Lawson followed Spencer overseas the next year, teaming with Kenny Roberts on the premier Marlboro Yamaha effort. Two-strokes weren’t unknown to Lawson—he also won the AMA 250GP championship in 1980 and 1981—but learning unfamiliar international circuits on a ferociously fast 500 wasn’t easy. Steady Eddie adapted quickly, however, winning his first 500GP World Championship in 1984 despite heavy pressure from Spencer who, perhaps predictably, won more races but also crashed more often. Lawson won the world championship again in 1986, fighting off rival Wayne Gardner, then for a third time in 1988, outcompeting Kevin Schwantz and Wayne Rainey. Lawson switched from factory Yamaha to the privateer Rothmans Honda effort to win his fourth and final world championship in 1989, becoming the first rider ever to win back-to-back championships on different manufacturers’ machines. It wasn’t just the bike.