Lopez's Racebike Held Hostage By EPA In Atlanta
Published: December 18, 1998
The Team Valvoline EMGO Suzuki GSXR750 which Grant Lopez rode in the Macau Grand Prix was still stuck in the Atlanta airport almost month after the event, due to a paperwork foulup by agents of a freight forwarding company. Because Nippon Express did not complete the proper paperwork when Lopez's racebike was shipped from the team's Alabama race shop to Macau, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is treating the bike's return to the U.S. as an original importation, requiring documentation and certification that the machine is not a streetbike with disabled pollution control devices!
"It's been a nightmare," said Henry DeGouw, a former racer who organizes an American team effort for the annual race. "We've never had this problem before, and the guys whose bikes were shipped back through Los Angeles had no problems, either. The freight company totally screwed up, and then did absolutely nothing to correct the situation for two weeks. If I hadn't inquired as to the whereabouts of Lopez's bike on December 16, they probably still wouldn't have done anything!"