On This Day in Moto: August 6


In one of those strange statistics we often find in The Vault, Bob "Hurricane" Hannah won a total of 27 AMA Supercross main events in his career, but not one of them came in the biggest and most prestigious venue of them all (at least at that time), the Superbowl of Motocross at the Los Angeles Coliseum, which is where supercross was born. Promoter Mike Goodwin even advertised Hannah's "jinx" at the Coliseum with this advertisement in 1983...

Turns out the '83 Superbowl wasn't held at the Coliseum, but rather at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, as the LA Coliseum was being renovated for the 1984 Summer Olympic Games. In '83, the winner was Yamaha's Broc Glover, then Suzuki's Mark Barnett and Honda's Danny "Magoo" Chandler. Turns out Hannah may have really been jinxed, as he missed the race with a wrist injury. 

Here is a personal letter than Mike Goodwin bought a one-page ad for in Cycle News on the change of venues:

The NMA Grand National Championships at Ponca City were heading into their run-off finales, and many of the big winners and standout amateur stars were riding for Dick Lechien's Maxima Lubricants. Yamaha factory support minicycle rider Damon Bradshaw would be a big winner at both Ponca City and the following week's Loretta Lynn's AMA Amateur National Championship, Kawasaki Team Green's Tyson Vohland won four classes, and his teammates Frankie Brundage and Tommy Watts would also head several classes. 

At the one and only AMA Pro Motocross race ever held in Rhode Island, Team Yamaha's Rick "Lumberjack" Burgett and "Rocket" Rex Staten went 1-2 in the 500 Classat Pine Top Cycle Park in Escoheag. Burgett, who was on his way to the '78 500cc National Championship, swept both motos on a very rough Pine Top track. Maico's Darrell Schultz would finish third overall.

The super cool thing is that someone made an excellent movie reel of the race that you can watch below, and #1 is Marty Smith, #4 is Danny LaPorte, #5 Tony DiStefano, #7 Tommy Croft, #9 is Steve Stackable, #16 in the runner-up Staten, and #14 is the winner, Rick Burgett.

Unfortunately, the film does not include highlights of the 125 Class, as this was the one and only win of Warren Reid's professional career with 1-4 moto scores. The 19-year-old Californian topped his teammate Steve Wise and local hero Mike Guerra, who was riding a Yamaha YZ125. Runaway series points leader Broc Glover, the defending 125 Champion, suffered a flat tire in the first moto and didn't score any points. He won the second moto going away.

Here's a shot from the Cycle News coverage of Pine Top:

And here is Yamaha's ad for Burgett's win—though it also included previously-crowned 250 champion Bob Hannah and the flat tire-suffering 125 points leader Glover.

Meanwhile, over in Belgium, Finland's Heikki Mikkola moved a big step closer to a second straight 500cc FIM Motocross World Championship when he swept both motos at the Citadel in Namur. The Yamaha rider was trailed in both motos by the runner-up in the point standings, America's top GP rider Brad Lackey, but with one round remaining, Lackey's chances were long at best. 

You will catch some glimpses of Mikkola at Namur '78 in this promotional video that Yamaha made for the Flying Finn's second world title with them:

Another epic battle between Team Honda's Jeremy McGrath and Team Yamaha's Jeff Emig, this time at Washougal, with McGrath earning the 250 National win with 2-1 moto scores to Emig's 1-2. Third overall with 5-4 scores was Noleen Yamaha rider Kyle Lewis. 

In the 125 Class, Honda of Troy's Mike Brown snatched the overall win ahead of Pro Circuit Kawasaki's Ryan Hughes and local prospect and privateer Jason McCormick, who was riding a Honda CR125. It was Brown's first national win (and 23 years later, he just won two Vet classes at Loretta Lynn's!) and McCormick's first podium. Brown did it after going over the bars early in the first moto, going back to 20th, then blasting back through for second at the finish of the first moto behind Kawasaki's Robbie Reynard.

Here are some highlights from MotoWorld: