INTRODUCTION: In the first international motorcycle race of the season across the finish line more than half a lap ahead of his two main adversaries -- Barry Sheene and Kenny Roberts.
GV Competitors lined up at start
CU Barry Sheene (U.K., No. 7) talking to mechanic and checking motorcycle
CU Kenny Roberts (USA, No. 1) revving up
CU Randy mamola (USA, No. 3) eventual winner
GV PAN Start of race and riders rounding first bend (3 shots)
SV Mamola leading followed by Sheene
SV PAN Graeme Crosby (New Zealand, No.4)
SV Mamola rounding bend followed by roberts and Sheene
GV PAN Other riders rounding bend
SV Crosby down straight
GV Mamola crossing finish line wheeling ahead of Crosby second, sheene, third and Roberts 4th (2 shots)
CU Mamola receiving gold cup, and holding it high
SPORT: MOTORCYCLE RACING
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Background: INTRODUCTION: In the first international motorcycle race of the season across the finish line more than half a lap ahead of his two main adversaries -- Barry Sheene and Kenny Roberts. New Zealander Graeme crosby, on another new 497 Suzuki, followed team mate Mamola to take second place in the John Player Gold Cup.
SYNOPSIS: This important race drew a large field of contestants.
Former world champion Sheene is anxious to recover the title form American Roberts, while holding off young Mamola.
But from the start it was evident that Mamola's quick Suzuki would outrun the identical works Yamahas of sheene and Roberts.
Mamola led most of the way,with Sheene on his tail for much of the 30-lap race. Crosby and Roberts, too, were continually challenging during the 95 kilometres (59 miles) run.
Then crosby, who had won a 15-lap TT Formula-One ace earlier poured on the speed.
He followed Mamola across the finish line leaving third place to Sheene and fourth to Roberts.
Mamola with this first big race under his belt looks to be a strong contender for this year's world title.