Cycle News

Cycle News 2020 Issue 32 August 11

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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Page 126 of 137

CN III ARCHIVES BY SCOTT ROUSSEAU P126 THE OUTSIDER: GARY SCOTT Loyalty or no, Scott would not see the top of the podium aboard a factory Triumph in 1973, and al- though he was able to repeat the consistent season-long perfor- mance of his rookie year to finish second in the points standings for the second time in two years, he knew that a long-term relationship with Triumph was not in the cards. "The next year, Dick O'Brien called me again, and he offered me a lot more money, so I went with Harley-Davidson," Scott recalls. "But I think there was a lot of resentment between me and him. I was trying to make the best decision at the time [in '73], B ig news shook the American racing scene in 1976 when it was revealed that AMA Grand National Champion Gary Scott, who had won the 1975 AMA Grand National Championship with the factory Harley-Davidson racing team, would be walk- ing away from the factory and defending his title as a privateer. It marked the first and only time that a factory-backed champion has parted ways with Harley-Da- vidson in such a manner. So how did it happen? "I've got an interesting theory on that," says Scott, now 51, retired and living in Phoenix, Ari- zona. "It was kind of an odd situ- ation, and people will obviously have different opinions about it. "At the end of 1972, my rookie year, [Harley racing manager] Dick O'Brien offered me a ride with Harley-Davidson. I already had ties with Triumph, who had helped me with a road race ride that year, so I went to Pete Coll- man [Triumph's racing manager], and he offered me a bit more money. I felt loyalty to Triumph, so I agreed to ride for them, and I called O'Brien back and told him no. He was really upset over that. I don't think that anyone had ever turned him down before." Gary Scott won the 1975 AMA Grand National Championship riding for Harley- Davidson. After winning the GNC title in '75, Scott left Harley- Davidson the following year to defend the title on his own.

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