Born October 1951, "King Kenny" was one of the most important figures of the World GP as well as in the USA. Making his debut in amateur racing in 1965 at the age of 14, he clinched consecutive AMA Grand National Championship titles in 1973 and 1974. As soon as he began racing in the World GP from 1978, Roberts made his name immediately by taking three consecutive championship titles. After losing to Freddie Spencer in a ferocious battle for the title in 1983, he teamed up with fellow rider Tadahiko Taira for the Suzuka 8 Hours Endurance Road Race. Roberts enticed the fans with his overwhelming speed.
Roberts, the showman, left many other resounding impressions on the sport. Arriving in a huge motor-home, his aggressive riding style of sliding the rear tire (rear wheel steering), and his hang-off riding posture is now the standard in the GP. Robert's success brought along the insurgence of great American riders of the 80's, such as Randy Mamola, Spencer and Eddie Lawson. After retiring from racing, he headed, Team Roberts, bringing Wayne Rainey and John Kocinski through the ranks to become world champions. From 1997 he entered the MotoGP with his team KR on an original machine.
|Year||Class||Result & Pole position||Machine|
|1978||500cc||Champion||PP: 2||1st: 4||2nd: 3||3rd: 1||YZR500(0W35K)|
|1978||250cc||4th||PP: 3||1st: 2||2nd: 2||3rd: 0||TZ250|
|1978||F750||2nd||PP: 0||1st: 4||2nd: 2||3rd: 0||YZR750(0W31)|
|1979||500cc||Champion||PP: 5||1st: 5||2nd: 1||3rd: 1||YZR500(0W45)|
|1980||500cc||Champion||PP: 2||1st: 3||2nd: 2||3rd: 1||YZR500(0W48/0W48R)|
|1981||500cc||3rd||PP: 0||1st: 2||2nd: 2||3rd: 1||YZR500(0W54)|
|1982||500cc||4th||PP: 3||1st: 2||2nd: 1||3rd: 1||YZR500(0W60/0W61)|
|1983||500cc||2nd||PP: 6||1st: 6||2nd: 3||3rd: 0||YZR500(0W70)|
*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)