Cycle News - Archive Issues - 1970's

Cycle News 1979 07 25

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 47 of 47

AMA/Toyota Supercross Series - Round 11 Bar;nett bags Superbow1 VIII , Hannah jinxed By Charles Morey Photos by Ron Lawson and Morey LOS ANGELES, CA,JULY 14 "Everything went right, that's for sure!" Team Suzuki's Mark Ba.mett responded to announcer Larry Huffman in the Coca-Cola Bottlers' Superbowl of Motocross VIII winner's circle. Before a crowd of 76,064 cheer· ing spectators in the Los Amreles Coliseum the BriA_.:..~:nii~ . ' ue"'--, , rider had edged Team Yamaha s Mike Ben - last year's Superbowl winner - by the narrowest of margins following a duel that had begun just past the halfway point in the 20·lap main event. "He was just going good - what can 1 say?" Ben shru~ when asked about the quality of t~ ri,de put in by the man he'd been following for half the race. The .race had been ultratenIe, with Barnett countering every asgresaive move Bell used to push his 1IIIIIY past. Blocking, some observers called it. All 76,000 + watchers agreed dlat it was Supercross racing at iu beat. Team Kawasaki's Gaylon Mosier bad led from lap four when he'd passed the Teeny Meanie, teammate Jrff Ward, who'd used his high horsepower-to-weight ratio to get the jump CIII the field at the start. Mosier was looking good - much like he'd looked at Anaheim when he won last year until lap 18, with two laps to go, when Barnett squeezed by. Gaylon lost one more position to Bell as the lanky Lakewood, California rider set his . sighu on Barnett. Mosier held third over Suzuki's Kent Howerton and fifth place Jeff Ward at the checkered flag. Kent Howerton's fourth place ride, combined with his win in the qualify· ing moto, added 21 points to his Toyota Supercross Triple Crown tally and put him into the Triple Crown point standings lead over former leader Bob Hannah. Hannah still leads the AMA/Toyota Supercross Series point standin~ by a tremendous margin, 253 over Jimmy Weinen's 195, even though Hannah didn't score a single point all night at the Superbowl. The rider called Hurricane has already clinched. the series title; it's mathematically impos· sible for anyone to catch up. Only o~e event remains in the '79 AMA/Toyota Supercross Series - the Coca-Cola Bottlers' Motocross Finals in Anaheim Stadium- on November 17 - and if Hannah doesn't score any points there either, he'll still take the title. Superbowl is an event that Bob Hannah's never won - his jinx if you believe in that sort of thing - and IOnight marked what must have been the Hurricane's worst race ever: He failed to transfer to the main e'Vent directly from his qualifying moto when he locked up the rear wheel in a slippery spot, stalling the motor; then he fell in the next turn, too. The • incidents put him in sixth place on,ly five transfer - and there he finished. He won the semifinal race, moving to the main. In the main event, Hannah started far back in the field and simply didn't have it together enough to do any better than 21st at. the molO's end. "I feel like I'm on drugs, the way I'm ridingl" Hannah joked with a friend in the piu just before the main, "I think somebod)' slipped me an old lady drug. "It was a bad night. Qualifiers Mark Barnett got the jump on the first qualifying moto, looking like a winner from the start with Hannah, Honda's Gary Semics, Can-Am's Rich Eierstedt, and Honda's Hurricanebeater Marty Tripes in tow. At the end of the opening lap, both Eierstedt and Tripes had gotten around Semics and into places three and ..four, respectively. A lap later when Hannah bobbled, they each picked up one more position. Tripes pressured. Eierstedt and passed him in the latter half of the moto, finishing a safe distance behind the easy winner Barnett. Barnett, Tripes, Eierstedt. Semics and LOP's Mark Gregson transferred to th't final event. Qualifier two saw Barnett's Suzuki te~mmate Kent Howerton pull exactly the same stunt, leading the race from gatedrop to checkered flag. Down the L.A. Coliseum's long starting chute, Howerton had led Kawasaki's Jimmy Weinert and LOP's Many Moates. But Moates got around Weinert on the first lap, moving into second place where he'd stay, despite pressure from Weinert, until the end. Weinen held third as Honda's Jimmy Ellis, back in action following knee surgery, moved up from seventh place at the end of lap one to take fourth at the finish. Last transfer spot'went to Maico rider Parry Klassen. Breaking the Suzuki stronghold on wire·to·wire qualifying moto victories in the third race was Kawasaki's Jeff . Ward. Ward showed Honda's Steve Wise, Honda's Jim Gibson, Suzukimounted Jef£ Jennings and DG Performance sponsored John Savitski down the staning straight. As Ward continued to expand his lead, Wise, Gibson and Jennings held their positions. Honda's Warren Reid slipped into the fifth and final transfer spot. The fourth qualifier proved to be the fastest and most exciting of the evening. It also served as a preview for what was to come in the main event as 'Yamaha:s Mike Bell and Kawasaki's Gaylon Mosier staged a race-long duel with lap times fully second quicker than the other qualifiers. Mosier overtook Bell on the first lap, and when they completed lap one, it appeared that they'd be joined by Suzuki's Darrell Shultz in the race for victory. But Shultz got out of shape and came by with a length of course marker' llettl Mark Barnett 1301 took his firat-ever Supercross victory.IBelowl Gaylon Mosier 1101 and Mike 88111391 knocked a full second off the fastest lap times in . . qualifying moto. 15

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