Insanely damaging to the AMA and it reputation. As if that could get any worse..
Yesterday the AMA got word that Dave Despain and Dick Mann had resigned from its Motorcycle Hall of Fame in the wake of the Nobby Clark scandal, today they will get word from two-time AMA Grand National Champion and three-time 500cc World Champion Kenny Roberts that he following suit.
“I just got wind of it yesterday when somebody sent me something on Dave Despain resigning,” Roberts said this morning from his home in Hickman, California. “And now I find out that Dick Mann has resigned. I just emailed Chris Carter and asked him where I send my shit back. I don’t get it. If Dick Mann is resigning from the Hall of Fame, I don’t need to be in it. It’s bad that it has to come to this, but what are you going to do. If Nobby [Clark] doesn’t deserve to be in there, nobody does.”
In addition to working with the likes of Jim Redman, Mike Hailwood and Giacomo Agostini early in his career, Clark was a mechanic on the Yamaha team that helped lead Roberts to his three 500cc World Championships in 1978, ’79 and ’80.
And more on Mr Clark Taken from a Roadracing World Bio.
For 25 years, Clark was one of the world’s leading motorcycle race mechanics. In addition to 17 FIM Grand Prix world titles, earned in classes ranging from 50cc to 500cc, he won three Daytona 200s, one Daytona 100, four Imola 200s and eight Italian championships working with some of the greatest motorcycle racers in history.
Clark not only excelled at the highest level, tuning for some of history’s greatest racers, but also worked with racing’s most memorable personalities, including Hall of Famers Hailwood, Giacomo Agostini and Roberts.
“Of course they all loved to race,” Clark said. “Mike, especially, loved to race and more than Kenny and more than Ago, the money didn’t come into it with Mike. He just loved to race. If he could have raced seven days a week, he would have done that. Mike also was the best at racing around problems with the bike. He would still try to win, and think he could win, no matter what.
“Kenny, I respect him for coming in from America and winning,” Clark continued. “It was different in every way, a different league, a different culture. Even the dogs, when you whistled at them, they would look at you and say, ‘I don’t understand that kind of whistle.’ But Kenny adapted and progressed and he represented the vanguard of American riders coming to Europe.”
Clark was born Sept. 29, 1936, in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe (formerly Rhodesia). He studied engineering at Bulawayo Technical High School and did his apprenticeship for Rhodesia Railways. As a vibrant motorcycling counter-culture developed in Zimbabwe, Clark’s high-school friend, Gary Hocking, built a reputation first on the streets of Bulawayo then on local racetracks. Hocking’s exploits ultimately took him to Europe, and he encouraged Clark to follow.
In 1960, Hocking got a ride with MV Agusta and hired Clark as his tuner. That year, Hocking was runner up in 125, 250 and 350cc FIM World Championships. In 1961, he won the 350 and 500cc titles on bikes tuned by Clark.
Clark went to work for the factory Honda team and Jim Redman following Hocking’s death in a Formula One car crash in 1962. He stayed with Honda, where he worked with Hailwood, and then joined a Yamaha satellite team in 1971. The following year, he moved to the Yamaha factory team.
Dave Despain is pretty outspoken, and for good reasons, always: