|WCBR-DUCATI a force in vintage racing!
|Ducati's singles... Prepared and raced by WCBR/Michael Green..
It wasn't until the early 1970's that I really became aware of these little machines. While working at a local motorcycle shop in Dublin, Paul Henderson, my boss, hired a new man by the name of Chris Quinn. As I would find out, Chris had a small collection of old machines; Ducati's, Norton singles, BSA singles and a few Triumphs. As the months went by Chris massed a small collection of machines at the shop in Dublin... one day Paul, having enough of the clutter, asked Chris to move them home.
My first outing with a Ducati. It's a hot summer afternoon, Chris has one more machine left to move to his house in Sunol, a 350cc Ducati "cafe racer". Chris asked if I would ride it to Sunol for him... Didn't have to ask me twice. I'd ridden a number of Chris' machines since we first met, having taken my California motorcycle license test on his Kawasaki 350-Triple, but I'd never ridden a Ducati - other than the Scrambler Steve and I raced at Hidden Lake Marathon in 1974. So I jump on this sleek 350 Ducati, which was fitted with a slim-line tank, small racing type seat, rear set pegs & controls and that wonderful Ducati megaphone. We fire up the noisy little beast behind Romley's market (where the shop was) and make our way down Dublin Blvd for Foothill Road.
A "Ton Up" on Foothill Road. The tempature is hovering at 100... I have jeans, a t-shirt, boots and my full-face Shoei on as I head for Sunol via Foothill Blvd in Pleasanton. Chirs is following in a 3-litre Capri... as I enter the right-hand downhill sweeper just before Highland Oaks I begin to screw it on... as I pass where Foothill High School now stands I was flat on the tank, then I readied for the left-hander which apexed at the top of the hill... down the hill on the other side I headed for Bernal Road, I passed it at over 100 MPH tucked in as tight as I could get (one glance back saw Quinn not far behind in the Capri). Entering the "esses" I'd down shift and toss the 350 into the right and then left hander... With the throttle hard on the stops in 5th gear I screamed past Castlewood Country Club, only to see a Pleasanton PD car sitting at the stop sign! My heart dropped... I looked back a second or two later to see Quinn not far behind me. I thought, "with Chris behind me and that copper parked at the stop sign, I should be safe enough". As I neared Sunol, the universal rear tire and ribbed front were struggling for grip as I blew past the park and full speed. Soon I had Quinn's driveway in sight, I braked hard, selected bottom-gear and crawled up his dirt road. Quickly I hid the 350 behind the barn and made for the house. Moments later Chris appeared in the Capri, he too parked behind the barn. That Pleasanton Police car? Never did find us!
My next outing on a Ducati single would be when Chris Quinn loaned me his 250 racer (AFM) for the vintage race with the CSRG (Classic Sports Racing Group, a car organization) in 1979 at Sears Point (below left). As said elsewhere on this website... I would race Quinn's 250 Ducati in AFM 250 Modified Producation for 1980.
#57 is Chris Quinn at Sears Point in 1981 on his Ducati 250 (below-right).
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