1992 Grand Prix motorcycle racing season

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1992 F.I.M. Grand Prix motorcycle racing season
Previous: 1991 Next: 1993

The 1992 Grand Prix motorcycle racing season was the 44th F.I.M. Road Racing World Championship season. Honda secured the constructor's title in all three categories.

Season summaries[edit]

500cc summary[edit]

Wayne Rainey won the 1992 World Championship for the third consecutive year on a Kenny Roberts Marlboro Yamaha, however he was largely outshone by a dominant Michael Doohan on his Rothmans Honda, and was only prevented from winning what would have been his first world title by injury.[1]

Doohan won the first four opening rounds, the first he nearly didn’t qualify for, due to tricky conditions in Suzuka, but ended up winning as Rainey crashed out in the rain. Rainey followed Doohan home in second in the following three races, still not fully fit due to a broken femur he had suffered at the end of the 1991 season. Daryl Beattie was third at his home race in Australia, riding as a replacement for Wayne Gardner, who injured himself in a crash in the opening round. There were also podiums for Crivillé on his Honda in the third round and Niall Mackenzie on his Team France Yamaha in the fourth round after Crivillé had crashed out of third from his home race at Jerez.

The fifth round at Mugello saw one of the only races of the season where the three best riders of the era - Rainey, Doohan and Kevin Schwantz were fully fit and able to battle it out. Schwantz had missed the third round due to injury but was able to take the victory at Mugello on his Lucky Strike Suzuki as Rainey crashed out whilst battling for the lead. Rainey did however win his first race of the season at Catalunya in round six, passing Doohan for victory with two laps remaining. The seventh round of the season saw Doohan get back to winning ways, but Rainey had to retire due to being unable to continue after riding in pain following a heavy practice fall.

The eighth round at Assen proved to be crucial to the title race. Rainey left the circuit during practice, still being unable to ride comfortably, all but conceding the title to Doohan. However Doohan was to have his own crash in practice, suffering a double-fracture of his right leg and ruling him out for five races. Gardner also injured himself in practice leaving the Rothmans Honda squad without a rider for the race. Schwantz was therefore favorite for the race, but was being heavily challenged by Cagiva’s four time world champion and veteran Eddie Lawson. Lawson took both riders out of the race with a collision, which resulted in Schwantz suffering a broken arm. The series of events left a group of riders chasing a rare victory and it was Crivillé who took the win the first of his career.

Rainey was back for the following round at the Hungaroring, but changeable weather conditions allowed Lawson to take Cagiva’s first ever 500cc victory, and Lawson’s last in a glittering career. Rainey got back to winning ways in France for the tenth round, however Gardner took a popular win at the British round, with Rainey in second. A patch of oil into the first turn catching out several riders including high flying Schwantz, and teammate Doug Chandler.

The penultimate round of the season saw the return of Doohan, however he was still not fully fit. Rainey won the race, and whilst Doohan was running in the top ten for periods, he wasn’t able to maintain the pace and finished twelfth. In the final round Rainey needed to a two-point swing to win the world championship, and although Doohan managed a sterling effort to finish sixth, Rainey’s third place was enough to secure him his third and final world title.[1] John Kocinski, Rainey’s teammate took his only win of the season, in his last race for Marlboro Roberts Yamaha, and promoted him to third in the world championship table, ahead of Schwantz. Chandler impressed in his first season in the series finishing fifth, whilst Gardner’s strong performances when fit saw him good enough for sixth. Juan Garriga was a strong seventh on a Yamaha, with Crivillé impressing in his debut season in eighth, ahead of Lawson took ninth,ahead of Randy Mamola. At the end of 1992 several of the big names of the 80's retired - Gardner, Lawson, and Mamola all left the sport, for different reasons.[1]

The factory Honda riders debuted the "big bang" engine, with the NSR500, where the firing order of the cylinders made the power come out in pulses. The benefit to this was in traction, allowing the tires to adhere between pulses, rather than spin because of the two-stroke 500’s peaky powerband. Yamaha came up with their own version for the 9th round and Suzuki had it available by mid-season, though Schwantz didn't use it initially. The "big bang" concept is still used in today's four-stroke MotoGP bikes.

