Kevin Magee (motorcycle racer)

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For the former basketball player, see Kevin Magee (basketball).
Kevin Magee
Kevin Magee 2007 Oct.jpg
Nationality  Australia
Motorcycle racing career statistics
Grand Prix motorcycle racing
Active years 1987 - 1993
First race 1987 500cc Japanese Grand Prix
Last race 1993 500cc Japanese Grand Prix
First win 1988 500cc Spanish Grand Prix
Last win 1988 500cc Spanish Grand Prix
Team(s) Yamaha, Suzuki
Championships 0
Starts Wins Podiums Poles F. laps Points
36 1 3 1 1 326.5

Kevin Magee (born 16 July 1962 in Horsham, Victoria) is an Australian former Grand Prix motorcycle road racer who raced in 36 grands prix during his career, winning the 1988 Spanish Grand Prix. He is currently a television commentator for Fox Sports Australia.

Career[edit]

Early career[edit]

His career began with production and Superbike racing, at home in Australia and also in Japan. He gained early notice racing the Bob Brown Ducati in Australian Superbike races and then joined Mike Dowson at the Warren Willing-managed Yamaha Dealer Team to race the then premier Production race series as well as the growing Superbike series. In 1986 he gained international attention when he and Dowson scored a second place in the Suzuka 8 Hours Formula One race on a lower-spec Superbike.[1] His Grand Prix debut was delayed after he broke his leg crashing at the Arai 500 race at Bathurst when, leading by a clear margin, he was confused by his pitboards and thought another rider was closing in on him. At the end of year big-money Swann-Series he was given the opportunity to ride a Yamaha factory Grand Prix bike and distinguished himself by winning two of the six races.

Grand Prix[edit]

In 1987, he got his break in the 500cc world championship with three wildcard appearance on the Kenny Roberts Yamaha team. Crashing in the opening Japanese Grand Prix, he earned a point in the rain-affected Dutch TT before scoring an impressive third place in his third ever Grand Prix at the Portuguese Grand Prix round. Having teamed up with Martin Wimmer to win the 1987 Suzuka 8 Hours endurance race, and having also won the 1987 round of the now-defunct Formula 1 motorcycle championship at Sugo, he became the only rider to stand on the podium of three different World Championships in a calendar year.[2][3]

In 1988, he was awarded Randy Mamola's place in the Kenny Roberts team, competing as team-mate to Wayne Rainey for the next two seasons. He also returned to the Suzuka 8 Hours race, teaming with Wayne Rainey to claim another win.[4]

Magee won his first Grand Prix at the 1988 Spanish motorcycle Grand Prix at Jarama and the future looked bright for the young rider. However, at the 1989 United States motorcycle Grand Prix, he was involved in a terrible crash with Bubba Shobert on the cool off lap after the race, wherein Shobert drove into the back of Magee's motorcycle. Magee stopped his motorcycle in the middle of the track and performed a rear-wheel "burnout", presumably due to frustration that dwindling fuel had cost him 3rd place in the race.[5] The wreck occurred while Shobert was congratulating racer Eddie Lawson and it ended Shobert’s career. Ironically, Magee would crash at the same spot during the 1990 race, suffering head injuries that put him out for the season. In 1991 he appeared a couple of times for Suzuki and once for Team Roberts, along with another wildcard Grand Prix appearance in 1993.

Magee also entered a few Superbike World Championship races, winning twice at his home race at Phillip Island in 1991 and 1992. He also raced in the AMA Superbike series in 1994, for the American Honda team before announcing his retirement.[6] Magee was never able to capture the early brilliance of his career after his accident with Shobert.

Post Racing[edit]

Magee is still a familiar face with Australian motorcycle-racing fans in his position as co-commentator on Australian Grand Prix and Superbike telecasts on Australia's largest Pay-TV provider Foxtel teaming with Warren Smith on Fox Sports. He is also an occasional tester and writer for Two Wheels magazine.

Family[edit]

On 27 April 2002 Kevin's 19 year old nephew Liam Magee, the son of his older brother Peter, was racing in the Australian Superbike Championship when he was killed in practice for the round at the Mallala Motorsport Park in South Australia. The younger Magee crashed coming through the last turn onto the pit straight, his bike slid off the track into the concrete retaining wall located only a short distance from the track and he died at the scene, the bike reportedly travelling at over 100 km/h at the time of impact. The concrete wall Liam Magee hit had replaced an old tyre wall in 1998 in an effort to provide more grandstand seating for the circuit.[7]

Motorcycle Grand Prix results [8][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

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 Points Rank Wins
1987 500cc Roberts-Yamaha YZR500 JPN
NC
ESP
-
GER
-
NAT
-
AUT
-
YUG
-
NED
10
FRA
-
GBR
-
SWE
-
CZE
-
RSM
-
POR
3
BRA
-
ARG
-
11 15th 0
1988 500cc Lucky Strike Roberts-Yamaha YZR500 JPN
7
USA
NC
ESP
1
EXP
3
NAT
5
GER
5
AUT
6
NED
4
BEL
5
YUG
5
FRA
9
GBR
5
SWE
6
CZE
NC
BRA
6
138 5th 1
1989 500cc Lucky Strike Roberts-Yamaha YZR500 JPN
5
AUS
4
USA
4
ESP
INJ
NAT
INJ
GER
7
AUT
5
YUG
4
NED
4
BEL
7
FRA
5
GBR
6
SWE
5
CZE
7
BRA
6
138.5 5th 0
1990 500cc Lucky Strike-Suzuki RGV500 JPN
4
USA
NC
ESP
INJ
NAT
INJ
GER
INJ
AUT
INJ
YUG
INJ
NED
INJ
BEL
INJ
FRA
INJ
GBR
INJ
SWE
INJ
CZE
INJ
HUN
INJ
AUS
INJ
13 21st 0
1991 500cc Marlboro Roberts-Yamaha YZR500 JPN
13
AUS
11
USA
-
ESP
-
ITA
-
GER
-
AUT
-
EUR
-
NED
-
FRA
-
GBR
-
RSM
-
CZE
-
VDM
-
MAL
5
19 19th 0
1993 500cc Nihontelecom RT Yamaha YZR500 AUS
-
MAL
-
JPN
9
ESP
-
AUT
-
GER
-
NED
-
EUR
-
RSM
-
GBR
-
CZE
-
ITA
-
USA
-
FIM
-
7 25th 0

References[edit]