Cycle News - Archive Issues - 1990's

Cycle News 1991 12 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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~ IN THEWIND By Papa Wealey , e Jeff Stanton (Han) swept both main events of the Decemb er 6-7 Geneva Supercross dou bleh eader in Geneva, Switzerland. Larry Ward (Suz) finished second and Jeremy McGrath (Han) was third on th e first day, while Guy Cooper (Suz) was the runner-up and Mike LaRocco (Kaw) third on day two. Camel Pro Series competition. Fil ice, who won the AMA 250cc Grand Prix Road Race Series titl e, wi ll be ho nored for h is comeback foll ow ing near- fata l injuries in a car crash. The banquet will take pl ace at the Santa Clara Conven tion Cente r and it is open to the public. For mor e in formation , call Bill Spencer at .408/ 436-8228. Fr en ch m an Jean-Michel Bayle crashed on the first day of the Geneva Supercross and injured his right arm. Ap parently th e Cam el Supercross, 250 a n d 500cc Na ti onal Champion 's Honda landed on hi s arm, injuring the elbo w and mu scle in the lower arm close to where it was broken in 1990. Although there is a good chance that ther e will not be a Un ited Sta tes Grand Prix road race in 1992, the AMA hasn 't completely ruled out the possi bility of the race returning to Laguna Seca International Raceway. " It's a premature statement at this time to say that th ere w on ' t be a GP," Bill Amick said. "We kn ow they are still pur su ing th e race. Ri ght now it's down to pricing structure and it's just a matter of if Lee (Mosell e of SCRAM P) and Bernie Eccelstone can reach an agreement. We certai n ly hop e it can continue, but right now it 's as murky as it can be." Reportedly, Eccelston e is planning on charging race promoters $1 million to hold a Grand Prix. Stefan Everts (Suz) was the overa ll winner of the Decemb er 7-8 Gen oa Superbowl Supercross in Genoa , Italy. The 125cc World Champion won the first day of competition and was th e runner-up to Larry Ward (Suz) on day two. Jeromy Buehl (Han) finished second on the first day while Jeff Matiasevich (Kaw ) finished third in both main events. National Hare & Hound Ch ampion Danny Hamel (KT M) scored the overa ll win at the Best in the Desert Laughli n World Ch ampionsh ip Hare Scrambles, in L au ghlin, Nevada, Decemb er 7. Jimmy Lewis (KT M) was the runner-up, while Scott Morris (Kaw), John Rudder (AT K) and Brent Fox (Yam) rounded out the top five, respectively . Italian Marco Lucchinnelli, 37, th e 1981 World 500cc Road Ra ce Champi on , was arrested on drug trafficking charges in Bol ogna , It al y, on December 7. • T he reign of Bob Gregg as vice pres ident and execu tive publisher of Cycle World magazine proved to be a sho rt-lived one, as it came to an end las t week. Prior to joinin g Cycle World this pas t sum mer, Gregg sold hi s Metzeler tire distri bu torshi p to Metzeler bu t remai ned with the compa ny as chairma n of the board and president. Many peo p le in the motorcycle industry saw that as a con flict of interest, but Hache tte Magazines, Inc., pub lisher of Cycle World, sai d it wouldn't be. It turn s out it was. " H e has agreed to leave the company," said Cycle Wor ld Vice Presiden t and Pu blisher Larry Little. "The conflict of interest cou ld not be resolved." AMA Superbike National Champion Thomas Stevens inked a contract with Rob ,Mu zzy on Thursday, Decemb er 5, to contest the 1991 AMA Superbike Series on factory-ba cked Kawasakis. Stevens won the Superbike , titl e on a Vance & Hines Yamaha Yamaha 's first in 14 years of superbike racing. ''I'm real happy," Stevens said on December 5. ' 'I' m signin g th e papers right now . I felt it was the best business decision I could make for my career and that's wh y I've gone with Rob (Muzzy). He has a good team and I'm reall y happy to be a part of it." Stevens will jo in his rival, number-two ran ked AMA Su perb ike rider Scott Russell, on th e Muzzy Kawasaki team. "Scott 's a profession al and I th ink we'll put together a good showing. I think we'll both win a .lot of races. I've had fast teammates before, so I don't see it as a problem." According to Vance & Hines crew chi ef Steve Johnson, Thom as Stevens will likely no t be rep laced. Johnson said th at the team will