“Changing my line…changing my mind…that’s what was going on in the picture. Here’s what I remember about that moment back in 1979, at the 250 USGP at Unadilla, NY. We were on into the race, and I couldn’t catch Marty Tripes.
He was probably 3-4 seconds ahead of me – and I couldn’t catch him. I was getting frustrated because in
some sections I was faster, in others, he was faster. I could see that he was faster than me going through Gravity Cavity, so I slowed up enough to watch him. I saw that he was using the far left side – when I’d been taking the far right side. So on the next lap, I moved over to the far left side. The only problem was, there was a hole at the top of Gravity Cavity on the left side that Tripes was pre-jumping – and I didn’t see it!
I whacked that hole with my rear wheel and started to endo over the front. Actually, I was going to jump off the bike because it was going to throw my ass off anyway. I had at least 6 seconds in the air for it to come back – and it did – it started coming back. I turned the throttle wide open to bring the nose back up and it started coming back, and I thought, “Hey…I can save this if I just hang the heck on!” Then, my foot caught on the seat and I just pulled myself back on.”