Eddie Lawson

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Eddie Lawson
Eddie Lawson 1990 Japanese GP.jpg
Lawson aboard the Yamaha YZR500, 1990.
NationalityUnited States
Born(1958-03-11) March 11, 1958 (age 56)
Upland, California
Motorcycle racing career statistics
Grand Prix motorcycle racing
Active years19831992
First race1983 500cc South African Grand Prix
Last race1992 500cc South African Grand Prix
First win1984 500cc South African Grand Prix
Last win1992 500cc Hungarian Grand Prix
Team(s)Yamaha, Honda, Cagiva
Championships500cc – 1984, 1986, 1988, 1989
StartsWinsPodiumsPolesF. lapsPoints
127317818211429
 
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For the Waterloo Road character of the same name, see Eddie Lawson (Waterloo Road).
Eddie Lawson
Eddie Lawson 1990 Japanese GP.jpg
Lawson aboard the Yamaha YZR500, 1990.
NationalityUnited States
Born(1958-03-11) March 11, 1958 (age 56)
Upland, California
Motorcycle racing career statistics
Grand Prix motorcycle racing
Active years19831992
First race1983 500cc South African Grand Prix
Last race1992 500cc South African Grand Prix
First win1984 500cc South African Grand Prix
Last win1992 500cc Hungarian Grand Prix
Team(s)Yamaha, Honda, Cagiva
Championships500cc – 1984, 1986, 1988, 1989
StartsWinsPodiumsPolesF. lapsPoints
127317818211429

Eddie Lawson (born (1958-03-11)March 11, 1958 in Upland, California) is a former four-time Grand Prix motorcycle racing World Champion.[1][2] His penchant for not crashing and consistently finishing in the points earned him the nickname "Steady Eddie".[3]

Biography[edit]

Chuck Long, a former army motorcycle messenger and grandfather to young Eddie Lawson taught him how to powerslide a motorcycle on the dry lake beds in the California high desert. Lawson began his motorcycle racing career in the Southern California dirt track circuit.[2] When it became increasingly difficult to find machinery able to compete with the dominant Harley-Davidsons, he switched his attention to road racing.[2] In 1979, Lawson finished the season second behind Freddie Spencer in the AMA 250cc road racing National Championship.[2] Afterwards, he was offered a ride with the Kawasaki Superbike team and won the AMA Superbike Series in 1981 and 1982. He also won the AMA 250cc road racing National Championship in 1980 and 1981 for Kawasaki.[2]

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.[1] It would mark the first of four world titles Lawson would go on to win.[1] 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 Rothmans Honda as team mate to his own arch rival, Australia's 1987 World Champion Wayne Gardner. By switching teams, Lawson also fulfilled his desire to work with Erv Kanemoto. After Gardner crashed and broke his leg during the third round at Laguna Seca, Lawson went on to win the 1989 title for Honda, becoming the first rider to win back-to-back championships on machines from different manufacturers. By winning with both Yamaha and Honda, Lawson silenced his critics who believed he would not be as successful away from the factory Marlboro Yamaha team.[2]

Lawson also won the ABC Superbikers event at Carlsbad Calif. in 1983 and 1985 which pitted the best riders from several disciplines against each other on a combined dirt and paved course. He was riding a specially equipped factory YZ 490 Yamaha. [4]

In 1990, Lawson won the Suzuka 8 Hours endurance race on a Yamaha FZR750R paired with Japanese rider Tadahiko Taira.[5] Lawson also won the Daytona 200 in 1986 and came out of retirement to win it again in 1993.[6] When he retired from GP racing in the early 1990s, he ranked third on the all-time 500cc Grand Prix wins list with 31.[2]

After finishing his motorcycle career, Lawson pursued a career in open-wheel single seater racing in the United States competing in the Indy Lights series and eventually to CART.[7] In the 1996 IndyCar season, he competed in 11 races with his best results being two sixth place finishes at U.S. 500 and the Detroit Indy Grand Prix. His passion for speed remains undiminished and the former World Champion now enjoys driving 250cc Superkarts often accompanied by his great friend and rival Wayne Rainey, who races in a specially modified Superkart to cope with his spinal injuries.[3]

Honors[edit]

Racing career statistics[1][edit]

Points system from 1969 to 1987:

Position12345678910
Points1512108654321

Points system from 1988 to 1992:

