Editorial: Mert Lawwill Pays It Forward

Paul Carruthers | November 29, 2012

AMA Grand National Champion Mert Lawwill’s racing career was over in 1971.

Or so he thought. After crashing on the opening lap of the Castle Rock TT and smashing his left hand to smithereens, a local doctor told Lawwill to figure out just how he wanted his hand to be positioned. Because it was going to be that way forever. Forget about racing, from his elbow to his fingers would be positioned one way and one way only. Forever.

Enter actor Steve McQueen, Lawwill’s friend thanks to the movie “On Any Sunday.”

“We became very good friends after working together on the film,” Lawwill recalled while at the AMA Hall of Fame banquet in Las Vegas a few weeks ago – on a night when he was announced along with Malcolm Smith as one of the Legends of the hall.

Just how good of friends, Lawwill was soon to find out.

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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.