Cycle News - Archive Issues - 1990's

Cycle News 1996 06 05

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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Seven-time and d efending World Champion Jordi Tarres (G-G) earned his first World Round victory of the year at th e United States round of the World Champion ship Observed Trials Series in Exe te r, Rhode Isl and, on Ma y 25-26. Doug Lampkin (Bet) and Marc Colomer (Me n) rounded out the top three with Lampkin taking the series poin ts lead, 70-69, over Colom er . Tarres n ow si ts th ir d w it h 60 p oints . Japanese rider Takahisha Fujinami (Ho n) continued to im press obse rve rs and was the rid er to beat after day one as he bes ted the competition wi th a 10-point loop en route to finishing fou rth overall, Co m petitors in th e AMA Grand National Championship Series were forced to end ure a seco nd rainout in as many series rounds when the Springfield Mile was cance led on May 26-27. Despite a week of bad weather in th e cent ral Illino is ar ea, the rid ers and teams trekked to the Illinois State Fairg rou nds in th e h ope tha t a break in the r ain might allow them to run the Mem ori al Day classic - but the track surface was satu rated an d unable to be p repared . The weather worsened as the day wen t on, and the event was called for the day at approxima tely 2 p.m. with the AMA ask ing the rid ers to return for the Mond a y rain dat e . The ra in con ti n ue d th rou gh th e ni ght, however, a nd th e race was officially canceled by 10 a.m . on Monday. The rou nd has been officially rescheduled for Au gust 31, makin g for a d oubleheader at th e Sp rin gfie ld Mile on Labor Day weekend . Rodney Smith (Suz) scored the overall w in at the Little Burr ISDE Two-D ay Qu ali fier in McArthur, Ohio, on May 2526. Second wen t to Guy Cooper (Suz), w hile Doug Blackwell (Yam ), Randy Hawkins (Suz) and Kevin Hines (CRE) rounded out the top five overall. Scott Zampa ch w a s th e top-sc oring American in the Triumph Transatlantic Chall enge Serie s h eld at Donington Park in En gland on Ma y 27 , but it w asn't en oug h to prevent the British team from taking the overall victory in th e team chall en ge . En gl and' s Paul Brown won two of the three races with David Sadowski winning the third race. At th e en d of th e d ay, En gland's 614 points easily ou tsco red the American's total of 426. Team Suzuki Endurance (Suz) won the WERA N ational Endurance Seri es r ound a t Summ it Point Ra ce w ay in Summit Point, West Virginia, on Ma y 25, to p pi ng Team Archlight Ra cing (Suz) by two lap s in the four-hour race. TKO Rayce Team Suzuki Too (Suz ) finished third, three laps behind. The disqualification of Jeff Emig from th e Ind ianapolis round of th e AMA Supercross Seri es on March 30 wa s upheld by a thr ee-m ember appeal board on Ma y 17. The disqualifica tion - for using ou t-of-sp ecification fuel in his factory Kawa saki - had been appealed by Emi g . A MA MX Mana g er Warren "Duke" Fin ch serve d as a non-voting chair man of th e a p pea l hearing; Jim Brown, chi ef MX technical ins p ecto r, p r es ent ed th e case o n b ehalf of th e AMA; and Roy Turner, manager of professio nal racing of.Kawasaki Motor Corporation, presented the case on behalf of Emig. Laboratory analysis of fuel sampl es tak en from Em ig's bike s ho w ed higher-than-allowed oxygen content, and AMA Pro Racing places limits on fu el for m u latio n based on cost, safety and parity. The appeal board found that the testing procedure used by the AMA con tracted laboratory w as co rrec t and accurate, and the d isquali fication wa s upheld . The 1996 AMA Su pe rcr o s s Seri es stand in gs are now officia l. With .Emig's Ind ianapolis points taken away, he had dropped from seco nd to third in the stand ings. By season's end, however, Emig was back to secon d despite the loss of points. Tea m Kawasaki sho u ld be back to full strength for the second half of the AMA 125/250cc Na tiona l Cham pio ns hip MX Series, as team rid ers Ryan Hughes and Damon Huffman co n tinue to recover fr o m in juries sus tai ned in the AMA Su percross Se r ies . Acco rding to Ka