Cycle News - Archive Issues - 1990's

Cycle News 1993 01 27

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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GIN THE WIND B The third round of the Florida Winter AMA MX Series at Dade City MX Raceway, January 16-17, was highlighted by Pro winners Jim Neese (Kaw) and Tim Ferry (Yarn). Neese scored the 12Sec Pro class win ahead of Kurt McMillen (Kaw), Joel Dengler (Kaw), Damien Plotts (Suz) and Brian Deegan (Kaw). In the 250cc Pro class, Ferry earn~e overall win ahead of Jeff Curry ~aoro" Fred Andrews (Yam), Pat Barton (Suz) and Carl Vaillancourt (Suz). In the 125 and 250cc A classes, Chad Lough (Suz) and Derek Youngblood (Hon) won their respective classes, while Canadian Ross Pederson (Sl.\z) topped the Vet Pro division. e ....... N :>J-I ~ ~ -l-t ~ Danny Hamel (Kaw) was the overall and Open Pro class winner at the Peppermill Mesquite GP in Mesquite, . Nevada, January 16. The runner-up and 250cc class winner was Greg Zitterkopf (KTM). Rounding out the top five were Larry Roeseler (Kaw), Destry Abbott (KTM) and Ty Davis (Kaw). The event was the opening round of the Casey Folk's Best in the Desert Series. Rounds four and five of the CMC Golden State Nationals were cancelled, due to heavy rains in the southern California area. The races, scheduled to take place at Barona Oaks Raceway in Ramona, California, January 15-16, have yet to be rescbed uled. For more information, call CMC at 619/487-9120. Round four of the GFI Winter Series South, scheduled to take place January 16 at Los Angeles County Raceway in Palmdale, California, was also postponed, due to rain. GFI will announce the date and location of the substitute race after this weekend's running of the Anaheim Amateur Supercross. For more information, call GFI at 714/371-3434. Noleen Yamaha's Kyle Lewis suffered a broken lower left leg in a crash at the January 16 Houston SupeTcross in Houston, Texas. Lewis crashed early in the combined Eastern/Western Regional 12Sec main event while running fifth. Dirt tracker Ronnie Jones, sixth in the 1992 Camel Pro Series, was on hand as a spectator at the Houston Supercross. As usual, Jones was there to lend support to his Oklahoma neighbor Guy Cooper, who turned in a thrilling ride for second behind winner Damon Bradshaw. "You know why Cooper goes so good?" mused Jones. "Because he's an Okie!" When questioned about his plans for the 1993 Grand National Championship season, Jones stated he plans to reunite with former sponsor George Garvis, owner of Garvis Honda Town, a Des Moines, Iowa, dealership. Jones will campaign Garvis' Honda RS750s at all but the California rounds of the series, and is currently negotiating a contract with a California-based Honda owner for the rounds that Garvis will sit out. ''I'm looking forward to gaining myoid winning ways back," said Jones, a nine-time National winner. 2 In winning the Houston Supercross, Damon Bradshaw took over sole possession of fourth on the all-time supercross win list with 18 wins. Bradshaw was previously tied with Mark Barnett, a former Suzuki and Kawasaki factory rider who has 17 wins to his credit. Twotime Supercross Champion Rick Johnson holds the all-time record with 28 wins. The legendary Bob Hannah sits in second with 27, and recently retired Jeff Ward boasts 20. When asked what he feels his chances are of overtaking Johnson's record in 1993, Bradshaw replied, "I don't want to make any predictions, but 1 wouldn't count me out. What I'm going to concentrate on this season is being on the podium every week." For the record, Bradshaw won nine times in '92, and is hungrier than ever in '93. Different colors, same results: After two successful seasons fielding Honda CRI25s, the Team Splitfire/Mattel/ProCircuit effort is Kawasaki KXI25-mounted in 1993. Though some insiders questioned the abilities of the team's newest members Jimmy Gaddis and Mike Chamberlain, team owner Mitch Payton arrived at Houston confident and full of hope. "Mitch kept telling us, 'You have to win. This is the first race,''' said Gaddis, who did just that. Chamberlain was the victim of a first -tum pileup, but charged back to finish 12th. After the race, the duo signed autographs and handed ou t special team ha