Cycle News - Archive Issues - 1990's

Cycle News 1997 08 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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Page 74 of 75

GUEST EDIT ORIAL BY M FRE ATT EMAN he 72nd Internat ional Si x Days End uro is fast approaching and will take place in Ital y thi s yea r. Even the th ough t of th e en croa ch in g - and argua bly the most ph ysically and mentally demand ing - off-roa d even t in the w orld get s my blood pumping like no other motorcycle gathering can. I jus t wish the rest of the country shared the sa me level of enthus iasm and sup port for the ISDE. When I was a kid, my heroes always had handguards and headlights. Not .to take anything aw ay from [eff Ward, Bob Hannah and jo hnny O 'Mara, but the glamorous life o f a Pro motocrosser seemed to be so routine . I guess I was a weird kid. Racing th e sa me track la p after lap, yea r after year just did n' t seem very a dven tu ro us to me. A n d they nev er even worked on their own bikes. Malcolm Smi th, Larry Roesel er , Dick Burleson - they were more my type . As T I' v e g rown o ld e r a nd les s n aive, I've learned to a p pre cia te motocross an d su percross, and have realized that there is nothing routine abo ut it - except for th e constan t thrill of ra ili ng a ca rved berm or snag gin g a first-turn holeshot. But still, for me, nothing can replace the sp lendor of a desert race, a gra nd prix or an enduro. This can probably be attributed to the fact that I grew up in Sou thern California , where there is a District 37 off-road even t to attend alm ost every wee kend of the year. From Na tiona l Hare & Hounds to th e fa me d Ade la n to Grand Prix to endures in th e loca l m ountains, there is no other series in the country with such variety. District 37 has produ ced a num- ber of na tional-cal ibe r ri ders, be it in enduros, hare scrambles, or the ultimate the ISDE. Guys like Bruce Ogilvie, Roeseler, jimmy Lewis, Danny Ham el, and Ty Davis are all natives of District 37 events and ca n ride in a ny situati o n M o th e r Nature throws at them. Earth, wind and the fiery hea t of the SoCal desert is just another day at the races for some. The classic desert-racing scenes from "On Any Su nday" ha ven ' t cha nged mu ch ove r th e past 25 yea rs. In fact, even some faces and names are still the same. The smo ke-bomb start, the action in the pits, and the infamous stra nd edrider signa l fire will always hit close to ho me, but th e y a re no t m y fav o ri te scenes from the movie. "Tired an d sore , but still on time," are the wo rds tha t ring out in my mind . When I first saw Malcolm riding his mot or cycl e across the Spani sh cou ntrys id e in the ISDT, I was hooked . I would wager that t he re a re not many dirt-bike-riding kid s in Sout hern California that even know wha t th e ISDE is. If it's not in a motocross magazine or on ESPN, it's not im porta nt to most of them . I often had to explain to m y mo toc ross fri e nds at sc hool th a t it was si mil ar to th e M otocr oss d es Na tio n s, o n ly it w as a n o ff- ro a d endurance race that too k place over six days. When I told them that there wa s a final mo tocro ss on day six, they began to sound interested . _ "Tha t's cool," th ey 'd say . "Is j eff Ward go nna be there?" "No," I'd reply, "bu t j eff Fre d ette will be there." "Who?" A t that p o int, I'd us ually s ig h in des pair and go abou t my own business. Little d id I know that a few years later, motocrossers like Rodney Smi th, Guy Co o per a nd Davis would actually be there, m o to cr os s in g down the trail. That's w hen I realized that there was more skill to the Six Days than the A loop in a local enduro would ever requi re. Although my riding a b ili ties and financial sta tus have kept me from competing in an ISDE, I follow each year's event rather closely - mostly trivial stu ff, like wh o earned gold medals in '89, or 20 Y SAGO... EAR AUGUST 17, 1977 a m H ond a ' s Marty Smith was on the cover of CN, commemorat ing his win at the AMA 500cc National Motocross ' in 1 0YEARS AGO,.. Unad illa Valley, New York. AUGUST 19, 1987 Honda's Tommy Croft fin iIIclim b e r Wade is he d se co n d, a nd Rex W ill iams w as on th e S taten p u t a w o rk s cover of CN, shot at the Harle y-Da vid son in to AMA Invitat ional Hillclimb in th ird o n the p od ium . jefferson, Pen nsylvan ia. In his firs t competition rid e of th e Yamah a' s Mike Bell wo n season, defending Gra nd the 250cc Support class... A week later, Team Yama ha's Bob Han nah won the National Hillclimb Champion Jim Clark 500cc Natio na l Motocross held in won the 750cc class on his BSA. fH;7'ilT~~;;":::':': Steve Krau te r wo n Cha rlotte, No rth Carolina, and the 500cc class on a beca me the first rider to ever win a 125,250 and 500cc National in Triumph. .. Team the same year. Smith ha d won Hond a ' s Rick Johnso n wo n h is first a ll three, but not in the sa me year. Suzuki's To ny DiStefano AMA 500cc Na tio n a l fini shed sec ond, and Su zu kiMotoc ro ss C h a m pi mounted Mickey Boon e ended o n s h ip by sw