MX Vice caught up with one of the legends of US racing, Broc Glover.
The Golden boy of the 80s won multiple US titles as well as a couple of MXDN wins and happily is still involved in the sport, currently working with tyre company Dunlop.
We stole five minutes of Broc’s time and quizzed him on his MXDN days and riding in the golden era of US racing – the 1980s. We also got his take on Team USA’s qualifying performance.
Read on and re-live some memories of a bygone era!
Q. How do your MXDN experiences in the 80s compare to the events now?
A. I think it is very similar because you still have the prestige, it is countries v countries and the bragging right for whoever wins the championship that year.
Q. Looking at today’s qualifying team America were solid but weren’t dominating with wins. What do you expect from them tomorrow?
A. They certainly weren’t dominating. I think some people were expecting more from them, I think I possibly expected a little bit more too but I think everybody realises it is just the qualifying and as long as you have a solid qualifying your ok for the main races on Sunday. It is those races that matter.
Q.Going back to your era what were your favourite times you represented America?
A. For me it is kind of ironic because in the beginning (of the 80s) Honda sent the riders because the other manufacturers didn’t want to spend the money and I was a yamaha rider and couldn’t go which was a shame.
Then, when they saw the American riders could come over and be successful with Honda teams, the other manufacturers supported it. I got to come over in 83 on the Yamaha and that was my first year. That was nice and my first moto I was winning and the second moto I didn’t have such a good start but our team was a solid winner. The next week we had the Trophee Des Nations and I was winning that overall and the team won overall.
The next year I didn’t actually ride the Motocross of Nations, I rode the Trophee Des Nations the next week on the 250s because David Bailey had injured his wrist so I filled in for him.
The following year in ’85 I broke my wrist before the event and couldn’t ride so for me I didn’t ride as much as I probably could have. Again because the years the manufactures didn’t want to spend the money to come over.
All in all I wish I would have had the opportunity to race more. I did ride on three of the Motocross and Trophee des nations teams and three times we won so it was pretty successful.
Q. At that time America were starting with the supercross series and introducing new techniques and aggression was that evident when you raced the GP riders – that you had a different technique at the time?
A. Maybe a little bit. At the time the Belgians were the best team usually, one year you had the Belgians had all three world championships with Eric Geboers in 125, I think the 250 was Georges Jobe and the 500 was Andre Malherbe. So they were world champions in all three classes. Because of that they certainly were the favourites and to be able to win and beat them was always really exciting.
I look back on it, and for the teams that we came over with we had a little bit more of a team environment I’d say, We all would try really hard during our championships in the US but when we came here I think we tried even harder if that’s possible because each one of us didn’t want to lose or let down each other.
I think the fear of losing was more motivation than the desire to win. I can honestly say I think we tried harder because of that than we even did during the normal season.
Q.You raced Yamaha in America for most of the time but it was then that Honda really started to up the level with their bikes was that difficult?
A. Yeah, at that point their was no doubt that the Honda motorcycles were the superior bikes, especially when Yamaha went to the production motorcycle and Honda still had factory bikes in the mid 80s. It was a challenge no question about it!
Q. Who was the toughest rider/rival you had to race against in your era?
A. It’s funny because my career lasted a long time. I raced at the top for about 13 years or so and I had the pleasure of having many rivals. One of my early rivals was Mark Barnett, he was a tenacious rider and he was in great physical shape and you knew that he was going to be ready every week. He was an excellent rival and then I had strong rivals likeJeff Ward, David Bailey, Rick Johnson and guys like this. So I had a lot of rivalries with a lot of top American riders and they have gone down in history as some of the top riders. For me it was a good time grow up racing.
Interview by Jonathan McCready