Dr. john bets it all on a moto guzzi

Motorcyclist - - Contents - ¸+PZQ[ +IV\TM

Win­ning an AMA Pro Twins cham­pi­onship in 1987 pushed Dr. John Wit­tner to make a big com­mit­ment for the 1988 sea­son. “We were suc­cess­ful,” he re­mem­bers. “I wasn’t prac­tic­ing den­tistry at that point, so I needed to make a go with this Moto Guzzi. The fac­tory had a four-valve cylin­der head in de­vel­op­ment, with two pro­to­types on the dyno. That’s what you see in the 1988 bike: the four-valve en­gine in the 1987 chas­sis.” But it was a gam­ble. The en­gine ar­rived from the fac­tory with no time to spare be­fore the sea­son-opener at Day­tona. The new heads would de­liver a big jump in power, but Wit­tner’s joy at their ar­rival was short-lived. “When the mo­tor showed up at my par­ents’ garage, I took it apart and the cylin­der heads were cracked.”

The crew left for Florida hop­ing re­place­ments would ar­rive in time for race day. They did. With lit­tle prac­tice, rider Doug *ZI]VMKS X]\ \PM /]bbq WV \PM XWLQ]U ÅVQ[PQVO \PQZL JMPQVL :WOMZ 5IZ[PITT WV \PM XZW\W\AXM 9]IV\MT̆+W[_WZ\P IVL ;\MNIVW +IZIKKPQ WV I ,]KI\Q ,Z 2WPV¼[ OIUJTM XIQL WЄ \WW" 0M¼L [XMVL \PM VM`\ LMKILM _WZSQVO _Q\P \PM 5W\W /]bbq NIK\WZA QV 1\ITA IXXTAQVO TM[[WV[ TMIZVML WV \PM \ZIKS \W XZWL]K\QWV UIKPQVM[ TQSM \PM ,IA\WVI > ;XWZ\ IVL 4M 5IV[

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