To view this page ensure that Adobe Flash Player version 11.1.0 or greater is installed.
tising, a huge company, who did everything to the highest level. There were many Hollywood type photographers, gaffers, gophers, clipboard holders, peons, Honda execs. You name it. Anyway, we’re all lined up, like in this photo, except it’s just riders. The head photog- rapher says, “OK, you riders in the front row get down on your knees” And Tommy, who’s in the back row because he’s tall, without missing a beat, and loud enough for everyone to hear, says, “And turn around” BRAD LACKEY Brad Lackey is to my left in the picture. Brad epito- mized desire and dedication. Most professional racers do not tolerate fools. It’s a common trait and obvious if you’re been around any of them for any length of time, even the friend- ly ones. But Brad took it to another level, and his desire to achieve would not tolerate bullshit. Whether it be from an engineer, another rider, a team manager, a journalist, pit security guard, it didn’t matter. Brad worked harder than anyone to be World Champion. He could have stayed in the US and made a ton of money. He did what nobody else would do and that is whatever it took to be World Champion. He did it. He’s still the only American 500 World Champion, when be- ing 500 champ, meant some- thing. Brad showed me how to train really, really hard. JIM POMEROY Jim Pomeroy, was the most upbeat guy I’ve ever known. He started off with a bang join- ing Honda in ’77, but injuries and bad luck, sidelined him for much of the season. Jim had great off-season training regi- mens. He would go stay with friends in Bishop CA and train in the high altitude for weeks at a time. I’d never travelled to a dis- tant location to stay and train. I knew the Euro’s did it, but we lived in So Cal, we didn’t need to travel. That was a fun cou- ple of weeks. He introduced me to Dave McCoy, the patriarch of Mammoth Mountain Ski area, and we trained at Dave’s house in Bishop. Dave’s grand kids would make a run at the Na- tionals years later. Many Team Honda photos from the 70’s are from Dave McCoys back- yard track in Bishop. If there’s sagebrush in the picture, it’s at Dave’s house. Jimbo’s mechanic in ’77 was Merle Anderson, who went to Tripes when he came to the team in ’78. Arnie Beamon came over to Jimbo for ’78, but it just didn’t click for Jim all year. I can’t say if it was bikes or injuries or what. I enjoyed seeing Jim and his brother Ron at some vintage races, a de- cade ago, before Jim died tragi- cally in a car accident about 5-6 years later. They’re fun guys and great ambassadors for the sport. Only one man can be the “First American”…to win a GP and that was, and is, his moniker. Even though Jim was a Team Honda rider, he’s still known as a Bultaco guy. “ HE’S STILL THE ONLY AMERICAN 500 WORLD CHAMPION, WHEN BEING 500 CHAMP, MEANT SOMETHING. ” www.dirtillustrated.com