Cycle News - Archive Issues - 1980's

Cycle News 1989 11 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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Page 1 of 43

gone a lot and I haven't been able to sit down and talk to him about anyth ing ye t," Aksland said . When asked whether he would be staying in the U.S. or going to Europe with John Kocinski, with whom Aksland has won three AMA 250cc Championships, he said: "I'll probably go to Europe from time to time, but I'll be here most of the time - I hope." 0') 00 0') ....-4 ~ ....-4 l-l iJ) ..0 a iJ) > o Z Fifteen-time World Champion Giacomo Agostinis problems with Marlboro sponsorship apparently began when he was unable to guarantee top-line Yamahas for Kevin Schwantz; : who had signed a ' letter of intent with Ago in Brazil. With Schwantz backing out of the deal, Agostini's team was left in the precarious position of not having a top 500cc rider for 1990. Accustomed to receiving the exposure given the 500cc Worl d Champion, Marlboro apparently opted to back Roberts' tea m because he gave ' the tobacco giant the opportunity to win again wit h Wayne Rainey carryi ng their ba nner. Dan Smith (KTM) wrapped up his fourth consecutive AMA National Championship Hare & H o und Series championship by winning the series finale in Lucerne, California, October 22. Smith finished one minute ahead of Danny H am mel (Suz), who was followed across the finish line by Dale Knapp (Hus) and Gr eg Searle (Hon), Larry Roeseler (Kaw) took fifth overa ll and second in th e final series point sta ndi ngs. Ed Lojak (Yam) was the overall winner at the Lead Belt National Championship Hare Scrambles in Flat River, Missouri, October 22. Rounding out the top five were Scott Summers (Hon), Scott Plessinger (Kaw), Duane Conner (Yam) and Tony Hendon (Yam). With one round remaining in the series, Lojak leads with 176 points, followed by Summers with 175 and Plessinger with 174. New York City-based Madison Square Garden (MSG) Entertainment Group has purchased 65% of SRO /Pace Motorsports Promo tio ns. According to C.E. Alt ma n, the lo ngtime motorsports force at Pace, MSG purchased interest pertains to motorsport events only - "Supercross, tractor pulls, mud bog and monster truck events." An office has been established in Los Angeles. " In essence, MSG bo ugh t prod uct for television," said Altman. "Things will basically remain the same; they don 't want to change a winner. T hey've made avai lable their talent and expertise a nd we' I1 grow together. The name might change in the future, but our main purpose is to make our events better. We're going to work together to soli dify the foundation. " T hree- time World Champion Kenny Roberts has obtained full Marlboro sponsorship for his 1990 Grand Prix road race team. The Ma rlboro- ' backed squad will consist of Wayne Ra iney and o ne other yet-to-benamed rider o n 500s, and j o h n Kocinski on 250s. Word has it that the "yet-to-be-named" rider is none other than World Champion Eddie Lawson. The Roberts dea l means that Giacomo Agostini has for all practical purposes lost the majority of his Marlboro backin~, and will field only Luca Cadalora In the 250cc GPs. It was unknown at presstime what will become of the Lucky Strike sponsorship that Roberts' team has held since 1986, and Roberts was in japan and no t availab le for comrnent, Some say Lucky Strike will back the Suzuki team. Reportedly, Suzuki received a comparably small amount of money to carry the Pepsi banner this year. As far as Lawson leaving the Erv Kanemoto-headed Rothmans Honda team and joining the Marlboro Roberts team, there are those who say it's a "done deal." It's a rumor that makes sense as Roberts, Lawson, Rainey and Kocinski all share the same manager in Gary Howard. If Lawson does join the Roberts team, look for Australian Kevin Magee to go to Suzuki. Kanemoto, reached via phone, chose not to comment on the rumored Lawson switch, but said he was flying to Japan this week to meet with HRC . . Kevin Schwantz wiIl more than likely ride Suzukis again in 1990, but he's unsure of who the sponsorwill be. " I don't know what I'm doi ng right now," Schwantz said from his new home in Austin, Texas, on Monday, Octob er 23. "I'Il probably ride a Suzuki, but I don 't know who the sponsor is. I'm going to japan on November I and will test on the fou rth and seventh and talk about a contract i n be tween th a t." Schwantz pl eaded ignora nce on the ru mored Lucky Stri ke sponsorship of the Suzuki team. The Roberts/Marlboro deal is sure to have an effect on Roberts' Viceroy-sponsored AMA 250cc Grand Prix team for 1990. It is highly unlikely that Viceroy will continue in it s support of Roberts' team considering his new involvement with Marlboro. Viceroy is owned in the