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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VOLUME 57 ISSUE 19 MAY 12, 2020 P95 the factory Husqvarn a team was represented by some of the best, including its number-one rider Torlief Hansen. Also on hand for Husky were Arne Kring and Tor- sten Hallman, while Yamaha had the equally tough Hakan Anders- son. Of these, Hansen drew first blood by winning the opening moto, with Tripes second. "Some of the guys who didn't do so well really bitched out about it [the track], but I just liked it more," Tripes says. "They [the Swedes] were tough business, but I was so young that I didn't really care. I re- member my dad saying that I only needed to worry about beating one of the Czech riders, and that's what I just focused on." American John DeSoto and his factory Kawasaki took the early lead in the second moto, but it wasn't long before Kring was pressuring him, and the Swede soon took over the lead. Tripes worked his way from a bad start to run second at the finish. The published account is that while he didn't look all that fast, Tripes was smooth as silk. Then came the final of the three motos. Hansen and Tripes were tied for the overall lead, but it was Andersson's turn to shine, as he got the holeshot ahead of Hansen and Kring. It appeared to be all over for Tripes who was mired back in 10th place. Then Tripes began to get the crowd charged up as he managed to pick off a rider per lap, making seemingly impossible passes to make his way to third place, behind the smooth-motoring Hansen. Slowly but surely, Tripes closed the gap on Hansen. The crowd went wild as the kid blew off the main Swede, passing him for second place and pulling away to secure the overall Super- bowl of Motocross win via a trio of runner-up finishes. "That was the biggest win of my career to that point," Tripes says. "That race put me on the map. I was so young. Everyone thinks that Bubba Stewart beat my record [youngest rider ever to win a supercross], but he was actu- ally off by a few months. And what he did was win a 125 supercross. I won a 250 race against the world's best. Not to take anything away from Bubba, but I think I ac- complished a little bit more." That said, Tripes cites Stewart as one of few riders on the scene today with the heart and killer in- stinct that Tripes says most of the top riders had back in his day. "I don't even go to the races anymore," says Tripes, now 47 and living in Fort Wayne, Indiana. "The riders today make me so mad because most of them don't care. They don't race. There's maybe three guys, and the rest of them are just there, wondering how they look in their uniforms. Bubba Stewart is like that and more. He wants to win, and you can see it. Back when I raced, you had at least seven guys fighting it out for first place. Now, these guys get paid so much, they think that it's okay to get third. To us, the money didn't mean as much as winning the race." Having retired from active com- petition at the end of 1981 [he attempted a one-time comeback at the Rose Bowl in 1984], Tripes has spent the last 20 years of his life in the paintball game industry. He is currently developing ammu- nition for Tippmann Pneumatics, one of the industry leaders. "I love it," Tripes says. "I have been doing it for a long time now." Even though he has been away, Tripes says he has a lot fond memories of his rac- ing days, several of them from that 1972 Superbowl event that spawned an entirely new and ex- citing form of motocross. If there is a single memory that stands out, though, it was the return to the Superbowl in 1973. "That second year, when I switched from Yamaha to Honda, when we went back, the place was packed," he recalls. "They had like 52,000 or 53,000 people there in '73. That was big. From the riders' point of view, we were in awe. All those people, and they're here to watch us. That's when we knew." This Archives edition is reprinted from 2004. CN has hundreds of past Archives editions in our files, too many destined to be archives themselves. To prevent that from happening, we will be revisiting past Archives articles while still planning to keep fresh ones coming down the road. -Editor Subscribe to nearly 50 years of Cycle News Archive issues:

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