Cycle News - Archive Issues - 1980's

Cycle News 1989 11 15

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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l-4 V .D. S V :> o Z Papa would lik e to remind everyone that the Barstow (Californ ia) HR780 field hearing conducted by th e H ouse Subcommittee on National Parks and Public La nds will take pl ace o n Sa tur day, November I I, at the Barsto w Community Center. P rior to the hearin g, o ppo nen ts of th e bill will hold a rall y wh ich will begin a t 8 a.m. Be th ere! AMA National .S u p er bi ke and 750cc Supersport Champion Jamie James was the top money w inner at the November 5 Suz uk i Cup Fina ls held in conjunction w ith the WERA Grand National Finals at Georgia's Road Atlanta. Jam es earned $13.000 f or his win s in both the Suzuki GS X R 11 00 and 600cc Katana races, and his second -place f inish in the GSXR750 eve nt. J am es' Yo s him ura Suzuki teammate Scott Russe ll won the GSXR750 race and fini shed second in the GSXR 11 0 0 race t o co llect $8000. M ike Harth posted two th irds and a fifth (in t he 600cc race ) and pocketed $5250. Mike Harth (Suz) wo n the fin al round of the WERA Toyota/ Du nlop Formula USA Nation al Road Race Series at Road Atlanta, November 5. Team Suzu ki teamma tes Mike Smit h (Suz) and Paul Bray (Suz) fin ished second a nd third; respectively. Kurt H a ll 's (Ya m) six th- p lace fi n is h earned hi m the first -ever F-USA Natio na l Champi onshi p ; fo r h is efforts, H all wi ll receive a Toyota pic kup tru ck. WERA Na tional Endurance Champions Team Suzuki Endurance's Paul Bray and M ike Smith (S u z) defeated AMA/CCS National Endurance Champions D utchman Racing I (Suz) and AMA/CCS series runner-up Dutchman Racing II (Suz) in the rl;ld -flagged (four times) final round of the WERA EBC Brakes National Endurance Road Race Series at Road Atlanta, November 3 . Action Suzuki Rac ing (Suz) won the Heavyweight Production class ; Cycles Un limited Racing (Yam ) won Mediumweigh t Superbike; Roy ale Rac ing II (Suz) won Medi umweight Production; No Turtles Racing (Yam) won the Lig htweight division. Road racer David Nu tter, 17, was kill ed in an en durance race accide nt at Road Atlanta, November 3. N utter, from West Virgi nia, fell di rectly in the path of ano ther rider wh o cou ld not avo id hitting him. Godspeed, David. Former factory MX racer Warren Reid (Kaw) was the overall winner in the Vet Pro class at the 2nd Annua l White Bros. Veterans World MX Championships held at Perris Raceway in Perr is. Califo.r" nia , November 4-5 . The event drew approximately 600 entries. 2 According to th e Barstow -to-Vegas Ra ce Committee, the pr e-race camping area for th e Barstow-to-Vegas race will be located on Fort Irwin , . near th e Fort Irw in exit off 1-15. No on e will be allowed into the area prior to Friday morning, November 24, and all ent ra nts, crew members a nd volunteers will need a n entrance pass. No firearms are allowed to be carried onto the base - no excep tio ns! Also, for your ow n safety, do no t pi ck up any suspic io us objects - they coul d be in cendiary devices. Play riding wi ll no t be allowed, so leave your non-race bikes at home. T here will be a bomb p ractice o n Friday as in pr evious years. For more in forma tion, call Rick H ammel at 805/ 253-3019. Following the recent announcement of t he AMA 's 1 9 9 0 Pro Twins ru les . there has been negative response from several top competitors. In separate letters addressed to Ron Zimmerman. the AMA's Vice President, Professional Racing. both 1987 Modified Production Champion Pete Johnson and 1988-89 class champ Kevin Erion and brother Craig criticized t he new rules on the grounds of safety. " The run ning of the two Twins cl asses together is ex tremel y dangerous, " states the Erio ns' letter. " Try to envisio n . .. near stock, 350 -plus pou nd . 60 horsepower . .. motorcycles on t h e same track, in the same race. as the 100-plus horsepower. 