Cycle News - Archive Issues - 1970's

Cycle News 1979 12 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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500cc World MX Champion qy Jim Gianatsis 16 He is certainly the proverbial "Wild and Crazy Guy" - hence the nickname "Crackers" which in Bntish lingo means just that. At 22-years-old and one of the youngest 500cc MX World Champions ever, England's Graham Noyce certainly has the right to act a Little crazy when he wants to. Going into this past season's 500cc Championship, Graham had to be considered the Long shot behind veterans Mikkola, DeCoster and Lackey. Fate, desire, skill, good luck and bad luck all tum· bled into the proper perspectivesfor Noyce to emerge as the new champion. Unfortunately for Amen'can fans, the United States 'OOcc Grand PrU at Carlsbad was the only op/JO'rtunity all year to see Graham in action as he picked off a second overall with strong, but not spectacular n·des. He was trying to protect his points Lead at the time. Because of the Limited opportunity to meet up WIth Graham, I was happy to run across him in November when he and mechanic Bill Buchka were in the States bet· ween testing sessions with Honda ofJapar.. I first asked Graham to give a briefrundown of his earLy racing caren, since most ofus don't know much about him. Rond, Hakan Andersson, Herbert "I staned racing when I was IO-yearsSchmiu, all those guys at the Inter· old. School Boy sport they call it in national and beat them. We felt pretty England. It was on a one·two'five BSA good after that race. Bantam. That I rode up to when I was 16. Then I went up to a 250cc "Then Heikki broke his leg, Roger machine which was a Montesa. I just got hun and Brad was having trouble went on racing from then to Inter· with the new Kawasaki Uni·Trak. We national races when I turned 18. were running pretty well and winning "My first sponsorship was on Rickquite a bit. Andre Malherbe was runmans for two years. Then I changed to ning good, too, so the whole Honda Maico, riding for the British importer effort was going well. Bryan Goss. He was a real good guy to "Then it was the first GP when ride for and I was with him for just everyone got together. I really hadn't under a year when the Maico factory seen Brad before then, so we were just came up with a contract for me which meeting up for the fll'St time and it was real good. I rode for the factory went from there. during '76 and '77 and then in '78 I "It wasn't smooth and easy. GP's changed to Honda and have been never are, but it was a good season. I there ever since. enjoyed it. I think people saw good "In the meantime I've been the races in the GP's, they hadn't for a British National Champion since long time. There's a lot of different 1976, which is four years now. I almost guys up there every week. Malherbe, won it in '75 when it went right to the Jean Bruno, Roger, Heikki, myself, final moto of the series. I was leading Brad, Schmitz, Ivan Van den Broeck the moto when I crashed into a tree all won a moto. There's more guys and broke my collarbone. Otherwise, I runnin' up the front then there has would have five British Championbeen for the last couple of years... ships. That was just about the best What are your prOlpects for the 1980 Championship we had, there were three IcaIOn? Do you think it will be difguys runnin' for the title. It was me ficult to retain your Championship? and Vic Allen and Vic Eastwood, two "It is difficult to say this early. Heikki real old guys." is retired . we've heard officially. We Describe for us your fint World don't know what exactly DeCoster is Championship year with Honda, going to do, whether he is riding next which was 1978. year for Honda or is going tojust serve "I was real enthusiastic and everything as team manager. I think Brad will was going good at the beginning of the have his Kawasaki sorted out and it season, but then we had some will be a good year for him. Malherbe mechanical problems and lost a bit of is running well at the moment. Hakan morale and drive towards the middle Carlqvist is on a new machine, of the season. I picked it up towards Yamaha, coming into the 500cc class. the end of the season and got seventh We don't know anything about him at in the World Championship. And, of the moment except that he's good. It's course, I won the British Championall down to the first of the year to wait ship in the fall. and see at the first couple of Inter· "It was a disappointing season, really nationals. and I knew I could do better with the "Malhere suffered a pretty clean bike, but things just weren't going right break in his wrist during the Trans· forme." USA Series and he should be back What accounted for your dramatic riding by the end ofthe year. We plan change in riding and winning betto be back in Japan in January to test the new Hondas... ween the I97811ca1On and 1979? "I had a good Trans·AMA ride in '78. Is Honda going to be bringing out . I got third overall and that really gave anything new and different for you me a lot of confidence for '79. I like next year? riding in the Trans-AMA and the bike "Yes, You know the Japanese always was running well. Then we tested new have something different that they bikes and things were goin' real well. keep in Japan itself. They don't even "I got Bill Buchka as my new let it outside Japan. So you see real mechanic and he really helps me a different things when you go there. helleva lot. Not just on the track, but "We've got a couple of new things off the track, the training and one we're going to run on the bike and I thing and another. He's really a good think they're going to be real good. I guy to talk to. That's helped me a don't think there can be any disap· hellevalot. pointment over what we've got now. "I got smarter, I guess. I began So I think it's going to be an advantage thinking about many things like get. for us. ting good results and making fewer "I'm still going to stay with the big and fewer mistakes. Things came engine though, I like the 45Occ. When together." I first rode for Maico I went straight What were your thoughts when your for the 440cc bike and everyone said I toughat competiton in the 5OOa: was crazy to ride a big motor. But I've cIau, previoul champions Heilli always been a big bike rider and don't Mikkola and R.oger, were think I'll ever change back to less injured ~ore the 1979 World power than I already have." Championship even got underway? Noyce's prospects for retaining the "It was a bit bad for Heikki to get hurt 500cc WorLd Championship fM Hon· so bad. ~d Roger broke his collar da in 1980 certainly Look good, par· bone. I don't think that hurt Roger so ticularLy with Bill Buchka providing bad, but it made a dent in his morale a that good old CoLoniaL mechanicaL little bit. skill to keep the Japanese rocket with "Before Heikki had broken his leg I the Limey pilot running down the had beaten him in a big International track in the right direction without MX in Holland, anyway, and I any expected problems. Though thought I was in with a good chance Graham wouldn't go into any details for the Championship. We hadn't seen about the new Honda he WIlL ride next Brad Lackey yet and Brad was an year, you can bet that Honda will no unknown quantity at the time. Longn be taking second row to the "I had raced against all the other inovat£ve suspension designs now being TU1J b, YAm4ha lI1Jd KJ1.JJJ!4sq.": • guys; Heikki, Gerrit Wolsink, Gerard

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