|As usual, Daytona marks the beginning of road racing season in the USA. Mike was getting bikes ready for the Historic Cup on March 2nd when Bret advised us he couldn't go to Daytona. With that said, Jerry Smith from Cycle Guide magazine called looking for a ride. We offered WCBR6 in exchange for some PR. Well, needless to say, during practice at Daytona Jerry and our beloved 350 ended up on the ground when Team Obsolete's Marko Polo clipped Jerry coming out of the "S" en route to the International Horseshoe. The left side was toast! And Jerry went to visit the nice people at the local hospital... he was ok for the most part.|
3/2 350GP Daytona DNF (Crashed, Jerry Smith/Cycle Guide, rider)
4/19 350GP Sears Point 2nd
6/28 350GP Sears Point First
7/11 350GP Laguna Seca 3rd
7/11 500Spt Laguna Seca 2nd
7/12 Premier Laguna Seca 11th
8/1 350GP Mid-Ohio First
8/16 350GP Willow Springs First
8/29 350GP Sears Point 2nd
9/12 350GP Steamboat DNF (crashed while leading)
AHRMA 350GP National Championship, Third; Bret Morshead.
CVRG 350GP Championship, Second; Bret Morshead.
|Due to the damage from Daytona, the bike and Bret missed the opening CVRG race at Sears Point. We had the bike ready for the April 19th event, where Bret finished 2nd.
At Laguna Seca, during the AMA National, Bret had troubles with the clutch during practice. MG even rode the bike... and found that if he wasn't flat on the tank out of turn-9 the clutch would slip as it went up and over at Start/Finish. We fitted some spring spacers in hopes it would help. Being Bret is about 6'-2", where MG is 5'-10", he couldn't get flat on the tank, thus the clutch slipped every lap. Bret finished third
Mid-Ohio was a cake walk... Bret leading overall with MG drafting off him with the 250 to pull away from the 250 class, they nearly lapped everyone!.
At this same period in time we were sponsored by Hap Jones & AVON Tyres, Hap being the US importer of Avon. Anyway, we'd been racing/testing AVON's on the Triumph, and now we had a batch of tires to test on the "vintage machines". The tyres sent were all of the "RoadRunner" type, but the compounds varied from tyre to tyre. As we got ready for the CVRG race (during the AMA National) at Sears Point in August, Bret picked a particiular tyre. Mike told him, "the tyre is too soft for the track and heat, better go with this one here". Bret wanted the soft one. To prove a point we fitted the "soft" tyre on the rear. When the flag dropped Bret split, leaving Roper to wonder. During his first three laps Bret put down some impressive lap times... Then, while coming around turn-11, he was pointing at the rear tyre and giving thumbs-down. Roper blew past for the lead shortly thereafter to win, Bret was second.
The tempature that day was over 100, and the rear tyre was a gooy mess. We sent the tyre back to the UK with our report, they called, asking, "what the hell happened to this tyre?!" So much for the soft tyre on a hot day. So, for Steamboat Bret chose another tyre, one a bit harder. We really wanted another one like we had at Sears Point. The weather at Steamboat was ok, not raining, but not very sunny either. Bret lead every lap of the 350GP race, Roper, nor Craig McLean could get a wheel on him. The trio was on the final lap when out over the PA system we hear, "wow! We have a rider down in the chicane!" we just knew who it was... MG walked over to ask an official what the bike# was... it was Bret. He'd run a bit too wide coming into the chicane and clipped the hailbails on the left side, which spun the bike around hitting the bikes right side against the bail, then tossing Bret up and over them, he landed in a rock planter in the parking lot! He was ok, but the bike wasn't. Later we found the frame bent. In all it was a decent season, but our bike was bent... but it would again taste victory..