Cycle News - Archive Issues - 1970's

Cycle News 1979 11 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 39 of 39

How about a rundown on your championship season, event by event. Ireland was a fast trial. Ie was muddy with really tight sections. I went straight up a big rock instead of going around it and fell backwards, crashed and bent the forks. I worked on the bike for about 45 minutes. Then I tried to ride another half lap, bur I had to quk How did you feel at that point? I felt that if I didn't win England, I wasn't in very good shape to win the championship. I had a seventh in Wales. Ie was cold, snowing. There was one lap with 50 sections. They were mostly straight sections, with hardly any turns. Mostly gullies, waterfalls, rocks with ice on them and some tree roots. It was probably the worst trial of the year, no punch cards, just one lap. And they thought I was late, and I wasn't. Belgium was prelly muddy. I had three flat [ront tires. After the last one I was running late on time so I rode the last five sections with a front flar. I finished sixth. The organization of the trial in Holland was good, but the land was really flat with some muddy, icy hills. It rained too. The sections were kind of made up out of what they could find. A lot of sloppy mud, three feet deep. Ie wasn't really tight, it was just stupid. They'd send you through things that were impossible. I had a fourth there. So after four trials you were trailing Vesterinen 45 to 17. What were you thinking with the series one third over? I was thinking that I wasn't as far behin~ as I was the year before. Were you confident about going into Spain where you had won the year before? I feh better. I had a new bike and my dad was there. Ie was the same site as the year before, but different sections. Big rocks, dry, a really sunny day. You won again in Spain'. France was next. This year it was all solid mud. Ie was raining really hard. Really difficuh, a good trial. And a big turnout despite the rain. I finished second. Now the season was half over, and you were third, trailing Vesterinen 61 to 44. Three months later you were in Calgary. I didn't care for Canada. They had one of the best areas for a trial, but they didn't have any organization. They didn't know how to set sections up. They had just one lap and bad markings. They used wire stakes to mark the sections. There was a lot of really deep water. Riders were drowning our. I think I was lucky to finish third. You didn't know what place you were going to ger. Colorado was alright, but it was all the same terrain. Just rocks and big boulders. Ie was the best anonal trial of the year, but for a World Championship event, it wasn't as good. But the last four sections were good. Italy was the best trial of the year. Wet, dry, muddy - it had everything. Rivers, big rocks, loose rocks. Two laps. You had to gas up on the loop. Ie was about 40 miles at high altitude like Colorado. I had some problems. I had to cnange a head pipe before the trial starred. I was supposed to get to it on Saturday, but I didn't get it until Sunday morning. And then the chain tensioner spring for my primary broke right in the middle of the trial. Finishing second in Italy put me in the lead by two points. So you wiped out that 28 poi;;'t deficit in just five events. Did you expect to beat Karlsson in Sweden? We keep hearing that he practices the sections before the trial. Not really. I was in really good shape after doing the Donner trials school. I felt really confident after riding up there for seven days at high ahitude. The trial in Sweden was at a new site, in Karlsson's backyard, near his home. So I think he was a little bit surprised that I won. There were four sections at the end of the loop that were up-anddowners and super tighr. I had 10 points up to those last· four, and Karlsson had five. I cleaned all four sections, Karlsson had two fives and I pulled ahead. And Finland was in Vesterinen's backyard? Right in his backyard. You could see his house while riding some of the sections. He finished third, but you had a seventh. What happened there? I wits just mentally off. Ie was like a big psych-out thing. There were .Finnish riders in front of me. I'd walk the section, and as soon as I went to get on my bike they'd get in line ahead of me. Lampkin even went out twice, which really surprised me. So you had a three-point lead and three weeks until the final trial in Czechoslovakia. What did you do during those three weeks? Colin Boniface of Comerfords rebuilt my bike for Czechoslovakia. He did my bike all year, really super. I was upset for maybe two weeks about that trial in Finland but I was running every day. I did a trials school for 20 schoolboys in ~ngland for Comerfords, they're the British Bultaco importer. Did you ride any trials between Finland and Czechoslovakia? The Sunday before Czechoslovakia I rode a small Ioc'aI trial, and I got beat by some kid I had never heard of before. A little club trial. I took a five and got second place. I was trying to do a floater off this tree and landed on another tree and crashed. Why were you