Broc Glover Feature - Motocross Illustrated
Interview Friday 17th August 2012 By Geoff Meyer
Ask any AMA rider from the 1970’s or 80’s and they will talk about the Grand Prix series with huge respect. Growing up, riders like Broc Glover used to sit on the fence at circuits like Saddleback and enjoy watching names such as Roger De Coster, Joel Robert and Torsten Hallman show the American racers what motocross was all about.
It’s no surprise, then, that this young Californian grew to be one of the greatest racers the sport has ever seen and it’s even less of a surprise that he is still involved in the sport that made him famous.
Glover was the quintessential Californian. His nickname, "Golden Boy," applied to his curly blonde hair as much as it did his remarkably impressive results. Raised on the tough CMC circuit of Southern California of the late '70s - which included the legendary venues of Carlsbad Raceway and Saddleback Park - the teenage Glover quickly established himself as a gifted local motocross pro.
One element that differentiated Glover from his foes was his incredibly smooth riding style. He was an all-business rider, refraining from flashy displays, always exhibiting absolute control in picture perfect form. The man was never out of shape on a bike, seemed to never put a foot wrong.
We caught up with Glover at this year’s Monster Energy FIM Motocross of Nations and asked him about his battles with the best Grand Prix riders in the World.
Motocross Illustrated: Broc, can you tell me about your first experience in the Grand Prix?
Glover: The first Grand Prix I ever rode was I think in 1978; it was the 125cc USGP at Mid-Ohio and I actually won it, so it was a good experience. I think I won both motos and it was fun because all the European riders I had read about in the magazine were racing, like Gaston Rahier and Harry Everts and riders like that.
Motocross Illustrated: Did you go into that GP as a favorite to win it?
Glover: I was the defending AMA 125cc Champion and leading the 125cc Championship that year, so I came into the event with a lot of confidence. I think I was favorite over the Euro’s, but I mean it’s a good question; 1978 and '79 was the Hannah era and Team USA did go to the Motocross des Nations in that era, but we were third or fourth or something. I wouldn’t consider us the top of the world yet, but I knew I was a pretty damn good 125cc rider, and I felt comfortable enough that we were on American soil and I figured I could beat just about anyone back then. I didn’t win the race easily, but I had comfortable leads in the races.
Motocross Illustrated: After that first win how was your second appearance in the USGP?
Glover: The next year I rode another 125cc Grand Prix and I can’t really remember that clearly. I think Mark Barnett won it and we split motos or something. Then we had the mud race in 1980 that O’mara won and those were my first three Grand Prix and all were special experiences.
Motocross Illustrated: Of course the biggest race of the calendar for U.S. riders was the USGP at Carlsbad. You got to win that race in 1984, but what were your experiences with racing this race?
Glover: In 1981, I rode the 500cc USGP in Carlsbad. I fell in the first moto and got second and then won the second moto. I was also fastest qualifier and I thought I won the GP, but it was taken in times and I was pretty disappointed; Carlqvist got the win by two seconds and it was a mistake on my part and my team’s part. I thought by winning the second moto I had the overall, so the irony was the next year the television coverage, which was the Wide World of Sports, told the organizers that they didn’t like how it took so long to work out the winner and they said if they were to cover the race live then they needed that changed, they needed to know the moment the winner crossed the finish line, because the whole thing about that show and the program, their theme, was the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat and they wanted to always have those emotions, stick the microphone in the winners face and then in the second placed finishers face to get the two emotions. They had to wait 30 to 40 minutes to do this with the old rule, so they said it didn’t work for them and the rules were changed. For the next four years it was run under the sanction of AMA rules that the overall was decided by the second moto.
Read the rest of this interview at our FREE e-magazine Motocross Illustrated.