Soup’s This Week’s Greatest Photograph Ever Taken: Second Place Was No Reason To Celebrate. For Rainey.

If you get beat … well, then “everybody’s gotta die.”

Nathaniel Mendell
Great photos don’t need captions. Nathaniel Mendell

The  cold glare is uncommon now in GP racing.  Today, seemingly, every finish or in class victory (top independent team!) is celebrated, but when three-time world champion Wayne Rainey raced in Grand Prix, he wasn’t there for a meaningless award or ‘first loser’ trophy.

If you’d told Rainey in 1988  that he would have a long and glorious GP career, that he would be celebrated the world over and have crowds cheer his attendance, that swarms of autograph seekers would wait outside his motorhome, but he would never win a race, then Rainey would have left Europe and racing. He’d have probably returned to America and picked up his tool belt—Rainey was a carpenter on and off during his formative years—or started a business with his father or brother. Rainey wasn’t in Grand Prix to make up the numbers, or to be a rolling billboard for his sponsors.

The 1992 Spanish Grand Prix of Jerez was a race where Rainey was trounced by Michael Doohan’s factory Honda by nearly 20 seconds. His reaction, pictured above in a photograph by Nathaniel Mendell, to “getting beat” was classic Rainey. He would be in better cheer at a funeral, I bet.

It was Rainey’s friend and sometime rival Eddie Lawson who, after he stopped racing and retired, explained that for a top level rider there is no podium middle ground. If you win, Lawson said, then you’re happy until the next race and all is well. If you get beat … well, then “everybody’s gotta die.”



Return to News

Signed by four-time world champion Eddie Lawson!
Eddie Lawson owns this print and many others by the artist
Limited Stock. Imported from Japan and produced on acid-free, heavyweight paper stock, this is a 11.75" x 16.5" print. $80.21 with shipping. US orders only.

Shipped Via First Class Mail in a Heavy Duty Tube. All orders come with Soup decals. Yes, Eddie Lawson owns this print and many others by the artist.

Buy this print here via Paypal. Buy now!
Pay with PayPal - you don't need an account.
Need to pay another way? E-mail us