Pipeline Digital Media’s newest DVD will give you an understanding and appreciation for the Carlsbad Raceway motocross track then take you deep inside of one of its biggest race days in American motocross-June 22, 1980, when the USGP hit American soil for the 10th time.The 500cc Grand Prix was the biggest race in America at the time, one of the very few broadcast on television, and one that had always been won by the Europeans. When the event came around in the summer of 1980, Gerrit “The Dentist” Wolsink had dominated the event by winning it five previous times, Roger DeCoster was on his final year as a racer and getting one last chance at a victory at this event, Brad Lackey was deep into his hunt for a World title and eager to gain some championship points on U.S. soil, Andre Malherbe was looking to extend his point lead, and the U.S.-based American racers were on the verge of the breakthrough of America’s ’80s MX dominance…but none had beaten the Euros on home ground yet. Not the young Americans aboard factory bikes or the privateer underdogs, including 23-year-old Marty Moates, who would have his day of days on his hometown track.The filmmakers have done an excellent job of intercutting interviews of nearly every racer involved with the race. You get a multi-character perspective of what was happening on the track, and what that all meant to the racers and the teams. Unfortunately, lacking in these interviews is Marty Moates himself, who took his own life late in 2006. Maybe because of his absence, Moates stands as a mythical racer while the then-best and future greats, as well as Moates’ mother and brother, extol his riding on that day. The film is as much about Marty as how each of us can find magic on those special days when everything lines up.
The racing itself is exciting, with lead swaps, bobbles, surprises and strategic passes, and with 45 minutes the motos had time to develop. ABC’s “Wide World Of Sports” coverage is very good, and most of the action is captured through several ground cameras as well as a helicopter filming from above.The bonus features include the full ABC coverage of both motos, which is just over 30 minutes of actual programming, a vignette on the Moates tribute lap that Doug Dubach rode at the 2010 USGP, and some deleted scenes in case you just didn’t get enough out of the main feature.With a run time just shy of 1:45 for the feature, this $24.95 DVD is amazing for anyone who rode back in the ’80s or is a fan of the racers back then. The production values are good, and the music is thankfully dramatic movie-like background music rather than a heavy metal track laid down over the footage. The bikes and track are several generations away from what we get on Speed TV today, so young racers may not get much “wow factor” out of the riding, but for anyone who’s ever ridden a beat-to-snot-and-forgotten track or wrestled an old-school open-displacement two-stroke, the riding on display is very impressive. -Pete Peterson
|Suitability for children||9/10|