285pound. highly-modif ied . full -r ace mach ines . N o specu lation r equi red her e about t he lack of safety caused by hig h closing speeds d uring overtaking ." Pet e J ohn son 's le tt er simila rly addresses th e safety factor, but also poi nts o ut the im practical it y of the new cla iming ru le for G P2 mac hi nery: "T here is no room by virtue of the $5000 engi ne claiming an d $10,000 total bike claiming rule for a rider to do th e m ini m um requirements to race prepare these bik es p roper ly. " J ohnson 's lett er a lso discusses th e new weigh t limi tation s: " I can see th e benefit of allowing two-valve and pu sh rod engines to go to 1000cc .. . as opposed to th e smaller 750cc overhead cam-engi ne bikes, but to force them (the 750cc overhea d cam -engine bikes) to stay a t a 350-po u nd we ight limit is reversing th e ro les." Ne ither Johnson nor Erion are planning to compete in the GP2 class as long as the new ru les are in effect. " The only way I'd race the GP2 class next year would be if Honda specifically asked me to. " said Erion. When asked if he could build a competitive Honda Hawk GP2-class racer f or less t han the $10.000 claiming pr ice. Erion rep lied that he believed he cou ld . "It wou ldn 't include the cost of our labor. bu t t hen it never does." he said. Norton sent a hi gh-ranking "ambassado r" to the recent FIM Co ngress to arg ue th e case for its Wan kel rotary-engined mach ines in Grand Prix roa d racin g. T he result was an appare n t victory fo r th e British manufacturer. A lo ng-sta nding FIM rul e rates th e Wankel 's displ acem ent 2:I; i.e. a Wankel engine's disp lacement is doubled wh en 'compared to piston en gines. How ever, No rton had already won a concessio n last year that revised th e ra ting to 1.7:I - making their 588cc twi n-ro tor Wankel eligi ble for TT FI racing as a lOOOcc twin. T hi s concessio n was continued for an other year, which al so makes th e Norton eligi ble for World Champio nship Superbike racing, providing th ey can build 200 of their new $8000 FI street bikes. Meanwhile. t he FIM technical comm ission appointed a sub- committee to look at rewording the ru le concerning the measurement of capacity in suc h a way that the Wankel eng ine would no longer be a special case. but would be measured purely on swept vol um e, as a piston engine is. But the road racing commission also agreed that if Norton (or anybody else) were to bu ild a 500cc rotary engine. they could see no reason why it would not be acceptable for GP racing . In other words. Norton Warikels will be rated at 1.7:1 for four-stroke rac ing, but 1:1 for GPs. - racers like the late Cal Rayborn. Gene Romero. Kenny Roberts. the lat e Dale Singleton. Freddie Spencer. Johnson and Howerton. only a few like Formula One World Champion John Surtees. the late Mike Hailwood. USAC Indy Car champ Joe Leonard and off-road racer Malcolm Smith made the transition from the top of one form of motorsports to the top of another form. Howerton said. " Th e two sports (motorcycle rac ing and car racing) do n't have much in common. but I do think you carry over that 'something' that it takes to be a winner." Norton chi ef execu tive Phill ip Ie Ro ux said three weeks ago tha t th ey could have a 500cc bik e read y in tim e for the British G P in 1990. T echnically, it is simp le to change the Wankel's capacity. The 588cc engi ne could be redu ced to 500cc by redu cin g th e width of th e rotor and its cha mber. Also announced at the FIM Con g r ess was t h e withd rawal of Wo rld Championship status of the TT F-1 road race class. Thus. the famed Isle of Man is no longer the host of an FIM World Championship cla ss of rac ing. Accordi ng to Con su mer Reports magazi ne, a recall has been issued for 1989 Honda CBR600F Hurricanes ma n ufacture d between Jul y 1988 and December 1988. Dealers will replace and rero u