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Archive for October 17th, 2011
Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team rider Colin Edwards battled against the elements at Phillip Island to storm to a strong fifth position in the Iveco Australian Grand Prix which was dominated by unpredictable weather. Read more here.
CORONA, Calif. (October 17, 2011) – Monster Energy mourns the loss of veteran off-road truck driver, and multi-time champion, Rick Huseman, of Riverside, Calif.
Huseman’s success in the off-road racing world was driven purely by his passion for the sport. A fateful outing to a SODA-sanctioned off-road event at Glen Helen Raceway in 1996 ignited a fire inside Huseman to pursue his dream of professional competition. That same year, Rick Huseman Racing (RHR) was established. Over the next decade, Huseman honed his talents as a driver, and the entire RHR team grew into a perennial contender. After winning his first premier Pro-4 class race in 2007, Huseman broke through to win back-to-back championships in 2009 (TORC Series) and 2010 (Lucas Oil Off-Road Racing Series), garnering Driver of the Year honors each season, and becoming a short-course racing juggernaut.
Huseman’s passion for racing in general made him a fan of all forms of motorsports, and he often showed his support of fellow Monster Army members at various events, like Monster Energy AMA Supercross.
“This is a tremendous loss, not just for Monster Energy, but for the entire racing world,” said Bruce Stjernstrom, Monster Energy Vice President of Sports Marketing. “Rick was a true representation of our brand, both on and off the track, and was a tremendous ambassador for the sport of off-road truck racing. He built a hugely successful team from the ground up, and set the bar for all drivers in a highly-competitive sport.”
Rick, born in 1973, is survived by his wife Michelle, and their son Rick Jr. Monster Energy offers its sincerest sympathy and condolences to the entire Huseman family during this difficult time.
PICKERINGTON, Ohio — The awe-inspiring 1975 Yamaha TZ750 dirt-tracker ridden by flat-track and roadracing champion Kenny Roberts, and the championship-winning Suzuki RN380 piloted by motocross legend Roger DeCoster are just two of the prominent racing motorcycles that will be on display during the AMA Legends & Champions Weekend at the Red Rock Casino, Resort and Spa in Las Vegas, Nev., Nov. 18-20.
The one-of-a-kind machines ridden by these iconic Hal of Famers will be displayed alongside Roberts’ world-conquering 1980 Yamaha OW48 grand prix roadracer and DeCoster’s own 1965 CZ 360 motocrosser, like the one he rode in the Belgium national motocross races.
This is just a sampling of the historic motorcycles, from both the track and the street, that will be on display at the Motorcycle Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, presented by KTM, on Nov. 18 and at the Motorcycle Hall of Fame Dave Mungenast Memorial Concours d’Elegance bike show on Nov. 19.
DeCoster and Roberts, who both will be in attendance, will be honored as Motorcycle Hall of Fame Legends during the Motorcycle Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, presented by KTM, for the Class of 2011. The incoming class includes industry leader Fred Fox, motocross promoter Stu Peters, roadracing champion Doug Polen, early motorcycling pioneer Norbert Schickel and noted magazine editor Phil Schilling.
“Roberts and DeCoster are true legends, and to be able to see and hear them at the same public event is an almost unimaginable treat for anyone interested in motorcycling,” said Tom White, Motorcycle Hall of Fame board member and owner of The Early Years of Motocross Museum in Villa Park, Calif. “And when you consider that they will be with some of their truly historic race bikes, it’s mind-boggling.”
The 1975 TZ750 dirt-tracker is the bike that caused “King” Kenny Roberts to declare: “They don’t pay me enough to ride that thing.” It featured a TZ750 two-stroke, four-cylinder roadrace motor that pumped out 125 horsepower — 50 more than Roberts’ usual dirt-tracker.
Roberts raced it for the first time at the 1975 Indianapolis Mile, where he had trouble controlling the brute power. Despite that, he closed on the leading trio of Harley-Davidson riders on the last lap of the main event and then, in the final feet of the race, he blew past them for the win. Roberts never used the bike for a main event again.
In 1978, Roberts went roadracing in Europe and won the premier 500cc Grand Prix class three years in a row — 1978-1980. On display will be the Yamaha OW48 he raced in 1980, which features an engine derived from the same inline four-cylinder two-stroke that had carried him to his first two titles. But the frame, painted black to avoid attention, was made of square-section aluminum tubing — a first for Yamaha.
