Cycle News - Archive Issues - 1980's

Cycle News 1983 06 22

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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(Above) Dan Ashcraft (left) and Scot Harden celebrate Husky's 1-2 finish. (Left) Larry Roeseleron one of the race's road sections. (Below right) Class 21 co-winner Scott Pfeiffer. (Below left) Ashcraft crossing the finish line . SCORE Off-Road Series: Round 3 Ashcraft/Smith blitz to Baja win By David Edwards ENSENADA, B.C. , MEXICO, J UNE 4 Team Husqvarna riders Dan Ashcraft and Dan Smith put their Baja jinx behind them as they took the overall and Class 22 (Open) victories at the SCORE Baja Internacional. The.duo bee~ plague~ by engrne seizures In previous races. but this time put in a relatively trouble-free 437 miles 16 to finish in a ti me o f seven hours, 46 minutes and 23 seco nds. "We finall y won one of th ese things ," a du st- covered Ash craft shouted through h is full-coverage helmet after riding the team 's 500XC across the finish line. " It's about time." Following As.h_craft to the .fin ish •• was another T eam Husq varna rid er , Scot Harden , wh o tea me d with Larrv Roeseler. After a race-l on g du el in which both teams were never more th an a few minutes apart , th e winning m a rgin wa s less th an o ne m inute. " Na tura lly we wo u ld h ave liked 10 win ," Harden said lat er, " b u t th e important thing is th at a Husky won. It wa s paramount to beat Honda. I was a little worried for a while because we were pushing ourselves really hard. We weren't giving the bikes any slack ! • • • ,.. >l • •.• I and I was worried abou t th e engi nes. " Both o f Team H onda 's XR 500based entries succ u m bed to mech an ica l p robl em s. The bik e o f Ch uck Mill er a nd Bruce O gilvi e was o u t a t chec kpoi nt four with a broken engine case ca used by a fault y kickstart me cha nis m th at kept engaging wh ile the engine was ru nn ing. Tom Kell y a nd Bob Rutten were side lined a bo u t a half h our lat er wh en th eir bik e snapped its cam cha in. At th e time, Ru tten was in third overa ll, a bo u t 10 m inutes behind th e lead ers, despite two fla t tires. With the ir main co mpetitio n ou t o f th e runn in g. th e two Husqvarna teams had th e race 10 th em selves. At' th e first checkpoi nt. EI Rayo , H arden h ad about a two-minu te lead. The teams pitted 42 m il es lat er a t Nuevo Juncti on to tak e o n gas a nd cha n ge riders. a nd Roeseler wa s o u t first with a three-m inute cus h io n over Smith. Six ty-five miles lat er , Sm ith was in th e lead . Coming into chec k fou r a t EI Ch inero, both teams had run ou t o f gas. Smith wa s able to get going, h owever , wh en h e laid th e bike on it s side a nd got a few extra sp lashes of ga s 10 th e p etcock side o f th e tank. He th en idl ed into the pits jus t as th e engi ne quite running. Roeseler wasn 't as lu ck y an d was stuc k a mil e and a h alf from the pi t a rea . Ha rd en race d 10 Roesel er 's a id. but th e team had lost four p recious minutes. With a full fu el tank an d Ashcra ft a board, th e lead in g Bel -R a y/H iPo int/Malcolm Smi th / H usky P roducts-sponsored Husqv arna scorched o ut o f El Chinero o n ly 10 be slo wed si x m iles lat er with a flat rear tire. In stead o f turnin g back . Ash craft decid ed 10 ride th e flat to th e next checkpoi nt at San Fel ipe. Thirty-tw o miles o f wh oop-de-doe s an d roc ks lat er , h e pulled into the Husk y pi ts a nd wa s gr eeted by on ly one crew member. " I told h im 10 give me a wrench and a spare wh eel and I'd cha n ge th e wh eel while he gassed up," Ash craft said. "J us t then , Harden came in screa m ing, 'G ive me gas, give me ga s!' I told him , 'G et you r own, he's helpin g me.' Harden gassed himself a n d took o ff. I left a bo u t a minute beh in d him." Ashcraft ca ugh t a nd passed Harden a t th e edge of DiabloDry Lak e, one of th e co u rse 's hi gh-speed sectio ns . The · lead stre tched to three a nd a half minutes after the ch eckpoint a t Mik e' s Sk y Ranch . One hundred miles later, th ough , th e two teams were o nce again neck-and-neck. " At ou r last pits, th ey started gassing me, and all of a sudden H arden comes in ," Ashcraft said. He left right behind me and all the wa y to the finish we raced. He never got in front of me . but he was right in my dust. I: I • • •• • • •• • • • " T he n we got to th e fin al pave~ ment sectio n, and everytime I hit a lo ng stra ig h taway , I kept look in g back , but I never saw him. I guess he figured th ere wa s no way 'he was go ing to win , so why push it. Since. th ey started 30 seco n ds befor e us, h would ha ve h ad to ca tch me a nd th en pull 3 1 seco nds a hea d. That would h ave been prett y hard to do ." ~ H arden ag reed. " Sure it would have been ni ce 10 win , but I was really berserking in th e last dirt secti on , hit:' tin g ditch es an d things in th e dust. It would hav e been next to impossibl 10 pass him o n th e fast road sectio ns - it's hard 10 p ass a n ybody th ere. T he n my silence r ca me off a nd I lost power, and my rear tire was going a way . I figured what 's th e sense of seizing it a n d throwing seco nd place •• ;G a way . Class 2 1 2 If T eam Honda had bad lu ck in th e Open clas s, th en at least th eir sho win g in th e 250cc cla ss was somewha t soot h ing. The Pfeiffer brothers, Scott a n d Kurt, ridin g a two- stroke CR, sim p ly dem ol ish ed their com petition. Finishing a half hour behind the winn ing Husk y, th e team took third mot orcycle overa ll a nd won Cl ass 21 by almost four h ours. In th e impound area after th e race, Kent rather matter-of-Iactl y described th e team' s ride. " It went great ," he said . No p roblem s, no flat tires, no major falls. The bike really worked well. It was a little dusty on th e start a nd the n th ere was so me fog th at co llected o n yo ur goggles. So me times yo u co u ld on ly see abo u t 30 feet in front o f yo u." T he seco nd pl ace bik e, a n end urobased Kaw asaki , belonged 10 a not her p air of brothers, Darren a nd Wa yne Syk es, wh o travelled from South Africa to co mpete. Class 20 In th e small-bore class, Husky made it two for three on th e day as Oren Beck II a nd Darin Cartwright joined forces 10 put th eir 125cc bik e into th e top sp ot. The Georg e Earl/Up-Tite/ H i-P oint-sponsored team got off 10 a sha ky sta rt wh en Cartwright cras hed a t th e sta rt of th e race in th e dust. "I fell o ff a gain in th e pine forest a n d hurt m y knee," Cartwright said. " After th at, things went prett y much tro uble-free and we sta rted 10 make u p tim e." , For a good part o f th e ra ce, Beck a nd Cartwright had to contend with the two T eam H onda 125s. Early in th e race , Peter Postel an d Kevin Hopkins were in the hunt until Postel fell , inj uri ng hi s hand. Hopkins carried on alone and had even forged into the lead after San Felipe, but then missed his pit stop and ran out of gas. The other Honda. with Larry Fife Duarte and Donnie Morrison aboard.

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