Sunday, October 14, 2012

Kevin Schwantz: “I was invincible. Nothing was going to stop me…”

Kevin Schwantz
Kevin Schwantz Kevin Schwantz Kevin Schwantz
Sheer talent, an inimitable riding style and the unbending will to win - Kevin Schwantz was one of the best in the 500cc two-stroke era. We still miss seeing him in action...

For their October 2012 issue of Legends, Dainese managed to catch up with 1993 500cc motorcycle grand prix racing world champion, the legendary Kevin Schwantz, for a quick chat. Here are some excerpts from what The Texas Tornado had to say:

On his unique style in GP racing, aboard his Suzuki RGV500

“When you can’t develop new technologies at the drop of a hat like the big factory teams of Honda and Yamaha, you have to be able to ride around problems in your setup. My style developed into whatever it took to go quickly. But it developed over the seasons and between races. I had to adapt to get the best out of the bike.”

On operating at the absolute limit all the time

“You have to be able to visually accommodate the speed because you’re operating at the limits of what is physically possible. The moment your vision starts to drop, you lose the ability to deal with all that fast-flowing information. I think ninety percent of motorbike racing is between the ears.”

On his retirement from motorcycle GP racing

“Up until the 1994 season, I was invincible. Nothing was going to stop me, nothing was going to kill me. But it was Wayne’s horrific injuries [in 1993, at the Italian GP in Misano] that kind of changed that view overnight. The only thing that got me back on to the grid in 1994 was the fact that I had broken my arm in pre-season training on my mountain bike. That gave me something on which to focus. Otherwise, there was no way I could have competed again.”

On what he wants to do next

“Now I just hope to give something back, to help change perceptions of bikes and bikers themselves…”

Source: Dainese

Kevin Schwantz
Kevin Schwantz Kevin Schwantz Kevin Schwantz
Twenty years ago, we wanted to be KS. Still do. Why? Watch this battle between Kevin Schwantz and Wayne Rainey during the 1991 500cc grand prix at Hockenheim, Germany

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