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Connections

Yamaha Motor Company
(Automobiles)
Harley-Davidson
(Automobiles)
Wayne Rainey
(Auto racing)
Suzuki
(Automobiles)
Mick Doohan
(Auto racing)
KTM
(Automobiles)
 

See also

Kenny Roberts

Knowledge Identifier: +Kenny_Roberts

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Kenny Roberts

American former professional motorcycle racer and racing team owner add

Category: Auto racing

Born in 1951.

Countries: (44%), Japan (11%), Europe (11%)

Education: undef.

Main connections: Yamaha Motor Company, Harley-Davidson, Wayne Rainey

Linked to: Yamaha Motor Company, Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company, Proton, Harley-Davidson

 

Timeline


 

This timeline needs to be reviewed and corrected, as it has been automatically generated from multiple web sources.
Please help improve it by adding dated informations, images and videos about Kenny Roberts.


Kenny Roberts was born in 1951 add something


1956

In 1956, the reigning 500 cc world champion, Geoff Duke and thirteen other riders were given six-month suspensions for merely threatening to strike add something


1968

In 1968, his race results drew the attention of a local & Suzuki dealer Bud Aksland, who offered to sponsor Roberts aboard a Suzuki motorcycle add something


1970

The motorcycle technology of the late 1970s featured engines with power in excess of what the frames and tires of the day could accommodate add something


1971

In 1971, Doyle and Roberts approached Triumph's American distributor to ask about the possibility of a sponsored ride, but were told that Roberts was too small for one of their bikes add something

 

In 1971, Roberts won the AMA Rookie of the Year Award add something


1972

In his first professional race as an expert class rider in 1972, Roberts rode to victory at the Grand National short-track race in the Houston Astrodome add something


1973

After observing Finnish rider Jarno Saarinen win the 1973 Daytona 200 using a riding style where he shifted his body weight towards the inside of a turn, Roberts tried the technique and found that it helped settle the motorcycle add something

 

Carruthers ended his riding career after the 1973 season to concentrate full-time on managing Roberts' and Yamaha's efforts in the A.M.A. Grand National Championship, a series which encompassed events in four distinctive dirt track disciplines plus road racing add something

 

He claimed his second consecutive Grand National championship, winning six races and surpassing his 1973 points record by scoring 2,286 points in the 23 race series, collecting points in all 23 races add something

 

In 1973, in just his second season as an expert, Roberts won the national championship, amassing a record 2,014 points in the 25-race series add something


1974

After having won the national championship in 1974, Roberts faced an increasingly difficult battle in dirt track races as, Harley-Davidson continued to improve their XR-750 dirt tracker while Yamaha struggled to maintain the pace add something

 

He traveled to England with a team of American riders to compete against a British riding team in the 1974 Transatlantic Match races add something

 

In the 1974 Daytona 200, after early leader Gary Nixon retired, Roberts battled for the lead with former 500 cc world champion, Giacomo Agostini before an overheated engine forced him to settle for second place add something

 

Roberts entered his first world championship road racing event, winning the pole position before finishing third in the 1974 250 cc Dutch TT add something

 

In April 1974, Roberts ventured to Europe for the first time to compete in the prestigious Imola 200 road race for 750 cc motorcycles add something

 

Roberts returned to compete in the 1974 Grand National championship and won his first national road race at Road Atlanta on June 2, 1974 add something


1975

He battled Harley-Davidson factory rider Gary Scott throughout the 1975 season but mechanical breakdowns hampered his title defense add something

 

Roberts continued his road racing successes in 1975, winning three out of four races in the 1975 Transatlantic Match races add something


1976

Although Roberts won four Grand Nationals in 1976, he continued to experience mechanical misfortunes as well as a horsepower deficit to the Harley-Davidson motorcycles in the mile and half-mile dirt track events add something


1977

He returned to England in April 1977, winning four out of six races at the 1977 Transatlantic Match races add something


1978

At the 1978 Swedish Grand Prix, Roberts crashed during practice for the 250 cc race, sustaining a concussion and a thumb injury add something

 

He won a rain-shortened Imola 200 race and was the second highest individual scorer behind Pat Hennen at the 1978 Transatlantic Match races add something

 

The 1978 season started with Roberts winning the Daytona 200 in a dominating fashion add something

 

The 1978 world championship chase did not start well for Roberts at the season-opening round in Venezuela add something

 

When it became apparent that Yamaha could not develop a dirt track motorcycle capable of competing with the dominant Harley-Davidson dirt track team, the American Yamaha importer, Yamaha USA, offered to send Roberts to Europe in 1978 to compete in the World Championship Grand Prix road racing series, along with Kel Carruthers to act as his mentor and crew chief add something


1979

During the 1979 FIM Congress, new rules were passed increasing prize money substantially and in subsequent years, stricter safety regulations were imposed on race organizers add something

 

Roberts' battle with Sheene at the 1979 British Grand Prix at Silverstone has been cited as one of the greatest races of the 1970s add something

 

Roberts' proposal to create a rival motorcycle championship in 1979 broke the Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme hegemony and increased the political clout of Grand Prix racers, which subsequently led to improved safety standards and a new era of professionalism in the sport add something

 

The 1979 season began disastrously for Roberts when he suffered career-threatening back injuries and a ruptured spleen in a pre-season crash while testing a motorcycle in Japan add something

 

In December 1979, Roberts made good on his threats when he, along with the other top world championship riders, released a letter to the press announcing their intention to break away from the FIM and create a rival race series called the "World Series" add something


1980

For the 1980 Grand Prix season, the Yamaha factory made the Yamaha USA team of Roberts and Carruthers the de facto factory racing team add something

