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Mert Lawwill is an American dirt-track and road racer, born on September 25, 1940 in Boise, Idaho.
He started his racing career as an amateur racer on the local TT track in Boise and, later, scramble races across the United States Northwest .
He turned professional in 1963 after moving to California and, in 1964, signed a contract to race dirt-track for manufacturer Harley-Davidson, with which he would stay for the rest of his racing career. He won his first AMA national race at the famous Sacramento Mile on September 19, 1965.
He won the 1969 A.M.A. Grand National Championship and was voted AMA's Most Popular Rider of the Year the same year. His popularity earned him a co-starring role in Bruce Brown's classic 1971 motorcycle epic, On Any Sunday with actor Steve McQueen, and off-road legend Malcolm Smith.
This film revealed Mert Lawwill's talents as a technician but unfortunately showcased a series of "DNFs".
But by the time he retired in 1977, due to an inner-ear disorder that affected his balance, he had amassed an incredible 161 career AMA Grand National finishes during his 15-year racing career.
He is now spending his time developing race motorcycles as well as mountain bikes. He also developed a prosthetic to allow arm amputees to ride a motorcycle.
He was inducted in the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame in 1998.
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