Cycle News - Archive Issues - 1970's

Cycle News 1979 03 14

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

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 62 of 63

World ChampIonshIp TrIals SerIes: Round 1 Shepherd • wIns opener, Schreiber DNF's By Alan Wright Photos by Rowla'nd White NEWTONARDS. IRELAND. FEB. 10 Rob Shepherd and Honda lead the world. That was the message loud and clear from Belfast on Saturday when Shep took the 14 first round of the 1979 World Championship from a very much on -form John Reynolds (325 Suzuki). It was a great day for the British. who took the first four places in the Hurst Cup. repelling the foreign challenge . Reigning champion Yrjo Vesterinen (325 Bultaco) was philosophical about his fifth position and pleased that his main rival . Martin Lampkin in third place, was only four championship points in front. If Shepherd can continue this form . then Vesterinen may well need to put himself into a higher gear if ~ is to win his fourth world crown. Held in super· tough conditions amidst the heavily forested Claudeboye Estate just outside Newtonards, the Northern Ireland round was classic blessed by reasonable .weather con ditions and sections which were just right for the world stars. For while the event took 79 marks off Shepherd. all bu t one of the individual sections were cleaned. The form ula was three laps of 24 sect ions with a time limi t of five hou rs aft er which riders were penalized .0 1 marks per minute for up to on e hou r before exclusion . She phe rd and Reynolds started numbers 37 an d 38. respectively. Shep took his time . thinking deeply as to the best lines to take. while Reynolds, the 20·year -old engineer from Wetherby and the new Suzuki signing, pressed on - a tactic which was eventually to pa y off. At the end of lap on eJohn was down in third place. th ree marks beh ind Malcolm R athmell (310 Montesa). Malc took the first lap by storm . losing 22 marks . the best lap score of the whole trial. One mark beh ind was Shepherd with Ulf Karlson (310 Mon tesa) the tall Swede . pressing hard in fourth place. but Vlf had an absolute disaster on the second lap. dropping a rna mouth 42 . which plunged him down to tenth place. The first big lap surprise was the lack of form Martin Lampkin (350 Bultaco) down in tenth place and triple World Champion Vesterinen (350 Bultaco), who seemed slow to get in the groove after his long enforced winter layoff. . Both men got to grips with the situation and improved with each lap to work their way up the leaderboard. David Hooke (325 Bultaco) and Nigel Birkett (310 Montesa) seemed set to capitalise on their early numbers , tackling the sections before the slimy Irish mud was carried on to the rock slabs which abound in the Hurst. Nigel's first lap started badly, giving the easy climb of section one and reo peating the score at sub three which nobody managed to perfect all day . Hooke revelled in the conditions using his long legs to heave his machines over the rocks. Manuel Soler (325 Bultaco) footed hard on sub four where Vesty made good use of a long and calculated dab. Lampkin im pressed on the ultradifficult sub 12. achieving the only clean on the first lap. The third-gear climb over mammoth granite rocks offered little grip and ca lled for aggres sion. and Mart gave it all he could with a fast approach wh ich paid di vid ends. Vesty stop ped he re but Shep forced th e Ho nda up for one. while Reynolds footed clear to achieve the second clean of the day . On his second visit Shepherd used second gear. a choice he regretted as he fived the sub . On his third attempt he selected th ird gear for his final approach escaping with a dab . Section 13 was indeed unlucky for some , the jagged rock steps becoming more difficult as the da y progressed and only Shepherd . Soler and J ean Marie Lejeune (350 Montesa) achieved perfection . Marland Whaley, having a poor day. footed clear with minimal effort. . but he was finally thwarted when he drowned his Montesa in deep mud on the second lap and called it a day . Vesty opted for caution and went for threes on each visit. It was here that Shep really sewed it up. losing two marks in total in campa rison to the nine of John Reynolds. Shep was sheer magic and took the lead at the end of lap two with a score of 52 to Rathrnell's 56. Reynolds' 58 and Lampkin's 62. all in with a chance as they started their final lap. Reynolds took the initia rive with some fantastic rides on the early sections . But he was unable to repeat his clean on the muddy section 22 where on his first lap . he achieved the only success of the day . Reynolds came into the finish with a last-lap score 'of 25 and a total of 84 with over three-quarters of an hour to spare. Rathmell needed to score 28 to win . but Malcolm lost his rhythm and dropped a mammoth 40 going from second to fourth position , while Lampkin. whose second lap was his best . put in a fina l lap of 33 for third place. All were wait ing for Shepherd and he made no mista kes. with a final lap score of 27 he settled the issue by a clear five marks for his second world championship round win for Honda. • Results . 1 .R .Sh~d(Honl79;2 .J . R~d.(Suzl84;3~ M. Lampkin (Bull 95; 4. M. Rat hmell (Monl96.5; 5. V. VOSlerinen (Bull 100.3; 6. Anthonio GorgOl (Bull 100.6; 7. N. Birkett (Monl l 05; 8. J .M. Lejeune (Man) 108.2; 9. U. Kerlson (Manl 111.3; 10. M. Soler (Bull112.6; 11. J . Wellmen (Manl 135; 12. F. Khehnsto",", (MonI 135.6; 13. M. Andrews 10ss1 139: 14. C. Coutard (SWMI 141.7; 15. R. Edwerds (Manl 148; 16. TIme Ryysy (SWMJ 151.2; 17. N. Jelleri.. (Bull 162.1; 18. C. Bell (Bull 164.4; 19. C. Grillin ISuzl 167; 20. Glenfranco Tooco ISWMI170.J; 21. D. Hooke IBulll75; 22. Eddi Lejeune (HonJ In.4; 23. Miguel Cir... lMon! 185; 24. .-me Subire lMon! 185.8; 25. N. Shepherd 18uO186.4. World ChampionshIp TrIals SerIes: Round 2 Rathmell's back on top By Alan Wright RHA YADE R. ENGLAND. FEB . 17 In devastating form, Malcolm Rathrnell (310 Montesa) took the world title lead by winning the British round of the World Trials Championship held in arctic conditions at Rhayader , Mid Wales, on Saturday by nine marks from reigning champion Yrjo Vesterinen (325 Bultaco). It was the best world round yet organised by the Rhayader enthusiasts. who achieved a difficult task in even running the event after many of the main roads leading to Rhayamer had been blocked with drifting snow 24 hours earlier . and drew praise from many of th e sun-kissed foreigners who took seven of the first ten places. .It was still a day of smiles for the home riders for Martin Lampkin (350 Bultaco) and Nigel Birkett (310 Montesa) took third and fourth places. and indeed Lampkin really looked to be in superb form until a complete disaster two groups from home cost him dearly. He too two dabs in the deep water of the first group. Cefnllyn , as did Vesterinen and Birkett . whilst Rathrnell and Charles Coutard (280 SW M) went one better to go through for single dabs. Tony Davis (325 Bultaco) looked like achieving the first clean until he dabbed right near the exit . whilst American Marland Whaley (3 10 Mon tesa) led the world after he achieved perfection before losing" his grip at Cross Keys where Birkett was one of on ly six successes. Coutard stopped as did an unhappy Rob Shepherd (369 Honda) who had suffered a feet -up five at Cef-

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of Cycle News - Archive Issues - 1970's - Cycle News 1979 03 14