Chris came to work with us while he was still in high school. He was the kind of person who was instantly your friend as soon as you met him. He was funny, compassionate, ambitious, honest, and always full of good cheer. He never did anything half way; he put 100 per cent of his abilities into everything he did, whether it was rebuilding a motor, skiing, mountain biking, or rag football (in the early '90's we used to play a variation of flag football but with shop rags hanging out of our pockets. Instead of tackling the ball carrier the defenders tried to grab one of the rags. The games were always us vs. Vespa Supershop, and even though we never won a game, it wasn't because of Chris-he was always one of the fastest and most determined players on the field)
He raced Lambrettas (and occasionally Vespas, though we tried to steer him away from the dark side) and finished 9th and 4th overall in the ASRA standings in consecutive seasons, despite frequent equipment problems with our troublesome J125. He also raced a 190cc Lambretta in Group B and his own stock P200 in Group F. When the equipment was up to the task he was capable of beating anyone on the track on any given day. It was obvious that he had talent.
In 1993 Chris bought a Honda RS125 and began racing in club races at Willow Springs and other tracks in the western U.S. His skills took a quantum leap forward that season, and he was recruited by Roadracing World magazine to race a Yamaha TZR125 in 1994. He stormed his way to a national championship that season against a faster field full of Hondas, and followed it up with a repeat title in '95. His second season on the Yamaha was highlighted by a invitation to race in the FIM World Championship round at Laguna Seca Raceway in Monterrey, California. But true to form, Chris weighed his options and declined the invitation, because it would have cost him his national championship. He knew that at this early stage of his career two consecutive national titles would pay more dividends down the road than a back of the pack finish against the world's best riders.
Vince Mross and Chris feeling pretty fly at a race at Amago Raceway in 1990.
Christmas of 1989 for the LambrettaWorks Race Team. Left to right: Andy Humpherys, Vince Mross, Chris Rogers, Brendan McMullen, Matt Dawson, Chito Cajayon, and Steve Cocking.
The infamous late night push race around Amago Raceway in 1990. #55 is John Quintos (powered by two unknown teammates, one of whom is probably Tim Slagle), and #5 is Chris, powered by Matt Dawson and Steve Cocking.
Chris always said that if didn't become a famous roadracer he wanted to be a rock star...
If you have any memories of Chris that you would like to post on this page, please email us and we will add them.
From Chito Cajayon, former racer on the LambrettaWorks Race Team: Hi Vince! I saw the information about Chris and was pretty bummed. Things like this just make me realize that our lives are really not that long. I hope our old group can have lunch someday. Looking at Chris' tribute brought back some great memories for me. I want to thank you alot for everything you and LambrettaWorks did for me during my racing period. I'll try to keep in touch... Chito
Brian Felix, former racer for the GoFast Race Team had this to say: Hello Vince and anybody else from the early 90's racing days. I was checking out info on the internet and came across your site. It's great to see the business still going. Although I was saddened to hear that Chris passed away. He was a great guy and I have some wonderful memories of all of us partying after the races. I would occasionally run into him at some of the motorcycle races and even when he had a zillion things going on he always took time out to talk. God speed Chris. One of these days I will have to make it by the shop and say hello. Take care, Brian Felix (Go Fast Racing #44)
Andy Humpherys raced for LambrettaWorks in the early '90's: Hello Vince, It is so hard to find the words that are worthy of commending such a great person as Chris Rogers. Having known Chris for a long time it is hard to pinpoint one particular memory but I will share with you one that sums up Chris the best regarding his giving 100% to his friends. When we were racing at Streets of Willow I had a serious crash on the straight away and went over the handlebars and don't remember much of the accident except for Chris standing over me very concerned with the fact that I had been injured and to see if I was alright. He was the first one on the scene and stayed there until I was taken away in an ambulance. Throughout the ordeal he was concerned about how I was doing and made sure that the paramedics didn't cut off my leathers and ruin them. I laugh thinking about that now because he realized that my bones would heal but not my leathers. He was always willing to help you out with anything that you needed and was a true friend. He will be missed. Take care, Andy Humpherys #22 & #52
Vince, I was shocked and saddened to hear that Chris Rogers had died in a fire in his home. I remember interviewing him for an Independent Biker article in his Point Loma home on Super Bowl Sunday, 1995. He was the nicest, most sincere person. I followed his career after that and talked to him while he was involved with the Grand Prix racing shop with Steve Solo in Corona, but lost track after he quit racing in the 250cc class. This is not the way I had hoped to find out about him. Bob Kaufman
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