Paralysed Wayne Rainey rides Suzuka at 250km/h… with Kenny Roberts!

Wayne Rainey is riding again but this time with Kenny Roberts and Eddie Lawson around the Suzuka Circuit he hasn't lapped since his 1993 500GP win

Wayne Rainey, Eddie Lawson, Kenny Roberts, Takuma Aoki [credit: Suzuka Circuit]

It’s already one of the feelgood stories of the year and now Wayne Rainey is at it again as he travelled to Japan to ride the iconic Suzuka Circuit alongside his former rivals Kenny Roberts and Eddie Lawson.

A three-time 500GP World Champion, Rainey’s glittering motorcycle career was halted in 1993 when he suffered an accident during the Italian GP at Misano, leaving him paralysed.

Despite this, Rainey has remained closely associated with motorcycle racing leading to a landmark event in November of this year when he was able to ride again for the first time in 26 years aboard a Yamaha R1 rigged up to be used with hand controls.

An emotional moment for Rainey, the moment has whet his appetite for more outings, leading him to Suzuka for its Sound of Engine festival earlier this month to complete a parade lap, this time on an R1 finished in the iconic red and white livery of his racing heyday.

The last time Rainey lapped the Suzuka Circuit it was the final lap of the 1993 Japanese GP which he won.

“To not ride for all those years and then to come back and do some laps around this circuit, I never knew the emotion would be as strong as it is. I immediately thought about all the good times I had in my career at this circuit.

“I haven’t rode a motorcycle in 26 years so to put it into sixth gear and go 250kmh was amazing, I loved it.”

Moreover, Rainey performed the lap alongside American counterparts Roberts and Lawson, with the 59-year old exclaiming it could be the first time the trio have been on track together.

Rainey wasn’t the only paralysed man on track either, with the US trio being joined by Japanese rider Takuma Aoki on a Repsol Honda. Aoki lost the use of his legs after an accident in 1998, a year after he finished fifth overall with Honda in the 500GP class.

Since then though, Aoki has remained involved in motorsport and has competed with success on four wheels in the Asian GP Championship.

You can view the full video from the day on the MotoGP website, though you will need a log-in.