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Oct 29, 2001

Former Willow Golden Boy Haskovec Says He'll Never Race With WSMC Again

Copyright 2001, Roadracing World Publishing, Inc.<BR><BR>By David Swarts<BR><BR>Corona EBSCO Suzuki's Vincent Haskovec says he will never race with WSMC (Willow Springs Motorcycle Club) again following a series of incidents at the October 21 WSMC round.<BR><BR>WSMC Operations Manager Kenny Kopecky declined to comment on the record.<BR><BR>"We enter a few races just for test for Macau," said Haskovec, a Czech immigrant, of his first test ride on Attack Suzuki's ex-Tom Kipp Formula Xtreme GSX-R1000. "We enter first race, Open Superstock, with just five guys on the grid, and we're gonna practice on it and white flag lap pull in the pits so not to accuse anybody. I stall bike on start line, so I really go out dead last. So I go around the circuit, and on lap two, and my engine explode. A rod go out from engine, and cut engine all the way around like Skil saw. <BR><BR>"I already got 12,000 (rpm). So the spread of oil happened right before the brakes. I cross actually the track then on right side after that. But you know how it is, it's 120 (mph). This what laptop (data acquisition) read, that I got 120 (mph) there when this happened. So it's like split second. So I was actually spreading oil all over the track. So in split second there's oil everywhere, literally every oil from the engine spread then rooster 20-feet high, smoke. I got full of my hands to keep this bike on a wheel.<BR><BR>"So the cornerworker from turn two have to see it if people from the pit line see it. He have to saw it also. I go by station three, which is also cornerworker with flag, and throw the bike off the pavement in the desert, go by past turn three. I'm actually sitting there pretty long because these guys that start in front of me they actually finish all of the lap behind me. And the leader pack, Clint Whitehouse and Mark Miller on Attack other bike, both crash in my oil. They have no signalization from the second corner or third station of the track that something happened."<BR><BR>Haskovec pulled off the track to riders' right, across the track from the turn three corner station. "I just stopped," said Haskovec, adding that he did not try to signal the turn three cornerworker. "It's been more than obvious to me and everyone else I blow up and there's oil everywhere. I mean these guys see this from pit lane, the smoke. So I just go back and I actually show the coming racers, I raise my hand, because I'm in back of them, I raise my hand like, you know, slow down. (Makes motion with hands extended flat and arms moving in vertical motion) But they been too hot.<BR><BR>"They (the cornerworkers) didn't pay attention, they just look at something else. They have to or there's no other explaination for it. They throwing red flags for any stupid reason all the time. Guys 100 feet off the track on the desert and they're throwing red flags. And when stuff like this happened they totally sleep on the job. All these guys like turn two, turn three.<BR><BR>"How do you want to explain this, it's just nothing happened? It's noise, it's everywhere, the engine, my bike make a lot of noises. And if bike coming and everybody already gone, why shouldn't look at me. It's supposed to take your attention. You have to be somehow, you know, off the pace."<BR><BR>Haskovec's bad day at Willow continued when his mechanic failed to install his GSX-R600's rear axle correctly and the axle started coming out, nearly causing Haskovec to crash on the warm-up lap of the Toyota Cup Formula One Unlimited Grand Prix. When Haskovec wrestled his ill-handling bike off the track, his rear axle was sticking out of the swingarm by three inches. WSMC officials were not pleased, according to Haskovec.<BR><BR>Haskovec then repaired his own machine but, with time running short before the next race, forgot to safety wire the axle. Haskovec's violation was quickly spotted by officials on the pre-grid, who then attempted to take Haskovec's tech sticker. Haskovec went back to his pit, wired his axle, and returned to gird up for the race without a hot lap. At that point, Haskovec was stopped and told he was disqualifed. Haskovec says he had spent $250 on entry fees with nothing to show for it.<BR><BR>Facing a long, expensive trip to the Suzuki Cup Finals at the WERA Grand National Finals the following weekend, Haskovec went to registration to get a refund on his unused pre-entries for the weekend, originally sent in last August.<BR><BR>"In November, I have Macau, and in December, I have no bike to ride. So I go in the office and say, ‘I don't think I'm going to race with you guys this year anymore. Can I have the money from the carry-over back? I need my $70 back." They said, ‘No, you can keep this carry-over for whatever you're gonna race next.' I said, ‘I'm not going to race with you anymore.' They like, ‘Okay. So give us license.' I'm like, ‘Okay. Here is my license. So give me my carry-over.' <BR><BR>"I'm just been sick and tired of dealing with these people. I don't know anybody who like to go in this office and deal with this woman, you know what I mean? So I actually give away license to get my money back. Which is in no rules, nowhere I have to actually give up my membership, my license for to get some $70. The thing is principle. It's not about the money."<BR><BR>But what about people who may say that Haskovec took things too far on a bad day after winning thousands of dollars racing with the WSMC, including winning a Toyota Tundra pick-up truck in January 2001? "It's way, way, multiple more money I spend (versus what I win)," said Haskovec. "I always pay for tires at Willow Springs, $380 a set with Dennis Smith. It's true I get contingency, $300 if I win. If I win Formula One with a good bike, maybe I'm gonna make $100. Every weekend at Willow Springs cost you, with my racing, over $2000 every week if you are running two or more bikes. If I want to run like Curtis Adams, only Open Performance and Formula One, I can make some money, it's true. But the big bike has never been mine, so I split with the guy that provide me service 50/50. <BR><BR>"I never win money with Willow Springs. I always put up with the private money from my work to do this deals with them. I just realize last weekend. It's not worth it for me anymore because I've got my life, and the thought of somebody who not paying attention and who not supposed to be in a cornerworkers' station scares me." Haskovec claimed that cornerworkers at Willow Springs consist of local Rosamond, California residents who receive 10-20 minutes of training on the morning of the races.<BR><BR>Kopecky sent a lengthy e-mail quoting the WSMC rulebook and defending WSMC's actions but closed by stating "I am not interested in publicizing or 'badmouthing' actions of any of our racers in this manner, and I do not authorize the above for public release by anyone."<BR><BR>