Talk to the Robe!
By The Robe!
You have questions? Well, so do we, and if we don’t know the answer we’ll do what we can to find it. Oftentimes, the answer will be a light-hearted insult directed at the questioner. It’s simple psychology, really: By insulting you, I somehow feel better about myself. It’s a scenario that gets played out in schoolyards across the world on a daily basis and why should I pretend to be any better than a 12-year old?!
Ok, let’s see what’s in the ‘ol mail bag this week, shall we…
I heard that Doug Dubach ran the same back tire for a full national series while winning the championship up here in Canada.
Is there any truth to this?
Also, did he smoke cigarettes between motos or is that another rumour?
Dear Doug Dubach
We’re all still mad at you for coming up here and beating everyone on that silly 4-stroke. I’m kidding, I’m kidding. Actually, this question gave me a great opportunity to see what Doug Dubach is up to these days and I think it’s really cool that he reads the column every week and sometimes sends in questions under his pen name, ‘Bob.’ (80 B? Wait for it…)
I jumped at the opportunity to turn this Robe question into something of an interview with Doug. Here’s what he had to say about rear tires, smoking, and several other things:
“I can only imagine that rumor got started from Dave Gowland and spread from there. At the second round in Calgary, Dave asked me why my mechanic didn’t put on a new rear tire (the same tire that we ran at Nanaimo was still on the bike). I explained that since there was a cement start, I preferred a used tire for better grip on the concrete (oopps, I just let out one of my starting secrets). He had never heard of such a thing and didn’t believe me. So the next round was another cement start and it was real slick so…same thing…I used the same back tire for the third race in a row. The fourth race was a dirt start, however, it was very tacky, so I told him when it’s too tacky “I want a little wheel spin so I don’t wheelie.” It went on like that and since I got the holeshot most of the time he let me make the tire choices with…no comments!!! I think I put a new tire on for the fifth round and used it for the rest of the series. So it was two (2) tires!!!”
As for the smoking question:
“I’m not Joel Robert. I think he was the only guy to do that…maybe it was a reference to me being an old man (37) when I raced that series?”
So, at this point, since Doug was nice enough to humour my little dog and pony show of a column, I figured I would ‘make hay while the sun shined’ and fired a few more questions at him. Surprisingly, he said he actually enjoyed the trip down memory lane:
What was your favourite track up in Canada?
“Both the tracks in Québec stood out as the best ones, even though I liked them all.”
Who did you enjoy/hate racing against up here the most?
“I enjoyed racing with Blair Morgan and JSR, actually I had a lot of battles with Marco Dube as well. There were so many fast guys: Darcy Lange, Josh Woods, Jason Thomas etc…the one guy I hated and he knew it, was Ryan Huffman from Washington. At the first round in Naniamo, he made a bit of diving pass on me on the second lap, in the corner after I passed him for the lead. It wasn’t like it was anything that people wouldn’t normally do in racing…the thing that pissed me off was that he didn’t at least go on to win or even finish strong. He only had three good laps in him and after the incident, which I went down (I did have 50% responsibility in it), he just cruised around. He did a similar thing to me a couple rounds later, but I didn’t go down that time.”
What did you like/hate most about your time up here?
“I loved most everything about Canada. I had been up there racing Supercross many times at Montreal and Toronto. Even took home a few wins. The only thing that bothered me, (and it might have been just a chosen few) but the arrogance of the people in Quebec, just trying to get a meal at various restaurants. I’ve raced in France, like 25 times, and Quebec locals made the French feel like old family.”
How did the deal to race the Canadian nationals come together in the first place?
“Dave Gowland called me about three weeks before the first race and asked me if I wanted to race the series. I said, “no…I can’t. I have too many things going on right now.” Then my wife, who loves to travel, got on the phone and said “he will do it.””
Did you feel hated or loved being one of the only 4-strokes on the track back then?
“I was shocked that there were no 4-strokes up there. The bike was in its third year of production and the only other guy that I saw never even qualified for the motos. It was strange. They all referred to my bike as the ‘old man’s trail bike’…until about the fourth round. I think I had won seven out of eight motos by then. It was a good feeling when, at the final round, the guys from Yamaha Canada said that their dealers were getting a lot of interest in the YZ426.”
Do you know you have a picture of a Canadian as the backdrop on your Dr. D website?
“Klatt would always come down to California to do his training before the Canadian Nationals and I would chase him around the local So Cal tracks (with very limited success). I always liked Dusty, so when we put a guy up from Blackfoot Racing (A DR.D sponsored team for many years) there was no better choice!!!”
Well, there ya go! Although I never liked it when he won on that ‘old man’s bike’ back in the day, I always thought he came across as a respectful, polite, and intelligent champion. Thanks for the chat, Doug. I wish I had something witty to end this one with, but all I can say is thanks.
|The ‘Marlboro Man’ came up to Canada and stole our title on a 4-stroke and two rear tires|