If I remember correctly, in 1976, Saddleback was the final race of the Trans-AMA series. For those of you that don’t remember, or weren’t born yet, in the 70’s there was a 12 race series, after the US National MX series, and after the World Championship Grand Prix series that combined the top American riders with the top European riders.
All of us that grew up during that time in southern California were able to witness the ‘big’ races at Carlsbad Raceway, and Saddleback Park. Both tracks were usually typical SoCal at the time – hard baked adobe that was slick.
One of the great things about Saddleback and Carlsbad was, us local riders could race on these same tracks almost every weekend! So it was neat to see the top riders in the world race on our ‘local’ tracks.
In this video, you’ll see Roger De Coster, who earlier in the year won his fifth FIM 500cc World Motocross Championship, win both motos. He’s riding the Suzuki, number 104.
First you’ll see practice in the morning. Then you’ll see a few riders practicing starts, and then doing their ‘parade’ lap. You’ll see the first lap of the first moto … then you’ll see Brad Lackey leading early on, Jimmy Weinert second, but as Jimmy falls, Gerrit Wolsink in third place goes outside of the fallen Weinert, Roger De Coster goes by on the inside and passes both of them into second position …. and De Coster would eventually go on to the moto win. Then you’ll see the middle of the second moto, with Roger out front, and taking the checkered flag.
You’ll also see: Bob Hannah 39 on a Yamaha, Gaylon Mosier 23 on a Maico. Tony Distefano 6 on a Suzuki. Marty Smith 2 on a Honda, Tommy Croft 21 on a Honda. Jim Pomeroy 102 on a Bultaco. Jim Weinert 1, Gary Semics 15, Sylvain Geboers on a Maico, Graham Noyce riding a Maico, Brad Lackey 24 on a Husqvarna, Jimmy Ellis racing a Can-Am. Gerrit Wolsink on Suzuki 106. Adolf Weil 109 on a Maico. Kent Howerton 3 on a Husqvarna. And more …
These are my ‘home movies’ from the Saddleback 1976 Trans-AMA Motocross race. You should be able to see the YouTube video below here.