|The late Gaylon Mosier in the 1976 Trans-AMA Series|
is the longest month for American motocross fans, isn’t it? Not because
of the days, but because of the almost complete lack of big races. The
way the schedule works now, there are two World Supercross races in
Canada in December, then U.S. Supercross from January through May, the
outdoor nationals from May through September, and even the U.S. Open to
keep us interested through half of October. Only November is without a
major professional race in America (though amateurs and kids have the
Winter Olympics throughout the last week of the month).
|Gary Semics, a Trans-AMA regular|
But November wasn’t always such a dull month. Back in the days of that
late, great Seventies Show known as the Trans-AMA Series, the top
American motocrossers met up with the best from Europe (and a few fast
Japanese riders) for a cross-country motocross blitz. The races were
held at such famous tracks as Red Bud
, Carlsbad, Puyallup (WA),
Saddleback and Livermore (CA), St. Peters (MO), and Rio Bravo (TX). The
weather didn’t always cooperate, and the Europeans were mostly in
charge, but then interest in the series started to wane as supercross
in America grew. When Roger DeCoster stopped coming, that was the
beginning of the end.
speaking of supercross, here’s one that you won’t believe: The Anaheim
Supercross used to be held in November! That’s right, the Big A joined
the AMA Supercross circuit on November 12, 1977, as the last race on
the series schedule. In those nascent days of “stadium motocross,”
dates were hard to come by, so the 10-round series schedule called for
the Pontiac doubleheader (rounds 6 and 7) to be held the first week in
April, then Round 8 (New Orleans) to go off on June 4, then the
Superbowl of Motocross in the Los Angeles Coliseum—the penultimate
round—was July 9. Finally, a full FOUR MONTHS later, the last race of
the ’77 was held in November, at what used to be called Angels Stadium.
The winner? Same as the first race: Team Yamaha’s Bob Hannah.
|Roger DeCoster was no stranger to November ";mudders"; on the Trans-AMA Series|
the 1978 Anaheim SX (November 11, and this time a full FIVE months
after the next-to-last round), Gaylon Mosier won the last stadium race
of his professional career. He would be killed the following year in a
cycling accident while training near Unadilla
in New York.
In 1979, Kent Howerton won the Anaheim race, held on November 17; in
1980 the race was briefly dropped from the schedule. It finally
returned in 1981 – as the first race of the year, on January 31.
But November still had a race: The AMA moved the San Diego SX to November 14, and the race was won by Broc Glover.
before you start thinking this ridiculous old schedule was the AMA’s
fault, it wasn’t. Back then, before the promotion of supercross was
unified under one roof, there were several different promoters
scattered all around the country. They didn’t seem to cooperate with
one another on much of anything, but the AMA was able to cobble all of
the races together for a unified series, even though it stretched from
January to November and overlapped the AMA National Motocross Series,
the soon-to-be-extinct “Trans-USA” Series, as it came to be known in
its death throes, and the various FIM Grand Prix races that still came
So now there’s nothing in November for us fans. Although I doubt the riders are complaining.
|Gaylon Mosier won the 1978 Anaheim SX, which was held on November 11|