250cc summary[edit]

Luca Cadalora claimed his second 250cc crown by a much larger margin than his previous title.[1] He won five out of the first six races on his Rothmans Honda accumulating such a huge points lead that he could afford to be more conservative in the second half of the season. Fellow Italians Loris Reggiani and Pierfrancesco Chili provided Cadalora’s strongest competition.[1] Reggiani won two races on his factory Aprilia, whilst Chili put in a number of strong performances winning three races, but failing to finish on a number of occasions, and suffered the embarrassment of thinking he had claimed a podium in the fourth round at Jerez, only to realise he had slowed down prematurely and had in fact been warming down on the final lap. Helmut Bradl had a more disappointing 1992 season, having run Cadalora close for the title in the previous year, the German on the HB Honda failed to win a race, and was often off the pace, back in fifth in the championship standings. 1992 saw the emergence of several future 250cc stars, with Max Biaggi, Chili’s teammate, winning several pole positions and winning the final round in his debut season and impressing more and more as the season progressed. Loris Capirossi made the step up from 125s to 250s for the 1992 season. He was largely off the pace at the start of the season as he wasn’t given a full works Honda initially, but once provided with a Honda much closer to the performance of Cadalora’s as he proved he had the speed to be a contender. Similarly, Doriano Romboni’s performances improved in the final few races when his HB Honda was upgraded. Former 250 world champion Carlos Lavado retired at the end of the season having had a very low-key 1992, rarely appearing in the points.[1]

125cc summary[edit]

Alessandro Gramigni won the first ever 125cc championship for Aprilia, in a tight championship.[1] This was despite Gramigni suffering a broken leg in a road bike accident midway through the season and missing a couple of rounds. Former double 125 champion Fausto Gresini had been consistent throughout the season on his Marlboro Honda, but only won one race, finishing second in the championship. Gresini was looking in serious contention for the championship, but had a critical crash when running in second place in the French round. Honda’s Ralf Waldmann finished third in the championship, but had led the series for most of the year having won three of the first four races. His dip in form after that saw him rarely finish on the podium in the second half of the season. Ezio Gianola won the most races in the class - four, yet a number of crashes and low finishes meant he finished fourth in the championship on his Honda, this was a marked up-turn in fortune for Gianola who had considered retiring after a disappointing 1991 season. Aprilia’s Bruno Casanova also had a much better 1992 than the previous season, finishing fifth in the championship. His only win coming in the closest race of the season at Hockenheim, where the super fast slipstreaming circuit provided a classic 125 race with the lead changing hands almost every lap. Up and coming Dirk Raudies ended the season well with a victory in the penultimate round in Brazil, and 125 veteran Jorge Martinez became the seventh different winner of the season when he won the final round of the season in South Africa.

Rule changes and off track events[edit]

During 1992 Rainey created the International Motorcycle Racers’ Association (IMRA) to pressure track organizers for safety improvements. Michelin came back from a semi-withdrawal and supplied tires to the Honda, Suzuki and Yamaha teams. The points system was revised to award points to the top 10 finishers only, instead of the top 15.[1] This system would last for only the 1992 season, a slightly modified version being brought in for 1993, that is still used today.

The calendar was shortened to 13 rounds, with the United States, Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia and Austria losing their races.[1] The South African Grand Prix was added and the European Grand Prix continued for another year.[1]

