Cycle News - Archive Issues - 1990's

Cycle News 1996 01 10

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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Phil Lawren ce (Kaw) was the 250ccclass winner at th e Decem ber 30 GFI Invitational Supercross, held at Perris, California's Perri s Raceway. Mike Cra ig (Ho n) was the runner-up, while Damon Bradshaw (Yam) ro unded out th e top three . Jo hn Dowd (Ya m) topped the 125cc class, ed ging out David Pingree (Kaw) and Chad Pederson (Kaw) . Ronnie Tic henor (Suz) won the 125 and 250cc Pro classes during the opening round of the Winter AMA MX Series in Gainesville, Flo rida, on December 31. Tichenor topped Anthony Pocorobb a (Suz) and Barry Carsten (Suz) to win the . 125cc class before beating Brian Swink (Hon) and Pocorobba to win the 250cc class. The FIM has announced so me cha nges to th e 1996 World Championship Road Race Series calendar . The French Grand Pri x will be held at Paul Ricard in th e so uth of France; the Argentinian Grand Prix ha s bee n canceled ; an d the Brazilian Grand Prix wi ll be held on October 6 instead of September 29. The final calendar is as follow s: March 31 - Shah Alam, Malaysia ; April 7 - Sentul, Indonesia; April 21 - Suzuka, Japan; Ma y 12 - Jerez, Spain; May 26 - Mugello, Italy; June 9 Paul Ricard, France; June 29 - Assen, Holland; July 7 - Nurburgring, Germany; Jul y 21 - Donington Park, England; August 4 - Os terreichring. Austria; August 18 - Brno, Czech Republic; September 1 - Imola, Ital y; September 15 Cataluny a, Spa in; Oct obe r 6 - Jacarepagua, Rio de Janiero; October 20 Eastern Creek, Australia. The FIM a ls o announced some othe r changes to th e World Championship Road Race Series : participating teams will now be able to d esignate two test circuits instead of one; in addition to the three solo classes (125, 250 and SOOcc), there will be sev en Sidecar races and a maximum o f nine European Th underbike ra ces; th e sp eed limit in pit lane will be 90 km /h (55 mph); all fines wi ll be paid into a ben evo lent fund; a new lap record can onl y be estab lished during a race; the minimum weight for the mo torcycle with the rider is 132 kg (290 pounds) in the 125cc class. New Engla nd er Dal e Quart erl ey su ffered seriou s h a nd injuries w hen he cras he d at high speed on December 14 while testing Michelin tires at Daytona International Speedway. Qua rterley ' s right w rist a nd h and were broken in several pl aces, an d h e also su ffere d a ' br oken foot and ankle in the crash. The Team Mirage rid er has since undergone su rgery to h ave the bon es in his h and a nd w rist pinned, according to fam ily members. Cards and lett ers can be sent to Quarterley at 51 Pochassic St., Westfield , MA 01085. Promising New South Wales rid er Troy Bayli ss will take over the seat vacated by AMA Superbike Series-bound Mat MIadi n in the Team Kawasaki Australia superbike team, according to Cycle News AMA launches 4-Stroke MX Cham ionshi A MA Pro Racing announced it wi ll in trod uce a National Four-Stroke MX Series in 1996. "There has been a b' 1 Interest in fou r-stroke motocross from some of our promoters, select OEMs, and from the aftermarket industry," said Tom Mueller, execu tive d irector of AMA Pro Racing. "W e will be monitoring the competitiveness and marketing attraction of this new seri es, and will be ga thering data to provid e clear insight. Based on its success, four-stroke racing could be the future of AMA Open-cla ss motocross." AMA Pro Racing will join forces with Mike Young's Sound of Thunder program on the West Coast to create an eight-round Western National Four-Stroke Championship. East Coast four -stroke rounds will run in con juncti on with the six-ra ce AMA Fall Classic Motocross Series, and will be designated the Eastern National Four-Stroke Championship. Machines will be restricted