Roberts in the Rain at Mallory Park by Greening

Kenny Roberts delicately corners his factory Yamaha OW31 in the rain at Mallory Park during the 1977 Anglos-American Match Races. (The Jim Greening Collection)

Kenny Roberts delicately corners his factory Yamaha OW31 in the rain at Mallory Park during the 1977 Anglos-American Match Races. (The Jim Greening Collection)

Part Two of the yearlong Jim Greening Match Race photo installment features Kenny Roberts all alone out front in the rain at Mallory Park in the 1977 edition of the Transatlantic.

Roberts was on a major roll coming into the Match Races that year. He’d won both the 250GP and Formula 1 AMA Nationals at Charlotte in March. He then went to Italy and won both legs of Italy’s Daytona – the Imola 200. He then took the first four legs of the six-race Anglo-American Transatlantic Match Races to give the American squad a nearly insurmountable lead.

The Brits and Americans left the first pair of races at Brands Hatch tied in points, but led by Roberts’ domination of both legs, the Americans took a commanding lead at Mallory Park. The Brits were known for their rain racing skills and Roberts’ performance in the rain that day left the British fans looking on in amazement.

This photo shows Roberts cruising alone way in front captured perfectly by brilliant photographer and writer Jim Greening. It captures the focus of Roberts racing a peaky and majorly powerful two-stroke Yamaha OW31.

The victory for the American’s in 1977, by the score of 305-280, was only the second time the U.S. left victorious in seven tries.

Match Races by Greening Pt. 1

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