Cycle News - Archive Issues - 1990's

Cycle News 1999 05 19

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 84 of 85

hether or not Mick Doohan returns from his latest injuries makes no difference. The . moment that he hit the barrier at Jere::. marked the eJ;ld of an era. Even if he does come back and win again, as he has vowed - and it is by 00 means impossible for a man of his frighteningly powerful deterrniri.ation and depth of racing talent - his unbroken reign at the top has been interrupted, and an era closed. An era, let it be said, that was rather sterile and dull. Nobody can blame Mick for that. He was just way too ,good for the competition. The best' of the rest have wilted under his fearsome determination and t~wering talent for the past five years. That's why it was so significant when Kenny Roberts Jr. resisted his charge fr?m behind in Japan. Throughout Doohan's reign, 500cc-class racing got duller and duller as he piled Win upon win and title upon title. When anyone said this to him, he'd react with characteristic asperity: "What do you expect me to do about it - slow down?" He could have afforded to. It was his particular misfortune tha t when he reached full strength, returning from his 1992 Assen leg injuries, it was to a Grand Prix field that could muster little better than Alex Criville in opposition - and the soft-centered Spaniard was easy meat for Mick. This year was different. With Roberts on a transformed Suzuki, Max Biaggi on an improved Yamaha, and Honda continuing to slide into complacency while concentrating their engineering efforts on the 250 and the new V-twin superbike, Mick at last had someone to race against, and he doubtless relished the prospect. Fate decreed otherwise. The Doohan era thus ended without him ever being able to claim the glory of winning the title from somebody really difficult to bea t. W When the 33-year-old Aussie mashe said. Two days later came another ter thumped upside down into the statement, via the Shell Advance 250 Michelin hoarding and fell back to lie team of which he is part-owner. motionless in the gravel, it was hard "Crashes and injuries are pait of racnot to fear the worst, after seeing the ing. I always kne"'{ that, and if I was impact. Even when he did move one going to let that stop me, I probably arm, his legs remained ominously would never have started," said still. Mick. Though, according to Costa, it Mercifully (though he may not see would normally take four to six it that way), the injuries were bad enough, but fixable: a bmken right months to recover from his leg collarbone, lacerations to his back injury, Doohan is not so patient. In (from a fixing screw holding the fact, his team hopes that he'll be back advertising hoarding!), a fractured in time for the Czech Republic GP at left wrist and, worst of all, a fracture Brno on August 22 - a little over three months away, the other side of the to the top of his right tibia, just below the knee. This is the same leg that he summer break. broke at Assen in 1992, a famously Nobody should be surprisea if troublesome injury, and was, accordMick wins races again before the end ing to GP medico Dr. of the season. Tnat's Claudio Costa, "very what he likes doing. fragmented." Having That's what he does suffered very severely best. And by then, in 1992 from poor The moment ,that he one or another rider post-operative care (Mick' Doohan) hit the is likely to be defendalmost losing his leg barrier at Jerez marked ing a championship Mick opted to fly to position. At the same San Francisco for the end of an era. Even it he time, everyone surgery. There he does come back and win again, should expect - or at consulted· orthopedic as he has vowed - and it is by least hope - that, havsurgeons Dr. Arthur no means impossible for a ing seen one more Ting and Dr. Kevin checkered flag, Mick Louie, both of whom man of his frighteningly powwill finally call it a have worked on erful determination and depth day. He has, after all, straightening him out of talent - his unbroken given enough. in the past. reign at the top has been The trouble is, a Mick had already interrupted, and an era Closed. racer at the top of his spoken about retiring form often finds it at the end of this year. hard to stop - and Furthermore, he and when younger guys his long-term girlcome along to supfriend, Selina Sines, are expecting plant him, possibly even harder. It is, without doubt, a kind of madness. their first child'in August. Everyone assumed that Mick would take this An admirable, noble, fine and couracrash as a warning, and quit. This geous kind of madness, but madness v~ew might make sense to "normal" nonetheless. To find out why, one people, but it fails to take into need only recall Wayne Rainey's account the incredible drive that words, spoken from a wheelchair, makes Doohan who he is. about how winning the title once, The fighting talk began within, then twice, then three times turned hours. out to be such an anticlimax that he "I'll be back. I don't want to leave was driven to destruction by the racing in the back of an ambulance," overpowering want to do it again. • 20 YEARS AGO••. MAY 23, 1979 10 YEARS AGO... . MAY 17, 1989 ho knew that Jay Springsteen (H-D) would still be winning races 20 years after his win a t the Ascot Half Mile on May 12, 1979? Springer won the Ascot race after )laving spent a week in the hospital. Steve Elkund (H-D) was second, and, Hank Scott (H-D) was third.... Kenny Roberts (Yam) won the Austrian 500cc Grand Prix, quickly silencing critics who said that the champ would struggle to get back to top form after his serious crash while testing in Japan. Roberts outran the Suzukis of Virginia Ferrari and Wil Hartog... In a rare upset, Terry Vance (Suz) lost to Wayne Buckler (Suz) in the Pro Stock Bike final at the NHRA Cajun Nationals in Baton Rouge, Louisiana... Brad Lackey (Kaw) was doing his best to bring America a 500cc World MX title. "Bad Brad" won the French Grand Prix with 3-1 mota scores... We also profiled Daytona 200 winner Dale Singleton. cott Russell (Suz) won the first AMA National road race of his career at his home track, Road Atlanta, in Braselton, Georgia. Suzukis swept the podium, as David Sadowski and Jamie James finished second and third, respectively... Jeff Stanton (Han) won the 250cc class and Damon Bradshaw (Yam) won' the 125cc class at a muddy Meadowlands Supercross in East Rutherford, New Jersey... Larry Roeseler (Kaw) won the two-day John Zink lSDE Qualifier in Tulsa, Oklahoma, beating Aaron Hough (Kaw) by seven seconds... Dave Thorpe (Han) stormed to a pair of mota wins for the overall victory at the Austrian 500cc MXGP,.. On the tarmac in Spain, Eddie Lawson (Han) saw his hopes for a 500cc road racing titLe defense rekindled after Kevin Schwantz crashed out with a five-second lead. Lawson went on to his first GP win aboard a Honda. Wayne Rainey

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of Cycle News - Archive Issues - 1990's - Cycle News 1999 05 19