"When he was at his best,
he was the best that's ever been." -Chris Carr
I know Ricky Graham would be retired by now. Or would he??? But seriously, I've got to tell you, I really miss R.G. I was lucky enough to see him race quite a few times, especially on The Mile at Springfield, Illinois. If his life wasn't cut short by a stupid house fire, I'm almost sure he had more racing years left in him. His career was up and down, trials and tribulations with all kinds of drama in between . . . however, as many of us already know . . . R.G. would try stuff, outside the ordinary, run it in harder, different lines, different combinations - he had that drive to win, with the skills to match. I would cuss Graham after he cut-off Parker, dammit ! Just beat that Honda ! The other riders had to "up" their game when Graham was in that 25 lap main event. It didn't really matter if Graham was racing that Honda or whatever. He just needed a fairly competitive motorcycle, and what it lacked, he made up for it. I'd be so pissed after Ricky would work a slightly dangerous and risky move to win (the other rider thinking he had it won), but then you'd hear Graham and his victory speech, he wore his heart on his sleeve. Ricky just wanted to win, and be on that box. On top of the box. Other times Graham was so far ahead it didn't matter. Fastest time of the day, holeshot . . . 1st to Turn 1 . . . and he did what we all call "checked out" to a half-track lead at the checkered flags. I study how Ricky Graham sits on a motorcycle, in racing situations, and I try to emulate him. Right shoulder up, Left elbow down. Keep left leg in, close. Right knee hard against the bike to make it turn. Head cocked. Slide back on the seat, down the shoot ! It's the perfect stance for a taller rider - and it works. Picture Perfect.
PS. I know Graham would be really surprised how many fans would show up at these banquets, legends events, autograph sessions, trade shows, etc . . . just to see Ricky Graham again and get a signed shirt or picture?