Wednesday, November 21, 2012
AMA Road Racing: Cycle News.com's Larry Lawrence Catches Up with Former Yoshimura Suzuki Racer Tommy Lynch
Tommy Lynch's #30 Yoshimura Suzuki/Motul/AGV/Michelin-sponsored GSX-R750 sits in the team's paddock area at Road America during the Coca-Cola Super Cycle Classic Weekend in June 1991. Lynch was an up-and-coming rider in the AMA Pro Road Racing ranks having been with the Yoshimura squad since the '89 AMA 750 Supersport season, and was ultimately offered a position on their AMA Superbike team for the '91 season.
In his first season in the premier road racing class in the United States, the California resident and the soon-to-be powerhouse factory Suzuki squad struggled, as the Vance & Hines Yamaha two-up of Jamie James and eventual '91 AMA Superbike Champion Thomas Stevens all but ruled the class during the '91 season. In the final at Elkhart Lake from which the above shot was taken, Lynch struggled to an 8th-place finish behind race winner James and runner-up Stevens, with a stacked field close behind with riders including Rich Arnaiz, Rueben McMurter and Tom Kipp finishing ahead of the #30 machine that weekend.
It's hard to even imagine using the term 'struggled' along with the name Yoshimura Suzuki in the same sentence, but it would be some seven seasons later when the team would start to become the powerhouse that they are now known for. With the hiring of eventual 7-Time AMA Superbike Champion Mat Mladin in '97 and eventual 3-Time Champ Ben Spies in the early '00s, the team quickly transformed into the ultimate fighting machine they were from the '98 season until Mladin's last championship winning season in '09.
And Lynch was no slouch, going on to win the '92 and '93 AMA Endurance Championship. See more on that achievement below.
The Holland Oil Camel Super Cycle Weekend presented by Dunlop Tire at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in August '93 hosted the AMA Pro Road Racing series again for another fine weekend just outside the small town of Lexington, Ohio. Long before the days of running only four classes in the series, the typical enthusiast would show up at the track with a full slate of racing in not only the premier Superbike class, but also the 600 & 750 Supersport classes, the 250GP class, the H-D Twin Sports class, and the AMA EBC Endurance Championship Series class.
Two Brothers Racing was one of the big teams in the endurance series in those days, fielding an almost superbike-spec Honda CBR900RR in the class. With riders Tommy Lynch (above rolling out for the show on the #21 Two Brothers Racing/American Honda Motor Co/Bridgestone/AGV-sponsored mount), team co-owner Kevin Erion (soon to be of TBR and Erion Racing fame) and noted motojournalist and go-fast guy Nick Ienatsch, the Two Brothers Honda team won the '93 AMA EBC Endurance Championship, the year after Lynch had captured his first crown while riding for the Fastline Racing team.
You can catch up with what Tommy Lynch is doing now below, thanks to Cycle News.com's Larry Lawrence, and hear what he has to say about the '93 Championship-winning Two Brothers Racing Honda CBR900RR as shown above.
Again a big thanks goes out to my buddy and Cycle News.com's Larry Lawrence as he profiles former AMA Superbike contender and '92-'93 AMA EBC Endurance Champion Tommy Lynch, one of a long line of fine talent that once graced the saddle of a Yoshimura Suzuki AMA Superbike and who also won the '93 AMA Endurance Championship while riding for the Two Brothers Racing Honda team.
Check out LL's article here in his always bitchin' 'Archives' column in this week's issue of Cycle News: