Born March 1958. After making the conversion from the dirt track as a boy to road racing, Lawson was able to secure AMA Superbike championships in 1981 and 1982. In recognition of this success, the following year saw Yamaha sending him to race at the World GP.
However, the 1983 season was the year where Kenny Roberts and Freddie Spencer were to face off in a dramatic duel. Even though this was his first year in the World GP, his first time on a Yamaha 2-stroke GP machine and his first time riding on this circuit, Lawson was criticized for not being able to support Roberts, and his 4th place finish did not get the acclaim it deserved. However, from here he silenced all the critics with a constant display of highly tactical and stable riding with race strategies that took in the entire season. Compared to five wins out of the 12-round series by Spencer in 1984, Lawson took nine podium finishes including four wins, and three 4th-place finishes to clinch his first championship.
Since, the battle between two contrasting riders, of "Steady Eddie" Lawson and "Fast Freddie" Spencer, was one of the major talking points of the GP scene. The battle ended with Spencer having to withdraw from the showdown due to some physical problems. Lawson kept up his pace regardless, and took the 1986 and 1988 titles. He then transferred over to Honda, where he got his 4th championship. Then in 1992 with Cagiva, he finished his GP career with a total of 31 wins (26 with Yamaha) in the 500cc class.
|Year||Class||Result & Pole position||Machine|
|1983||500cc||4th||PP: 0||1st: 0||2nd: 1||3rd: 3||YZR500(0W70)|
|1984||500cc||Champion||PP: 2||1st: 4||2nd: 4||3rd: 1||YZR500(0W76)|
|1985||500cc||2nd||PP: 2||1st: 3||2nd: 6||3rd: 0||YZR500(0W81)|
|1986||500cc||Champion||PP: 7||1st: 7||2nd: 2||3rd: 1||YZR500(0W81)|
|1987||500cc||3rd||PP: 2||1st: 5||2nd: 6||3rd: 1||YZR500(0W86)|
|1988||500cc||Champion||PP: 2||1st: 7||2nd: 4||3rd: 1||YZR500(0W98)|
|1990||500cc||7th||PP: 0||1st: 0||2nd: 2||3rd: 4||YZR500(0WC1)|
*Results for years with a Yamaha factory team, riding a Yamaha factory machine or ranked 5th or higher riding a Yamaha production racer (World GP, World F750)