RIP: Racer Rich Arnaiz

Arnaiz came to roadracing through the same highly volatile petri dish that gave the world Eddie Lawson, Wayne Rainey, Fred Merkel and Chris Carr


Rich Arnaiz in Camel (Commonwealth) Honda leathers.
Rich Arnaiz in Camel (Commonwealth) Honda leathers. MARTIN ADAMS

Retired racer Rich Arnaiz passed away Sunday. Arnaiz was a former AMA Superbike race winner (Road America 1989) and European Superbike champion (racing a Rumi Honda RC30) in 1990.

Arnaiz came to roadracing through the same highly volatile petri dish that gave the world Eddie Lawson, Wayne Rainey, Fred Merkel and Chris Carr: California dirt track racing. Like those mentioned, Arnaiz was competent dirt tracker long before he considered a future in roadracing. Moreover, Arnaiz was a quiet and humble racer well liked by other riders. Arnaiz was an up-and-comer in the late 1980s, and jumped to Europe in 1990 with help from his good friend Fred Merkel (and Malcom Hill). Arnaiz set the pace in pre-season testing for the Euro title, and set pole at the first race in Spain, but hit a prone motorcycle in his first race and was injured. He returned to racing quite battered but persevered to the championship.

Later, after a season with Commonwealth Honda here in the US Superbike and Supersport championships Arnaiz left racing for a job in the real world. Arnaiz was in his late 50s when he passed.

 


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