Wayne Rainey rides again 26 years after paralysis

Triple motorcycle grand prix World Champion Wayne Rainey rides for the first time since the accident that paralysed him 26 years ago

Wayne Rainey - Yamaha

Three-time 500cc World Champion Wayne Rainey has made an emotional return to motorcycle riding after being given the chance to ride a modified Yamaha in the US.

Regarded as one of the legends of grand prix racing, Rainey won three consecutive 500cc World Championships between 1990 and 1992, but an accident during the 1993 Italian Grand Prix at Misano left him with a smashed sixth thoracic vertebra and a broken spine.

Leaving him paralysed from the waist down, the Rainey has nonetheless remained closely involved with motorcycle racing over the decades and currently holds a role as President of the US-based MotoAmerica series.

Now Rainey has been given the opportunity to ride again aboard a specially modified Yamaha YZF-R1 at the Willow Springs Circuit in California.

Decked out in a classic remake of his red and white racing leathers from Alpinestars, the emotional comeback was captured on his social media channels.

“I had the opportunity to ride a motorcycle yesterday for the first time in 26 years. And I had a blast. Big thanks to Yamaha Motor USA and Alpinestars for helping make it happen,” Rainey said.