w asaki team manager Roy Tu rner, Hughes, who brok e his jaw at the Charlott e SX, April 20, is expected to return t o ac tio n at the Budd s C re e k 250cc National in Maryland on Ju ne 16. Hti ffman, who injured his knee at the April 6 Tampa Supercross, is ho ping to start his comeback at the Unad illa 125cc Na tional in New York, Jul y 21. Huffma n underwent orthosco pic surgery on May 17 w hich revealed a partial tear of the anterio r cruciate ligamen t (ACL) fro m its at tachment point on the femur. An ar ea of the bone was scr aped to sti m u la te ' ACL growth and reatt achment; no ACL repa ir was necessary. Dirt tracker Nathan Wait got the opportu n it y to rub elbo w s wi th so me of NASCAR's elite during the recent Winston Select at Ch arl otte Motor Speed way in Ch arlotte, North Caro lina . Th e 16yea r-old Californian met Richard Petty, . .Kyle Petty and Coors Ligh t Racing team owner Felix Sabates and was also invited to view the race from atop the Fami ly Ch ann el tru ck . "It w as pretty cool," Wait said . "I got to meet a lot of people from the car side." Alwa y s o n the lo okout fo r ways o f improving the safety of d irt track racing, Steve Morehead told Cycle New s tha t he re centl y placed a ca ll to Au strali a to look into the cost of obtaining Air-Fen ce, which would replace the tradtion al hay bales that currently line all tracks to protect a rider from hitting the wa ll. "A 5foot -hi gh, 11-foot-long sec tio n se lls for $1750," Morehead sai d. "We' d probably have to spend $25,000 a corner for the mil e, but if we could ge t a sponsor to stick his nam e on it and haul it to the races ... it would also be something else that yo u can sell a sponsor, too. You can come in and set the stuff up with those gas-powered leaf blowers, and it's good for impact at speeds up to 110 mph ." Sp eaking of Steve Morehead, th e 40year-old veteran hint ed that it wi ll not be lon g befo re he d ebuts a rad ically new single-shock cha ssis on one of his F&S Harl ey-Davidsons. "It's go ing to have the piv ot points in a different locati on ," Morehead said. "We 're gonna set it up so that the entire motorcycle moves up and down at once." Morehead, a longtime twin -shock hold out, was va gue abo ut the particulars of the new cha ssis and wh en it might debut beca use it has not yet been properly tested. But sing leshoc k chassis development is clea rly a h ot topic in dirt track ra cin g as evidenced by the ongoing R&D of the C&J and Tolbert/Chris Kopp designs as well as the Joe Houpt-built Buell-styl e chassis on rooki e J.R. Schnabel's Suburban Motors Harley-Davidson miler. Road racer .M all Wait was es pecially disappointed with the bad w eather a t the Springfield Mil e. A break in th e AM A N ational road racing sche d ul e Crevier injured in watercraft accident ┬ĚS mokin ' Joe's Honda's Steve Crevier (right) suffered int ernal injuries in a personal watercraft accid ent in Vancouver, British Columbia, on Ma y 24, forcing him to miss at least the next three AMA Superbike National Championship rounds. Cr evier, who currently lies fourth in the AMA Su perbike Na tiona l Championship and th e 600cc Su persport Cham pions hip , was s truck by ano ther personal water craft whil e he was repairing his own craft in sha llow wa ter. The Pitt Mead ows, Briti sh Co lu mb ia, nat ive suffere d a ruptured sp lee n and multiple bru ises and underwent su rgery on May 24 to repair his sp leen. Cr evier is expected to be hospitalized through May 29 and recovery time is appro ximat ely six weeks , accord ing to his doctor s. "We are very fortunate it isn't any worse," team owner Martin Ad a ms sai d . "Steve was w earing bas ic motocross protectiv e gea r, and that essentially saved his life." The Smo kin' Joe' s Honda team will field only Miguel DuHam el at Mid-Ohio on Jun e 1-2, but is looking at op tions of fielding both bikes at Road America on June 8-9 and Loudon on June 15-16. . "There's really not an yon e out ther e wh o can rid e as well as Stev e," Ad ams said. "If we d o put a nybody o n h is b ik e , it w ill be s o meo ne who ca n su p por t Migu e l (Du Ha mel) and take points away