One of the more infamous mass crashes in AMA Superbike history came at Riverside Raceway in April of 1984. It happened in leg one of the two leg race on the blind crest of Riverside’s Turn 7.
In this video Dale Quarterely appears to be the first rider to crash, possibly grinding through the engine case of his Kawasaki GPz750 Superbike. Then another rider (possibly Jim Vreeke) crashes in the oil. Then another rider runs off the track, but stays upright. You then see Rueben McMurter making it through and just when you think things might calm down a group of riders come through and three of them crash nearly simultaneously, including Rich Oliver and Roberto Pietri.
Then Fred Merkel comes around, and by the sound of the crowd, managed to pull off a major save.
You’d think by then, with at least five riders down in the same corner, the red flag would be out, but no… after agonizing seconds pass, John Bettencourt comes through and crashes. Then another rider crashes with oil on his tire after seemingly making it through the danger zone. Larry Theobald and Luther Wikle are among those who fell in the melee.
That’s when Rich Oliver runs onto the middle of the track angerly signaling for corner workers to throw the red flag.
Fortunately, no one was seriously hurt in the crash.
At the very end of the vide you can see then Cycle News Editor John Ulrich (orange t-shirt with cameras) is on the scene talking to riders about what happened.
Thanks to Billy DeBere for sending us this video.