In 1978, Kenny Roberts Snr. became the first American to win a 500cc Grand Prix Motorcycle World Championship. He is also a two time winner of the AMA Grand National Championship and one of only four riders in AMA history to win the AMA Grand Slam, representing Grand National wins at a mile, half mile, short-track, TT Steeplechase and road race events. Roberts is also the 1979 & 1980 500cc World Champion.
The annual Laguna Seca AMA National, held mid-summer served great on-track action for the American riders during their busy European schedules. It also provided local race fans the opportunity to see their American heroes race prior to the glory years of the US Grand Prix at Laguna Seca.
The 1983 race proved interesting as Lawson and Roberts were now teammates, showing up with over-bore OW69 models originally developed for the Daytona 200 (which KR won and Lawson finished second). Armed with a potent bike, Lawson figured he’d be the rabbit in this match during the second of two heat races. Although Roberts and Mamola led the field during the early laps, in the process assuming their usual script of popping huge wheelies for the crowd, Lawson had other intentions. Exiting Turn 9 early in the second heat, with KR and Mamola busy balancing their bikes on their rear tires, Steady Eddie blew past them on the front straight.
“Lawson came by us… tucked in,” said a somewhat astonished Mamola later. Added KR, who finished second to the Suzuki rider, “I didn’t want to go that fast, but Eddie set the pace.” Eventually the chain adjuster on Lawson’s OW69 broke, a similar fate sidelined Roberts in the first heat dropping both out of contention for the overall win. At that point, and with the two-heat advantage in Mamola’s favor, Roberts cooled the pace and the Roberts/Mamola Wheelie Show continued, business as usual.
Kenny Roberts has personally signed this photo which is limited to only 50 worldwide and which captures him racing during the 1983 Laguna Seca AMA National.
Each piece is backed by an Autographed Collectables 100% Guarantee of Authenticity which includes the signing date, location, edition size as well as a photo from the signing session.
Unframed Size: 30 x 45cm / 12 x 18″
Framed Size: 58.75 x 3.75 x 52cm / 23.5 x 1.5 x 20.75″
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