to a 650cc di splacement limi t, with a minim um weight of 235 pounds. "We' ve spent an ample amount of tim e researching thi s project, and the timing was right to start developing an AMA-sanctioned championship," said Duke Finch, AMA Pro Racing Motocross Manger. "Many motocrosse rs from a decade or more ago are coming back into racing. and a large number of those racers p refer 4-strokes. That, along with a large di versity of bik e. manufacturers and aftermarket products, sho uld make the series grow. It looks to be a part of our future." AMA Pro Racing will be crea ting and selling prom otion al packages for the series, effectiv e immediately. Following is a tentati ve schedule of the Western and Eastern Four-Stroke MX Series. AMA Westem National Soundof Thunder MJ( Series: March 24 Canyon Raceway April 28 Glen Helen Raceway May 5 Prairie City SVRA Park May 12 Glen Helen Raceway June 8 Ogden Motocross June 23 Mammoth MountainMotocross August 18 Washougal Motocross Park September 1 Grand Junction Motocross AMA Eastern National Four-Stroke MX Series: September 15 Birch Creek Motocross September 22 Red Bud Track 'N'Trail September 29 Daniel Boone Motocross Park October 6 Raceway Park October 13 UncalnTrails Motorsports 2 Phoenix. Arizona San Bernardino. Camomia Sacramento. California San Beniardino. Camornia Ogden: Utah . Mammoth. California Washougal. Washington Grand Junction. Colorado Danville. Virginia Buchanan. Michigan London. Kentucky Englishtown. NewJersey Casey. Illinois AMA Four-Stroke National EastlWest Shootoul: Octobe 20 r Muddy Creek Raceway Blountville. Tennessee Fast for Ferracci I n the en d, the stopwatch didn't lie. Eraldo Ferracci, coming off a d isappointing season wi th three veteran riders, looked at the data from the December Michelin tire tests and chose a pair of yo u ng li ons to ride hi s fir e-e n g ine- re d . Ducatis in the 1996 AMA Superbike National Championship. Former Harley-D avid son TwinSports champion Shawn Higbee and form er dirt tracker Larry Pegram (righ t) will lea d th e Ducati assault on the AMA Superbike title after the pair consistently turned in the fastest times du ring the Michelin tire test at Dayt on a Internationa l Speedway . And, cont ra ry to rumors, the pair did not pay for their rides an d will be facto ry-supported riders. "I know it's a longshot, but we've got to get these young guys a chance," Ferracci said in a telephon e int ervi ew from his race shop in Willow Grove, Pennsylvania, jus t before the new yea r. Ferracci gather ed four rid ers - Higb ee, Pegram, di rt tracker Ma tt Wait, an d Au tra lian Damon Buckm aster - at the tire test to audition for the cove ted rides (see relate story on page 6). There were a number of machines on hand, so me '95s and so me '96: and he gave all of the riders an eq ual shot, send ing them out in pairs and on simila tires. From the start it was appa rent that Higbee and Pegram were the two fastest, an that's how they'd end the tw o and a hal f days of testing. Pegram was the fastest, a be. of 1:52.62, wi th Higb ee a tick back at 1:52.78. "We sent everybody out on th e same mach ines, th e sa me tires , and we alreadj knew who was go ing and who wasn't go ing." sai d Ferr acci, who ad ded they were 0 the sam e compound tire that Raymond Roche raced on in 1993. "They (Pegram an Higbee) were already tw o or three seconds faster than Wait and six or seven faster the gu y from Au stralia." Ferracci exp lained that wh en he put Buckmaster on one of th faster machines he was still four or five seconds off the pace. "With the racing tire from last year they (pegram and Higbee) both d id 525. For me that's enough," Ferracci said. Buckm aster, who looked uncomfortable and cautious for the first two d t hardly S' getting a knee down. improved to a 1:54.2 on the final day, not nearly enou to win a job. He was so