so upset after Finland? Because you got psychedoqt? This happened for like five sections in a JOW. They'd cut in. After a while they weren't even loo.king at the sections. They'd just get in line. They were trying to hold me back on time so VesteTinen could catch up. It was just a mental thing. I had practiced there before with Vesterinen so I knew the terrain. But he had a 'little surprise too. He expected the sections to go down, not up. He already knew how they were supposed to be, but the organizers reversed the direction. The first lap I was in 15th. I had 45 and Manuel Soler, who won, had 19. The second lap I had 22, that's the only thing that held me in the top 10. I think the trial is going to be in Vesterinen's backyard from now on. ext year I'll be mentally prepared for that. [ think I practiced a lillIe bit too hard between Sweden and Finland. About three hours' a day for three days. I shouldn't have done that at all. Yeah. Then 1 really cooled down. I really didn't care when I went to Czechoslovakia. I wasn't worried about anything. The trial was pTelly good. A little bit easy. Three laps, 40 sections. You had to be consistent, make no mistakes. You had a I~, and the runnerup had ~l. That's where I think the running helped me. So you found out you can concentrate in easier trials? It wasn't really easy, like trials around here. I wasn't making any mistakes. I think I had two twos and the rest ones and cleans. What was the celehration like afterward? It was pretty good. You don't realize you've won at first. I didn't really have to work at it. It seems like when you win, you win easily. Vesterinen was very friendly. He came up and said he thought the best man won this year. And then 1 almost didn't get in the presentation. There was a mixup with the tickets. How are the stadium trials in Europe coming along? It looks pretty good. I think they could become a regular international series eventually. There's supposed to be an indoor championship in Iealy next year. Like six or seven events with maybe one international. I rode in Spain, then Italy and the Kickstart in England. The Kickstarr was televised, three 30-minute shows. There were 16 riders with eight in each hear. Only the top halI qualified for the final. It was like equestrian dressage competition, wasn't it, where they ride the horses over the jumps? Yes'. We rode one section after another and they added our time to our score. You won every stadium trial you rode this year. What are these worth to the winner? Anywhere from $1,000 to $2,500. And you only ride from two minutes to 10 minutes since there's no loop. What about attendance? Spain was about 9,000. They held it in an arena like the Los Angeles Forum, but smaller. England was outdoors at Donnington Park, a race track. The one in Iealy was at a soccer park with bleache~. I didn't ride France. Ie was. held the same time as the nanonal in Indiana .. What are the sections like? , They had a swimming pool with logs in Spain. We rid~ over cars and up and down the stands and up a big staircase about 20 feet high_ We also had to ride over a pile of huge tractor tires and do turning wheelies off a wall. What about the popularity of trials in European countries? 1 think trials is growing the most. It's already big in Spain. It seems .to be growing the fastest in Italy. England is picking up quite a bit since the Kickstart appeared on television. The other TV station was on strike, so everyone had to watch it. Trials is growing in Holland, and it's more popular than enduro riding in France. Germany is growing too. America seems to be the only country that's going backwards. Why? I don't know ... the NATC? Do you think the fact we have an ~erican World Champion will help promote the sport here? I don't think it will help a.t all. Something has to be done with the people, the riders. There should be schoolboy classes for the kids, just like England has. The kids come out and then the parents get involved. Under the schoolboy system in England they can't compete with adults until they're 17. Yet when you were I~ you were already riding Expert. We wouldn't have to have exactly the same age deal, but we don't really have kid classes anymore. Maybe there should be a kids or schoolboys' National series or something. They have schoolboy champions in England. Look at Scott Head. (A high·schooler who finished eighth in the nation this year.) He would have been considered a schoolboy rider. You're suggesting we give the younger riden something to shoot at sooner than the Nationals? Yeah, that's the thing. All the kids think: I have to beat Bernie Schreiber, or I'm never going to be any good. So you favor the multi-tiered championship approach of England. Some people have proposed regional qualifien for a National Championship showdown. I wouldn't like just one trial to decide who's champion, but as far as expenses go, we're going to have to do something so the riders don't have to travel as much. But like the Olympics, you 15

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of Cycle News - Archive Issues - 1970's - Cycle News 1979 11 14