Cycle News - Archive Issues - 1980's

Cycle News 1989 02 01

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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on January 18. ''I' m very happy . a bo u t sig n i ng with H onda for another three years," Johnson said. " My greatest achievements have been with Honda and I' m lookin g forward to ano ther three years with Honda." Johnson officia lly joins 125cc National Champion George Holland, Gu y Cooper, Mike Kiedrowski, Jeff Stant on and Larry Ward to com plete Honda's '89 MX team lineup. Chuck Miller (Hon ) was the overall winner at the opening round of the AMA National C hamp ionsh ip Hare 8< Hound Series in Lucerne Valley, California, January 22 . Second place went to Larry Roeseier (Kaw) , and third place to Ted Hunnicutt (Kaw) , who was the highest placing 250cc class rider. Rounding out the top five was the first 125cc class ride r to f inish, Eric Halgath (Yam) , and Paul Krause (Kaw). Defending National Champion Dan Smith (KTM) raced despite having the flu and f inished seventh. Th e AMA has ann oun ced th e appointment of Ronald J. Zimmerman, 47, of Littleton, Colorado, to the po sition of vice president in charge of the profession al racing div ision . Zimmerman , an active motorcycli st and nine-year AMA member, brings with him over 20 years experience in m ot orsports, having served in the Sports Car Club of America's club racing and professional racing departments and has been a consulta nt in race track design and constru ction. In accepting the positi on, Zim merman said , "This is a great opportu nity to combine my professional motorsports experience with my perso nal enthusiasm for motorcycling. I believe I am coming to the AMA wit h a stro ng ad ministrative team in place in th e professional racing division , which will give me the freedom to concent rate Immediate ly on spo nso rship, marketin g, m edia .a n d prom ot er rela tion s." Team Honda's Rick Johnson surprised everyone by signing an apparel contract with JT Racing on January 18. "It wasn't something we'd been planning on, it just happened," said JT Racing' owner John Gregory. According to Gregory, Johnson was first approached on January 15 and the deal was finalized in the next two days. In a Johnson interview. which appeared in last week's issue he ind icat ed that he would . ride in Hondaline apparel, but ' because of potential lega l problems between Fox Racing, John son's apparel sponsor last season, and Honda, Johnson signed with JT. "The JT offer is convenient because they are near my home," Johnson said in a telephone interview. "I didn't do it for any more money, and I have nothing against Hondaline. It's just that it became a hassle. This way I can go race · and not worry about. being sued. We 're working on a trial basis to . see how things work out . " Accord ing to Johnson he will be paid le ss than he has in the past, but he w ill have his own apparel line. 2 J ohnson also fina lly signed his threevear motorcvcle contra ct with Honda Jeff Emig (Kaw) was the 250cc Pro class winner in the Ultracross event a t round one of the Mickey Thompson Off-Road Champi onship Grand Prix in Anah eim , Californ ia January 21. Donny Schm it (Hon) fin ished second and Brian Manl ey (Kaw) was third. The Adolf Coors Brewing Company will sponsor a Coors Extra Gold Superchallenge at 14 of the 15 Camel Supercross Series events in 1989. At selected Camel Supercross Series events, the 20lap main event will be called the Coors Extra Gold Superchallenge, and the winner of each single event round will win a pound of gold, or $5000 in cash, whichever is worth more at the time of the race, and a "pile" of gold equivalent to at least $3000 at each race of a doubleheader event. The gold will be tacked onto the purse money from the promoters, which at single night events is approximately $5000, and $3000 per night at doubleheaders. The first Coors Extra Gold Superchallenge will be held at the Camel Supercross Series opener at Anaheim Stadium in Anaheim, California, January 28. The fina l round of the 1989 Florida Winter AMA MX Series was held at Cocoa , Flor ida, J an uary 21-22, 'a nd saw Mike La Rocco (Yam) ga rner series titl es in both the 125 and 250cc Pro classes and Fred Andrews (Hon) cop the 500cc Pro class title. La Rocco finished second to Brian McElroy (Cag) in the day's 125cc Pro class overall finishing order and second to Keith Bowen (Suz) in the 250cc Pro class. Andrews topped Mick ey Kessler (Kaw) for the overa ll win in the 500cc Pro class. Bob Hannah (Suz) injured hi s arm in the first 250cc Pro moto and didn 't ride in the second moto. T op competi tor Jay Man n (Kaw) hurt his shoulder in the 125cc A class race on Saturday and then withdrew from Sunday's Pro class competition after attemp ting to ride. David Beckington (H on) was the series cha mp in th e 125cc A class, while Earl May (Hon) too k top series honors in both the 250 and ·500cc A classes. Th e American Histori c Rac in g Motorcycle Ass o ciat io n (AHRMA) will off er vintag e road racers a pre-Daytona w arm-up o p po rtu n ity a t Roeblin g Road Raceway in Faulkville, Georg ia, on March 3, th ree days befo re the annual Da yt o na m eeting . The event will not only provide riders with an opportunity to dial in their equipment, but will a lso allow ne w riders to attend a school geared specifically toward vintage riders. (AHRMA road race rules fo r 1989 specify that new riders possess a cu rrent competition lice nse or complete a road race schoo!.) Ed Bargy and Dave Roper w ill serve as guest instructors. Inq uirie s should be directed to eve nt organizer Beno Rodi at 404/469-3963. World Superbi