Dick Mann, 1936-2021
Dick Mann, one of the vital versatile riders in American Bike Racing historical past, handed away age at 87 earlier this week however he may have died a contented man following his resounding victory again in 1970 at Daytona.
Within the largest race of the yr utilizing the excessive banks and highway course, and in his fifteenth strive, Mann managed to beat the incomparable Mike “The Bike” Hailwood and rising American stars Gene Romero and Gary Nixon to provide Honda its first-ever AMA Grand Nationwide win. “I beat Mike The Bike and nothing was ever sweeter nevertheless it positive as hell wasn’t simple,” stated Mann again in a 1983 interview.
From the time he turned professional in 1954, the primary yr the AMA topped a champion (Joe Leonard), the 20-year-old Californian was all about competing wherever they ran two wheels and creating the most effective bikes attainable along with his mechanical savvy. In 1959, he scored his first-ever AMA nationwide within the TT steeple chase at Peoria, In poor health.
Nicknamed ‘Bugsy,’ Mann was quick on all the things — changing into the primary rider to attain victories on a mile, brief monitor, TT and highway racing throughout the 1971 season.
He’s finest remembered for attempting to win the 1970 title with a damaged ankle within the season finale at Sacramento, which was featured in Bruce Brown’s documentary “On Any Sunday.”
When he lastly stopped racing at age 41, he’d amassed 24 Nationwide wins (second on the all-time checklist) after which continued to compete in classic races.
“All through practically 70 yrs of motorbike racing, his finest attribute’s was his humbleness and eager eye,” stated Steve Gregory, former AMA rider and one in all Mann’s finest pals. “He was a targeted quiet man, he all the time would provide somebody a tip on tips on how to enhance their driving type or some mechanical recommendation, he loved seeing and serving to different’s benefit from the sport. What a life.”
Dick left behind Spouse Kay, together with kids Viann, Scott and step son Ken.