Cycle News is a weekly magazine that covers all aspects of motorcycling including Supercross, Motocross and MotoGP as well as new motorcycles
Issue link: http://magazine.cyclenews.com/i/126497
By Delbert Longbrake
MEDFORD, OR, NOV. 11
The 1980-81 motocross season
..... got off to a good stan at the Med~ ford Motocross with good racing
~ and excellent track conditions.
Racing at the Medford Motocross could
actually be called the Oregon-California
challenge races because a battle always
seems to develop between an Oregon
and a California rider for first place.
The first time this happened during
the day was in the Mini Expert class.
Rio Dell, CA, rider Don Church
and Medford, OR, rider Robbie Blagg
pulled out of the starting gate side by
side in their first moto, but Robbie
soon took his Specialty Cycle Yamaha
out In front. Church tried to get
around Blagg, but each time he tried,
he would find the door slammed in his
face by the determined Blagg.
The battle continued down to the
white flag and with one lap to go, it
appeared Blagg was in control. The
two future stars brought their race to a
fast right·hand comer only 20 feet
from the checkered flag and Robbie
stuffed his machine into a berm, ready
to rocket to the flag.
But somehow. all that happened
was Robbie augering into the berm on
his head. Church rode the 20 feel to
the flagman for first. Robbie picked
his machine up and pushed it across
for second place ahead of third place
rider Rick Lee.
In the second moto, Blagg again
pulled ahead of Church and this time
stayed on top of his Yamaha's two
wheels all the way to the flag for first.
Church brought his Richard Millersponsored Yamaha in for second.
The spectators were happier than a
pig in a mudhole on a hot summer day
when they found out that Larry
Hooper was racing on his home track.
Larry first rode in the 250cc Pro class
on his "For Sale" Yamaha.
The 250cc Pros pulled onto the
track with Larry in first place followed
by Ron Haskett who was riding his
KTM. Interestingly enough, 50% of
the class was made up of KTMs.
Larry quickly put his Yamaha's
cruise control into "F' for fast and
easily won the moto. Haskett remained
in second throughout the moto while
Tim Phillis held third.
The second moto saw Ron Haskett
pull a holeshot, and then lead the class
for three laps. At that time, Larry
once again pulled by for first which is
where he stayed until the flag. Haskett
followed for second with Randy
Pekarek placing third.
The Open Pro class again saw
Hooper riding. this time on his big
Maico, and again he led the fmt moto
from start to finish. Behind Larry was
Eureka, CA, rider Rod Nordstrom
and local KTM ace Clark Gardner.
The second Open Pro moto was another of those California vs. Oregon
races. By the time the Open class ran
their second moto, it was starting to
get dark, but the Californians sa~ only
brightness when their rider, Nordstrom,
took his Pacific BMW Yamaha into
the early lead ahead of Hooper. The
Oregonians paid little attention to
this, thinking Larry was simply
playing with Rod. The Californians
started gathering at the start-finish to
wave Rod on. Not to be outdone, the
Oregonions gathered in their own
group to wave Larry on.
The crowds grew and became
noisier with each lap, and when Larry
started catching up with Rod, the
Oregon side was elated. But their
smiles turned to scowls when Larry
stalled his Maico giving Rod a new
lease on life. The Californians were
jubilant as they watched their rider
stretch his lead.
Larry restarted his scooter and
began to track down "Rapid Rod"
and before long. he was again on the
Yamaha rider's rear fender. But who
knows what evil lurks in the minds of
California motocross riders? Larry
As Larry passed the Oregon crowd,
he received a large cheer and a hardy
"hi-hoi" But when he passed through
the California section, not even La rry
could believe what he saw. As he
passed, three Californians pulled their
leathers down and gave him the royal
Larry was able to pull around Rod
and finish the moto in first place. Both
riders were cheered by all who were
present as they came across the finish
125 PflO: 1. W8fren Sorahan IVaml.
250 PRO: 1. l.8fry Hooper (Vaml; 2. Ron Hasken
(KTMI; 3. Randy Pekarek !KTMI.
OP£N PRO: 1. Larry Hooper (Mai); 2. Rod No