from the Kawasaki team . We ar e not soliciting appli cations, but we have explored some options. If we decide to put someone on the bike, we will hav e an announceme nt. It's entirel y possible that we will put all our resources behind Miguel until Steve returns." DuHamel is currently 16 points behind Mu zzy Kawasak i's Dou g Chandler in the 1996 AMA Superbike National Championship point standings. allowed the Modesto Harley-Davidsonbacked rid er to attend what will be on e of the few Grand National even ts he'll mak e in ' 96. "I hate it when th is happens," Wait said . "This is is one of my favorite tracks, and I always see m to do well here - here and at Du Quoin. I was reall y looking forward to it because I . want to mak e a Grand National (ma in e ve n t) this yea r . Former Camel Pro Series regular and current Oh1ins World Superbike technician Jon Cornwell was also on hand and ready to race. AMA Pro Ra cing President Tom Mueller addressed the Grand National Owners Asso ciation at Springfield on the night before the washed-out Springfield Mil e in ord er to report on AMA Pro Racin g' s continual search for a series spo nsor. "We've seen some good grow th," Mueller told the owners. "But we' re ma xed out w ith ou t a n outside sponsor." Mu eller d id say that he was op timistic abo ut a few cu rren t possibilities and attem pted to reassure the owners tha t landing one was a high priority. "Fro m a fina ncia l stand poi nt , road racin g a nd d irt track are where w e a re d irecting most of our efforts," Mu eller sa id . "Becau se that' s wher e AMA Pro Ra cing is cu rre n tly posting $100,000 points funds." To that end, Mu eller also announced that th e chores at the top post of AMA Pro Racing are now going to be sp lit. Mu eller will d irect his attention solely on marketing while Merrill Vanderslice will now be in ch arge of da y-to-day opera tions, ESAB Welding & Cutting Products had planned to award an AMA "Mechanic on the Mile" at Springfield, with th e wi nner receiving a custom jacket.Due to the rainout, the presentation will be made at the Du Quoin Mile. ESAB is a primary s pons or of the WWP Racing Team which fi elds Kentucky rider Tommy Hayden. A 600cc support race has been ad ded to the sched ule of the Dallas Half Mile at De vil' s Bow l Speedway in Mesqu it e, Texas, on Ma y 15. Riders will be competing for a mirtimum $4000 purse. For more information contact Devil's Bowl Speedway, 214/222-2421. AMA Pro Racing has sent out a bulleti n to all licensed dirt track, clari fying the new switching rule regarding the use of a backup mot orcycl e at an eve nt. Th e bulletin, which repla ces the bulletin sent out on March 20, s ta tes that "o nce a motorcycle has been checked by th e technical inspector in the staging area, the motorcycle is locked into the race for which it is stagin g for . Any chan ge in equipment at any other time will requ ire starting on the penalty line for the next rac e." In other words, if a rid er breaks or cra sh es in a qu alifyin g heat race, he may sw itc h to hi s b ackup machiner y and start from the penalty line for th e semi. If he cras hes or br eaks in his semi or the Gr and National main event, the motorcycle he rod e mu st be repaired. Dirt track racer Kenny Coolbeth was ackn ow ledged on the May 15 "Salute to the Am eri can Autom otive Perform ance and Motor sports Industry," held at the Smiths on ian N ational Mus eum in Washington , DC. Coolbeth was on hand to represent AMA Pro Racing and was joined by other motorsports notabl es, includ ing Mario and John Andretti an d drag racer She lly Anderson. Coolb eth received his award from Congressman Dick Chrysler, a founding member and co-chair of the newly-formed Congressional motorsports caucus. Cary Agajanian, chairman of the board for AMA Pro Racing , was also hon ored at the Smithsonian National Mu seum on May 15, earning a lifetime contribution award . Twenty-five years ago, Cary' s father, J.e. Agajanian, hosted a similar event in Washington, DC, and attracted the attention o f Pre sid ent Rich ard Nixon. e.A. "Mac" McConney, 99, died in

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