eep ing up third. Suzuki's Mark Barboth motos of the 500cc nell won th e 250cc Su p p o rt " Na tional held in Troy, class... Belgian Andre MasOhio. Kawasaki support sa n t took his factory, wa terr id e r Mik e Fis h e r fin cooled OW-25 Yamaha to the ish ed secon d , ahead of overall victory a t the Canad iKawasaki's Ron Lechien. an roun d of the 125cc World Honda priv ateer Gu y Motocross C hampionship Coop er won his first-ever series. It w as Ma ssant' s i ir st Natio n al the sa me da y career GP win as he went 1-2. American wi th a 1-1 in the 125cc class Warren Reid (3-1) took his Honda to an ov er Su zuki-m ounted Donn y Schmit 11 H who b ro ke on d ay five in ' 91. Every su mme r, I eage rly awai t my Six Days Cycle News issue in ord er to ge t the scoo p from the grass tracks and terrain tests of the world. Then all the informa tion, resu lts and ph otos are stored in my brain for futu re refer ence, jus t in case someo ne might ac tually ask me somed a y . I visualize the day when I can spou t off my Six Days verbal encyclopedia to so meone almost as much as I dream abo ut a gold medal. I guess you could say I'm a hopeless romantic when it comes to the ISDE. Growing up in a red -blooded America n famil y, I have always admired the patriotic side of the Six Days. Wha t better way to serve your country than in an inte rna tio na l ev en t of good w ill a nd cama raderie? Althoug h this idea might n ot fl oa t too w e ll with m o st of th e Ame ric an general p u blic, I susp ec t a good battle in the final moto in Italy this year is beller for wo rld relations than a fu ll-b lown nu clear sta ndoff. Like a th let es com peting in the Win ter or Su mmer Ol ym p ic Games, ou r rid ers p u t years' wo rth of work and p reparation in to the Six Days so they can represent our coun try to the fulles t. And tha t they •d o, every yea r. In Ita ly th is yea r, m y b reed (the d esert-racing ty pe) wil l be represen ted at the ISDE by some youn g, promising rookies and some experienced veterans. National Ha re &. Hou nd s poi nts leader and World Trop hy fa vori te Ty Da vis will set sail for Italy in hopes of captu ring our first overall win. Th ree- ti m e ISDE vetera n Grant Palen ske w ill take h is years of SoCaI en du ro a nd d esertracing expertise ov erse as wi th dreams of gold meda ls to add to h is silver, bronze , a nd multiple Dist rict 37 number-one plates. KTM/Vosbu rg Racing's Destry Abbott secured his first trip to the Six Days by winning a qualifier, and Honda' s johnny Campbell ha s turned an injury-pro ne yea r in to a spo t on the Me rced Dirt Ride rs club team wit h Abbott. Al ong wi th Abbott and Campbell, young National Hare & Ho und s regulars Brian Brown and Nick Pearson set blisteringly fast special test times at the qualifiers th ey cho se to ri d e. Neither Brown nor Pea rson a re goi ng to Italy this year, but yo u can bet they'll b e doing five-minute tire changes in some foreign cou ntry in the near future. Both are in the top thr ee in the National Hare &. Ho unds se ries th is yea r wi th only three rounds to go. Perhaps their best cha nces a t b ringing home gold will co me next year in ' 98, w hen th e Si x Days retu rns to the desert-like terrain of Australia. Thi s yea r' s crop of U.S. Six Da ys compe titors are as strong and as dedica ted as ever, despite limi ted help from the major ma nufacturers. As they qui ckly pre pare, stra pping on head lights and boltin g on handguards, let us not forget that there are dozen s of smaller supporters behind the scenes tha t help goals to be achieved and dreams to come tru e. If there was eve r a n eve n t th a t requires teamwork , the ISDE is it. It is the epitome of offroad motorcycle racing. On the eve of August 19th, w hen 37 brave Americans impoun d thei r motorcycles in Brescia, Italy, I - along with the rest of the off-road world - will be waiting an d watching. Will the U.s . World Trophy Team come home with their first Gold Vase? Can our junior World Team bring home an other Silve r Vase? Will one of our club teams repeat last year's stellar performance by the Daytona Dirt Riders? Who will be the top American ? Who knows? There ' s o nly one th in g that's for sure: If you cu t open my chest, the re's a blue-and-wh ile-striped sku nk (1'i helmet in place of my heart. (3-2) and Eric Kehoe (2-3)... Yoshi mura Suzuki's Kevin Schwantz wrestl ed the lead from Team Honda's Wayne Rainey on the second lap and cru ised to an easy win , his second in a row , at the inaugural running of the Supe rbike National at the Memphis International Moto rsports Par k in Tennessee. Rainey finished -seco n d a n d teamma te Bubba Shobert snagged third ... The U.S. 'team of John Cook, Scotty Brown, Bobby Ott, Steve Lucero , Robert Pf e tzi n g, Bobby Schwartz and Mike Faria wo n the second a nnual Budweiser Americ an Cup Spe edway Challen ge a t Ascot Park in Gard ena, Californ ia... Team Husqvnrna's Ed Lojak won the AMA National Hare Scrambles in Millville, Minnesota. III e-, 0\ 0\ ...... rr) '7" .....

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