Cycle News - Archive Issues - 1970's

Cycle News 1979 07 18

Cycle News is a weekly magazine that covers all aspects of motorcycling including Supercross, Motocross and MotoGP as well as new motorcycles

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vantage at the end of the exciting 16· lap battle. but Sheene made sure that he knew he had been in a racer With Roberts in serious trouble with the handling on his Yamaha after the monoshock unit failed, it was left to the Suzuki brigade. led by Sheene. Ferrari and Dutch heroes Wil Hanog and Boet van Dulmen to get a record breaking pace. It was the white leathered figure of Hanog who took control from 1M stan. with Sheene tucked in behind him. and Ferrari. van Dulmen and Roberts trailing behind. Sheene was the first to break Rober· ts' existing lap record. as he clOled the gap on Hanog. He lapped at 2m 55.7s, but two laps later. Ferrari went quicker still as he moved from third place to first. slicing a fifth of a second off the record. Back came Sheene on lap six with a 2m lap that took him to within a second of Ferrari, but the Italian had something in reserve. Virgihio galloped round the 4.9· mile van Drenthe circuit in a staggering 2m 54.55, close ·on three seconds better tllan the previous record. But impressive though this was, it still wasn't enough to shake off Sheene. Riding at his best, Barry nibbled away at Ferran's one time five·second lead to take command a lap from home. "I knew early on .that the Suzuki fac· tory. would be unappreciative if I beat Ferrari home in view of the current championship positions. So I decided to pass him, if I could, and then slow down at the last chicane to let him win," explained Barry after the race. But the fonner 500cc champion had no chance to put his scheme into operation. Ferrari's forceful attempt to regain the lead convinced Sheene that he was prepared to make every sacrifice for victory. and the British ace moved wide to avoid a possible in· cident. Even so the gap at the flag was only one tenth of a second. and another lap might well have seen a different result. Third home was Hartog. who drop' ped back from number one spot to fourth. mainly as a result of serious handling and brake problems. But he wasn't the only Suzuki factory rider to be unhappy with the way their bikes behaved. "It was a good race," said Ferrari. "But I had the same problems as I had in practice. in Yugos1avia last week and Spain. The bike chops badly on corners. but why we are not sure. I think it was 50 percent tires. 50 percent suspension." said the very cheerful Italian afterwards. For three laps. Boit van Dulmen on his Suzuki held third spot. but Hartog found his second wind, and six laps from home ovenook his ft'llow coun· tryman. . Boet was impressive as ever. but this'time his luck did not desert him, and he ran the full distance to finish founh. well clear of another fine ride from Swiss Philippe Coulon (Suzuki) showing the son of fonn he had before his big crash in Sweden two years ago. A third Dutchman. Jack Mid· delburg. looked set for fifth place till mechanical gremlins struck, and he was passed by fint Coulon, and. then Franco Uncini in the last three laps. But Roberts was so far behind that . he could not take advantage of Mid· delburg's misfonune. Kenny had shat· tered the lap, in practice to go on pole position. The bike was in perfect con· didon then, but as soon as the race began the handling was so bad that he slumped down field at an alanning rate, and looked set at one stage to drop out of the poinu altogether. fOOd Kenny Roberts may be amiling In this photo. but he wasn't on the treck. Monoahock problema dropped him to eighth while Fe"'; won. (File photol • World Cham'pionship Road Race Series:' Round seven Roberts loses points lead to Dutch G~ victor Ferrari By Chris Carter ASSEN, HOLLAND,JUNE23 Kenny Roberts lost his 500cc World Championship points lead at the Dutch IT at Assen when the Yamaha mounted star slumped to eighth place in a race dominated by Britain's Barry 14 Sheene and the young Italian Virginio Ferrari on their Suzukis. I slender one 10th ofwho held ad It was Ferrari, a a second verr. In fact Christian Sarron on another works Yamaha actually passed him on the eleventh lap. to make him ninth. but then someone got the mnsage, and the Frenchman eased off to let the World Champion go ahead. Sarron finished ninth. chased home .by Stew' Parrish lookin~ mor~ aggressive and sharper than he has done all season on the GP trail, on the other Suzuki GB machine. Records fell in every other solo class, too. but it was the sidecar event that gave Britain still more prestige. A round of tile B2A (conventional) sidecar championship race was won by reigning world champion Rolf Biland (Yamaha). But behind him came West German Rolf Steinhausm (Yamaha) chased home byJock Taylor (Fowler Yamaha) and Dick Greasley (Chell Yamaha). Early pace maker Werner Schwarzel blew up his Yam.aha at the' end of the third lap, leaving Steinhausm a brief moment of glory till Bi1and, after a slow start hurtled past, and pulled away. For a while it looked as tho~h Taylor. passengered once by lit· tle Jamie Neil, mi t catch Steinhausm. But once t e German saw the signal that the gap was down' to six secondl he turned the wi'ck, and opened an lI·second advantage. Greasley and passenger John Parkins (Yamaha) made a very poor stan. and by the end of the second lap were still down in seventh spot. By hurrying on like an express train. "Greasy Dick" had moved to founh place, and had Taylor in his sights by the chequered flag. Derek Jones, with Brian Ayres in the Yamaha chair. grabbed 12th place following a slow stan. but poor Mick Boddice. chaired by Charlie Birks lost his chance of a good result after someone had switched the plug leads over, unknown to him. in the paddock before the race. If Kawasaki thought that the 250cc championship was a foregone con· c1usion this season. they were proved wrong for the second week in suc· cession. Italian Graziano ROlli (Morbidelli) blew off the opposition leaving Gregg Hansford and Kork Ballington fighting their own duel for second spot. ten seconds or more behind. Rossi and his machine were superb. He took the lead from the Kawasaki pair on the fint lap, and never looked lik.. being beaten. His win hoists him to'third place in the table, and the way he and the bike are going ~awasaki cannot be cenain of retaining that title. nipped ahead of Hansford Ballington on the last lap to take second spot. with Kork in his slip' stream. Founh was Anton Mang, on yet another Kawasaki. and fifth place went to still another Green Meanie, ridden by Jean Francois Balde. Close behind BaJde was Patrick Fernandez (Yamaha) who took to the grass at the chicane. in sight of the finishing line after a race-long·battle. He stayed on board to finish sixth. Fernandez was even more impressive in the earlier 350cc race. Race leader Kork Ballington was forced to stop on the opening lap, when his Kawasaki e'ngine seized, Patrick was then down in eighth place. By,the end of the fifth lap. though. he had climbed to third and was putting the pressure on second place man Anton Mang (Kawasaki). Fernandez took Mang on the tenth lap. but there :was no way he could catch Gregg Hansford (Kawasaki). who was pulling away from the pack at the rate of three seconds a lap. Patrick's runner· up spot cuu Ballington's championship lead to just eight points. and Hansford's victory e:'

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