Cycle News

Cycle News 2022 Issue 27 July 6

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 126 of 139

L ooking back on the history of professional motorcycle racing in America, the 1971 season stands out for many reasons. At that very moment, motorcycling, like the country itself, was going through major upheavals and transitions. Old traditions and ways of doing things were being questioned on a grand scale. That year would produce new forms of technology and geopolitical maneuvers that would have effects that continue to influence the world to this day. 1971 marked a turning point in the Vietnam war. The Pentagon Papers were published, show- ing that the American public was lied to about the war. The largest ever anti-war demonstration took place in Washington D.C. in April, with a half-million participants, showing America's tolerance for the war was growing thin. Ping- Pong diplomacy opened relations between China and the U.S. Soon after that, the United States eased trade and travel restric- tions with China. The world's first microprocessor was released by Intel, which helped usher in the age of computers. And the first e-mail was also sent in 1971. Similar turning points were happening in American motor- cycle racing. For decades AMA Grand National racing ruled the roost, to the point that there really was only one recognized Ameri- can motorcycle racing cham- pion at that time, and it was the rider who won the AMA Grand National Championship. But now, motocross was sweeping America through the Trans-AMA and Inter-AMA Championships, which brought many of Europe's motocross stars to compete with Americans. In 1971 things were still developing in American mo- tocross. U.S. Champions were crowned, but they were simply the top scoring Americans in the Trans-AMA and Inter-AMA Series and normally well down the list in the overall rankings. That, too, was about to change a year later when the AMA launched its own National Motocross Champion- ship. P126 WHEN WORLDS COLLIDE: BY LARRY LAWRENCE CN III ARCHIVES Dick Mann was 37 in 1971, but he was still very competitive, especially on the road course. He won that year's AMA Grand National Championship. THE 1971 AMA NATIONAL ROAD RACE SEASON

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