ts to the throngs of fans that surrounded the team's new fifth-wheel trailer-transporter. Five-time Supercross winner and threetime National MX Champion Kent Howerton was on hand at the Houston Supercross, but not as a spectator. The "Rhinestone Cowboy" competed in the premier 250cc class. "I was planning on racing the Eastern/Western Regional 12Sec class, but the AMA said that 1 was ineligible," said 38-year-old Howerton. During practice, Howerton appeared to be quite tenative over the track's many double and triple jumps, but when the gate dropped for his first heat race, instinct took over and Howerton was all business. Howerton failed to qualify for the main event, but turned in respectable finishes in his qualifying races - 15th in his heat, 10th in his semi, and 14th in the last chance qualifier. When asked what inspired him to compete again, Howerton laughed and said, "I haven't the slightest idea! Seriously, though, the track isn't that tough, it's just myoid body that won't cooperate." Before he could race to a 13th-place finish at the Houston Supercross, privateer Suzuki racer Larry Ward had to wait for some clothing alterations. A contracted JT USA rider, Ward received a few new sets of riding gear at the Astrodome, but found that the leathers needed a few modifications. "Larry is so skinny that 1 had to cut the belt straps off his leathers and sew them back on further apart," explained Rhonda Gregory, daughter of JT USA's owners John and Rita Gregory. To some supercross fans' untrained eyes, the 1993 Yamaha YZ250 and KTM 250SX look extremely alike and may be easily confused. Both bikes sport white plastic with purple seats and graphics, and to top it off, the KTM's front fender and number plate combination mimics the design introduced by Yamaha last year. So what is the Yamaha race team's answer? More purple! At Houston, the factory Yamaha YZ250s piloted by Damon Bradshaw and Jeff Emig featured purple frames. Amateur motocross sensation Robbie Reynard was on hand at the Houston Supercross as both a competitor and spectator. Reynard competed in the amateur portion of the program held earlier in the day and easily won the 125 and 250cc A classes, but was forced to spectate at the evening's Camel Supercross round. At 15 years of age, Reynard is too young to compete as an AMA National Expert, but few doubt that he possesses the talent needed to make a successful jump into the pro ranks. Just one week prior to the Houston Supercross, Reynard had topped Jimmy Gaddis, Houston's 12Sec main event winner, in or the third year in a row, Frenchman Stephane Peterhansel is the overall winner of the ParisDakar Rally. This year's rally started in Paris, France, on January 1 and ended on January 16 in Dakar, Senegal. The event was considerably shorter than last year's Paris-Le Cap, which ended at the southern tip of the African continent in Capetown, South Africa. Organizers chose to return to the original finish line after experiencing problems last year, including the death of French off-road hero Gilles Lalay. Twelve motorcycles completed the rally this year, while 57 cars and trucks made it to the finish. "Winning Dakar for the third time in a row makes me very happy, but it is not as emotional as it was the first time 1 won," said the 27-year-old Peterhansel, who rides for the French Yamaha importer, Sonauto. Peterhansel had a combined special test score of 51 hours, 51 mnutes and 51 seconds, and didn't drop a single route point throughout the 16-day eva. Yamaha swept the top three positions in the rally, as F.rance's Thierry CharboJU.1eT was the runner-up, and Spaniard Jordi Arcarons, who overcame an eight-hour penaty for missing a check, finished third. Arcarons was in fourth place up until the next-:olast day, when the third-place rider, a Spaniard, strayed off course and was disqu,lir fled. Danny LaPorte was the best hope for an American win this year, but was almost Ell: without a ride when Cagiva decided not to contest the rally. laPorte managed to secure a Jean Stavalen-sponsored Yamaha ride at the last minute, but dropped out Qi the competition about halfway through when he crashed and broke his wrist. F the 250cc Expert class at the Cow Palace Arenacross in San Francisco. "It