ke Ch am pion Fred Merkel will defend his road race title in 1989 a bo a rd HRC supplied Honda RC30s. "They (H RC) will supply me with two bikes, engi nes and parts," Merkel said from hi s parents' Stockton, California, hom e on Jan uary 23. Merkel will travel to Ja pan on Febru ary 7 and will test the '89 bikes on February 15-16 at Suzuka, Merke l test ed Roberto Gall in a-prepar ed NS R500s ea rl ier thi s off-season and didn 't rul e out the possibility of. ridi ng in a few selected Grands Prix th is year. " It 's still up in the air," Merkel said. " I hope to do a couple of rounds. I want to repeat as Superbike Champion th is year and we'll be looking at GPs in 1990." Contrary to what was reported in la s t week's issue, three-t ime World Champion Freddie Spencer did not test at Jerez in Spain on January 14-15. Spencer, however, was scheduled to test his Marlboro Yamahas on January 21 -22 at the Spanish circuit. The 9th Annual AHRMA Daytona Classic will be held March 6, with over 500 vintage en tries expected. Due to the expected turnout, some of th e larger classes, such as Sportsman 750 and 500, and the day's featured event, Premier 500, may have heat races. The pre-entry deadline is February 22, with grids limited to a first-com e, first-served basis (no p hone entries). Post-en tries will be accepted at the gate for the first time, tho ugh they are discouraged. Interested riders shou ld contact AH RMA, 5360 State Route 29 East, Marengo , O H 43334, 419/253 -4442. The 3rd Annual AHRMA awards banquet will be held Tuesday, March 7, at the Holiday Inn Surfside in Daytona Beach. Banquet t ickets must be purchased in advance, and w ill be limited to the first 300 purchasers . A cocktail hour and cash bar is scheduled fo r 7 :00 p .rn ., followed by a full course meal and guest speakers. Tickets may be purchased directly fromAHRMA. Whil e neither Bubba Sho bert nor American Honda will release the name of Bubba 's spo nsor on the GP road race circuit, Papa hears it'll be a Japanese ciga rette company by the nam e of Cabin. T ry and find a pack of those in your corner conveni ence mark et. Papa cou ldn 't. Citrus Co llege in Glendora, California, is offering a motorcycle repair c lass w ith night classes starting t h is spring. No prior experience is necessary, and beginning and advanced c lasses are available . Topics include twoand fou r-stroke engine theory, carburetion, e lectrical diagnosis and chassis systems. For informat ion contact Citrus College, 1000 W. Foothill Blvd ., Glendora, CA 91740,818/914-8511. Forspecific class information call 714/ 596-6409. American Motorcycle Rentals and Sales, Inc. is presenting a tour to the 1989U.S. Grand Prix at Laguna Seca Raceway in Mont erey, California. The pri ce of the April 14-17.tour is $795 ($395 for passengers) which includes lodging for three nights and two days, most mea ls (including a farewell dinner), tickets and progra ms, gas, motorcycle, a chase truck for luggage and possibly a motorhom e at the track. A 50% deposit i required, with reservations limited t six rider s plus passengers. Fo further deta ils contact AMR , 1092 Portal Dr., Los Alamitos, CA 90720, 213/594-8901 or 714/821 -1590. Gardena , California's Asco South Bay Stadium has relea its 1989 speedway practice schedule - January 29, February 1 and 26, and March 12 - al sessions take place Sunday fro 12:00 noon to 4 :00 p.m. A specie Thursday evening session is al scheduled for March 23 fro 6 :00 to 10:00 p.m. The fee is $2 . per rider and $5 per pit entry Further practices will b announced. For more informatio contact Ellie Wolfe at 213/515 5115. Contrary to what was printed in recent issue of Cycle News, campin will be allowed at the Loudon, Ne Hampshire, AMA National road rac in June in specified camping area on ly. Camping tra ckside, however will be prohibited. For more infor mation con tac t Bryar Motorspor Park at 603/783 -4744. Moto Guzzi is planning an aggressive 1989 with more advertising and strong dealer su ppo rt following the reorganization of the firm 's Baltimore, Maryland, headquarters and parts facility. The Italian manufacturer has applied for 1989 California emission cont ro l cert ification an d Lance Baker has been appoint ed Western Sales Manager. For more information contact Moto Guzzi North America, 1501 Caton Ave., Baltimore, MD 21227, 301/646-6411. The spirit of glasnost could per meate the world of two-wheel Grand Prix road racing with in th next decade, after a recen unanimous decision by the USS Motor Sport Federation to ente international motorsports as sao as possible . Federation chairma Vlad imar Konovalov revealed in statement issued by the Sovi news agency Tass that circu' suitable fo r F-1 car and GP bik racing are either under construc tion or being planned for a numbe of cities throughout Russia, an that active measures are bein taken to develop facilities joint! Western commercia w ith . enterprises. Dennis Smith and partner Terry Newby, owners of Vance 8< Hines Motorcycle Center in Torrance, Cali fornia , have formed a new company called Vance 8< Hines Sport Services which w ill act as the Dunlop racing tire distributor for a ll states west of the Mississ ippi. Racers can order tires d irect by ca lling 800/776-TIRE. T he Russian move has no doubt bee encouraged by the highly successfu staging of Wor ld Cha mpi ons hip ca a nd bike CPs i n Hungary an Czechoslovakia, reaping subs tant ia amounts of hard cu rrency for th Socia list bloc count ries in volved. Ca GP supremo Bernie Ecclestone now the man in charge of developin TV coverage of the bike G Ps - ha (Con tinued to page

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