U.S . by the same company that owns Lucky Strike, Roberts ' previous GP sponsor. Team Viceroy Yamaha's Bud Aksland sa id at press time that nothing had been finalized for 1990. "Kenny's (Roberts) been Randy Mamola has re-signed w ith Cagiva, but long-time Mamola mechanic George Vukmanovich has left the team to go to work for 250cc GP competitor Carlos Cardus of Spain. Cardus, who f inished · fourth in this year's 250cc World Championship, rides a Honda NSR250. Seven-time Nationai Motocross Champion Rick Johnson f inished seventh in his car-racing debut at Del Mar, California, on October 22. Johnson competed in the Barbar-Saab formula car series finale that was won by England's Robbie Buhl. . Cagiva's 500cc GP team will be made up of three riders with 18-year-old Brazilian Alexandre Ba rro s and veteran British road racer Ro n (Continued to page 42) According to Bill West of St. Petersburg, Florida-based SuperSports, "Positive things will come out of this (purchase of the controlling interest in SRO/Pace Motorsports by MSG). We met with the Madison Square Garden people in Reno last week and feel this w ill be a good thing for everybody. They've hired some sharp, young people. " Motorcyclists testify against nationwide helmet bill WASHINGTON, D.C., OCT. 17 The Am erican Motorcycl ist Associa tion (AMA) led a delegation of motorcyclists from 15 states to Capitol Hill to oppose 2 legislat ion which wou ld req uire a ll states to pass mandato ry helmet laws covering all riders, or lose up to 10% of their federa l h ighway construction funds after 1992. Those concerned mo to rcycl ists, represented by the AMA, Motorcycle R iders Foundat ion (MR F), ABATE groups and other rider o rga nizatio ns, were in Washington, to attend a hearing on S I007, sponsored by Sen. john M. Chafee (R- Rhode Island). The hearing, which was conducted by the Senate Subcommittee on Water Resources, Transportation and Infrastructure, ' gave Ro bert Rasor, AMA Vice President of Government Rela tio ns, and Mike Farabaugh, Chairman of the MRF, an opportunity to present testimony in opposition to the bill on behalf of motorcyclists across the nation. In his testimony, Rasor challenged the credibility of a study cited frequently by bill supporters. "The Public Cost of Motorcycle Trauma," better known as the Harborview Study, attempts to substantiate that motorcycle accident victims co ntribute a disproportionate burden to society because of medical costs that are subsidized by taxpayers. Ci ting co ngressional testimony by Harborview Medical Center's adminis trator, Rasor was ab le to demonstrate that mo torcycle trauma patients actually relied less on public funds than did th e h os p i ta l 's ge nera l patie nt population. Farabaugh's comments stressed the va lue of rider educa tio n as o pposed to legislatio n requiring ma ndatory helmet use. "Rider education is not only a viable alternative to a national helmet law, we have proof that it is working," sa id Farabaugh. Thirteen years ago motorcyclists overcame a similar law passed in 1966 by supporting an amendment to the Federa l Aid Highway Act of 1975 which withdrew the federal government's power to blackmail states with threats of withholding highway funds. Sherm Packard , Legislative Director for the New Hampshire Motorcyclists R ig h ts O rga nization , worked with the AMA in gettting that amendment approved. Packard, along with MRF lobbyist Wayne Curtin, was again on hand at the hearing and lent h is support to the opponents of Chafee's bill. Since this was the first time a hea ri ng has been hel d jo consider Chafee's bill , it's unclear if the Senate will give th is issue m uch priori ty. Bu t according to Rasor, riders need to continue wri ting in opposition of SI007 to ensure that the bill is no t attached to another measure that could be given more priority. You ca n express your views by contacting The H o norable john H. Chafee, 567 Senate Dirksen Building, Washington, D.C. 20510. New AMA Pro Twins rules finalized WESTERVILLE, OH, OCT. 19 The ·AMA released its official rules today for 1990 Pro Twins road race competition. The new rules are mostly the same as those proposed in a September 20 memorand um from Ro n Zimmerman , Vice Presiden t, Pro fessional Competition, and outlined in the O ctober 4 issue of Cycle News, but with some mi nor differences . As was originally proposed, the existing Pro T wins Grand Prix and Modifi ed P roductio n classes will indeed be ren amed Grand Prix I and Grand Prix 2. The GPI division will cater to 751 to lOOOcc fou r-stro ke, twin-cylinder motorcycles, with the pl an being to up the displacement lim it to 1200cc in 199I. The GP2 di vision will cater to 451 to 750cc (Continued to page 4)

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