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ONE SHOT - 1983, Daytona 200

The 1983 Daytona 200 was contested under a technical regulation of the AMA (the North American motorcycle federation) that admitted 750cc prototypes and what they called Formula 1. The YAMAHA overcame the competition and Kenny Roberts (2) won the ahead of Eddie Lawson (21). The bikes were derived from the 500cc GP but with the cylinder capacity increased to the regulatory limit. This circumstance gave rise to brutal performances, subject to the technological limits of the tyres. During the race, Roberts even entered the pits, suspecting that he had a flat tire, he verified that the tire was in good condition despite the inherent limitations, with this operation he lost 20s which he still managed to recover! Later, the rderis said: - Kenny Roberts: "the truth is that those OW69s had little to do with the GP 500, their engines were not 680cc, as has been said, they were authentic 750cc with all the ingredients, it is also true that, in the last laps, when Eddie and I did the fastest times, we hit 210mph (337km/h) with almost no tires, holding on as best we could". - Eddie Lawson: "We came out strong with the factory HONDA, crewed by Steve Wise, in pursuit, we set a very fast pace. Our question was whether the DUNLOPs would hold up. In fact, the tires suffered a lot of deformation at the end of the straight, the vibrations were so strong that we had to anticipate the braking and change the trajectory, without these constraints I don't know what speed we would have reached!"

Rich Chenet's photo



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