Cycle News - Archive Issues - 1990's

Cycle News 1994 07 13

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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;C IC E Y" H AN R ·c.·.B y.HennyRay Abrams ou bite! You blow! Your skeleton should be removed from your skin one bone at a time until all that's left is a wretched p athetic b lood sac that hould be punctured and spilled into verflowing outhouses to mingle with higher species . You don't deserve to reathe the same air that fills my tires. our space on ea rt h coul d be better ill ed by Spam. You should b e th e os te r boy for birth contro l. Will ogers would smac k you silly." That's the tongue-lashing that Rich liver never gave, but should have. At he press conference following his win the 250cc Grand Prix race at Loudon, is fifth in a row, Oliver said that he'd ad trouble with traffic and that he 'd apped one guy four or five times. This . someone who he'd pucker pa ssed on ther occasions this year and the sort of oser that'd get lapped at a drag race. "I uess I should go have a talk with . ," Oliver said, somewhat sheepishly, but he probably d idn't. What would esay? Frenchman Christian Sarron, the gravity-defying former World Champion who still holds the record for suborbttalflight by a motorcycle racer, and whose hands look like they'd wrestled a leaf shredder to a draw, often spoke of the constant hazards of "moving chickens," "chickens" being his Gallic pronunciation of "chicanes:' Moving chickens, backmarkers, lappers, slackers, menaces, mouth sores, pus bags: Call them what you want, they are the scourge of racing at every level and far too little is being done about them. That they have been granted licenses to race at the highest levels - 500cc World Championship leader Mick Doohan rightfully complains about them whenever baited - but deserve to be on a race track as much as a three-legged poodle, which, by the way, they'd have a hard time passing. As speeds increase, safety becomes a more prominent and contentious issu e. The hazards on the track merit as much discussion as those off the track . It' s an area where there can be no excu ses, . and yet there are no rea sonable stan- dards for exclusion. Do we need full fields even if they're fattened up by refugees from the Shriner's parade? In the World Championships there is a cut-off point, however generous, that has to be met if you want to go out and ruin Doohan's day. So, a few suggestions: If, during qualifying, a rider needs to be time d with a calendar, he's toast; if he has to stop and ask d irecti ons in tim ed practice, juice him; and if the mod el year of his bik e changes during his qua lifyin g run, he's guano. This ma y seem unduly ha rsh, since one of history's most no torious backm arkers became one of our gr eatest cham p ions . In his very first road race at Laguna Seca, three-time World Champ ion Wayn e Raine y was lapped by no less than his mentor, and tormento r, Kenny Roberts . What d id Rainey do after getting lapped? He ra n into the back of Roberts' bike, locking the two in an unholy union as they he aded for the final turn; nine then, 11 now. They uncoupled just before Ra iney was about to send Roberts doggie styl e into the haybales, but not before Roberts could look back and see Rainey's saucer-sized eyes filling his visor. An inauspicious debut to be sure, but one that Rainey has long since exp iated. Getting lapped once is not a sin; getting lapped five times is. Underachievers have been around in racing since long before the invention of the internal combustion engine. The earliest mention I could find of "backmarking" dates back to the Palio horse race held twice a year in the Tuscan town of Siena, Italy beginning in 1656. Each of the nearby communes was represented by its best rider. The best of the best raced around a temporary circuit (Pomona?) in the close confines of the Piazza del Campo, the town's scallopshaped main square. When the leading rider would lap one of the slower riders he was obligated to slap the slacker on the back with a mace wrapped in the used diapers of the mayor's firstborn son. (This became something of a problem as the mayor's son neared puberty.) The slowest rider would be iden tified by th e number of times his back had been marked by the d iap ers, hence the term: "moving chicken: ' How do we adapt this in America? Depends. Maybe Pampers, but I think Depends would pack a bigger punch. Who says there aren't any non-tobacco sponsors out there? The solution, I think, is quite simple: fines . The first time you get lapped is on the house. It happens to the best of th em and could jus t be a sign you 're having a bad da y. The fines would start with the second time you're lapped and escalate rapid ly. If yo u are lapped twice in a race yo u will be allowed to finish, bu t afterwards must pa y a $1000 fine and buy d inne r for th e AMA's V.P . for S.M., Tom Mueller. As the S.M. Veep; road racing, or in your case , road blocking, falls under his dom ain and your career will be discussed with an emphasis on find ing out how it is that after racing for 10 years and spending countless thousands of dollars you still suck. You will be asked how you secure your fairing to ensure that it won't be sucked off your every time you get passed by a guy going through a first-gear corner three gears higher than you. These, and other issues, will be discussed over a bounteous feast of bulgur wheat tofu, free-ranging schnauzer jerky, and hand-squeezed weasel milk. If you are la pped three times you will be asked to dine alfresco on a steamy summer evening with Editor Carru thers, who will, I assure you, spend the entire night whining about the heat. "Boy, it's hot. I've