Cycle News - Archive Issues - 1990's

Cycle News 1999 12 08

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 57 of 58

Highly irregular like s u rrea lis m . Wh eth er it b e th e melting clocks of Sal vad or Dali 's Persistence of Me mory or th e rh in o in a lif eb oat of Federico Fell ini ' s And the Ship Sales On , I th ink it's cool w he n something that see ms almost aut he ntic has just enough weirdness abou t it to reveal its fantasy. Perhaps that's w hy I enjoyed the past few months of racing so m u c h , s in ce s ur real is the si ngle word th at most perfectly ca p tures the essence of this mot ocro ss / su p er cross off-season. For me , tha t surrealism was a mplified b y th e fact that I had n 't been around for th e regular se as on. After having spent the previous two years living deep in the heart of Mexico, where the closest thing to a motorcycle race I saw wa s the local s jockeying for po sition while commuting o n thei r greasy, rattling, smoking Islos, the very concept of wa tchi ng ta lented p ros doing battl e on mod ern race bikes see me d fantas tic. Withou t a single regu lar- season ro un d to help my transi tion , and with the four off-season events I did a ttend this year bein g exceptionally hallucinatory, it's no wond er that I a t times wond ered if I had st epped into a s cene fr om Terry Gilliam 's Brazil. My s econd s ti n t wit h Cy cle N ews started in late August, just as the tra veling MX circus was making the transition from regular season to off -season. My fir st a ss ign m e nt ba ck w a s th e 250c c USCI' at Budd s Creek , Maryland, not far from our na tion ' s capita l (site of su ch su rreal scenes as Bill Clinton and Newt Gingrich arguing mora lit y ). You ma y astutely point out that the GI' was not an off-sea son race at all, but rather the climactic, title-deciding round of the World Champions hip MX Series, bu t it was offseason for the yanks, evidenced by a glance at the entry list or the spectator area. I had a ha rd time getting my head around the trui sm that had one of those Mexican Islo rid ers signed up, he could have come wi thin two positions of qu alifyin g to race agains t Stefan Everts and Kevin Windham. I was equally incredulous of the fact that I cou ld easily navigate th e tra ck' s infi eld with out being obstructed by sp ect ators - even during the height of the motos. Whil e suc h things can be view ed as negat iv es (and no d oubt were by pro- I mot er Jonathan Beasley), I actually dug the Budds Creek rac e. First, it was just nice to be back in the motorcycle industr y, seeing o ld fr ien ds a n d acq uai ntan ces . Besides, the day actually turned ou t to be fai rly d ra ma tic, provin g that you do n' t need a large audience or a full fiel d to have a good race; the se co nd mo to alone was wo rth the p r ice of ad mission, with Fred eric Bolley w rapp in g up hi s firs t worl d cr o wn, a n d Wind ham - fueled by Ever ts' now-folkloric commen ts about America n cowards - recovering from a poo r first outing to take the wi n from the Belgian. One month following the GP, it was time to imitate Hu nter S. Thompson another surrealistic hero of mine - for the Ll.S, Open Indoor Motocross. Rather than Fear and Loa thing, however, it was with eagerness a nd es teem that I bombed from L.A. to Vegas in a very large, very fas t rental car to co ve r a mo tors po rt event. Vegas is the capital of su rrea lism, and this was the perfect event for th e city. Going in, I was wondering what an "ind oor motocross" was, and ju d ging from the Open, it's a surrealis tic mix of a European su percross, an American arenacross, and a Vegas fight - coo l. Right away, I liked the event for its very un familiarity, eve n th ough d epth of tal ent was aga in lacking (with Jeremy McGrath opting ou t of a very good chance at win ning $100,000 - a surrealistic concept, to be sure). How cou ld I be disappoint ed wh en Jeff Emig (w ho I must confess is one of mv favorite riders) chose the race to ave nge hi s d rug a r re s t and Team Kawasak i firing by en tering as a pri vateer and w in ning the ov era ll? Just like Everts ' co w a rd qu ote for th e GP, th e Emig d rama made the D.S, Open sto ry fun to wa tch and easv to writ e about. Next up was the infa mous Bercy Su percross in Pa ris, a race I had long dream ed of attending. After all, it's no coi nci dence that Andre Bre ton - the fou nder of surrealism - is Fre nc h, and over the yea rs I've been enc han ted by Bercy images you have no doubt seen as well: Rick Johnson being literally hand ed to the crow d in the p alm of a hu g e, mechanical fist; Jeremy McGrath stepping out of a sp a ces h ip in full m ot o apparel; giant robots wa lking around the track. This year's event was actu ally relatively tam e, but Bercy' s version of tam e was still mo re outra g eou s th an an y motorcycle race I had ever been to in my life - or any circus, for that matter. There a re too many d et ails about th e Bercy extravaganza to go into here, but suffice it to say that the French know how to put on a show . The racing was cool, and it was my first chance thi s seas on to see Jerem y McGrath, wh ose freak mechani ca l p robl em only added to the drama, but it was all secondary to the