Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Today in motorcycle history, November 26, 1972



    In Livermore, California, "Bad" Brad Lackey wins the 500MX at Carnegie Cycle Park. 

  Brad Lackey began his racing career in 1970 riding for a local CZ dealer.  Seemingly a natural, in 1971 he would finish second in the AMA 500cc Motocross National Championship.  For the 1972 season Kawasaki offered him a sponsored ride and he repaid them by winning the AMA 500cc National Championship.  Lackey was the highest placed American rider in the 1972 Trans-AMA motocross series.  Most people would have raised their chin's high however, we're talking about Brad Lackey.  He had his mind set on the Grand Prix events in Europe.

   In 1973, Lackey set out on what would eventually be a ten-year quest for most prestigious trophy in motocross competition, a 500cc World Championship.  During his quest Brad would ride for Husqvarna, Kawasaki, Honda and Suzuki, finishing as high as second in the world in 1978 and 1980.  He often met with bad luck, whether it be a crash or a mechanical failure at an inopportune time.  The European motorcycling press began calling him "Bad Luckey".  Finally, in 1982, after ten years of looking at the backside of the winners, he was able to clinch his first and only 500cc Motocross World Championship aboard a Suzuki. After his triumph, Suzuki scaled back their racing efforts and Lackey was left without a sponsor.  He said, "Screw it.", and decided to retire on top, as World Champion.

  Brad Lackey was inducted into the Motorcycle Hall of Fame in 1999.

  Today in motorcycle history proudly supports the National Association for Bikers with a Disability (NABD).