Randy Mamola – The Rain Master

Randy Mamola celebrates his victory at the rainy 1987 Japanese 500cc Motorcycle Grand Prix. (Malcolm Bryan photo)

Randy Mamola celebrates his victory in the Japanese 500cc Grand Prix at Suzuka in March of 1987, the opening round of that year’s Motorcycle Grand Prix World Championship. The race was held in a steady rain, and it caused many riders to crash, run off the track or their bikes quit running. Mamola, riding the Lucky Strike/Roberts Yamaha YZR500 pulled away from the rest of the field from the start. Mamola’s teammate Mike Baldwin had second place in the bag, when with four laps to go his bike seized (possibly caused by water getting into the engine) and he slid out of the race. In the final couple of laps, Mamola seemed to have the same issue with his bike, and it would intermittently stop running. It threw Randy out of the saddle a couple of time, but he managed to hold on to the checkered flag. Wins like these gave Mamola the reputation as being a true rain master.

Yamaha’s clever win ad featuring Randy Mamola’s victory in the 1987 Japanese Motorcycle Grand Prix.

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