DeCoster tallied win after win aboard his Suzuki 380 in the Trans-AMA Motocross Championship Series. In fact, DeCoster won the series four years in a row — 1974 to 1977.
The other DeCoster bike on display, a 1965 CZ 360, changed the motocross world. This was a production-based racer sold to the public and campaigned in modified form in the championship by the factory works team. 1965 was the last year when a four-stroke won the 500cc World Motocross Championship. The following three years, CZ won the class with various versions of its light, powerful, 360cc two-stroke.
The AMA Legend & Champions Weekend features the Motorcycle Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, presented by KTM, on Nov. 18; the Motorcycle Hall of Fame Dave Mungenast Concours d’Elegance bike show on Nov. 19, featuring some of the country’s most impressive original and restored classic motorcycles; and the AMA Racing Championship Awards Banquet on Nov. 20, where AMA Racing amateur champions of all ages will be recognized for their 2011 accomplishments.
Tickets for the AMA Legends & Champions weekend are now available through this online registration form: http://events.r20.constantcontact.com/register/event?llr=vw9ldxbab&oeidk=a07e3rn4juk2e3f80c1. Tickets may be ordered over the phone by calling (800) 262-5646.
The AMA Legends & Champions Weekend also includes the final round of the GEICO AMA EnduroCross National Championship Series on Saturday evening, Nov. 19. EnduroCross tickets are available at www.orleansarena.com/event-calendar/endurocross or by phone at (702) 284-7777 or (888) 234-2334.
The AMA Legends & Champions Weekend will be held at the Las Vegas Red Rock Casino, Resort and Spa-a world-class spa, hotel and casino, featuring a range of entertainment, dining and family-friendly attractions. The facility’s expansive ballrooms provide a stunning backdrop for the AMA Legends & Champions Weekend, which is certain to be memorable for the 2011 inductees, champions, families, friends and fans. Room reservations are available now at a special group rate by calling (866) 767-7773 and referencing group AMA or AMERICANMOTO. Online room reservations are available at RedRockLasVegas.com. For online reservations, use the promo code RCIMOTR.
More information about the Motorcycle Hall of Fame can be found at MotorcycleMuseum.org.
About the American Motorcycle Heritage Foundation
Founded in 1990 by the American Motorcycle Heritage Foundation, the goal of the Motorcycle Hall of Fame is to tell the stories and preserve the history of motorcycling. Located on the campus of the American Motorcyclist Association in Pickerington, Ohio, the Hall of Fame’s three major exhibition halls feature the machines and memorabilia of those who have contributed notably to the sport. The Motorcycle Hall of Fame recognizes individuals who have made significant contributions to motorcycling, including those known for their contributions to road riding, off-road riding and all categories of racing, as well as those who have excelled in business, history, design and engineering. More information can be found at MotorcycleMuseum.org.
Mark Bougas wheelies his pit bike at Road Atlanta during the 1988 WERA Grand National Finals. Bougas was there racing the Suzuki GSXR Cup Finals. Mark had a relatively short pro racing career, but there were some significant highlights.
At the novice 250GP race at the Loudon National in 1980 Bougas was leading when he got his right foot stuck under his footpeg going through a turn. Mark could do nothing but ride out the turn. “Pretty quickly I noticed my foot slipping around and blood was just pouring out. I’d ground through my boots and foot and hit a vein.” Bougas said that he finished the race, but Thad Wolff chased him down and passed him for the win. “Thad came over to find out what happened to me after the race and we became friends and still are today,” Bougas said.
Bougas earned some decent finishes in the 250GP during the early 1980s before the frame on his Yamaha snapped in two. After that he retired from racing for a few years. The Suzuki GSXR and Honda Hurricane contingency programs lured him back into the sport. He became one of the leading money winners in New England club racing.
That led to Bougas’ biggest career highlight, finishing on the podium at the Loudon AMA 600 Supersport Series race in 1987. “I qualified on the front row, but my bike’s transmission had been giving me problems popping in and out of gear. In the race I was concerned about it and got passed by a few guys. Fortunately the problem cleared up and I was able to get back by them. Doug Polen and Dave Sadowski finished in front of me. That was a pretty major accomplishment to get on the podium in a race like that and Honda’s contingency money for the nationals was pretty significant. That day was funny because it was my birthday and my number was 30 and I’d just turned 30.”
