Nobby Clark (far right) with Team Norton Champagne at the 2010 Bonneville Vintage GP.
Perhaps putting an end to its self-induced public relations nightmare, the Motorcycle Hall of Fame has announced Nobby Clark’s election to the Hall of Fame following a supplemental vote. A week prior, SportsBikes Inc Magazine presented Nobby with its 2012 Lifetime Achievement Award.
It’s been quite a roller coaster for Nobby Clark and the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame, as the HoF first announced then cancelled Clark’s induction in the HoF, citing a “balloting error” for doing so. The firestorm that resulted caught the AMA HoF squarely off guard and led to the resignation of some of the HoF’s most famous inductees, including motorsports journalist Dave Despain and three-time world champion Kenny Roberts.
Following weeks of silence and a seeming refusal to recognize the damage it had inflicted upon itself, the AMA HoF finally decided to hold a supplemental vote to determine whether Clark should be inducted. With all due respect to Nobby, who is without question worthy of the honor and perhaps more worthy than some who have preceded him, the result of the supplemental vote hardly comes as a surprise given the hole the AMA seemed to have dug for itself.
Be that as it may, congratulations to Nobby, it’s good to see him finally getting his justly deserved place in the HoF secured. And while there are still plenty of questions to be asked – including the simple fact there are no rules or set procedure for a supplemental vote – perhaps this puts the worst of the issue behind the AMA – and Nobby – for now. Below is the complete text from the AMA Hall of Fame’s press release announcing the results of the supplemental vote. – Richard Backus
Famed Grand Prix motorcycle tuner Derek "Nobby" Clark has been elected to the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame in a supplemental vote, the American Motorcycle Heritage Foundation reports.
"Derek 'Nobby' Clark stands shoulder-to-shoulder with roadracing's most enduring legends, and played a key role in successes that will go down in history among the greatest of the sport," said Jeffrey V. Heininger, chairman of the AMHF. "It's time for Mr. Clark to take his rightful place among the many legends who embody the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame."
For 25 years, Clark was one of the world's leading motorcycle race mechanics. In addition to being a part of 17 FIM Grand Prix world championships, earned in classes ranging from 50cc to 500cc, his teams won three Daytona 200s, one Daytona 100, four Imola 200s and eight Italian championships. Clark not only excelled at the highest level, but also worked with some of the greatest motorcycle racers in history, including Hall of Famers Mike Hailwood, Giacomo Agostini and Kenny Roberts.
"It certainly was a surprise," Clark said. "I'm very excited, and I'm looking forward to being in Las Vegas for the induction ceremony and seeing my old friends. I haven't seen quite a few of them for quite awhile, so it's going to be like a family reunion."
Clark also expressed his appreciation for the support he received during the supplemental vote process.
"I'd like to thank everybody who supported me," Clark said. "I admire them, and I respect them, and I hope they all come back to the Hall of Fame. In my opinion, all of them are legends, and I respect them not just for what they've done in racing, but for what they've done for motorcycling in general. Motorcycling is a big family, and that is something we are privileged to have."
Clark joins the late Rod Bush, KTM North America president and industry visionary; pioneering female motocrosser Sue Fish; 1975 AMA Supercross Champion Jimmy Ellis; world-class bike restorer Brian Slark; the late Al Wilcox, iconic race starter; and off-road racing legend Ty Davis as a member of the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame Class of 2012.
The supplemental vote for Mr. Clark was implemented by the AMHF, which oversees the Hall of Fame, in response to procedural errors that invalidated Mr. Clark's inclusion on the original ballot. The supplemental vote did not affect the other 2012 Hall of Fame inductees.
"The members of the AMHF Board of Directors extend our sincerest apologies to Mr. Clark for the mistakes that invalidated his original ballot," Heininger said. "By way of this supplemental vote, we've ensured that Mr. Clark's induction took place with the utmost sincerity and that no one can question his inclusion in the Motorcycle Hall of Fame."
The supplemental vote was tallied by the independent voting service Votenet. The accounting firm Plante Moran independently audited the results.
The class of 2012 will officially be inducted into the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame on Nov. 16 as part of the AMA Legends Weekend. The weekend also includes the 2012 AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame Dave Mungenast Memorial Concours d'Elegance on Saturday, Nov. 17, featuring many of the country's most impressive original and restored classic motorcycles.
In addition to the current class, the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame induction ceremony shines the spotlight on two previously inducted members of the Hall of Fame, reminding the motorcycling community of the amazing careers of these Motorcycle Hall of Fame Legends. For 2012, the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame Legends will be 1998 inductees Malcolm Smith, a pioneer in off-road motorcycling and a star in the motorcycle documentary "On Any Sunday," and Mert Lawwill, the 1969 AMA Grand National Champion whose title defense was the central theme of the timeless film.
Tickets for the AMA Legends Weekend are now available through this online registration form:http://events.r20.constantcontact.com/register/event?oeidk=a07e5r7zy8ea4316694&llr=vw9ldxbab or by calling (800) 342-5464.
The AMA Legends Weekend will be held at the Las Vegas Red Rock Resort, a world-class spa, hotel and casino, featuring a range of entertainment, dining and family-friendly attractions. The facility's expansive ballrooms provide a stunning backdrop for the AMA Legends Weekend. Room reservations are available now at a special group rate by calling (866) 767-7773 and referencing group code RCIAME or AMERICAN MOTORCYCLIST. Online room reservations are available at www.redrocklasvegas.com.
More information about the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame can be found atwww.motorcyclemuseum.org.