1992 Grand Prix season calendar[edit]

Round Race Location 125cc winner 250cc winner 500cc winner Report
1 Japan Japanese Grand Prix Suzuka Germany Ralf Waldmann Italy Luca Cadalora Australia Mick Doohan Report
2 Australia Australian Grand Prix Eastern Creek Germany Ralf Waldmann Italy Luca Cadalora Australia Mick Doohan Report
3 Malaysia Malaysian Grand Prix Shah Alam Italy Alessandro Gramigni Italy Luca Cadalora Australia Mick Doohan Report
4 Spain Spanish Grand Prix Jerez Germany Ralf Waldmann Italy Loris Reggiani Australia Mick Doohan Report
5 Italy Italian Grand Prix Mugello Italy Ezio Gianola Italy Luca Cadalora United States Kevin Schwantz Report
6 Europe European Grand Prix Catalunya Italy Ezio Gianola Italy Luca Cadalora United States Wayne Rainey Report
7 Germany German Grand Prix Hockenheim Italy Bruno Casanova Italy Pierfrancesco Chili Australia Mick Doohan Report
8 Netherlands Dutch TT Assen Italy Ezio Gianola Italy Pierfrancesco Chili Spain Àlex Crivillé Report
9 Hungary Hungarian Grand Prix Hungaroring Italy Alessandro Gramigni Italy Luca Cadalora United States Eddie Lawson Report
10 France French Grand Prix Magny-Cours Italy Ezio Gianola Italy Loris Reggiani United States Wayne Rainey Report
11 United Kingdom British Grand Prix Donington Italy Fausto Gresini Italy Pierfrancesco Chili Australia Wayne Gardner Report
12 Brazil Brazilian Grand Prix Interlagos Germany Dirk Raudies Italy Luca Cadalora United States Wayne Rainey Report
13 South Africa South African Grand Prix Kyalami Spain Jorge Martínez Italy Max Biaggi United States John Kocinski Report

Final standings[edit]

Scoring system

Position  1st   2nd   3rd   4th   5th   6th   7th   8th   9th   10th 
Points 20 15 12 10 8 6 4 3 2 1

500cc standings[2][3][edit]

Pos Rider Bike JPN
United Kingdom
South Africa
1 United States Wayne Rainey Yamaha Ret 2 2 2 Ret 1 Ret 5 1 2 1 3 140
2 Australia Mick Doohan Honda 1 1 1 1 2 2 1 12 6 136
3 United States John Kocinski Yamaha Ret DNQ 5 3 5 5 2 7 3 Ret 2 1 102
4 United States Kevin Schwantz Suzuki 3 4 4 1 4 2 Ret 4 Ret Ret 7 5 99
5 United States Doug Chandler Suzuki 2 5 5 10 4 3 8 Ret 2 Ret Ret 3 4 94
6 Australia Wayne Gardner Honda Ret DNQ 3 6 2 1 4 2 78
7 Spain Juan Garriga Yamaha 12 9 4 7 6 10 9 4 8 4 3 Ret 10 61
8 Spain Àlex Crivillé Honda Ret 7 3 Ret 8 Ret 4 1 DNS Ret Ret 6 7 59
9 United States Eddie Lawson Cagiva 14 6 Ret 11 11 6 6 Ret 1 5 4 11 Ret 56
10 United States Randy Mamola Yamaha 5 8 7 8 10 9 DNQ 5 3 8 Ret 10 Ret 45
11 United Kingdom Niall Mackenzie Yamaha 7 Ret Ret 3 9 7 Ret 7 14 6 Ret 9 8 37
12 Canada Miguel Duhamel Yamaha Ret 10 Ret 9 7 8 11 6 11 7 7 5 9 34
13 Brazil Alex Barros Cagiva 11 12 Ret 12 5 11 7 3 9 8 Ret 29
14 Australia Daryl Beattie Honda DNS 3 6 18
15 Australia Peter Goddard Yamaha Ret 11 8 6 12 10 5 Ret Ret 18
16 Japan Shinichi Ito Honda 4 10
17 Japan Keiji Ohishi Suzuki 6 6
18 United Kingdom Terry Rymer Yamaha 6 6
19 Italy Corrado Catalano Yamaha 16 14 9 20 12 Ret Ret 8 Ret Ret Ret Ret 12 5
20 Republic of Ireland Eddie Laycock Yamaha Ret Ret 10 Ret 14 19 15 9 10 Ret Ret 20 18 4
21 Japan Toshihiko Honka Yamaha 8 3
22 Germany Michael Rudroff Yamaha 15 18 14 16 16 18 14 11 16 14 8 15 19 3
23 United Kingdom Jamie Whitham Yamaha 9 Ret 2
24 France Dominique Sarron Yamaha 15 15 17 17 13 DNS 15 DNS 9 13 17 2
25 Japan Norihiko Fujiwara Yamaha 9 2
26 Japan Toshi Arakaki Yamaha 16 13 18 15 14 Ret 13 Ret 10 10 14 11 2
27 United Kingdom Kevin Mitchell Yamaha 20 11 14 Ret 16 16 10 Ret Ret Ret 16 Ret 1
28 Japan Satoshi Tsujimoto Honda 10 1
Switzerland Serge David Yamaha 19 15 21 Ret 20 Ret 16 20 12 11 18 20 0
New Zealand Andrew Stroud Yamaha 12 11 0
Netherlands Cees Doorakkers Yamaha 17 12 17 19 Ret 19 12 17 13 15 22 Ret 0
Spain Juan Lopez Mella Yamaha 19 18 15 12 13 0
France Bruno Bonhuil Yamaha 12 0
France Thierry Crine Yamaha 13 Ret 13 13 13 Ret 15 13 0
Switzerland Nicholas Schmassmann Yamaha 22 16 22 21 21 18 17 Ret 15 13 19 21 0
Japan Keiichiro Iwahashi Honda 13 0
United Kingdom Peter Graves Yamaha Ret Ret Ret 22 21 19 18 16 14 23 22 0
United Kingdom Damon Buckmaster Yamaha 21 Ret Ret 20 Ret 17 14 Ret Ret 0
South Africa Russel Wood Yamaha 14 0
South Africa Mike Wilson Yamaha 15 0
Italy Marco Papa Librenti Ret Ret 24 Ret 22 Ret 18 18 16 17 16 0
Austria Josef Doppler Yamaha Ret Ret 23 Ret 24 20 21 21 17 Ret Ret 24 0
Luxembourg Andreas Leuthe VRP Ret Ret 19 Ret 21 23 0
Italy Lucio Pedercini Paton Ret Ret Ret 23 22 20 Ret Ret Ret 0
France Claude Arciero Yamaha Ret Ret Ret Ret Ret Ret 0
United Kingdom Carl Fogarty Yamaha Ret 0
Pos Rider Bike JPN
United Kingdom
South Africa
Colour Result
Gold Winner
Silver 2nd place
Bronze 3rd place
Green Points finish
Blue Non-points finish
Non-classified finish (NC)
Purple Retired (Ret)
Red Did not qualify (DNQ)
Did not pre-qualify (DNPQ)
Black Disqualified (DSQ)
White Did not start (DNS)
Withdrew (WD)
Race cancelled (C)
Blank Did not participate (DNP)
Excluded (EX)