proba bly field on ly two riders in 1992, Jamie James and Larry Schwarzbach. Johnson also ended specu lat ion that Stevens' tu ner Ji m Leonard would also join Muzzy Kawasaki . Leonard, according to J oh nson , will now tune for Jamie J am es, wi th James' 1991 tuner Al Ludington leaving the sq uad . \ Danny Hockie, 38, succumbed to cancer on Tha n ksgiving Day, No vem?er ~8 . Hackie bega n raci ng by competing In desert races in the Min i class at th e age of ni ne. He then competed in tria ls and TT scra mbles before becoming a professiona l flat trac k racer. Stricken wi th lung cancer three years ago , H ackie was given a clea n bill of health following th e removal of on e lung, but he recentl y felt ill and was diagn osed as havin g terminal cancer. A memorial service was held on Tuesday, Decemb er 3. He is survived by hi s wife J ean in e, daugh ters Nicole and J essica, and parents William and Ida. Cards and letters can be sent to th e fam ily at 1029 Sham rock, Corona, CA 91720. The Northern California Motoring Press Association will honor Chris Carr and Jim Filice at its annual awards banquet on Sa turday night, J anuary II , in San J ose, California. Carr will be feted for winning h is fourth con secu tive AMA Na tio n al Championship 600cc Dirt Track Series titl e and for tieing Scott Parker in Mar lboro has with dra wn its su pport for Marlboro Team Roberts in the WERA For mula USA Series. Sources close to the team blam e budget cu ts at Phillip Morr is as the reason for Marlboro pullin g its sponsorship. The end result is likely to be that 500cc GP bikes will no lon ger be raced in the WERA series. " It's tough times these days and tobacco compa nies are mak ing some tough choices righ t now," WERA spo kesma n Doug Gonda said in response to the news of Mar lboro 's wi th dra wa l. "We 'r e di sappointed right now, but in som e ways we ma y benefit. With our pu rse increa sing for nex t year we may see more sup port from other team s tha t didn 't wa n t to race against 500s. I reall y don 't see it hurting us." Marlboro's withdrawal , means th at both F-USA Champion Ri ch Oliver and runner-up Robbie Petersen don't have rides for 1992. The purse increase Dou g G onda ment ions is a 60% increase for the WERA Pro Series. The F-USA pereven t purse is now $18,7 50 with Formula II paying $11,100; the WERA KIM bankrUD-,-,---O T _ hat was the big rumor circula ting in the pits at the Decemb er 7 Laughlin Hare Scrambles in Nevada . According to KTM America 's Scot Harden , who attended the race, " . . . someth ing has happened over there (in Austria). One thing we do kn ow for sure is that the bank has taken over cont ro l of KTM Austria's assets i',l th e sport motorcycle division. As of today (Monday, December 9), ' production of KTM motorcycles still cont inues, top administers are still in place, and all the employees are still there. KTM (Austria) was handed papers Friday (December 7), so we really don 't know a wh ole lot about the situation right now ." , "T he ban k wants to keep opera tions going," sai d Rod Bush, president of KTM Ameri ca. "New plans are underway right now , regarding new managemen t in Austria. Proposals will be made this week regarding new personnel and so on , but, as far as decisions being made, it could take up to two weeks." Bush con firme d H ard en 's state men t that KTM mot orcycles are still moving on the assembly lin e. "For now, th e production of KTM motorcycles cont inues and will cont in ue," Bush said. " KT M America is open for bu sin ess as usual and will continue to support our deal ers full y." As far as KTM's race pl ans , at theLaughlin race, KTM factory and su pport riders were notified of the situation in Austria and were told that they are free to do wha tever th ey feel is in their best interest.' "As soo n as KTM (America) heard the news, they came right out and explained th e whole situation ," said National Hare & Hound Champion Danny Hamel. Ham el, who won the Laughlin race, recently extended his cont ract to race KTM motorcycles in the U.S. for the 1992 season. " Harden and KTM have our (KT M factor y and support rid ers) best interests in mi nd and told us to go out and see what else is there. Right now, I'm looking at my options and I'm working on