Freddie Spencer shone in the World Championship in the 80s, both for his successes and for the brevity of them. In just four seasons played, the American managed to win the title twice.
Although he had already made his debut on previous occasions, Spencer ran his first full-time season in the premier class in 1982, and it was not long before he showed off his talent. The American won his first race at just 20 years and 196 days old, a record that could only be broken by Marc Márquez. In addition, with that first place he returned Honda to the top of the podium, after 15 seasons of drought.
In that season of 1982 he added a second victory, and the following year he won the title, having won half of the contested races. On the day of his coronation he was 21 years and 258 days old, another record that only Marc Márquez could take from him.
The 1984 season, however, was marked by injuries, and despite having collected five victories, he had to settle for fourth place in the general classification.
In 1985, determined to recover his best version, he decided to participate in two categories simultaneously: 250cc and 500cc.
The season was spectacular. In the first three rounds of the year, Spencer took two wins (one in each displacement) and five podium finishes (two in 250cc and three in 500cc).
At the GP of Nations, Fast Freddie won both categories, within hours of each other (a feat not achieved since Tom Herron at the 1976 Isle of Man TT). Spencer didn’t stop there, scoring another three one-twos in the midst of a six-race 250cc win streak.
The streak ended at Silverstone, where the driver had to settle for fourth place in the intermediate category, although it was enough for him to secure the title. From then on, Spencer concentrated on the 500cc class, skipping the last two races of the year in the quarter-litre.
On August 11, 1985, the Louisiana-born driver got his chance to win the title again. And it didn’t fail. Spencer comfortably beat rival Eddie Lawson at the Swedish GP at Anderstop. That day Spencer was at the top of his career having won two championships just 15 days apart.
What the new world champion did not know was that this would be the last success of his career. A thumb injury forced him to miss the last round of the year, and it was his physical condition that put an end to his brief but spectacular reign in world motorcycling.
Worn out by the double, Spencer raced sporadically over the next two years, but in 1988 he didn’t race at all. In 1989 and 1993, respectively, he attempted to return to competition, although he no longer had the pace that had brought him to the top.
Freddie Spencer then returned to the United States, where he dedicated himself to training young pilots. He is now a key player in MotoGP, as he has been the chairman of the stewards panel since 2019. In this way, Spencer has returned to the forefront of the scene… to the point of having been the focus of criticism on several occasions.
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