Cycle News - Archive Issues - 1980's

Cycle News 1981 09 30

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 2 of 55

coune utilizes Carlsbad's drag strip and return road, is fairly bumpy and puts a premium on braking and ac· celeration. Top speeds are relatively low, and the SCCA crews have cleared some trackside brush and put in gigantic earthmover tires to catch stray cars. The fastest cars turned 55·second laps, though the majority of entrants cir· culated in just over a minute. It's rumored that a couple of Kawasaki superbikes went around in I :Oll a few days before the four wheelers. A number of riders were hurt at a desert race In Utah a couple weeks ago. Nineteen went to the h08pital, and two of them heel to be avacuated by heIicoptar. One of those two, Kurt Wooley, suffered a punc· tured lung and six broken ribs, four of which were broken at the spinel column. He should be out of the h08pital by the time you reed this, so send some get-well cerda to him at 8880 S. 400 West. Murrey, UT 84107. As this issue goes to press Honda is conducting its dealer show at their U.S. factory in Marysville, OH. The new line will include two brand new 750cc shaft-drive V-4s. The engine layout is similar to the NR500 with the front two cylinders facing straight forward, and the rear cylinders facing forward at a 45 degree angle. There's one sporty model. called the Sabre. and one custom style called the Magna. Also in the new model presentation is a fully loaded tourer. the Gold Wing Aspencade, -with such appointments as an air compressor and an optional stereo. A series of new models THE NATIONAL PAPERS Please identify: The longest running annual National half mile and again the final AMA/Winston Pro Series event of the year. The action track for the fans, the most feared and respected track on the circuit by the riders who race there in three big ones each season. Then. too. it is one of the most unpredictable tracks anytime it is run, National or non·National. The track hosted its fmt National half mile in July of 1959 and it pro· duced an upset winner. It has been' doing the same thing most of the years since that time. The track Ascot Park, located just south of beautiful downtown Gardena. It was the last stronghold for the old 500cc single racing bikes. When twins were winning at the majority of the other tracks. the thumpers won eight of the first Ascot National half miles. The track belonged to California bred racers the fint 17 years in a row, but the last nine National events there have found non-California riden win· ning eight times. Joe Leonard never won a main event at Ascot. Carroll Resweber never won a main there either. Bart Markel tried many times to win the Ascot National and could not pull it off. Kenny Roberts and Gary Scott both started their racing careen at Ascot and won dozens of main events as Novice and Junior, riden - but each has won only once when it came to National night. Steve Eklund learned his half mile racin~ there as well. but has never won a National on tbr Gardena oval. ~lflt :J. ' J .. \ l J('\l ."1: is the Nighthawk group. three "sporty customs" in 450, 650 and 750cc engine sizes. Cafe racers ought to go for the Ascot, a 500cc four-stroke single road bike with electric start and 2-into-1 exhaust. Also, as we showed you with a sneak peek a few weeks ago, there will be a CR480 motocrosser and the CR80 mini motocrosser had ProLink suspension. Rob Phillips of Denver, CO, dropped us a nota to correct us on the results of the AMA youth/Am. taur Short Track. It wea he, not the rider we heel listed, who finished eig~ In the 86cc Modified 12-14 rece. We are saddened to report the death of Wanda Pico, who succumbed to cancer Sept. 15 at the age of 69. Many racers remember Wanda and husband Ernie for their support of motorcycle racing throughout most of their lives. Wanda was perhaps best known for her leathers, worn by top flight riders in the '60s. Dee Johnson of D's Leathers got her start through Wanda. whom she described as "the most wonderful woman I've ever met." Wanda is survived by her husband, a sister. and two daughters. and as was her wish. there was no funeral. Godspeed. Wanda ... Eddie Lawson hea not yet signed en '82 contree:t with Kavnsekl, but he expe«* to. A KR600 GP recer Is expected to arrive In the U.S. In Oec:ember and Lawaon plena to COII-.t the U.s. FormuIiI One recea . In addition to his other duties. For years the Ascot track had a hex on mOst riders. They entered thinking they could not win. so they did not win. Some of the riders had a rumor going on the eastern circuits for yean that the Ascot riders who raced there most of the time would gang up on out-of-staters. It was a good rumor but not true. It was. however. a way of getting out of a defeat. It also kept potential winners from even showing up at Ascot, A good rider gets around Ascot in 22 seconds. and two riders have toured the track in the 21-second bracket. One year for a National if a rider did not time trial in the 22s he did not make the 48-rider cutl Sammy Tanner, the "Flying Flea." won the first Ascot biggie in '59. He was the last rider to qualify for the final and was riding a brand new Triumph that had just been put together that day_ The fans went crazy that night as the Flea wore white and all the rest wore black. The white knight really came through. Promoter lC. Agajanian was so excited he grabbed Tanner off his bike and carried him to the winner's circle. Tanner went on to record three more Ascot National wins and is the only four time winner of the event. The late AI Gunter won three and Jay Springsteen. the first non-Californian to ever win at Ascot. also has three victories. But Ascot has little respect for past Grand National champions. Only six number one riders have won the 26 races held. Two each season. starting back in '78. It is the only track where one can go on National night and often 'find half a dozen to a dozen proven riders - in the pits and watching instead of being entered. Most have varied excuses but one recently retired rider stated to me. "Ascot just plain scared the hell out of me and that is why I would rather watch than ride." An honest answer. • r J, .. ~";it • , ". The Motorcycle Industry Council reports that according to U.S. Department of Commerce figures, 1980 U.S. motorcycle aftermarket exports increased by more than $6.5 million over the previous year. That includes motor· cycle-only items such as exhausts, fairings, shocks, and not apparel, helmets or non-motorcycle-exclusive products such as spark plugs. Exports rose from $19.2 million in 1979 to $25.8 million in 1980. V.., slrl The Edwards Air' Force In Antique (pr.1930I, Post Antique 11930-601, CIlIulc 11960-601, Competl1Ion. SIdec:er end Power-blkelScool8r c111111. The field events will feature entrents in a number of contests. For entry blanks or Info, contact Bill Hoecker, 14402 Caracita Dr., Whittier, CA 90&04, 2131944-248&, evenings. Ii you can't walt that long for a look at vi:otage machinery, check out Alan Cathcart's teat of a '~ Rudge on p. 22. B... commander hea given the C8IIfornle Reclng Club the go-ahead to run a rece on the base motocrou treck on Oct. 26. This Is the second time this yeer the treck has been used by CRC, and rider support will determine If more races are to be run at the facility. This rece will alao be the Iut qualifier for CRC's Nov. 16 amateur supercrou at san Diego Stadium. For more Info call 2131830-7619. American Honda will sponsor the 1982 Pro-Am road race program at Alabama International Motor Speedway on March 13-14. Don Naman, general manager of the Talladega facility, made the announcement at a news conference on Wednesday. September 9. Honda spokesman Gene Hyche described the sponsorship as being a "long-range program." AMA Pro·Am meets include a round of the Superbike Championship Series. Remember that the aluminum can drive to aid Rescue II - the volunteer group that aids many injured desert riders every year' - is continuing. Bring all the recycable aluminum that you can out to the next desert race you attend and give it to Rescue II at their command center. Texas promoter Tommy Connors ITC Racingl has applied for a round of the 1982 Winston Pro Series. The event will take place at the Oklahoma City Fairgrounds half mile on saturday night. May 15. The southern California chapter of the Antique Motorcycle Club of Amerlce will be holding Its seventh annual show and meet on Oct. 3 at the La Mlrede Mall on the corner of La Mlreda Blvd. and Roaecrena Ave. Free to the public, the show Is expected to drew about 1&0 entrl. . It is not an easy track to win on. There is no time to set up, look around. and take a breather. full bore and full out from green light to checkered flag. When Ascot ran weekly programs through the '50s and '60s they put at least two dozen riders on the National circuit each year that were either winners or potential winners. When they quit running weekly several years ago, the pipeline shut off. The track can boast of starting no less than six riders on their way to the eventual Grand National titlel The Michigan duo of Springsteen and Randy Goss have won five of the last nine National half miles at Ascot. Springsteen has never had a kind word for the track, but Goss says it is his favorite dirt oval over all others. Upsets are possible at Ascot. but only once in awhile. The now injured Billy Labrie, who switched from road racing to din, surprised the racing world in May of '80 by winning the Ascot final. Then he came back in September of that same year to win once again. It may never happen again. In recent years Ascot has become known as the track that actually decides the National title. It happened last year with Hank Scott and Goss but the dream race took place in September of '78 when Eklund and Springsteen came in to Ascot for the finale and all the marbles. They are still talking about that one. Unlike Hank Scott and Goss. who ran third and fifth in the final to decide who would be number one, Jay and Steve hooked up to ru~ 1·2 most of the way with Jay making two big mistakes while in the lead. However, Eklund failed to capitalize on them and took second at the flag by a few feet. For that event, which holds the all time attendance record, there was not a single person left sitting or not yellin~ at the checkered flag. It was a promoter's dream. to say the least. This year not two but three riders ... . .. ... A tip of the Wealey duckbill to CBS Sports Saturday for their superb coverage of the World Speedway Final. Seeing Bruce Penhall manipulate his rna· chine around the outside in two come from behind wins was truly stirring. To welcome back Penhall, 'remember that he'll be at IMS on Sept. 23 and' at Costa Mesa on Sept. 25. • will be coming to Ascot. going for all the marbles and money that the AMA. Winston and Aggie will have on hand Saturday night. Sept. 26. Present point leader Gary Scott won it once and has been close on several occasions since his win way back in '72. Goss has won two of the last four but Mike Kidd has never won it. Would it surprise you if none of the three won the race to decide the title? Not at all. Riders such as former Ascot winner Garth Brow, Alex Jorgensen. Springsteen, Eklund and high groover Scotty Parker will all be on hand to make it a long wait for all three to find out who will wear the crown and take home the pot that will come to over $llO,OOO in various purse and award monies. As a sidenote, they have been doing some serious testing of the new Yamaha V-twin at Ascot off and on for many weeks. The old adage still applies. "If you can make it work at Ascot - it will work anywhere...· The Law-will-Roberts team of Mike Kidd and Jimmy 'Filice are the Yamaha developers. Kidd is going for the title and Filice has wrapped up the "Rookie of the Year" award. Kenny Roberts is through with road racing in Europe this year. Don't expect miracles but don't cancel out entirely the idea that one of the three, or maybe two of the three, will be at Ascot on the Yamaha challenger. I asked Kenny about this at Laguna Seca. He didn't say yes and he for sure did not say no. Roberts scored his lone Ascot National win back in 'n when he became the fint rider to ever win on a Yamaha 750, with the cylinders side by side. Harley-Davidson has scored in eight of the last nine finals at Ascot so it may be a ripe time for an upset along the lines of when Roberts rode a road racing two-stroke engine at the Indy mile into a come·Crom·behind win at the line. History, at least in racing. can repeat once in awhile. Roxy Rockwood ..... 00 0') .....

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of Cycle News - Archive Issues - 1980's - Cycle News 1981 09 30