Motorcycle Hall of Fame Legend Kenny Roberts to be honored at 2011 induction ceremony
July 20, 2011
Perhaps more than any other competitor,
Kenny Roberts put his stamp of dominance on American and world
motorcycle roadracing, both as an AMA National Champion, a Grand Prix
World Champion and then as a Grand Prix team owner. On Friday, Nov. 18,
he will be honored as one of two Motorcycle Hall of Fame Legends at the
annual Motorcycle Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony at the Red Rock
Casino, Resort and Spa in Las Vegas, Nev.
"In one of the most
competitive disciplines in motorsport, Kenny Roberts excelled not only
as a racer but as a team owner and a businessman," said Jeff Heininger,
chairman of the American Motorcycle Heritage Foundation, which raises
funds for the Motorcycle Hall of Fame. "It is such a pleasure for us to
honor Kenny in this way, and I know that everyone in the audience will
be on their feet to thank him for everything he has done for
"King Kenny" Roberts, who was inducted into
the Motorcycle Hall of Fame in 1998, won his first-ever AMA Grand
National race in 1972 and went on to win 33 AMA Nationals in dirt-track
and roadracing, including the prestigious Daytona 200 three times. A
master of the dirt oval, Roberts' reputation grew with every season. He
achieved legendary status when he fielded a dirt-tracker powered by a
TZ750 two-stroke roadracer engine at the Indianapolis Mile in 1975,
made a dramatic last-lap pass for the win and made the classic
statement: "They don't pay me enough to ride that thing."
two-time AMA Grand National Champion, Roberts then moved to the world
stage and became the first-ever American to win a 500cc Grand Prix
motorcycle racing world championship in 1978. In the following years
Roberts dominated the World Grand Prix circuit, and by the end of 1980,
he had captured three consecutive World 500 Grand Prix titles. His
brilliant racing performances popularized throughout the world the U.S.
flat-track style of sliding the rear wheel in turns.
Roberts is also credited with focusing attention on rider safety in World Grand Prix racing.
Retiring from full-time racing at the end of the 1983 season, Roberts
formed his own World 500 Grand Prix team. In 1990, Team Roberts' rider
Wayne Rainey, who would go on to become a Hall of Famer himself, won
the World 500 Grand Prix title, and teammate John Kocinski took the
World 250 Championship -- bringing the team a rare 500 and 250
championship season. By the end of the 1992 season, Rainey had matched
Roberts' earlier accomplishment, securing three successive World 500
crowns for Marlboro Team Roberts.
"The only thing I cared
about when I raced was what other riders thought," said Roberts.
"Earning their respect was what we worked for, and it means a lot to me
to be honored this way in front of my peers and friends in the
Roberts is the first of two Hall of Fame Legends
to be announced and honored at the Motorcycle Hall of Fame Induction
Ceremony for the Class of 2011, which includes motocross promoter Stu
Peters, noted magazine editor Phil Schilling, industry leader Fred Fox,
roadracing champion Doug Polen and motorcycling pioneer Norbert
The Class of 2011 will officially be inducted into
the Motorcycle Hall of Fame on Nov. 18 as part of the AMA Legends &
Champions Weekend. In addition to the induction ceremony, the weekend
includes the 2011 Dave Mungenast Memorial Motorcycle Hall of Fame
Concours d'Elegance bike show on Saturday, Nov. 19, featuring some of
the country's most impressive original and restored classic
motorcycles. The AMA Racing Championship Banquet closes out the weekend
on Sunday, Nov. 20, where AMA Racing amateur champions of all ages will
be recognized for their 2011 accomplishments.
Tickets for the AMA Legends & Champions weekend are now available through this online registration form: http://events.r20.constantcontact.com/register/event?llr=vw9ldxbab&oeidk=a07e3rn4juk2e3f80c1. Tickets may be ordered over the phone by calling (800) 262-5646.
The AMA Legends & Champions Weekend also includes the final round
of the GEICO AMA EnduroCross National Championship Series on Saturday
evening, Nov. 19. EnduroCross tickets are available at www.orleansarena.com/event-calendar/endurocross or by phone at (702) 284-7777 or (888) 234-2334.
The AMA Legends & Champions Weekend will be held at the Las Vegas
Red Rock Resort, a world-class spa, hotel and casino, featuring a range
of entertainment, dining and family-friendly attractions. The
facility's expansive ballrooms provide a stunning backdrop for the AMA
Legends & Champions Weekend, which is certain to be memorable for
the 2011 inductees, champions, families, friends and fans. Room
reservations are available now at a special group rate by calling (866)
767-7773 and referencing group AMA or AMERICANMOTO. Online room
reservations are available at RedRockLasVegas.com. For online reservations, use the promo code RCIMOTR.
More information about the Motorcycle Hall of Fame can be found at MotorcycleMuseum.org.
About the American Motorcycle Heritage Foundation
Founded in 1990 by the American Motorcycle Heritage Foundation, the goal of the Motorcycle Hall of Fame is to tell the stories and preserve the history of motorcycling. Located on the campus of the American Motorcyclist Association in Pickerington, Ohio, the Hall of Fame's three major exhibition halls feature the machines and memorabilia of those who have contributed notably to the sport. The Motorcycle Hall of Fame recognizes individuals who have made significant contributions to motorcycling, including those known for their contributions to road riding, off-road riding and all categories of racing, as well as those who have excelled in business, history, design and engineering. More information can be found at MotorcycleMuseum.org.