26 years after Wayne Rainey’s career-ending injury, the three-time world champion has returned to riding with an emotional comeback using a modified Yamaha.

The Grand Prix legend made history by clinching three consecutive 500cc world championship titles between 1990 and 1992 with Yamaha before suffering a smashed sixth thoracic vertebra and a broken spine in a crash during the 1993 Italian GP at Misano which left him paralysed from the middle of the chest down.

Having remained a key presence in racing since his injury, and is currently the MotoAmerica President, Rainey has taken to the track again using an adapted Yamaha YZF-R1 at the Buttonwillow Raceway in his native California. Rainey, wearing a remake of his iconic red and white racing leathers from Alpinestars, posted his comeback on his personal social media account with support from MotoAmerica.

“I had the opportunity to ride a motorcycle yesterday for the first time in 26 years. And I had a blast. Big thanks to Yamaha Motor USA and Alpinestars for helping make it happen,” Rainey said on social media.




This. Just. Happened. #WayneRaineyRidesAgain. Full video coming soon. @wrainey60

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Rainey won 24 Grand Prix races from 95 starts across his Grand Prix career. 



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