Getting a Head Start for the ISDE

Kit Palmer | August 19, 2003

The following is a press release from GNCC Racing:

Fortaleza City, Brazil – Defending AMA Grand National Cross Country Champion Rodney Smith spent part of the GNCC Series’ summer break in Brazil, but he wasn’t on vacation. Smith joined America’s Team Manager Jeff Russell on a fact-finding mission, hoping to discover information that can lead America’s Team presented by Parts Unlimited to the World Trophy Team Championship at this year’s International Six Days Enduro (ISDE).

“We learned as much in five days as most would have learned in two weeks,” said Smith, who used to live in Brazil during his days as a Brazilian National Motocross Champion. “We met up with Dyonisio Malheiro, the director of the event. He’s building the ISDE course, and he used to build my practice tracks when I was racing motocross in Brazil. So I know him well.”

“We know as much as any other team will this year,” said Russell, who designs all of the tracks for the GNCC Series.

ISDE racers will contend with beach-like sand and a variety of special tests. Extremely high temperatures and humidity are also expected when the race runs November 3-8. Smith and Russell will share this knowledge with the other five members of America’s Team, Mike Lafferty, Fred Andrews, Jason Raines, Ty Davis and Mike Kiedrowski, as they plan their assault on the event.

The U.S. Trophy Team usually doesn’t scout ISDE terrain so far before the event, and Smith feels the advanced knowledge will help the team immensely. “We already know little things like setting up cell phones, rental cars, food and hotels,” said Smith. “We will know what to pack, and how to set up our bikes. We took care of a lot of details that will make the race less stressful.”

Smith and the rest of America’s Team will resume racing in the GNCC Series on September 7th at the Mathews Farm GNCC in Mount Morris, Pennsylvania.

The ISDE is one of the world’s oldest and most historic motorcycle events. Although the U.S. has never won an ISDE World Championship, Team USA finished sixth overall in 2001 and was presented the Watling Trophy, awarded to the country that puts forth the best effort under adverse conditions.

Kit Palmer | Off-Road Editor

Kit Palmer started his career at Cycle News in 1984 and he’s been testing dirt and streetbikes every since – plus covering any event that uses some form of a knobby tire. He’s also our resident motorcycle mileage man with a commute of 120 miles a day.