Cycle News

Cycle News 2020 Issue 42 October 20

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 104 of 113

CN III ARCHIVES BY SCOTT ROUSSEAU P104 FREDDIE SPENCER: FAST FREDDIE'S BIG IDEA bike, no works team, nothing." But the idea was appealing to Honda, and a game plan was formed that would see several seasons worth of development crammed into just a few short months. It would take all of the physical and spiritual—if not finan- cial—resources that Honda could muster. ''A lot of people don't know it, but that bike [the NSR250] went from being an idea to go for two winning both titles in one season, only to abandon the 250cc class midway through the year—and, some say, too soon. The potential glory of being the first rider in his- tory to win both titles in the same year remained, but regardless of that, Spencer and Honda had a hurdle to clear in that they lacked a competitive 250cc machine with which to contest the series. "Honda had a production- based bike that they were running that year [1984] that wasn't a fac- tory bike," Spencer says. "It was based off a production 250, more of a customer bike—an RS250, they called it. There was no works I t started with an innocent con- versation in the middle of 1984. By the end of 1985, the dream of becoming a double World Cham- pion was reality for Team Honda's Freddie Spencer. In June of '84, at the Dutch TT in Assen, Holland, Spencer, the reigning 500cc World Champion, had just dropped out of the 500 race after holding a I5-second lead, a broken spark plug cap frustrating his defense of the title. ''And we were sitting around afterwards, Mr. Oguma—who was the HRC manager—Erv [Kanemo- to] and myself, and we just started talking about the Championship. This was about halfway through the '84 season, and we'd had a wheel come apart on me in South Africa, and then had this [plug cap] happen to me at South Africa. We had gotten knocked out of a couple races. Erv and I had already been talking about it, and I brought it up that I thought it would be interesting if we decided to go for two championships to make up for the championship that we might not win in '84. We just kind of batted it around." For the record, it would not be the first time that the idea had been tried. Upon entering his first season of Grand Prix racing, Kenny Roberts took a crack at Freddie Spencer with Erv Kanemoto the day Spencer clinched the 250cc World Championship at Silverstone in 1985. A week later, Spencer won the 500cc World Championship in Sweden.

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