THE SHOT HEARD ROUND THE WORLD-BOB HANNAH EXPLODES ONTO THE STAGE

 

We found this on historian motocross professor Terry Good’s IG account. It’s a shot from 1976, the Hangtown Motocross opener and it shows Bob Hannah as he just passed Marty Smith. In 1975 Marty dominated the series winning every race but one. Hannah hit some nationals but was a powerhouse So Cal pro and this is where he made his bread. Yamaha signed him up in ’76, yet when the gate dropped no one expected to see anything in the 125 class but a Red Tide hammer thrown down by Marty. Smith yanked a big holeshot while Hannah was caught up in a big crash on lap one, but re-entered the race nearly last in the field. But his charge was legendary,  fanning his clutch like the Who’s Pete Townsend and in one of the best come from behind races ever to grace the sport- Hannah caught and passed Marty Smith and went on to kill the class. The old Hangtown track was sandy, wide and incredibly rough and Bob showed that he was fit, relentless and driven; a fact further enhanced by the prowess of his water-cooled Yamaha.

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