Big read: Forget Rossi v Marquez or Bridewell v Irwin – the rivalry between Schwantz and Rainey was on another level


It’s now more than 30 years since Kevin Schwantz won the 1993 500GP crown, his only world title before retiring early in the 1995 season.

But he won far more than races and a world title during that 1993 season – he won the friendship of the man he had hated more than any other, and who hated him just as much.

The crash that paralysed fellow American Wayne Rainey ultimately led to a great alliance between these once bitter rivals.

During the 1993 season the deep hatred that had raged between Kevin Schwantz and Wayne Rainey for years came to a sudden end in the Turn 1 gravel trap at Misano during the Italian GP.

The awful crash handed Kevin Schwantz his only 500cc world title and left Wayne Rainey permanently
in a wheelchair.

But it also marked the end of the most intense rivalry that Grand Prix motorcycle racing
had ever witnessed…

Stuart Barker

By Stuart Barker