Cycle News

Cycle News 2020 Issue 19 may 12

Cycle News is a weekly magazine that covers all aspects of motorcycling including Supercross, Motocross and MotoGP as well as new motorcycles

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Page 94 of 103

CN III ARCHIVES BY SCOTT ROUSSEAU D unn's Law reads that "Care- ful planning is no substitute for dumb luck." Nobody is sure when Dunn first wrote that little pearl of wisdom down for the first time, but it might well have been from the cheap seats in the Los Angeles Coliseum on July 9, 1972. For that was the date in motorcycling history that gave birth to the phenomenon known as supercross. And, true to its emerging form, the first one, named the Superbowl of Mo- tocross, was highlighted by the heroic performance of a young Californian named Marty Tripes. "I had just turned 16 on June 29," Tripes, already a factory Yamaha rider by then, recalls. "It was a completely new thing. I had just started riding the Inter- Ams because I had turned the legal age, 16, before the Wash- ington race. So, we went down to L.A. Everyone was calling it the 'Stupid Bowl.' They didn't think it was going to be cool. Nobody thought that it was going to fly. Nobody knew what to ex- pect. I knew the promoter, Mike Goodwin, and he was definitely a kook. He showed up in a Rolls Royce with either a lavender or a pink suit on (laughs). He was definitely trying to do the rock & roll thing with supercross. Every- one thought that he was nuts." P94 THE BEGINNING: THE SUPERBOWL OF MOTOCROSS Tripes says that there were about I5,000 or 20,000 people on hand, but Cycle News' cover- age of the event listed closer to 35,000 in attendance. "To look at it from the inside, it didn't look like very many, but it was a lot," Tripes says. "The Inter-Ams, we were probably pulling 10,000, maybe 15,000 if we were lucky." "I think that it was three 20-min- ute motos, a lot of laps," Tripes remembers. "I think we made 25, 30 laps per moto. They were long races. On a track that tight, putting out that kind of effort under those conditions was completely differ- ent for us." Putting out maximum effort was something that the invading Euro- peans were used to, however, and Tripes says that a lot of riders complained about the layout of the track. "But more I looked at it, the more I liked it," Tripes says. "It was tight, fast, and it required a lot of control over the bike. The more the other riders looked at it and thought that it was crazy, the more I thought, 'You know, this is going to be fun.' The concept was great, and I think that a lot of rid- ers weren't looking at it like that. They were looking at it like, 'Do we really have to ride this?' The track was nothing like an outdoor track. The creation of doubles and triples, everything started from there, and that was all new to us. I think they even had a big mud puddle there, if I remember right."

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