John Kocinski had one of my favorite demeanors-the most enjoyable race face. His race-day attitude was one of sheer exuberance and enthusiasm. John treated race day like a surfer catching an epic wave; he paddled into it on the first lap of practice and didn't drop out until after the checkered flag. "Hey, did you watch me out there?" he'd ask, coming in after a race. Of course I watched him: Everything he did on his Bud Aksland-tuned Yamaha TZ during those late-'80s AMA 250cc GP races was larger than life, and he knew it. "Yeah," I said. "I watched you in the esses. You got it flicked in so hard, the front end pushed 6 inches before it hooked up-every lap." John savored every moment of the race day, and even savored my description of his riding, using it to carry him back to the exact moment of turn-in.