a few things," added Ham el. " I'm really bummed out abo u t the whole situat ion. KTM has always been good to me and I sure hope that everything works out for them ." National Endurance Series will pay a purse of $3000 per event. WERA has also released a ten tative 10-event 19 9 2 schedule. The series is set to begin at Willow Springs International Raceway on April 5 and will end on November I at the Grand National Finals at Road Atlanta. A new addition to the schedule is a round at the Arapahoe Park Circuit near Denver, Colorado. The 1991 WERA Pro Series consisted of eigh t races. Commonwealth Honda team owner Martin Adams has sign ed road racer Mike S mit h to join Tom Kip p on the team 's Honda RC30s and CBR600s for th e 1992 AMA road race season. Adams wa s attempting to re-sign Miguel DuH amel for the '92 season, but DuHamel's on-going negotiations with Sona uto Yamaha forced him to look elsewhere . ''I' m happy and sad," Adams said on Monday, December 9. "I th ink Mike and Tom are excellent choices, but you've go t to mi ss a lightn in g rod like Migu el. We'll try and do it again; we' ll get on with business and do our best." Smith won the 1990 WERA Formula USA Championsh ip on a Team Suzuki GSXR, bu t missed th e majorit y of the 1991 season with a broken wrist. DuHamel, thou gh , has yet to sign a cont ract, according to hi s manager Alan Labrosse. When asked if the cha nces of DuHamel sign ing with Son auto Yamaha were good, Labrosse answered: "T here's a good chance we will see h im riding GPs, but he hasn 't sig ned anythi ng with anybody." Martin Adams also repo rts that hi s team will aga in receive backing fro m Camel in 1992. "We have Camel' s full support for 1992," Adams said. "That sho ws us we must have don e' som eth ing right. And Honda has also stepped up their technical support for next year. " With Mike Smith making the move to Commonwealth Racing, B rit t T urkingto n and D a vid Sa dowski will join Yoshimura Suzuki for the 1992 sea so n. T u rki n g to n rode a Team Suzuki Endurance bike in 1991 while Sadowski sat out most of the year after undergoing back surgery. N e w Century Communications, Inc. of Cleveland, Oh io, of which Edge ll Com m u n i c a t ions is a wholly owned su bsid ia ry, has announced it will file for federal protection from its creditors under Cha p ter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code . Edgell Communications publishes Motorcycle Dealernews magazine 'lnd produces and manages the annual Dealernews Motorcycle Expos. According to New Century Communicati ons , the y've reach ed an agreement in principle with th e company's major lend ers and investors on a finan cia l restru cturing pl an that will convert a substa nt ial portion of the compa ny's out standing debt and all of its preferred stock to equ ity. This. it's' said, will reduce the company's current debt _ and preferred stoc k from ap pro ximately $368 million to ap proximately ' $192 mi lli on . Ri ch ard B. Swa n k, chairma n and 'ch ief execu tive officer o f, Edgell Co m m u n ica tions , said, "Th is action (a " p repackaged" Chapter I I filin g after formal acceptances o f its len ders a n d i nves to rs a re obtained) sho u ld not be misinter preted ... Edge ll's bu sinesses are fundam entally sound an d have bu rgeoning po tential. " Kevin Johnston e, sales director of Edge ll Expos itio ns, said, "We anticip ate no inte rru p tion in our exposi tion sched ule or service to our cus to me rs. II Mega Cycles in Sacra mento, Californi a, will celebrate its becoming a Du cati a n d Hu sqvarn a deal er by hosting an o p e n h ouse on Saturday, December 21, from 9 a.m . to 9 p.m. Stop by and enjo y a free hot dog , soft drink and hopefully on e of the door prizes th at will include a set of Pirelli tires. For more informati on , call 916/ 482-5446. ' HIR ED: Lynn Nick erson by Mike Kidd Promoti ons as director of public re lations. Nickerson , wh o has announced local and National MX events, will be in . cha rge of ' public relat ion s for the AMA National Arenacross Series and other events. BORN: Benjamin Andrew Danforth, son of T eam Suzuki MX Support Techn ician Jim Danforth and wife Malia, on Decemb er 2 in Lan caster, Ohio.

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