Senna vs Prost is regularly cited as motorsport’s greatest rivalry. But it can easily be argued Rainey vs Schwantz can stake that claim. That rivalry was in full swing during the 1991 500cc season, remembered fondly by both stars 30 years on…
The rivalry between Wayne Rainey and Kevin Schwantz is legendary in grand prix motorcycle racing history, and the fact that it enthrals so many even today is testament to the staying power of their stories. For fans of two-wheeled racing, it’s at least the equal of four-wheeled aficionados’ recollections of the Ayrton Senna versus Alain Prost versus Nigel Mansell era.
By the 1991 500cc season, both were established stars on the grand prix scene, and along with Mick Doohan they dominated that year. But the Schwantz/Rainey rivalry was an old one, dating back to their time in the AMA Superbike championship in the US in the mid-1980s.