1990 Japanese motorcycle Grand Prix

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Japan  1990 Japanese Grand Prix
Race details
Race 1 of 15 races in the
1990 Grand Prix motorcycle racing season
Circuit Suzuka.png
Date 25 March 1990
Location Suzuka
  • Permanent racing facility
  • 5.821 km (3.617 mi)
500 cc
Pole position
Rider United States Wayne Rainey
Time 2:09.589
Fastest lap
Rider United States Wayne Rainey
Time 2:11.354
First United States Wayne Rainey
Second Australia Wayne Gardner
Third United States Kevin Schwantz
250 cc
Pole position
Rider United States John Kocinski
Time 2:14.273
Fastest lap
Rider Switzerland Jacques Cornu
Time 2:16.452
First Italy Luca Cadalora
Second Spain Carlos Cardús
Third Netherlands Wilco Zeelenberg
125 cc
Pole position
Rider Japan Kinya Wada
Time 2:25.033
Fastest lap
Rider Germany Stefan Prein
Time 2:25.045
First Netherlands Hans Spaan
Second Germany Stefan Prein
Third Japan Koji Takada

The 1990 Japanese motorcycle Grand Prix was the first round of the 1990 Grand Prix motorcycle racing season. It took place on the weekend of 23–25 March 1990 at the Suzuka Circuit.

500 cc race report[edit]

Wayne Rainey's pole of 2:09.589 is the first sub-2:10 lap at Suzuka. Rainey gets the start of the new 4-column grid, followed by Mick Doohan, Eddie Lawson and the field. Rainey goes through the chicane with a sub-second gap, followed by Lawson, Doohan, Kevin Schwantz and Wayne Gardner.

Rainey is opening a gap, but Schwantz moves into second and leads the chase. Entering the back straight, Schwantz looks behind him to see who’s back there, but Lawson’s proximity probably blocks the view.

Perhaps Schwantz had a feeling something bad was about to happen. Going into 130R, Gardner barely manages to pass on the brakes and move into second place, while Doohan brakes for all he’s worth, getting the back wheel in the air, and loses the front end as he leans it in. Unfortunately, he’s inside of Lawson when he falls, so Doohan’s bike hits Lawson’s rear wheel hard, taking him out too. Lawson, who came out of 1989 without a race crash, begins the season with a DNF and a broken left ankle.

Rainey has a large gap, and Gardner and Schwantz are scraping fairings for second. Last lap and Rainey has an untouchable lead, and Gardner goes slightly wide heading towards the chicane, but manages to hold Schwantz off; as they flick it right and then left, Schwantz touches Gardner’s back tire and drops his bike. Because it happened at such a low speed, Schwantz is able to get back on quickly and still cross the line in third place.

Schwantz: "I thought I had Gardner sorted out pretty good for the last lap going into the chicane, just as soon as I got up the inside and he saw my wheel he came in and I think he was still going in too fast. He went into the chicane real deep. I got turned quick because I knew he was going to be wide. He came back across and as I was coming down , we hit. I guess it all depends on how you look at it as to who's fault it was I'd say it was his."[1]

500 cc classification[edit]

Pos No. Rider Manufacturer Laps Time/Retired Grid Points
1 2 United States Wayne Rainey Yamaha 22 48:52.475 1 20
2 10 Australia Wayne Gardner Honda 22 +3.237 3 17
3 34 United States Kevin Schwantz Suzuki 22 +15.556 2 15
4 4 Australia Kevin Magee Suzuki 22 +40.689 7 13
5 6 Spain Sito Pons Honda 22 +41.008 9 11
6 21 Japan Tadahiko Taira Yamaha 22 +51.363 10 10
7 5 Italy Pierfrancesco Chili Honda 22 +51.536 6 9
8 14 France Jean-Philippe Ruggia Yamaha 22 +53.739 15 8
9 39 Japan Shinichi Itoh Honda 22 +1:02.515 8 7
10 11 Spain Juan Garriga Yamaha 22 +1:25.526 18 6
11 37 Japan Hikaru Miyagi Honda 22 +1:29.184 20 5
12 41 Japan Shinji Katayama Yamaha 22 +1:42.002 21 4
13 38 Japan Osamu Hiwatashi Suzuki 22 +1:42.713 19 3
Ret 43 Japan Keiji Ohishi Yamaha 18 Retirement 22
Ret 18 United States Randy Mamola Cagiva 18 Retirement 17
Ret 28 Brazil Alex Barros Cagiva 12 Retirement 24
Ret 40 Japan Satoshi Tsujimoto Suzuki 9 Retirement 13
Ret 3 France Christian Sarron Yamaha 8 Retirement 11
Ret 8 United Kingdom Ron Haslam Cagiva 8 Retirement 23
Ret 36 Japan Kunio Machii Yamaha 7 Retirement 12
Ret 1 United States Eddie Lawson Yamaha 4 Retirement 4
Ret 9 Australia Mick Doohan Honda 4 Retirement 5
Ret 15 Japan Norihiko Fujiwara Yamaha 2 Retirement 16
DNS 35 Japan Shunji Yatsushiro Honda 14
DNQ 26 Switzerland Niggi Schmassman Honda
DNQ 44 Japan Kenmei Matsumoto Honda


  1. ^ Schwantz, Kevin: Blurred Past kevinschwantz.com 1994.

Previous race:
1989 Brazilian Grand Prix
FIM Grand Prix World Championship
1990 season
Next race:
1990 United States Grand Prix
Previous race:
1989 Japanese Grand Prix
Japanese motorcycle Grand Prix Next race:
1991 Japanese Grand Prix