From the Rich Chenet Photo Series, Wayne Rainey looks back to see where his competition is during the 1986 Loudon Superbike race. It’s likely that Rainey had to look a long time to find anyone since he totally dominated the race on his factory Honda VFR750, winning by over 13 seconds. It marked an outstanding comeback for Rainey at Loudon. The year before he’d crashed at the track and broke his elbow.
“I was detuned because of last year,” Rainey said of his attitude coming into the race. “I wanted to just get into the lead and go. I went out and just raced and didn’t worry about anything else.”
Rainey won over Honda teammates Fred Merkel and Bubba Shobert to make it a Honda sweep of the Loudon Superbike podium. The victory gave Rainey the points lead at the halfway point in the season. Ultimately it was Fred Merkel who won the title, the pivotal point being Rainey crashing out of the Mid-Ohio round at the end of the season.
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