never been this hot. My head feels really hot. Did my mousse catch fire? I'll bet hell's not this hot. Do thermometers go this high? I don't think thermometers go this high. Is this like being microwaved? Now I know how David Koresh felt . Did I mention it was hot? Boy, it's hot. I think my zipper just melted ." And you 'll be fined $2000, though within minutes of being seated with the whine connoisseur you'll conclude that that's the lesser of your punishments. "Look! My iced tea 's boiling. Is it still iced tea if it's boiling? At what point does it become tea? Holy ••q. is it hot!" . Ride slowly enough to get lapped three times and you h ave to have breakfast w ith possibly theonly TV broadcaster who prefers anonymity, but whose TV name rhym es with Mary Liars. Mary will share years of broadcast knowledge and lore with you, enlightening you immeasurably, then speak of enjoying the breakfast immensely, even though your conversation will have been held at a decibel level that could fatigue titanium. But forever afterwards Mary will deny ever speaking to you; will deny having enjoyed donuts and coffee with you; will deny repeating an y joke you might have told that mornin g. (H ere's a hint Mary : You can 't spell amateur without what?) The fine will be around $3000, payable in non- sequenti al unmarked bills. If you are so pathetic on a motorcycle that you can actually be lapped four times in a 40-minute race; (a nd this I find unbelievable, though Rich Oliver swears that it' s so and I would never doubt him), you will have to dine with me and the only journalist on the circuit with two first names. No, it's not Sirhan Sirhan, or Boutros-Boutros Ghali , but American Roadracing's King of Stuff Larry Lawrence. Larry and I are what is known in the restaurant business as big eaters, and you will have to pay. We will take you to a poultry farm whose gimmick is that you get to visit the coop and pick out . your dinner from among the scurrying masses. Larry and I will take turns th inning the herd . While Larry's power-sucking the marrow out of the wishbone, you and I will discuss your technique, your career, your future. I will listen intently, digesting the complexity of your life, contemplating your needs, wants, desires, then tell you: "You bite! You blow! Your skeleton should be removed from your skin one bone at a time until all that's left is a wretched pathetic blood sac that should be punctured and spilled into overflowing outhouses to mingle with a higher species! You don't deserve to breathe the same air that fills my tires! Your space on earth could be better filled by Spam. You sh o u ld be the poster boy for birth control. Will Rogers would smack you silly." The fine will be $4000; the meal could be twice that. And in the end I can guarantee you there will be no more moving chickens. en 25 YEARS AGO... July 22, 1969 n ia , Ob se rved Trials, scoring eigh t . po ints less th an hi s nearest com petito r...A photo show ed Floyd Emde prep arin g a Suzuki A-lOO for his son Don. "T he little guy will ge t thi s bike when I feel he is good and ready for it," sai d Floyd ...An article called "How to choose a camer a and take mot or cycle p ictures " explained how to do just that. f;f:; ~ ././. al which started: "If you've been following the news lately, you probab ly know that Preside nt Jimmy Carter has decided that he is all for MX (Reese was referring to the MX missle)...Brad Hurst wo n his first-ever Grand Nati onal at Cas tle Rock, despite falling on the secon d lap of th e ma in ...Kenny Roberts lost his points lead in the SO World ChampiOcc onship Road Race Ser ies when he finished eighth in Assen, Holland. Suzukimounted Italian Virginio Ferra ri scored the win...The Barona Oaks, California win streak of Ronnie Lechien ended when the youngste r was beaten by Chris Morey. wrist to complete a three-class sweep... Johnson finished ' thi r d a t th e Red .Bud 250cc National MX in Mich iga n, w hi ch w as won by teammate Jeff Stanton. George Holland w on the 12Scc division...Wayne Rainey bested Eddie Lawson and Christian Sarron at the Dutch SOOcc Road Race GP...A letter to the editor from Cliff Breedlove asked the qu estion: "What has happened to Team Smitty?"...Scott Parker won the Hagerstown Half-Mile and took over the Grand National Championhip points lead...Kurt Hough dominated the Trask Two-Day Reliability Enduro in McMinneville, Oregon. Dave Bertram was second, with John Nielsen £II third. ssu e number 27, which so ld for 25 cents, featured a cover photo of Mark Brelsford leaping his H arl ey - Da vi d s o n . Sportster to a victory [J .. at the 50-lap Nation- ..._..... al Ascot TT ... Chuck Clayton wrote a sidebar examining the a d v a n ta ges of two-stroke e n gines, which ended: "Don't count out the fourstroke yet."... Clayton also wrote a piece on how to get the best performance out of your Hodaka Ace IOO...Triumph ran a full-page ad extolling the virtues of their Triumph Trident. "Triumph prices start as low as $695," said the advertisement...Spaniard Ped ro Pi, who worked with the research department of Montessa, won the Littlerock, Califor- I 15 YEARS AGO... July 18, 1979 .Ih~;JJ:.:Jjl n .: 7- -o ··· ·_·_" ' : 0-' /.:t-~:.~, ! "i Bob Hannah was '/. ' . I, i featured on the ~\ cover with bearded _ '. mechanic Keith -:::: McCarty. Hannah . < ". 'J had clinched his Z::.~ second 2S0cc National MX title at Mt. Morris, Pennsylvania, where Gaylon Mosier won both SOOcc motos...Rex Reese wrote a guest editori- 5YEARS A GO... July 12, 1989 he cover was graced by a photo of the Mammoth Motocross, where Ri ck Johnson returned from a three-month layoff caused by a broken T 67

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