Bougas’ success on the club and Supersport level, allowed him to build a Superbike. He scored several top-10 finishes in AMA Superbike, including a sixth at Loudon in 1987, in spite of being at a huge power disadvantage to the factory and support riders.
“I think I just overrode my bike,” Bougas said of getting such a good result. “The French guys from Michelin couldn’t believe my front tire after that ’87 Loudon race. They said it looked like a rear tire it was so chewed up.
The crash that was primarily responsible for him getting out of racing came in the Daytona in 1990. Scott Russell stalled his Yoshimura Suzuki on the start and when a couple of riders in front of Bougas split around Russell, Bougas was right there at speed with no time to reacted.
“My brake rotor caught his swingarm and it flipped me over,” Bougas recalls. “I think I got Alka-Seltzer Rough Ride of the Week on TV for that one. I had to take some time off and things were going in a different direction for me so I just kind of got out of it.”
Today Bougas has a motorcycle shop in Bedford, Massachusetts. He still goes to the occasional race, the MotoGP at Laguna being his favorite.
“I had a lot of fun and met a lot of people who I’m still friends with through racing,” Bougas said.
Another great photo from the archives of photographer Alan Sessarego – this one is from the AMA Road Race National at Laguna Seca. This looks like the final turn and it shows Ron Grant (No. 61) leading this pack that includes Don Emde (No. 25), Brit Dave Croxford on a John Player Norton (No. 19), Jimmy Chen (No. 31), Gene Romero (No. 3), Ray Hempstead (No. 99), Dave Damron (No. 66) and Eddie Mulder (No. 12). In terms of one of the biggest things that has changed in racing, check out the photographer on the inside of the turn literally on the edge of the track. Thanks again to Alan for sending a few of his past photos to share here. Alan published a pair of picture books on AMA road racing. They can still be found here on his website.
by Tracy Hagen
Honda’s Casey Stoner won his home Grand Prix in Australia and, in doing so, secured his second MotoGP world championship. It was figuratively and literally Stoner’s day – the scrappy Aussie started from pole and never saw another bike save for a couple lappers, and it was his 26th birthday.
Stoner led a Honda 1-2-3-4 finish, followed by Marco Simoncelli, Andrea Dovisioso, and Dani Pedrosa. Indeed, if you were not on a factory Honda today, you were out of luck.
Neither factory Yamaha riders started the race. Ben Spies crashed in qualifying and was still in a daze the following day. Defending world champion Jorge Lorenzo crashed in Sunday warm-up and unfortunately had his left hand trapped under the bike. Lorenzo lost the tip of the ring finger on his left hand, and will miss next week’s MotoGP at Sepang, Malaysia.
Lorenzo’s withdrawal promoted the lone factory Suzuki to a front row start, and rider Alvaro Bautista was competing for a fifth-place finish with three laps to go. Then, after a sudden squirt of rain, Bautista was sliding along the ground.
The factory Ducati riders of Valentino Rossi and Nicky Hayden had a miserable race, again. Rossi qualified 13th and made up positions quickly at the start to reach seventh. Rossi then overtook teammate Hayden, and barreled down on Bautista. A second after passing Bautista Rossi barrel-rolled the Ducati, crashing out for the second race in succession.
Hayden’s race started off outstandingly, taking over second place at Turn 1 and holding station over the first two laps. But at the end of the race, with the freak rain burst drenching the track and then stopping as soon as it had started, Hayden elected to pit and re-join on his wet bike to finish seventh. The decision definitely cost Hayden one position, perhaps two.
Colin Edwards, the red-neck Texan with a shot of outback Australian blood, finished a commendable fifth place on the Monster Yamaha.
Pramac Ducati rider Randy De Puniet had his best race of the year with a sixth-place finish. The Frenchman rode off course on lap 14, caught his breath, and stayed steady to the end.
Toni Elias (Honda) and Loris Capirossi (Ducati) finished a lap down in eighth and ninth, respectively.
In the interest of fairness, Karel Abraham (Ducati), the only rider not mentioned so far, crashed but finished tenth.
Finally, yours truly was traveling in Asia the last two weeks and the missing Motegi chart is below. What mess that race was.
Next race: Sepang, October 23