MotoGP Legends Kevin Schwantz and Kenny Roberts Jr. Ride Lap Of Honor at COTA

The Suzuki icons rode aboard the new 2017 Suzuki GSX-R1000.

MotoGP Kevin Schwantz and Kenny Roberts Jr. at COTA
MotoGP legends Kevin Schwantz and Kenny Roberts Jr. took part in the MotoGP opening ceremony on Sunday at COTA.Photo: Brian J. Nelson

As part of the MotoGP opening ceremony on Sunday morning, both Kevin Schwantz and Kenny Roberts Jr. hopped aboard Suzuki's flagship, the 2017 GSX-R1000 to take a lap of honor together at COTA. The track was prepped for the two MotoGP legends who then took to the beautiful circuit on the GSX-R1000s. Thousands of fans waved the riders around showing great admiration of the pair of former World Champions. It was a wonderful showcase as well for the MotoGP-influenced GSX-R1000 and many fans were seeing the motorcycle for the first time.

Schwantz’ bike sported his familiar No. 34 and Roberts’ the No.2, the same competition numbers they ran when they won their respective world championships. Schwantz is the Motorcycle Hall of Famer, who won the 1993 500cc Grand Prix World Championship. He came to prominence in the mid-1980s racing a Suzuki GSX-R750 in AMA Superbike before embarking on his highly-successful Grand Prix career.

Roberts Jr. is the 2000 500cc Grand Prix World Champion, who like Schwantz, won his world title riding for Suzuki. Roberts was additionally honored this weekend in Austin with his induction as the newest member of the prestigious MotoGP Legends.

Schwantz talked about doing the Lap of Honor on a crisp, sunny Texas morning at COTA.

“It was wonderful to be able to go out and do a lap with Kenny Jr.,” Schwantz said. “To see all the fans and get to ride the new GSX-R1000 in perfect conditions alongside Kenny, it’s one of those memories that will last a lifetime. Riding on the new 2017 model GSX-R, it’s amazing how light and responsive that motorcycle is. You can definitely feel the direct influence of Suzuki’s MotoGP machine in the new GSX-R. It was the perfect motorcycle to do this lap of honor.”

Roberts said he was humbled to receive the honors this weekend.

“It was a dream come true to win my world championship and now to come back and be honored as a MotoGP legend… well it just doesn’t get any better than that,” he said. “And it was great to be able to ride the new Suzuki GSX-R in front of all the fans.”

The Lap of Honor for Schwantz and Roberts comes on the heels of the victorious MotoAmerica Superbike debut of the 2017 Yoshimura Suzuki GSX-R1000. Roger Hayden earned Superpole on the bike Friday and teammate Toni Elias won Saturday's season-opening race.