Did you happen to see any footage from the 2022 Goodwood Festival of Speed? While it’s full of amazing bikes and cars every year, 2022 was particularly special because Wayne Rainey and his championship-winning 1992 Yamaha YZR500 made their first-ever appearance at the event.
The living MotoGP legend took a demonstration lap on that fantastic bike—flanked by the likes of Kenny Roberts, Kevin Schwantz, and Mick Doohan. Don’t worry if you missed it—it's 2022, and of course there’s video of this historic moment that you can watch whenever you want. (You definitely do want to watch it, though; seeing and hearing those bikes is the next-best thing to being there in person.)
Those four racing legends share 12 World Championships between them. Just sit back for a moment and take that in, because it’s a pretty amazing thing to behold. Thankfully, after the lap is complete, and the racers park their bikes up at Goodwood House, we also get to see a nice interview with the four of them, chatting to the crowd below about the experience.
What did Rainey think of his first-ever Goodwood Festival of Speed experience? When asked in the interview if he’d consider coming back to the event in the future, Rainey said he loved every minute and that he was never leaving. The other racers also seemed genuinely thrilled and moved by having the opportunity to be a part of something so special.
It’s almost 30 years since the fateful 1993 Italian Grand Prix crash where Rainey ultimately became a paraplegic. Motorcycling is a deeply ingrained part of who Rainey is, and the love has clearly never left him. (I mean, you don’t start and run the MotoAmerica racing series if you don’t love motorcycle racing. Period.)
That makes it a particularly special and moving experience for fans of motorcycle racing to see Rainey back out there. Whether you witnessed those two-stroke championship glory days or not, the sheer joy you can see as these four parade around Goodwood and then have a nice chat afterward is absolutely brilliant. Thanks to the racers, to the Duke of Richmond for putting on the FOS event, and to everyone else who made this once-in-a-lifetime event possible.