spectacle. Again, I greatly enjoyed the entire experience, meaning I was now a perfect threefor-th ree on my off-seaso n expedition. O ne week la ter, I fo u nd m yself a t Pasad ena' s Rose Bowl for the second rou nd of the World Supercross Series, a r a ce m ore inconcei vab le than the keynote sp eech at a Dada con ve ntion . Again , there was t he field's lack of depth, on ly this time , that fictitious Islo rider cou ld have signed up an d -actually mad e th e m a in , beca u s e eve ry 250cc rider who entered the race tran sferr ed to th e s h ow - which d idn 't pre ven t th e organ izers from running a qualifyin g race. The n, there was the fact that it was a su pe rcross held during the day. In a w ay, that was actua lly a nic e co nce p t, bu t I cou ld n' t ge t ove r the feelin g that I was just watching press d ay (one w it h an extrem ely slow sched u le). Final Moto These fact s (a nd manv of the letters in this issue's "Voices" section) might imply tha t the final stop on my off-season tour was a disappointment , but nothing could be fur ther from the truth. Tru e, the race was a bit anticlimac tic (okay , extremely so), but I was actu allv rea d v for a littl e mell ow ness a t th is' point: Since co lleague Kit Palmer w as working th e event, [ w as just watchin g as a specta tor, and I spe nt m uch of the eve ni ng cha tting with my fiancee and so me friends of ours . In fact, we had such a good talk tha t it ofte n continued right through the infrequent races that took to the track. Besid es , th e Ro s e Bow l w a s th e zenit h of surreali sm , and I came away with a collection of outlandish mental images t h a t w ould d o Dali himself p roud : a n omi nous free style ra m p se t up on the infield - and never used ; Larry Ward riding a Kawa saki and sporting a full bea rd; gloo my weather in Sou thern Califo rnia ; a 16-year-o ld sweeping berms feet-up like a BMXer a nd w in nin g hi s . second pro ra ce; Je re my McGrath weari ng numb er 6; Ry an Hughes riding practice while wea ring a backpack; a pair of cow girl s end less ly gyra ting on the stadi u m's big scree n. It all just mak es th e regular season see m so ...regular. eN Looking Back '-' 30 YEARS AGO•.. ECEMBER 16, 1969 D inibikes and scantily clad wom en seemed to be the hot setu p on the cover of the las t issu e #48 of the deca de. In sid e , th e n e w spap e r was pa cked wi th s tories and ph otos of celebrities such as Gary Bailey and Ga r y Nix on o n th ei r min ibikes. With nam es like Bron co, Bonan za, Powell a nd Maverick, minibikes were in... Husqvarna w a s ke en to a d ve r tise J.N . Rob ert s ' win a t Barst ow -t oVega s... The 1969 Inter -Am series drew to a close wit h the final two events bei ng s tag ed in California. Arne Kring (Hus) claimed the win in Salinas, while h is factory teamma te Ben gt Aberg (Hus ) bagged the finale in San Diego... Gary Davi s rod e a 125cc Penton trials bike to the overall win at the Sad dleback Trial, defeating mu ch large r machinery by simply getting the power to the ground... Suzuki swu ng into 1970 with its lineup of street bikes, including the sgDcc Titan, 2S0cc Savage and 90cc Blazer. M 20 YEARS AGO... DECEMBER 12, 1979 em e m b e r The Superbikers ? What ma y have seemed like an ill-co n ce iv ed idea to br in g togeth er th e top s tars in all disciplines of motor cycle racing, bu ild a tra ck th at a llowed eac h s pecia lis t group to ut ili ze its stre ng ths and tum 'em all loose for 12 laps in front of an ABC television camera actually pro vid ed so me grea t r a cin g . Although Warren Reid (Kaw) led th e ea rly portion o f th e race, Ken t Ho w erton (Suz) cha rged p ast a nd led an other pair of mot ocro ssers to the podium in the inaugural running of the event. Jimmy Wei nert (Kaw) and Je ff Ward (Kaw ) fini shed seco nd and third, wi th di rt track champion Ste ve Eklu nd finishing fourt h. Da ve Aldana wa s the hig hes t-finishing road racer, placing eigh th... We also profiled the grea t Joe Leon ard , interviewed reignin g 500cc World ,MX Champion Graham N oyc e (Hon) and brought you a nifty gift guide that showed off so me of the latest items for the scooter or scooter fan in yo u r household. R 10 YEARS AGO... DECEMBER 6, 1989 lYin ' Fre d wa s the ma n again! Although he came into the fina l ro un d o f t h e Worl d C ha m p ions hip Superbike Road Race Series at Mans field, New Zealand, thr ee po ints behind rival Stephane Mertens, Fred Me rkel (Hon) eme rged with his second World Superbike Champion ship title. A pair of third s in the tw o legs w er e e noug h fo r Me rk el to co me clean afte r Merten s cras he d ou t in th e fir s t leg. Terry Rymer (Ya m) won th e ev en t.. . Rei gning World 250cc MX Champion Jea n-M ichel Bayle (Hon) scored the win at the Tok yo Sup ercr o ss, w hile Ri ck Johnson (Ho n) came home second and Je ff Stanton (Ho n) thi rd for a Big Red sw ee p ... Dean Bidd le (CZ) came from Seattle, Washington, to Su nnymead, California' s DeAnza Cycle Park to take the CZ Open Stock win at the CZ World Championships MX... Led by th e spacey- looking K1 and a rev amped K100RS, BMW sho wed off its 1990model lineu p. CIlI F ~ G> ..c E 2l G> CI 55

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