<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by AZ Scott:
When I first started riding bikes and following racing, he was the reigning Superbike champion. My Air Force room mate was a fan of his, and he told me to watch Lawson. So I started following him, and he's been my hero ever since.
Dirt track champion, 250 champion, 2-time Superbike champion (on that BEAST of a KZ1000), 4-time World GP500 champion, including back-to-back championships on two different brands of bikes, and he's won 500 GP's on THREE different brands! (I believe he's the only one to do that...)
Then, he went on to win in Indy Lights, and he drove Indy Cars competitively. Now, he's tearing it up on the Kart tracks. The man can flat out ride/drive anything.
Of the current crop of riders, there are plenty of guys I really admire, but there are a few who really stand out in my eyes:
Ben Bostrom, Nicky Hayden, Kenny Roberts, Nori Haga, and one who has amazed me from the first time he stepped onto a GP bike -- Valentino Rossi!
Damn, Scott, that's word for word what I would say! I think "Steady Eddie" is the best to ever race on two wheels. He proved himself in a field rich with talent (Rainey, Gardner, Schwantz, Spencer, etc.) and beat them all with three different brands of motorcycles. That's rider skill folks. I like Doohan but he really never proved himself like Eddie. Mick stayed on the dominant Honda and never really faced the same talent as Lawson.
Of today's active racers I really like the Hayden brothers, particularly Nicky. He'll be in GP's soon. Valentino Rossi just blows me away. He's the Italian version of Nicky (but three years ahead in his career.) My FAVORITE to watch, however, is Noriyuki Haga. This dude is freakin' wild! He reminds me a little of the old-time bad-boy racers like KR Sr. Here's a recent Haga post-race interview this year (in very broken English):
"Uh, first race was sh*t...but, uh, second race better."
I want him on the podium just so I can see another Haga interview. His riding is incredible too. My jaw hits the floor every time I see him race. Absolutely amazing.
"You must be fast 'cuz I was haulin' ass when I passed you"
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