Kawasaki signed a young Jeff Ward in the late 1970s understanding at the time that neither Ward nor the Works KX125 was ready to compete head-to-head with the riders or machines from Yamaha or Suzuki during that era. In a time when riders were expected to perform instantly, Kawasaki refined the bike and allowed Ward to mature and gain speed and confidence. Ward always was strong on fast tracks, and in Lake Whitney, TX at the 1982 National, Ward earned his first 125cc national win. Winning wasn’t easy. Honda and Johnny O’Mara were on the rise, but Team Suzuki’s Mark Barnett and his Full-Floater works RM125 were absolutely dominant in the class. Ward pushed the pace at Lake Whitney until Barnett took a tumble. With badly bent bars (even works bikes had chromoly steel handlebars at the time) Barnett could only recover to fifth in the first moto. Ward went 1-2 for his first overall win after five years chasing the series. Kawasaki’s resilience standing behind Ward paid huge dividends. Kawasaki and Ward stuck together for the entirety of Ward’s long and highly successful career. Ward earned championships in every class outdoors plus Supercross and represented the USA successfully in the MXdN as well. Photo by Karel Kramer





Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Jeffrey Herlings came into the weekend focused on winning on perhaps the most infamous sand track on the planet- Lommel. He had a double moto battle with teammate Tony Cairoli with #222  showing aggression in a pass for the lead pushing the #84 out wide. Half a lap later Herlings dove to the inside of Cairoli but it was answered immediately by the Sicilian. Banging bars for several laps Herlings again passed Cairoli in the same corner but this time brake checked the #222 machine. Herlings antics provided him with the lead as he sprinted away. Cairoli backed off from his charge and settled for second in the race and overall dropping his pace the final laps. Cairoli in the press conference: “I’m really happy for sure, fighting against Jeffrey, he is one of the fastest in the world in this kind of soil, and we had good racing, also with Glenn in the first race he was very fast so it was fun.” Herlings not only took double race wins and the overall but he leapt past Desalle for second in the championship chase. Herlings in the press conference: “I had a really good weekend, I won yesterday, won both motos today, and I had a pretty good start last race, I’m happy with that. It was clean racing and I enjoyed it, I’m happy a got the better of him (Cairoli) this weekend.”
Red Bull KTM Factory Racing Jorge Prado Garcia took the MX2 win with a 2-1 score on the tough Lommel track.




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That’s Paul Clipper and myself testing the new 1981 Yamaha YZ465 at Sunrise Cycle Park. This was my introduction to Ed Schielder, who was in charge of Yamaha’s pre-production testing and a little further down the road, their Wrench Report. Ed really taught me how to test, to think and to analyse the machines habits, both in useable power and suspension. He was also the guy who tagged me the Wolfman.

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