Cycle News - Archive Issues - 1990's

Cycle News 1996 03 20

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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With the Da ytona 200 rained out and pos tp on ed until Sa turday, March 16, TNN ra n taped coverage of th e 1995 running of the even t. Those of you who w ou ld like to see TNN air ,the rescheduled race live on Saturday sho uld con tact TNN's Mark Kuchen, at 615/871-5983, and voice your desire. Tick et ho ld ers who have retained their ticket stubs from Sunday's rained-out Daytona 200 by Arai will be admitted to the Saturday, March 16, rescheduled event. The Harley Heaven grandstand will not be open. However, Har ley Heaven ticket holders will be permitted to enter either the infield or unreserved grandstand for Saturday's activities. Ticket h o ld e r s unab le to attend Saturday can send a written req uest for credit, good for admission to an October ' 96 or March '97 motorcycle event at Daytona In ternational Speedway. Your ticket stub must be included. Send inquires to Ticket Office, Daytona International Speedway, P.O. Box 2801, Daytona Beach, Flori da 32120-2801. Former 125cc World MX Champion Trampas Par ker will miss the first few ro unds of the World Championship 500cc MX Series due to injuries he suffered in a fall while competing in the Esanatoglia Motoc ross in Italy las t week . Parker injured his back and must lie in traction for at least one month, then " rest for at least another mo nth before riding again. The Third Annual SSC Race Around th e Lake GP wi ll be hel d a t Cas ta ic La ke, Ca lifornia; on March 31. The co urse will route riders around the s upercross-style motocross t r ack, ac ross the street on the GP track, through the trees, down the beach and throu gh the park. Cycle News editors who competed in last yea~'s race report that it is an even t not to be missed. SSC is also looki ng for volunteers to help staff the event. For more information, call 805/294-0020. Oregon's Lonny Hallsted (Bet) was the winner of the March 3 Scottish National Trials Championship Series opener. Hallsted, who will spend the m ajority of the '96 season abroad, is residing with tri als great Ernie Page in Edinburgh, Scotland. Glen Helen OHV Par k in San Bern ard ino, California, has plans to host a fourd ay racing extravaganza, called the Chaparral AMA Amateur Champ i onship Wee k. Sched ule d for December 27-30, the event will includ e "o utdoor" motocross, supercross, cross country, grand prix, flat track and team racing, including a special Pro- Race on th e final day . "We are excited about .adding this spectacular event, " says Bud Feldkamp, CEO of the park. "And, we are doubly pleased to have Chaparral Cycle on board as our sponsor. In short, we want this event to be one of the most spectacular ever seen on the West Coast. California is the ideal locatiori for winter racing." "An amateur race of this magnitude is something that has been missing in this area for some time," said Dave Damron of Chaparral Cycle. "It will serve a tripleheader purpose - it will fill a need in racing, add to the grow th of Glen Helen and help the local economy." Bridgestone Motorcycle Tire Divis ion is posting $130,400 in cash awards for 1996 W ERA Mo to rcycle Road r aci ng competito rs - $108,400 w ill be pa id out to the WERA Sportsman Series; $14,500 to the Na tional Challenge Series, and $700 to the National Endurance Series teams. Also, Ferodo America Motorcycle D i v i sion h a s pos ted its own $31,000 in its WERAcontingency program. The March of Dimes announced the date for the 4 t h A n nua l M ar ch of Dimes M i ra cl e Rid e - A Rid e fo r Healt h ier Babi es. The charity road ride is scheduled for Sunday, October 13, in San Mateo, California. Proceeds will go to support local programs of the Bay Area Chapter of the March of Dimes, including Battered Wo men's Alternatives and the Berkeley Primary Care Access Clinic. The s tart / finish site will be at the Bay Meadows Racecourse in San Ma teo begin ning at 8 a.m. For more information, call 415/788-2202. Rocky Top Enterprises Inc. has announced the opening of Rocky Top USA mo tocross facility near d own town Ok lahoma City, Oklahoma. The new facili ty features a 1.5-mile supercross track, including a 35-foot ju mp called Rocky Top. In addition to the MX track, Rocky Top USA is developing two flat tracks. The first MX race is scheduled for March 24, the first round of the 1996 Rocky Top USA Racing Series. Twenty-two race dates have been set and more than $300,000 in cash and contingency awards will be presented during this year's season. Points will be tabu lated following each race and year-end prizes wil l be awa rded to the top lOin each class. The facility is open to the public seven days a week for practice . For more informa tio n, call 405/677-3333, or 800/224-7890. Across the Atlantic, a one-minu te silence was observed before the first moto at the recent Beaucaire MX Classic - the firs t major motocross race of the yea r in Europe - in memory of the late Donny Schmit. The Minnesotan won the French "C lassic" o nce, and was also victorious in the track's one and only Worl d Championship MX GP three years ago. The Honda RC250 MXer that has been developed for reigning 250cc World Champion Stefan Everts is significantly different from the one supplied to last year's RJP team rider Kur t Nicoll , who will be riding a factory KTM in '96. The Honda reportedly has a much smoothe r power curve, prima rily due to new electronically-steered carburetion and ignition sys tems which cou ld be dialed in fro m a laptop computer. Kayaba upside-down forks with specially anodized legs to reduce friction are mounted in aluminium clamps. Efforts to trim weight while retaining strength are apparent with large aluminum radiators, fuel tank, magnesium casings and hubs and a carbonfiber silencer and airbox. Larger brake discs and calipers and a new master brake cylinder are fitted, while Everts has chosen higher handlebar settings this year. The factory Suzukis had new plastics in Beaucaire, but the bikes show minimal external changes from those used last season by Marn iq Be rvo ets and Werner Dewit. "I am happy that we have the bikes set up perfectly for hard tracks, though we still need to try some engi ne changes to get more power for th e sa nd tracks," said Bervoe ts, w ho finished eighth in th e race. The Bel- Doohan Up to speed in reseason test A n y doubt that a third 500c World Championship crown is out of reach for Michael Doohan was stunningly put to rest after the Aussie hero's impressive testing efforts March 5-7 on the new '96 NSRSOO Honda at Australia's Eastern Creek circuit, located outside Sydney. With just three weeks to the season-opening race in Malaysia, Doohan .s hatter~d the new-season aspirations of his rivals by unofficially lapping Eastern Creek In a quickestever time of 1:30.30 seconds. It was the champion's first outing on the all-conquering NSR500, and Doohan wasted little time putting his 1996 championship racer well in fron t of the eight 500cc stars at.Eastern Creek. Dooha n's unofficial time is slightly faster than the previously recorded .quickest Eastern Creek lap time set by American John Kocinski during practice for the 1994 Aust ralia n Gran d Prix, an unofficia l 1:30.39. Only fellow Aussie Daryl Beattie aboard the Lu cky Strike Suzuki and Japan's Tadayuki Okada riding the controversial V-twin Honda NSRSOOV got anywhere close to Doohan's times over the three-day test. Beattie, last year's championship runner-u p, looked extremely comfortable on the Suzuki, lapping the resurfaced .Eastern ~reek track in an unofficial best of 1:30.60, while Okada again pulled a rabbi t from his hat, finishing just marginally slower than Beattie with an unofficial time of 1:30.66. Beattie says his championship hopes this season have been buoyed by the successful outcome of his testing. "It was one of the better tests I' ve done," said a confidentsounding Beattie after beating his previous best time at Ea~tern Cr~k by two-t~~ths. "W ith Scott (Russell) in Daytona the re was only Harrush (Iamieson, Beattie screw chief) and just a few mechanics," said Beattie. "So there was only a really small part of the team p resent at Eastern Creek, w hich was great. "We spent the three days just crossing off a number of things we had to do on the bike. There were a couple of things we have been struggling with, bu t nothing major," continued Beattie. "They were just general aspects of the bike." According to Beattie, understeering difficulties encountered at recent tests have been rectified and the Australian indica ted that he was nearing 100 percent with regard to pe rsonal fitness. He added that he was not experiencing any discomfort with his left foot after surgeons in Brisbane operated over the winter to cure circulatory problems. . "Everything seems to be going right at present. I'm getting better with every day, the bike is going really well and I think we're we ll on target for the first race." Beattie confirmed that the full Lucky Strike Suzuki team has one more test, in Maylasia, before the seaso n beg ins. And while two-time world champion Doohan departed the circuit all smiles, the same could not be said of his Honda teamm ates. Spain's Alex Criville was due to depart Sydney at the completion of the three-day test but rescheduled his return flight to Spain to allow for a half-day more testing time to sort out nagging suspension-setting concerns. Doohan's other teammate, Shinichi Itoh, who crashed on the second day of testing, finished with a best lap time that was nearly two seconds slower than the Australian. The Team Marlboro Rainey Yamaha of Loris Capirossi had a best time of 1:31.2, while the Marlboro Roberts pairing of Norifumi Abe and Jean-Michel Bayle ran 1:32.0 and 1:32.5, respectively. The first race of the 1996 Grand Prix road racing season takes 'place at the Shah Alam Circuit in Malaysia, March 31. Bernie McGu ire gian, traditionally slow getting into the swing of things each year, was not worried . " My physical condition is already good, but after the winter break I need more time on the bike," he said. "It's a long season, and I don't want to get too strong too quickly. Last year I wasn' t on th e pace preseason until the Genk race in mid-March, bu t I still won the first GP." Kawasaki was another team to unveil new plastics at Beaucaire, but more importantly they had revised engine internals, chassis and suspension. Team boss J a n D e G ro o t said, "We went over to Japan in November for tests with th e factory, a nd Kayaba carne over to Euro pe in December. The engine changes are m a in ly in ternal, but improve pe rformance significantly,

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