From June 23 to 26, 2022, motorcycle enthusiasts will descend on Sussex, England, for the Goodwood Festival of Speed. This year’s event will highlight technological advances with a “The Innovators—Masterminds of Motorsport” theme, but the annual fest will also feature one of the most heartfelt moments in motorcycling.
With organizers welcoming Wayne Rainey as a guest of honor, the three-time 500cc Grand Prix champ will ride his championship-winning 1992 Yamaha YZR500 on the legendary Goodwood Hillclimb course. The event will mark the first time that Rainey pilots a Grand Prix race bike since a crash at the 1993 Italian Grand Prix left the MotoGP Legend paralyzed from the chest down.
Rainey won’t be alone for the uphill climb, though. Goodwood will welcome racing greats Kenny Roberts, Kevin Schwantz, and Mick Doohan as additional guests of honor, and the trio will accompany Rainey on the world-famous track.
“I never thought I’d have a chance to throw a leg over a Grand Prix bike again. And I certainly never thought I’d have an opportunity to share a track with Kenny, Mick, and Kevin,” admitted Rainey. “This could only happen at the Festival of Speed. Obviously, Kenny played a major role in my racing career and my life so having him with us at Goodwood is going to make an incredible experience even more so.”
Of course, Rainey, Schwantz, and Doohan battled for years on the Grand Prix circuit. Rainey dominated the rivalry before his unfortunate accident, winning 500cc Grand Prix titles from 1990 to 1992 with Yamaha. In 1993, Schwantz captured the rider’s championship for Suzuki before Doohan took over the series from 1994 to 1998 with Honda.
While Rainey and Kenny Roberts raced in different Grand Prix eras, King Kenny gave Rainey his start in the Grand Prix series.
"Wayne’s determination to make this all happen is no surprise,” noted Roberts. “When he has something in his head that he wants to do, it’ll happen and it's a testament to him that two of his greatest rivals, Kevin Schwantz and Mick Doohan will be present at the festival this year to live this dream with him.”