
-
BRA
-
24 19th 0
1989 250cc Marlboro-Yamaha TZ250 JPN
1
AUS
-
USA
1
ESP
-
NAT
-
GER
-
AUT
-
YUG
-
NED
-
BEL
-
FRA
-
GBR
-
SWE
-
CZE
-
BRA
-
40 14th 2
500cc Marlboro-Yamaha YZR500 JPN
-
AUS
-
USA
-
ESP
-
NAT
-
GER
-
AUT
-
YUG
-
NED
-
BEL
5
FRA
-
GBR
-
SWE
-
CZE
-
BRA
-
5.5 35th 0
1990 250cc Marlboro-Yamaha YZR250 JPN
14
USA
1
ESP
1
NAT
1
GER
3
AUT
3
YUG
2
NED
1
BEL
1
FRA
NC
GBR
NC
SWE
2
CZE
2
HUN
1
AUS
1
223 1st 7
1991 500cc Marlboro-Yamaha YZR500 JPN
4
AUS
3
USA
NC
ESP
2
ITA
2
GER
NC
AUT
9
EUR
5
NED
6
FRA
NC
GBR
4
RSM
6
CZE
3
VDM
4
MAL
1
161 4th 1
1992 500cc Marlboro-Yamaha YZR500 JPN
NC
AUS
DNS
MAL
-
ESP
5
ITA
3
EUR
5
GER
5
NED
2
HUN
7
FRA
3
GBR
NC
BRA
2
RSA
1
102 3rd 1
1993 250cc Lucky Strike Suzuki RGV250 AUS
2
MAL
5
JPN
9
ESP
4
AUT
7
GER
12
NED
3
EUR
-
RSM
-
GBR
-
CZE
-
ITA
-
USA
-
FIM
-
80 12th 0
500cc Cagiva GP500 AUS
-
MAL
-
JPN
-
ESP
-
AUT
-
GER
-
NED
-
EUR
-
RSM
-
GBR
-
CZE
4
ITA
4
USA
1
FIM
NC
51 11th 1
1994 500cc Cagiva GP500 AUS
1
MAL
2
JPN
9
ESP
3
AUT
5
GER
NC
NED
8
ITA
NC
FRA
2
GBR
4
CZE
NC
USA
2
ARG
3
EUR
3
172 3rd 1
1998 500cc Pons Racing-Honda NSR500 JPN
13
MAL
5
ESP
11
ITA
5
FRA
4
MAD
DNF
NED
-
GBR
-
GER
-
CZE
15
IMO
13
CAT
9
AUS
12
ARG
10
64 12th 0
1999 500cc Kanemoto-Honda NSR500 MAL
NC
JPN
NC
ESP
6
FRA
2
ITA
8
CAT
9
NED
7
GBR
9
GER
5
CZE
14
IMO
8
VAL
8
AUS
9
RSA
10
BRA
13
ARG
7
115 8th 0

World Superbike Championship[edit]

Pos Rider Bike SMR
San Marino
GBR
United Kingdom
GER
Germany
ITA
Italy
CZE
Czech Republic
USA
United States
EUR
European Union
INA
Indonesia
JPN
Japan
NED
Netherlands
ESP
Spain
AUS
Australia
Pos Pts Ref
R1 R2 R1 R2 R1 R2 R1 R2 R1 R2 R1 R2 R1 R2 R1 R2 R1 R2 R1 R2 R1 R2 R1 R2
1996 SBK Ducati 1 1 7 6 2 3 Ret Ret 4 6 1 12 3 Ret 1 1 5 2 5 3 3 2 7 5 3rd 337
Pos Rider Bike AUS
Australia
SMR
San Marino
GBR
United Kingdom
GER
Germany
ITA
Italy
USA
United States
EUR
European Union
AUT
Austria
NED
Netherlands
ESP
Spain
JPN
Japan
INA
Indonesia
Pos Pts Ref
R1 R2 R1 R2 R1 R2 R1 R2 R1 R2 R1 R2 R1 R2 R1 R2 R1 R2 R1 R2 R1 R2 R1 R2
1997 SBK Honda 1 7 2 1 10 5 2 14 1 2 1 1 3 2 5 3 1 3 1 1 9 3 1 Ret 1st 416

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i John Kocinski career statistics at MotoGP.com
  2. ^ a b John Kocinski career World Superbike statistics at worldsbk.com
  3. ^ "John Kocinski Interview". Motorcycle Online. Archived from the original on 2006-12-15. Retrieved 2007-02-21. 
  4. ^ "John Kocinski & the RC45, 1997". Honda V-4 Motorcycles. Retrieved 2007-02-21. 
  5. ^ 1997 WSBK - Sentul
  6. ^ "John Kocinski: Multi-Millionaire Test Rider". Motorcycle Daily. Archived from the original on 2007-03-11. Retrieved 2007-02-21. 

External links[edit]


Preceded by
Sito Pons
250cc Motorcycle World Champion
1990
Succeeded by
Luca Cadalora