Briggo in America
I'm pretty sure this hasn't been on SpeedwayPlus before, but I recently found this video on YouTube ...
.... that might be of interest to anyone who has a copy of Briggo's World of Speedway, the book Barry Briggs brought out the winter after his 1972 Wembley World Final accident.
Turn to page 65, and there at the bottom is a picture of Briggo leading an indoor AMA short track event at the Houston Astrodome in 1970. The YouTube video above is the film of that photo.
There's no sound but you can see early on Barry (70T, clearly identified by the New Zealand body colour) taking a tumble, then later on leading a race. What I find most interesting about this video is that Barry's speedway technique shows him head and shoulders above such AMA flat track luminaries as Dick Mann, Gene Romero and Sammy Tanner (all names familiar to anyone who has watched On Any Sunday). Whereas the American riders sit on the bike and treat a slide as something to be corrected, Barry stands on the bike and slides through the corners speedway style.
It even looks as though he has fitted speedway handlebars to his 250cc Yamaha. Doesn't look like he made the final though. That early fall must have cost him.
This article was first published on 2nd September 2012
"Fascinating! Very interesting to see Briggo's style versus the rest of the field, and also the number of riders in each heat eat - bit of a bun fight all round :-) I know that the FIM World Pairs tried 6 rider races in the 70's I think, but that's nothing compared to the dozen or so in each race. Great stuff!"
"Barry Briggs was a Fantastic Rider in his day! In this race in Houston, he had to ride ala Speedway style because that Yamaha was built around a Jawa Long Track chassis."
"Very interesting video and commentary on the contrast in riding styles between American flat track and speedway. One of the Americans who is mentioned, Sammy Tanner, was best-known as a flat track rider but also had a couple of years of speedway experience in California. I remember him well at Whiteman Speedway, where my dad sponsored him for a while on a Rotrax JAP and I, fourteen years old, sometimes used to do his fuel and oil and push-starting. He was quite adept at speedway but apparently reverted to sit-down flat track style when he got back on a flat track bike."
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