was hard to watch, knowing that 1 could be out there and doing okay," said Reynard. "But 1 tum 16 in May and am planning on racing the last two rounds. I can't wait." Rumors were circulating the pits at the January 16 Florida Winter AMA MX Series at Dade City Raceway in Daefe City, Florida, that three-time 125cc National MX and Supercross Champion Mark "The Bomber" Barnett is planning a comeback in the AMA National Championship 500cc MX Series, which begins August 8 at- Washougal, Washington. It is also rumored that Barnett, 38, will use the opening round of the National Championship 250cc MX Series at Gatorback MX Park in Gainesville, Florida, February 21, as a "practice" race. David Aupperle of Baxter Springs, Kansas, is the grand prize winner in our 1993 Daytona Sweepstakes. Aupperle won the Travel Craft Bike Week Package which includes roundtrip air travel for two to Daytona on USAir, a Howard Johnson hotel/rental car package for six days/five nights, two VIP tickets to the major races, and a one-year subscription to Cycle News. Dave Pagniucci of Springfield, Vermont, is the winner of the sweepstakes' second prize, two Arai helmets and a one-year Cycle News subscription. Ross Martin of Buckeye, Arizona, is the third prize winner. Martin will receive an Aerostich riding suit and a Cycle News subscription. It now appears certain that Team Marlboro Roberts will use Dunlop tires in 1993. According to three-time World Champion Wayne Rainey, the team is close to reaching an agreement with Dunlop that will see them as the only 500cc team using the British/Japanese rubber in the coming Grand Prix road racing season. "They are prepared to give us anything we want," Rainey said. "A lot of the stuff Dunlop brings to the table will make us stronger. Obviously, they want to win the championship again. I think the Yamaha is a bit easier to develop on Dunlop tires, and 1 don't think switching back and forth has helped us develop the bike." It is also likely that there will be a development team present at the GPs, strictly to help in the dev!!lopment of the Dunlop tires. "The test team will help sort the tirlS," Rainey said. "I have a rider in mind ~ho could help me test tires." Many hiVe speculated that Randy Mamola wOlld be the development team rider, lut Rainey refused to name the rider li1ely to head the team. Road racer Michael Doohan, runnerup in the 500cc World Championship ;he past two years, had surgery in Brisbarle, Australia, to remove a metal plate from the leg he broke in the Dutch GP last June. The Rothmans Honda rider also had microsurgery on a tendon in his right leg during the operation on January 11 to increase the range of movement. "At first we thought we might be able to heal the leg with physiotherapy and exercises," 27-year-old Doohan said. "To speed up the healing .we decided to have microsurgery to free up the tendons and give me more movement in my leg." Doohan had experienced difficulties with the leg during offseason testing in Australia. "I could ride a street bike okay, but a 500 Grand Prix bike has a more cramped riding position and that made it difficult when we were testing." Doohan will probably miss Rothmans Honda test sessions scheduled for Australia's Phillip Island and Eastern Creek circuits this month. "I don't like to miss testing, but the operation means 1 will be in better shape fer the first race of the new season," Doohan said. The AMA has purchased 396 feet of air fence from the Australian manufacturer for use in their 1993 AMA National Championship Road Race Series, according to Roger Edmondson. "I'm really excited about his," Edmondson said. "It looks like we'll have 12 sections of the fences in time for Phoenix (February 14). We put together a proposal to the four Japanese manufacturers to contribute to the fund, and they all said yes. The 12 sections cost $30,000, and $22,500 of that came from their contributions. We don't plan on stopping there, we want to continue to raise more money to purchase more of the air fences. These will be used in the target zones, in addition to hay bales." Edmondson, though, wasn't as excited about his AMA/CCS race scheduled for January 3 at Phoenix Internatiunal

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