 

It was not until Roberts planned his rival race series in 1980 that the FIM was forced to change the way in which they dealt with motorcycle racers add something

 

Returning to England once again for the 1980 Transatlantic Match races, Roberts was once again the top individual points scorer as he led the American team to victory over the British add something

 

In February 1980, Roberts made a remarkable return to the American Grand National Championship for two races at the season opening Houston TT and short-track events held in the Houston Astrodome over two evenings add something


1981

In 1981, Yamaha introduced a new square-four engined bike, similar to Suzuki's RG500 add something


1982

By the end of the 1982 season, Roberts had won sixteen 500 cc Grand Prix races, more than double that of any of his contemporaries add something

 

Roberts switched to Dunlop tires for the 1982 season, as Goodyear pulled out of motorcycle racing add something


1983

After his Grand Prix racing career ended in 1983, Roberts briefly considered an auto racing career before deciding to field a Grand Prix team add something

 

From 1983 to 1999, every 500 cc world championship was won by a rider with a dirt track racing background add something

 

He decided to take advantage of rules allowing lighter weights for three-cylinder motorcycles after observing the agility and handling advantage of Spencer's Honda NS500 during the 1983 season add something

 

Roberts announced that the 1983 season would be his final year in Grand Prix competition add something

 

The 1983 battle for the championship between Roberts and Honda's Spencer would be considered one of the greatest seasons in motorcycle Grand Prix history, along with the 1967 500 cc duel between Mike Hailwood and Giacomo Agostini add something


1984

In 1984, he entered a team into the 250 cc world championship with riders Wayne Rainey and Alan Carter using Yamaha bikes add something

 

Roberts continued to ride in selected events in 1984 add something

 

Wayne Rainey - In 1984, he accepted an offer to ride for the newly formed Kenny Roberts Yamaha squad in the 250cc class of the Grand Prix World Championship


1985

In July 1985, Roberts won the pole position at the prestigious Suzuka 8 Hours endurance race, held in Japan add something

 

In September 1985, he appeared at the Springfield Mile Grand National dirt track race riding a Mert Lawwill-prepared Harley-Davidson XR750, but failed to make the final add something


1986

In 1986 he moved up to the 500 cc world championship with riders Randy Mamola and Mike Baldwin add something

 

Roberts returned to compete in the 1986 Suzuka 8 Hours, this time teaming up with American Mike Baldwin add something


1988

After returning to the United States to compete in the AMA Superbike championship, Wayne Rainey re-joined the team in 1988, finishing in third place in his inaugural 500 cc season then, improving to second place behind Eddie Lawson in 1989 add something

 

The race eventually attained Grand Prix status in 1988 and in 1993, Roberts took on the role of promoter, providing financial backing for the 1993 United States Grand Prix add something

 

Wayne Rainey - In 1988 Rainey returned to Europe, again joining Team Roberts Yamaha, this time in the premier 500cc division riding the YZR500

 

Wayne Rainey - In 1988, Rainey and his Team Roberts Yamaha teammate Kevin Magee would win the prestigious Suzuka 8 Hours endurance race in Japan


1990

In 1990, Roberts secured the financial support of the Marlboro cigarette company, and his team became the official Yamaha factory racing team add something

 

In the 1990s when Grand Prix racing faced diminishing numbers of competitors due to increasing costs, Roberts demanded that Yamaha provide engines to privateer teams in order to bolster the number of racers add something

 

Roberts team riders Rainey and John Kocinski won the 500 cc and 250 cc world championships in 1990, making Roberts the most successful team manager in Grand Prix racing at the time add something

 

Alpinestars - Having enjoyed great success with many world champions such as Roger DeCoster, Kenny Roberts and Mick Doohan, the 1990s saw the company branch out into manufacturing all types of technical protective gear for motorcycling ranging from gloves and jackets to full leather suits


1993

After Rainey was left paralyzed in a crash at the 1993 Italian Grand Prix, the Roberts team continued racing with Luca Cadalora as their main rider, but struggled during a period dominated by Honda and their rider, Mick Doohan add something


1994

FTR Moto - The company was founded in 1994 as "Fabrication Techniques" by Steve Bones and in 1995 helped Kenny Roberts and TWR to build the chassis for their "Modenas KR3" motorcycle


1995

Norifumi Abe - Abe's performance impressed Kenny Roberts's Yamaha team, and was offered two more rides that year which yielded two 6th places and earned him a full-time Grand Prix ride for the 1995 season


1997

In 1997, Roberts stunned the racing world when he left Yamaha after more than 25 years to start his own motorcycle company add something


2000

Roberts' son, Kenny Roberts, Jr., won the 2000 500 cc World Championship, making them the only father and son duo to have won the title add something


2002

The motorcycle did manage to win a pole position with rider Jeremy McWilliams taking the top qualifying position at the 2002 Australian Grand Prix against the new breed of 990 cc four-stroke MotoGP motorcycles add something


2004

The team was originally well-funded by Proton of Malaysia, but by the middle of the 2004 season, it became apparent that the Roberts team was not able to field an engine capable of competing with the dominant Japanese factories add something


2005

Roberts turned to the & KTM factory to provide engines for the 2005 season, however after ten races KTM abruptly withdrew their support on the eve of the Czech Republic Grand Prix, forcing the team to miss several races add something


2006

Honda stepped in to help Roberts' team for the 2006 season by providing five-cylinder engines, as Robert's son, Kenny Roberts, Jr., rode the Team Roberts KR211V bike to a sixth place in the championship including two podium results add something


2007

The 2007 season saw the introduction of a new MotoGP engine formula using 800 cc four-stroke engines add something