Who does not know Freddie Spencer, or more famously called Fast Freddie? He is one of the most iconic professional racers in the International motorbike community.
But do you know how it all began for him? Well, if not, here is our brief article on Freddie’s journey to become a motorbike racing legend!
Freddie, at a very young age was known as a potential two-wheeler racing prodigy. He had passion for racing and started competing in dirt track motorcycling competitions at a tender age of 4.
The American Honda Racing Team saw a champion in Freddie and gave him a chance to ride for them after he won the 250 cc National Road Racing Championship in 1978.
The Rise to Stardom.
In 1980, the Louisiana born racer justified his riding contract with the American Honda group by giving them their first Superbike title at the 1980 AMA Superbike Championship.
This win immediately shot Freddie into limelight, post which he defeated two world champions Kenny Robert and Barry Sheene to win two legs at the Brands Hatch providing him with an international prominence.
He also made his MOTOGP racing debut in the same year at the Belgian Grand Prix.
Freddie was promoted to the Honda Full Time Grand Prix team in 1982 after which Honda’s 3 cylindrical racing motorbike NS500 was developed.
The same year Freddie broke Mike Hailwood’s record of the youngest person to win the 500 cc World Championship, at the age of 21.
The following year was a fierce competitive chasing for the title of the Grand Prix racing where Kenny Roberts and Freddie dominated the competition with a ping pong like tug of war with each of them bagging six victories each.
Till date the 1983 Grand Prix racing season goes down as one of the most interesting and dramatic race for the Grand Prix title.
The 1983 title was settled at a track in Sweden where both Robert and Spencer collided on the last lap of the race but Spencer was able to glide through the finish line for a win.
Although Spencer was able to win 5 races in 1984, he was unable to defend his Grand Prix title at fourth place having suffered from injuries due to crashes on the newly developed Honda NSR 500 which had a rather ambitious design.
The Glorious 1985 Season
The 1985 season came as a spectacular one for Freddie that inscribed his name in history.
Spencer participated in the season opening race known as the Daytona 200 and won.
He became a proud champion of Formula 1 racing after which he also added the 250 cc racing class to his resume.
These 3 prestigious title divisions won by Spencer made him the only racer in the motorbike community to have won all 3 divisions in a single calendar year.
Inspired by the Italian Giacomo Agostino in 1972, Spencer wanted to try his luck on both the 350 cc and 500 cc Grand Prix titles. Honda at that time only had a 500 cc engine but Satoru Horiike and Oguma San put in enough work to develop a 250 cc engine for him.
Spencer then participated in the 500 cc and the 250 cc Grand Prix World Championship and won both in the same year.
After the 1985 Victories.
Freddie’s resilience and will for success paid-off in 1985 with all the titles and honors. However, it all came at a cost, as he suffered several bruises and physical strain while preparing for all the competitions.
It is believed that his racing career was short lived as he fizzled out of relevance and didn’t win any other Grand Prix race after the challenging and legendary 1985 victories.
Freddie announced his retirement from Grand Prix racing in the early quarter of 1988 even though his attempt to come back to racing in 1989 and 1993 proved abortive.
After a couple of years of retirement at the age of 56, Freddie returned to MOTOGP after he was offered the position of FIM MOTOGP Stewards Panel Chairman. He stated that the position is important to him because it deals with the integrity of the sports which has to come first at all time.
All in all, it has been an adventurous journey for Freddie and no wonder he is regarded and respected as one of the greatest motorbike racers of 1980’s.
To know more about Freddie, and his latest activities follow him on Facebook .
In the upcoming articles, we will be talking about some more motorbike legends, so stay tuned!
Disclaimer: This article was prepared or accomplished by it's author in their personal capacity. The opinions expressed in this article are the author's own and do not reflect the view of Motorbikes India or it's owners.
The views and opinions expressed on this web site are soley those of the original authors and other contributors. These views and opinions do not necessarily represent those of Steve Gerweck, the GERWECK.NET staff, and/or any/all contributors to this site.