Cycle News

Cycle News 2022 Issue 20 May 17

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 120 of 133

THE MAN BEHIND THE MX FACE T o motocross fans, Jaroslav Falta was a famous rider of CZ motorcycles. He was a fierce competitor who won races around the world, includ- ing the Super Bowl of Motocross in California in 1974. He was also the man who should've been the 250cc Motocross World Cham- pion that year as well, losing it only for reasons that had nothing to do with racing and everything to do with politics. This is how you know Jaroslav Falta. But I would like for you to become acquainted with the man behind the motocross face mask. My name is Martina Faltova Cope and the man that you knew as a champion motocross rider was also the man that I called "táta" or "Daddy." Jaroslav Falta was my father. Like all relationships, we had our ups and downs (a lot of downs in my teens!), but he was a wonderful father to me and my brother, Jaroslav Jr. Now that he is gone, I want all to know him as something more than just a man who could go fast on a mo- torcycle. He was a shy man, so I am sure he would be more than just a little embarrassed by the following story about my beloved "táta." I have known of many re- tired motocross champions in the United States and around the world. Many of them have taken their motocross earn- ings, invested those funds in successful businesses and are living comfortable lives. Living in Communist Czechoslovakia back then, something like this was just not possible. Even though he won many races and had a very successful venture into American racing, the Czechoslovakian government allowed him to keep only a portion of his winnings. My father told me that in 1974, he won more than $25,000 in prize money during the summer alone when he won the 1974 Inter Am Series and, of course, the Super Bowl of Motocross in the United States. That would be nearly $150,000 in today's economy. The Communist government, however, put a heavy tax on his winnings, which left him with very little to show for his victories. He took the small amount that he was allowed to keep and used it to help build our family house. Nor did he become wealthy from his Grand Prix racing, where he was paid about $5 per point he scored. In the 1970's, a moto win was worth 15 points, so even if he would win both motos on the day, he would be paid about $150. Because he CN III ARCHIVES P120 Jaroslov Falta BY MARTINA FALTOVA COPE, WITH KENT TAYLOR Jaroslav Falta passed away earlier this year.

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