Position123456789101112131415
Points201715131110987654321

(key) (Races in bold indicate pole position; races in italics indicate fastest lap)

YearClassTeamMachine123456789101112131415PointsRankWins
1983500ccMarlboro Agostini YamahaYZR500RSA
8
FRA
NC
NAT
3
GER
9
ESP
6
AUT
2
YUG
3
NED
5
BEL
5
GBR
4
SWE
5
SMR
3
784th0
1984500ccMarlboro Agostini YamahaYZR500RSA
1
NAT
2
ESP
1
AUT
1
GER
2
FRA
2
YUG
4
NED
3
BEL
4
GBR
2
SWE
1
SMR
4
1421st4
1985500ccMarlboro Agostini YamahaYZR500RSA
1
ESP
2
GER
4
NAT
2
AUT
2
YUG
1
NED
NC
BEL
2
FRA
4
GBR
2
SWE
2
SMR
1
1332nd3
1986500ccMarlboro Agostini YamahaYZR500ESP
2
NAT
1
GER
1
AUT
1
YUG
1
NED
NC
BEL
2
FRA
1
GBR
3
SWE
1
SMR
1
1391st7
1987500ccMarlboro Agostini YamahaYZR500JPN
NC
ESP
2
GER
1
NAT
2
AUT
NC
YUG
3
NED
1
FRA
NC
GBR
1
SWE
2
CZE
2
SMR
2
POR
1
BRA
2
ARG
1
1573rd5
1988500ccMarlboro Agostini YamahaYZR500JPN
3
USA
1
ESP
2
EXP
1
NAT
1
GER
4
AUT
1
NED
2
BEL
2
YUG
10
FRA
1
GBR
6
SWE
1
CZE
2
BRA
1
2521st7
1989500ccRothmans Kanemoto HondaNSR500JPN
3
AUS
5
USA
3
ESP
1
NAT
DNS
GER
2
AUT
2
YUG
3
NED
2
BEL
1
FRA
1
GBR
2
SWE
1
CZE
2
BRA
2
2281st4
1990500ccMarlboro Roberts YamahaYZR500JPN
DNF
USA
DNS
ESP
INJ
NAT
INJ
GER
INJ
AUT
INJ
YUG
INJ
NED
3
BEL
3
FRA
5
GBR
3
SWE
2
CZE
3
HUN
2
AUS
4
1187th0
1991500ccCagiva CorseGP500JPN
6
AUS
6
USA
5
ESP
6
ITA
3
GER
4
AUT
5
EUR
DNF
NED
4
FRA
3
GBR
6
RSM
DNF
CZE
8
VDM
MAL
1266th0
1992500ccCagiva CorseGP500JPN
14
AUS
6
MAL
DNF
ESP
11
ITA
11
EUR
6
GER
6
NED
DNF
HUN
1
FRA
5
GBR
4
BRA
11
RSA
DNF
569th1

American open-wheel racing results[edit]

(key)

Indy Lights[edit]

YearTeam123456789101112RankPoints
1992Leading Edge MotorsportPHXLBHDETPORMILNHATORCLEVANMDONAZLS
18
NC0
1993Leading Edge MotorsportsPHXLBHMILDETPOR
8
CLE
9
TORNHA
10
VAN
3
MDO
17
NAZLS
2
12th42
1994Tasman MotorsportsPHX
3
LBH
18
MIL
2
DET
2
POR
3
CLE
1
TOR
5
MDO
2
NHA
11
VAN
7
NAZ
5
LS
3
4th139

CART[edit]

YearTeamChassisEngine12345678910111213141516RankPoints
1996Galles RacingLola T96/00Mercedes-Benz IC108CMIA
15
RIO
21
SRF
7
LBH
9
NZR
17
500
6
MIL
20
DET
6
POR
15
CLE
24
TOR
15
MISMDOROAVANLS20th26

External links[edit]

References[edit]

Preceded by
Wes Cooley
AMA Superbike Champion
1981–1982
Succeeded by
Wayne Rainey
Preceded by
Freddie Spencer
500cc Motorcycle World Champion
1984
Succeeded by
Freddie Spencer
Preceded by
Freddie Spencer
500cc Motorcycle World Champion
1986
Succeeded by
Wayne Gardner
Preceded by
Wayne Gardner
500cc Motorcycle World Champion
1988–1989
Succeeded by
Wayne Rainey