August 7, 1983… Twenty six years ago this coming Friday, Freddie Spencer ran it up the inside of Kenny Roberts in the Swedish Grand Prix at Anderstorp on the final lap, sending both of them on to the dirt on the exit of the corner. The move was significant in that it gave Spencer the victory, by a scant .16 of a second, and it also gave him a five-point lead going into the final race of the 1983 World Championship. Roberts would win in the San Marino Grand Prix in Imola, Italy almost a month later, but Spencer’s second place would give him the title – by just two points.”He [Spencer] came up the beside me as we entered the corner,” Roberts said after the race. “It looked to me like he couldn’t slow down enough, so I changed my line to avoid hitting him and we both went off the track. I was on the outside and went about three feet off the track. He was inside me and only went about a foot off so he got out of the corner first and took the lead. He didn’t hit me, but if I hand’t taken avoiding action, he would have taken us both down.””Losing on the last lap is part of racing,” Spencer said.
Roberts vs. Spencer
Paul Carruthers | Editor
Paul Carruthers took over as the editor of Cycle News in 1993 after serving as associate editor since starting his career at the publication in 1985. Carruthers has covered every facet of the sport in his near-28-year tenure at America's Daily Motorcycle News Source.