Eddie Lawson

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Eddie aboard the Honda NSR500, 1989.

Eddie Lawson (born March 11, 1958 in Upland, California) is a former four-time Grand Prix motorcycle road racing World Champion. His penchant for consistently finishing in the points earned him the nickname "Steady Eddie".

Lawson began his motorcycle racing career in the Southern California dirt track circuit. When it became increasingly difficult to find machinery able to compete with the dominant Harley Davidsons, he switched his attention to road racing. In 1979, Lawson finished the season second behind Freddie Spencer in the AMA 250cc road racing National Championship. Afterwards, he was offered a ride with the Kawasaki Superbike team and won the AMA Superbike Series 1981 and 1982. He also won the AMA 250cc road racing National Championship in 1980 and 1981 for Kawasaki.

Lawson accepted an offer from Yamaha to contest the 500cc World Championship as Kenny Roberts' team-mate for the 1983 season. Lawson spent the 1983 season learning the ropes of the Grand Prix circuit. In 1984, Lawson began winning regularly and won the 1984 world championship. It would mark the first of four world titles Lawson would go on to win. After winning two more titles for Yamaha in 1986 and 1988, Lawson shocked the racing world by announcing he would be leaving Yamaha to sign with their arch-rivals Honda. He went on to win the 1989 title for Honda, becoming the first rider to win back-to-back championships on machines from different manufacturers.

In 1990, Lawson won the Suzuka 8 Hours endurance race on a Yamaha YZF750R paired with Japanese rider Tadahiko Taira. Lawson also won the Daytona 200 in 1986 and came out of retirement to win it again in 1993. When he retired from GP racing in the early 1990s, he ranked third on the all-time 500cc Grand Prix wins list with 31.

After finishing his motorcycle career, Lawson tried his hand at four wheeled motorsport racing in the States in the Indy Lights series and eventually to CART in 1996 where he competed in 11 races with a best finish of 6th. His passion for speed remains undiminished however and the former World Champion now gets his kicks driving 250cc Go karts in the States often accompanied by his great friend and rival Wayne Rainey who races in a specially modified kart to cope with his spinal injuries.

Motorcycle Grand Prix Results

Year Class Classification Machine Victories
1983 500cc 4th Yamaha 0
1984 500cc 1st Yamaha 4
1985 500cc 2nd Yamaha 3
1986 500cc 1st Yamaha 7
1987 500cc 3rd Yamaha 5
1988 500cc 1st Yamaha 7
1989 500cc 1st Honda 4
1990 500cc 7th Yamaha 0
1991 500cc 6th Cagiva 0
1992 500cc 9th Cagiva 1