The somewhat drawn-out drama surrounding the mis-nomination of Derek “Nobby” Clark to the 2012 class of the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame has finally come to an end with the AMA announcing today that in a supplemental vote Clark was elected to the Hall of Fame.
The supplemental vote for Mr. Clark was implemented by the AMHF, which overseas the Hall of Fame, in response to procedural errors that invalidated Mr. Clark’s inclusion on the original ballot. The supplemental vote did not affect the other 2012 Hall of Fame inductees.
When the error of nominating Clark as an inductee was first caught, the H of F sought to rescind the nomination. However, the response from motorcycle industry types, friends, and fans of Clark to the Hall’s reneging on the nomination created such an uproar that on July 19 the AMA announced it would hold a supplemental vote to nominate Clark.
For 25 years, Clark was one of the world’s leading motorcycle race mechanics. In addition to being a part of 17 FIM Grand Prix world championships, earned in classes ranging from 50cc to 500cc, his teams won three Daytona 200s, one Daytona 100, four Imola 200s and eight Italian championships. Clark not only excelled at the highest level, but also worked with some of the greatest motorcycle racers in history, including Hall of Famers Mike Hailwood, Giacomo Agostini and Kenny Roberts.
“It certainly was a surprise,” Clark said in an AMA release. “I’m very excited, and I’m looking forward to being in Las Vegas for the induction ceremony and seeing my old friends. I haven’t seen quite a few of them for quite awhile, so it’s going to be like a family reunion.”
Clark also expressed his appreciation for the support he received during the supplemental vote process.
“I’d like to thank everybody who supported me,” Clark said. “I admire them, and I respect them, and I hope they all come back to the Hall of Fame. In my opinion, all of them are legends, and I respect them not just for what they’ve done in racing, but for what they’ve done for motorcycling in general. Motorcycling is a big family, and that is something we are privileged to have.”
Clark joins the late Rod Bush, KTM North America president and industry visionary; pioneering female motocrosser Sue Fish; 1975 AMA Supercross Champion Jimmy Ellis; world-class bike restorer Brian Slark; the late Al Wilcox, iconic race starter; and off-road racing legend Ty Davis as a member of the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame Class of 2012.
“The members of the AMHF Board of Directors extend our sincerest apologies to Mr. Clark for the mistakes that invalidated his original ballot,” Heininger said. “By way of this supplemental vote, we’ve ensured that Mr. Clark’s induction took place with the utmost sincerity and that no one can question his inclusion in the Motorcycle Hall of Fame.”
The class of 2012 will officially be inducted into the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame on Nov. 16 as part of the AMA Legends Weekend. The weekend also includes the 2012 AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame Dave Mungenast Memorial Concours d’Elegance on Saturday, Nov. 17, featuring many of the country’s most impressive original and restored classic motorcycles.
In addition to the current class, the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame induction ceremony shines the spotlight on two previously inducted members of the Hall of Fame, reminding the motorcycling community of the amazing careers of these Motorcycle Hall of Fame Legends. For 2012, the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame Legends will be 1998 inductees Malcolm Smith, a pioneer in off-road motorcycling and a star in the motorcycle documentary “On Any Sunday,” and Mert Lawwill, the 1969 AMA Grand National Champion whose title defense was the central theme of the timeless film.