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/146977
CN III CROSS RUTTED P106 BY JEAN TURNER HISTORY 101 H istory… the very word conjures up images of stuffy museums and lectures from old professors wearing blazers with elbow patches. If you're anything like me, you've daydreamed your way through many a history class, and who can blame us? It's far more interesting when that history is about motocross, but even then it's not the sexiest topic in the world. Especially if you're looking at black-and-white photos of guys you don't know and places you've never been, who won titles in championships you've never heard of. Still, I've always considered myself well versed on the lineage of the sport that now consumes my life. I could rattle off historic facts and motocross stats better than most people my age, but it wasn't until a recent series of happenstance that I've begun to appreciate a new perspective of the past – namely the champions and personalities of the last several decades. Through a variety of clients and tasks this year, I've found myself delving into moto history on a regular basis in the past few months. Through attending events, races, conducting interviews and, of course, combing through the Cycle News Archives, the past has come alive in a way that I've never experienced before. It all started with attending Scott Burnworth's SoCal Vintage MX Classic at Barona Oaks. First off, did you know that you don't need a vintage bike to race at a vintage event? Tell your friends. If you frequent Glen Helen, you know that guys like Doug Dubach and Gary Jones can still turn some fast laps. But it's a different experience seeing them moto on the vintage machinery they grew up riding. The 100cc Works Revenge class was a highlight like no other. Watching guys like Burner and Dubach duke it out on little air-cooled 100cc twostrokes was a true rider's race; motocross doesn't get much more grass roots than that. The next 100cc Works Revenge will take place at Marty Tripes' fourth annual Vintage Days event on September 7 at The Ranch. I would urge you to come out, especially if you've never attended a vintage race. I was also fortunate enough to sit in on some interviews recently that were being filmed for the upcoming John Penton movie. Preston Petty, Rick Sieman, Dave Ekins and even the greats Torsten Hallman and Joël Robert all spent some time in the hot seat telling their tales. It was my first time meeting all of them in person, which was a bit surprising in itself. Had I seen Joël Robert approaching our suite I would have assumed he was lost. But lo and behold, this ordinary-looking Belgian was a rockstar of motocross. I also came to find out that in his prime, Joël might have been able to out-party anyone in our industry. After his interview I heard a quick story about one of Joël's many escapades, this one at a post-race dinner. To sum it up, it involved a stolen tuba, Joël being chased by a German folk band, leaping off a stage and grabbing onto a chandelier while still wearing said tuba, and consequently crashing down on a dinner table, chandelier and all. Well played, Joël. Well played. Preston Petty demonstrated he never lost his charm. When the sound tech suggested he run the microphone wire under his shirt, Preston promptly leaned back in his chair and shamelessly unzipped his signature jumpsuit all the way to his waist in one quick motion. So quick, I didn't have time to avert my eyes. I think we all saw a little more of Preston than we had hoped to that day, but you could definitely call it a "new perspective." Torsten Hallman wasn't at all the frail old Swede I was expecting to see. A tall, lean golden statue of a man strode into the room and sat quietly off the set awaiting his turn. Following his video interview, I caught up with him in a hallway for a quick ten-minute interview. His poise, quick wit and gentle sense of humor made it clear to see why he was (and still is) so well respected. Through a twist of fate, I recently had the honor of writing a bio for "Bad" Brad Lackey, who is being inducted into the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America this year. Sure, I knew some key stats on Brad Lackey, and I've even shared a few pints with him in the last few years.