Bold – Pole Position

250cc standings[4][5][edit]

Place Rider Number Country Team Machine Points Wins
1 Italy Luca Cadalora 1 Italy Rothmans-Honda NSR250 203 7
2 Italy Loris Reggiani 13 Italy Unlimited Jeans-Aprilia RSV250 159 2
3 Italy Pierfrancesco Chili 7 Italy Telkor Valesi-Aprilia RSV250 119 3
4 Germany Helmut Bradl 2 Germany HB-Honda Germany NSR250 89 0
5 Italy Max Biaggi 29 Italy Telkor Valesi-Aprilia RSV250 78 1
6 Spain Alberto Puig 16 Spain Ducados-Aprilia RSV250 71 0
7 Germany Jochen Schmid 8 Germany Mitsui-Yamaha YZR250 58 0
8 Spain Carlos Cardús 3 Spain Repsol-Honda NSR250 48 0
9 Japan Masahiro Shimizu 5 Japan Hero Sports-Honda NSR250 46 0
10 Italy Doriano Romboni 15 Italy HB-Honda Italy NSR250 43 0
11 Netherlands Wilco Zeelenberg 4 Netherlands Lucky Strike Suzuki 250 38 0
12 Italy Loris Capirossi 6 Italy Marlboro Team Pileri NSR250 27 0
13 Japan Tadayuki Okada 51 Japan Team HRC TSR-Honda 15 0
14 Japan Nobuatsu Aoki 53 Japan Cup Noodle Honda NSR250 12 0
15 Spain Herri Torrontegui 28 Spain Lucky Strike Suzuki 250 11 0
16 Austria Andy Preining 11 Austria Team Preining-Aprilia RSV250 6
17 Jean Philippe Ruggia 6
18 Noboiuki Wakai 4
19 Carlos Lavado 4
20 Kyoji Nanba 3
21 Paolo Casoli 3
22 Bernard Haenggeli 2
22 Stefan Prein 2
22 Patrick van de Goorbergh 2
25 Jurgen van de Goorbergh 2
26 Bernd Kassner 1
26 Jean Pierre Jeandat 1