confident he'd have the ride that he was telling people that . signing was jus t a formality. "It's not a try-ou t. We've worked all the plans out," he sai d on the second da y of the test. The Australian, who 'd finished fifth in the Australian 600cc Supersport series, was even looking for a place to live near Ferra cci's shop for the upcoming season. Wait was dismissed after the second day of the test, thou gh he made a good sho wing for a rid er of so littl e experience and non e on a superbike. "Matt Wait, he's got talent. At this po int it's a little bit too much," Ferracci said of the leap he'd mad e from the H-D 883's to the Du cati 955. "We saw on the telemetry that the guy is really fast. A kid hi s age ha s tim e to ' learn." Both Wait and Higbet crashed the Ferracci bikes, Higbee calling it the "fastest high-sid e I'v e eve r had ." , Henny Ray Ab ramscorrespo ndent Darryl Flack. Bayliss finished seco n d in the 1995 Australi an 600cc Su persp ort Championship on a Ka w a s aki and also filled in o n th e Kawasaki superbike for two races while Mladi n recovered from a broken leg . Bayliss w ill join incumbent Kawasaki man Martin Craggill on the team. Th e man who beat Bayliss for the ~c title, Honda rider Dean Th omas, will inherit the Honda RC45 va cated by 1995 Australi an Superb ike Ch ampion Kirk McCarthy, the man recently sig ned by Suzuki's World Su perbike team. Du cati h eld a pre s s co nfere nce o n December 23 to announce the signing of fo rm e r 250 cc World Champion John Kocinski. Th e Little Rock, Arkansas, na tive who now calls Modesto, Califo rnia, home, will be team ed wi th Brit Neil Hodgson on th e fact ory Du cati team, w hich is managed by Virginio Ferrari. According to rep orts fr om Europe, Kocins ki returned home after testing the Duca ti at Misa no and attem pted to per suade H onda to allo w him to run h is own 250cc Grand Prix team. When that d e al fai le d t o m at eria li z e, Kocins ki return ed to' Europe for an other two-day test with Du cati and ultimately sign ed a contrac t wi th the Italian firm. Cagiva S.p.A. is set to sell a 50-per cent interest in D ucati to Ch icago fina ncie r and motorcycle enthusiast Sam Zell . The fi nal negoti a tions b e ga n in Chicago Decemb er 16 between Zell and Cagi va Presid ent Claudio Cast iglioni and hi s brother Gianfranco. Zell, with the coop- eration of Merryl Lynch bank, will pa y 300 billion lir e, o r about $190 million, with th e h ope of es tab lish ing a New York Stock Exch ange listing. The 54year-old Zell is the son of Polish immigrants a nd made hi s fortune first in newspapers, later in building homes and now in stock activities. He has some 30 Ducatis in his motorcycle collection. "This is' a very important affair for us," said Claudio Castiglioni during the John Kocinski presentati on to the Italian press December 23 at Mil an. "Cagiva Group S.p .A. will maintain the lea d of Du ca ti, with new fina ncial ener gy for more investments that we wi ll use, for exam ple, on th e d ev elopment of the Cagiva F4 Superbike." Aft er a one-y ea r h iatu s, th e AM A' s National Ice Race Championships will re turn o n January 20-21 in Albrigh t Shores, Michigan. Warm temperatures ' last winter prevented adequ ate ice formation and forced th e ca nce lla tio n of ' the eve nt in 1995. For more information, con tact the Polka Dots M /C at 517 / 6622599. Wal t Beers, 67, was killed on Decemb er 17 when hi s s in g le-e n gi ne airplan e crashed in Wa shington. Beers was th e founder of Wh eelsport Dist ributing in Portland, Oregon, a com p any he later sold to Fuqua an d which was eventu ally sold to Tucker-Rocky . Beers is su rvived by hi s daughte rs, Kell y Bellinger and Helen Hon ey; a brother, Leland Beers; a sister, Barbara N eub ert; and three grandchildren.

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