te the fuel p ump breat her tube o n the 6294 effected un its because it has been determ in ed th at its present locatio n co uld ca use fire. Also recall ed are 2509 1989 Harley-David son FLTC and FL HTC mo torcycles manufactured between Jul y 1988 and Jul y 1989. Deal ers will replace th e cru isecontrol module as it has been determ in ed th at if th e cru ise co n tro l becom es wet , it co uld sho rt out and boost speed. CORRECTION: In our coverage of the AMA National Championship 125/500cc MX Series round at th e Unadilla Valley Sports Center. in New Berlin. New York. October 15. we reported that the race was the first National motocross held at Unadilla. but Dave Martini sent us the entry forms he used' for a 500cc National at Unadilla in 1977. The race was won by Team Honda's Marty Smith. Smith's teammate Tommy Croft took seco nd . At the '1977 race , a $12,590 purse was on t he table. and a moto win was worth $460 with an extra $305 tacked on for the overall victory. In comparison. th is year's event had a $25.000 purse ($15,000 for the 500cc class, and $10.000 for the 125cc class) and a moto w in in the 500cc class was worth $1000. A co uple of weeks ago we reported on MXer R ick J ohnson getting his feet wet in car raci ng in a Barber/ Saa b Pro Series race in Del Mar , California. Word has since arrived that form er Na tion al MX Ch ampion Kent Ho werto n compe ted in several car races this year after a ttending th e Skip Barb er West school a t Riverside Raceway in so u thern Californ ia. H owert on says he p lans on co mpetin g in th e 1990 Barber/Saab Pro Ser ies. "T hat series has a lo t of attracti on s and I'll be workin g hard over the nex t few months to put some th ing togeth er," sai d H owerton, owner of San An tonio, T exasbased VP Racing Fuels. . While quite a few motorcycle racers have tried their hands at car racing in the past several decades Camel Su percross Ch am pi on J eff Stanton received th e most vo tes from Cycle News readers and was named the win ner of the Mickey T ho mpso n Award of Excelle nce. T he awa rd, na med for the late Mickey T hompson, was presented , to Stanton by T ho m pso n 's son at the November 3 . AMA Pro Awards Banquet in Lon g Beach , Cal ifornia. For more pi ctur es from the banquet, see pages 12-1 3. The U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has proposed a major rerouting of the Barstow-to-Las Vegas course to avoid tortoise habitat " in an effort to protect the desert tortoise and allow a traditional use of the desert to continue ." The Thanksgiving Day weekend hare and hound race is now proposed to start on the U.S . Army's National Tra in ing Center at Fo rt Irwin. Ca liforn ia . The course w ill traverse Fort Irwin for approximately 25 miles. starting at Langford We ll Dry Lake and joining the 1988 course on a powerline road near Red Pass Lake . Hugh Riecken. associate district manager for BLM's Cali f ornia Desert District. said that t he BLM wou ld not make a decisio n or issue a permit for the event until all public comments have been considered and the U.S . Fish and Wildlife Service has provided BLM with their biological opinion on the race. The environmental assessment is ava ilable for public review until November 13. Copies are available from BLM's Cal ifornia Desert D istrict office at 1695 Spruce Street in Riverside, or by calling them at 714/351 -6394. Comments must be received in that office on or before November 13. Dale Quarterl ey is o ne of the motorcycle racers curre n tly having so me success in car racing. Speaking at the October 27-29 Daytona Race of Champions, th e 1988 AMA P ro T wins Champ ion outlined his p lan to make the tra nsition from racing motorcycles to stock cars: " I p lan to switch to cars full time when I' m ready to win a championsh ip. T h is year, I got to th e point where I could (Con tinued to page 4)

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