MOTOCROSS ACTION PHOTO OF THE DAY: THE MAN SUZUKI PICKED TO REPLACE THE HURRICANE


Jeff Jennings flies, and we mean flies, a Franks Honda four-stroke down the Carlsbad downhill at the World Four-Stroke Championships. Jennings jumped farther than anyone on the big downhill fly-aways and accentuated the distance with a ski jumper style.

During the days when Tony DiStefano and Billy Grossi were the stars at Team Suzuki, the factory had a small cadre of “test riders” waiting in the wings. These Suzuki test riders were Bob Elliott, Marty Moastes, Bob Hannah and Jeff Jennings. Their test riders duties involved racing local races in SoCal. All four of them wanted to race the AMA Nationals, but Suzuki wouldn’t let them. So, when Bob Hannah got an offer from Yamaha to join their National team, he asked Suzuki if they would match Yamaha’s offer. They wouldn’t, and Hannah left to go on to motocross stardom. After losing Hannah, Suzuki threw all their might behind young Jeff Jennings. Jennings was a natural talent with cool riding style (in fact ,David Bailey says that Jeff Jennings was rider whose style he admired the most). He raced two 125 Nationals in 1976 ? finishing 14th and 11th. In 1977 he scored a phenomenal 4th at the Houston Astrodome Supercross (behind winner Tony DiStefano). Injuries hampered his career, but in 1979 he caught on fire again and finished 4th at both the Hangtown and Sears Point 250 Nationals and 7th at Red Bud. Injuries kicked in again and by 1981 Jeff Jennings was gone from the National scene.

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