The Shobert Legend Lives Onposted May 19, 2010
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When you think about the legends of American road racing, there are always names that stand out. Kenny Roberts Sr., Kevin Schwantz, Wayne Rainey, Eddie Lawson. All of these guys followed the American dirt track path into road racing greatness, and will live in racing fans minds forever.
There is another rider believed to be one of the greatest, who unfortunately never really got his chance to show what he could do on the world stage. That man is Bubba Shobert. He was more successful as a dirt track racer than any of the other legends, winning three Grand National Championships from 1985 to 1987 before moving on to road racing. He is one of only 4 riders who have pulled off the Grand Slam of American racing, winning national level races in short track, TT, half mile, mile and road racing. Bubba went on to win the AMA Superbike championship in 1988, an accomplishment made even more amazing because he was still competing in the full GNC dirt track series, finishing second overall there that year. He got his first taste of Grand Prix racing when he received a wild card entry for the 250 class at Laguna Seca in 1988, finishing an impressive 5thplace, beating many series regulars who had years of two stroke experience.
In 1989 he moved to the World Grand Prix series full time in the premiere 500cc class, riding for Cabin Honda, and put in impressive results for a rookie who had never spent much time on a two stroke racing motorcycle. He was steadily moving into the top ten after only the first three races of the season, when a freak accident on the cool down lap ended his too short career in racing. One can only speculate what might have been, but we think that he could have been a top level rider, and ranked up there with other American legends had he had the chance. Bubba moved on and worked as a manager for several teams in dirt track and road racing in the following years.
Like many other fast racers, it seems that Bubba’s sons are following in his footsteps just like the dynasties of Roberts, Emde, Bostrom, and others. His oldest son Clint made his national debut this year in the AMA, racing in Supersport. Clint got a late start in racing, getting his first experience on a road race bike only two years ago. He raced in the CMRA for one year in 2008 before making the move to the AMA this past season. For his first time on a national circuit, 3rd place overall in the West Series was a more than respectable accomplishment.
What will the future hold for Clint? Given the skills and talent that he has obviously inherited from his father, and considering the results he has achieved in his short career so far, we think it is safe to say that this young man has a bright future. Keep your eyes out for him.