They say that life is a cycle, and that phrase certainly applies to Dale Quarterley… in more ways than one. Because, not only has most of Quarterley’s life revolved around motorcycles, these days, he’s come back full-circle to where he started.
The Brockton, Massachusetts, native first made a name for himself in motorcycle road racing when he campaigned a Brockton Cycle Center-sponsored Kawasaki in 1983. Even though Quarterley also raced a Honda, a Yamaha, a Bimota, and a Ducati during his career, to many long-time American road racing fans, “1/4ley” as he was identified on his leathers, was a Kawasaki rider. He also became well-known because of the Turtles.
Quarterley had developed a friendship with Peter Laird, co-founder of Mirage Studios, which is an independent comic book company that opened for business in Dover, New Hampshire, back in 1983, ironically, the same year that Quarterley began his road racing career. Mirage is best known for the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles comic book series and the hugely popular franchise that it spawned.
In a brilliant stroke of marketing genius, Quarterley transformed his #32 green Kawasaki Superbike into a rolling rendition of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Also, the entire team, as well as Quarterley himself, wore Team Mirage logos and giant caricatures of Michelangelo, one of the Turtles, on their team apparel, as well as on Quarterly’s leathers and helmet.
Quarterley’s exceptional skills as a road racer, combined with his TMNT connection, made him an American road racing legend in the 1980s and 1990s. In fact, in the mid-1990s, Quarterley was the leading privateer racer in AMA Superbike racing, and he was also one of the few privateer racers to win an AMA Superbike National.
But, he was so much more than just a rider. As a true privateer, he was also a highly successful team owner, mechanic, and businessman with a special knack for attracting sponsors.
All those skills served him well in his own road racing career, and they are still serving him well today. As the owner of Quarterley Racing/On Track Development, he returned to the road racing paddock in MotoAmerica’s second year, and he’s been fielding a new generation of road racers.
This season, Quarterley Racing On Track Development’s riders include Jamie Astudillo and Dallas Daniels, who are competing aboard Kawasaki Ninja 300 motorcycles in MotoAmerica’s new Liqui Moly Junior Cup series.
Dale Quarterley is back where he started, campaigning Kawasaki machinery in American road racing. So, what are the chances that Quarterley Racing On Track Development’s Kawasaki Ninja 300’s, along with Astudillo and Daniels, will be decked out in Team Mirage logos and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles graphics?
Slim to none, unfortunately. According to Quarterley, “Mirage Studios sold the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles property to Viacom/Nickelodeon in October 2009.”
Regardless, Dale Quarterley is right back where he started, racing Kawasaki’s and loving every minute of it.