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Rainey’s Rocket: 1990 Marlboro Team Roberts Yamaha YZR500

The number 2 became a number 1 in 1990 and stayed on Rainey’s bikes for the next three years as he racked up three consecutive 500cc Grand Prix World Championships.

It’s not every day that a three-time 500cc Grand Prix World Championship takes you on a personal tour of one of his title-winning motorcycles, but MotoAmerica President Wayne Rainey recently took the fairing and fuel tank off his 1990 Marlboro Team Roberts Yamaha YZR500 for the first time in more than three decades. Carrying the Yamaha Works designation “0WC1”, the fire-breathing 500cc two-stroke factory prototype road racer is the exact machine that Rainey roced in the 1990 500cc GP World Championship, and Yamaha gave it to him as a special thank you for winning his first World Championship that year.

Rainey reigned in the rain with the victory at Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium on July 7, 1990.

In 1990, Rainey notched 7 wins, 14 podiums in 15 races, and 3 pole positions. He was the brightest shining star that season in “America’s Dream Team” managed by three-time 500cc GP World Champ Kenny Roberts, with four-time and defending 500cc World GP Champ Eddie Lawson as his premier-class teammate and1990 250cc GP World Champ John Kocinski also as his stablemate.

The 1990 Yamaha YZR500 0WC1 featured the following specs:

Engine type: Liquid-cooled, 2-stroke, 499cc, V4

Induction: Crankcase reed intake valve

Transmission: Six-speed

Maximum power output: 155 HP

Frame: Deltabox twin-spar

Watch the video and enjoy Rainey’s narration of some of the features of this special machine:

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