125cc standings[6][7][edit]

Place Rider Number Country Machine Points Wins
1 Italy Alessandro Gramigni 7 Italy Aprilia 134 2
2 Italy Fausto Gresini 2 Italy Honda 118 1
3 Germany Ralf Waldmann 3 Germany Honda 112 3
4 Italy Ezio Gianola 16 Italy Honda 105 4
5 Italy Bruno Casanova 15 Italy Aprilia 96 1
6 Germany Dirk Raudies 8 Germany Honda 91 1
7 Spain Jorge Martínez 6 Spain Honda 83 1
8 Italy Gabriele Debbia 4 Italy Honda 58 0
9 Japan Noboru Ueda 5 Japan Honda 57 0
10 Japan Noboyuki Wakai 10 Japan Honda 52 0
11 Kazuto Sakata 42
12 Carlos Giro Jr. 39
13 Hans Spaan 12
14 Peter Oettl 10
15 Oliver Petrucciani 9
16 Oliver Koch 9
17 Akira Saito 8
18 Masao Shimizu 5
19 Kinya Wada 5
20 Norihiko Fujiwara 4
21 Stefan Kurfiss 3
22 Heinz Lüthi 1


500cc participants[edit]

Team Constructor No Rider Rounds
Marlboro Team Roberts Yamaha 1 United States Wayne Rainey 1-7, 9-13
4 United States John Kocinski 1-2, 4-13
Rothmans Honda Team Honda 2 Australia Mick Doohan 1–7, 12-13
Rothmans Kanemoto Honda Honda 5 Australia Wayne Gardner 1, 5, 7, 9-13
58 Australia Daryl Beattie 2-3
Ducados Yamaha Team Yamaha 6 Spain Juan Garriga All
Cagiva Team Agostini Cagiva 7 United States Eddie Lawson All
12 Brazil Alex Barros 1-9, 12-13
Global Motorsports/Budweiser Racing Yamaha 8 United States Randy Mamola All
Lucky Strike Suzuki Suzuki 10 United States Doug Chandler All
34 United States Kevin Schwantz 1-2, 4-13
Millar Racing ROC-Yamaha 11 Republic of Ireland Eddie Laycock All
Banco ROC ROC-Yamaha 14 France Dominique Sarron 2, 4-13
HEK Racing Team Harris-Yamaha 15 Netherlands Cees Doorakkers 2-13
Librenti Corse Librenti 16 Italy Marco Papa 2-8, 10-13
Yamaha France Yamaha 17 Canada Miguel Duhamel All
19 United Kingdom Niall Mackenzie All
65 France Bernard Garcia
Rallye-Sport Racing Team Harris-Yamaha 18 Germany Michael Rudroff All
Team Valvoline/WCM ROC-Yamaha 21 Australia Peter Goddard 1-4, 6-7, 11-13
40 New Zealand Andrew Stroud 9-10
Padgett's Racing Team Harris-Yamaha 22 United Kingdom Damon Buckmaster 2-8, 12-13
61 United Kingdom Jamie Whitham 10-11
63 United Kingdom Terry Rymer 11
Uvex Racing Team ROC-Yamaha 23 Switzerland Nicholas Schmassmann 2-13
25 Austria Josef Doppler 2-13
Paton Paton 24 Italy Lucio Pedercini 2, 4-9, 11-12
MBM Racing Harris-Yamaha 26 United Kingdom Kevin Mitchell 2-13
62 United Kingdom Carl Fogarty 11
Team ROC ROC-Yamaha 27 Switzerland Serge David 2-13
32 Japan Toshiyuki Arakaki 2-13
Campsa Honda Team Honda 28 Spain Àlex Crivillé All
VRP Racing Team VRP 29 Luxembourg Andreas Leuthe 4, 8-9, 11-13
Peter Graves Racing Harris-Yamaha 30 United Kingdom Peter Graves 2-5, 7-13
Team HRC Honda 53 Japan Shinichi Ito 1
58 Australia Daryl Beattie 1
S.R.T Suzuki 55 Japan Keiji Ohishi 1