"Motorcycle competition is the most thrilling sport in the world, and few individuals have had as much behind-the-scenes success on the modern racing landscape as Gary Mathers," said AMA President and CEO Rob Dingman in a press release.
"Whether it was identifying talented racers before their time, or helping mold those racers and their teams into champions, Mathers was a master at his craft."
On the other hand, Mathers is just as excited as the other six members already presented by AMA as part of the 2009 Motorcycle Hall of Fame. "I never thought anything like this would happen," Mathers said. "When I got the call, I couldn't believe it. This is a really great way to top off a career."
While Mathers was with Kawasaki, he had discovered Lawson and Rainey, both riders becoming 500cc Grand Prix World Champions. After leaving Kawasaki, Mathers moved to American Honda Motor for the next 16 years, helping Honda to win two championships every year, except for one. The racing director believes that 1986, his second year with Honda was the most successful.
"The only time I took off that year was the Fourth of July and Christmas day. I wanted to win those championships so bad... I learned a lot of things over the years, but the main thing is, it's the people. The manufacturer gives you the budget, but you still need the best people you can get, and I had them from my administrative assistant on up. You surround yourself with good people, and then you just let them go. That's it," added Mathers.