Cycle News - Archive Issues - 1990's

Cycle News 1996 09 11

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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I· IN THE WIND ·1 Edmondson wraps up World Enduro title ngland's Paul Edmondson of the factory Gas Gas team won his first World 250cc Enduro Championship with a consistent 3-4 result at the last round of the World Championship Enduro Series in Burg, Germany, August 31-September 1. Defending Champion Giovanni Sala of Team K1M could not overhaul the advantage Edmonson had claimed from the previous round in Slovakia. "I wanted to win both days, but it was nof to be," said Sala, who recently recorded the overall individual win at the International Six Days Enduro in Finland; Edmonson finished second. "This is one of the worst moments in my career. To lose this championship is not easy." Sala claimed 2-2 results in Germany, while France's Eric Bernard, on a KTM, sCored the overall win with 1-1 results. Edmonson was ecstatic after wrapping up the prestigious 250cc title. :'Considering the bike I rode is only in its second year of competition, you could say this is the best championship I have won, to beat Sala, who has been unbeatable, is just the icing on the cake," said the former three-time 12Scc World Enduro Champion. With the World Enduro Championship Series out of the way all Edmonson's efforts will now go into the British Championships. A win there would give him three'titles for the season. "Sure, to claim the British championship again would be great, but it's going to take a while for this thing (winning the World title) to get out of my head," said Edmondson. Swede Anders Eriksson, of the Husqvarna team, claimed his second 400cc FourStroke World Championship after successfully defending his title with a very tight 209 points to 208 points win over former champion, Italian Mario Rinaldi, of team K1M. In third place came Christian Boulet, a K1M rider, with 156 points. Another Swedish rider, Peter Jansson on a Husaberg, won the Four-Stroke 500cc Championship after 1995 Champion, Finland's Kari Tiainen, on a Husqvarna, finished with a 4-1 in Germany. Jansson went 1-2 in Germany and won the title with a 181-165 point difference. Third place went to German Dirk Van Zitzerwitz, on a K1M, with 159 points. The 125cc Championship was won by Italian Honda rider Fausto Scovolo with a 195-point tally, while 1M-mounted Roman Michalik ended up second with 182 points. Giorgio Grasso, on a Honda, made it an Italy trifecta, finishing in third place with 162 points. Geoff Meyer E Billy Hamill (GM) still has a chance at winning the 1996 World Speedway Championship after his third-place performance at the British Grand Prix in London on August 31. Australia's Jason Crump (Jaw) won the event while reigning champion and current series points leader Hans Nielsen (Jaw) was second. Greg Hancock (GM) was fourth. Hamill now trails Nielsen by nine points, 97-88, with one round remaining. Lance Smail (KTM) became the first AMA Four-Stroke National Motocross Champion after wrapping up the inaugural series title in Grand Junction, Colorado, September 1. In the series finale, Smail won both motos, with Gordon Ward (CCM) finishing second overall after going 3-2. Third on the day went to Scott Myers (ATK) with a 5-3, fourth went to Kip Sandell (CCM) with a 6-4, and Mike Young (Hbg) rounded out the top five with a 2-10. ~ Josh Mclevy (Hon) scored the overall \0 win at the NETRA Hoot Owl Hare 0\ Scrambles in West Glocester, Rhode 0\ "'""" Island, September 1. P.J. Peculis (Yam) finished third, folLowed by Hans Neff (KTM), Patrick Timothy (Hon) and Arthur Menzel (Kaw). 2 The AMA brought together members of the motorcycle press and industry leaders on August 28 to explain anticipated changes resulting from entactrnent of a new federal health-reform act. The conference, held in Long Beach, California, was designed to provide the motorcycle community with more information about the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, which prohibits employers from withholding or restricting health-care benefits for employees who ride motorcycl~. "The increasing trend among some employers . to deny health-care benefits to employees who ride motorcycles has come to an end as of August 21 with President Clinton's signature on the bill," said AMA Washington representative Rob Dingman. "I am happy to report that this reform measure, which is aimed at prOViding access, portability and renewability of health insurance for all . Americans, will also prohibit group health-plan administrators from establishing rules of eligibility based on any number of arbitrary health-status related factors. This will ensure, among other things, that individuals are not excluded from health-care coverage due to their participation in activities such as motorcycling, skiing, horseback riding and similar activities." At the same press conference, AMA President Ed Youngblood announced a new program to help end. discrimination against motorcyclists in employer-related health insurance. The program, called the AMA Fair Coverage Project, will offer assistance in bringing employers into compliance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996. Youngblood detailed the AMA's long history of dealing with companies and organizations that have elected to exclude motorcyclists from their health plans. He noted that. the rising incidence of this form of discrimination led the AMA'S Board of Trustees to establish a $100,000 fund specifically to combat this problem. With passage of the new federal law, however, Youngblood said that this effort has now moved into a new phase. Through the Fair Coverage Project, the AMA is offering to assist employers in developing group health plans that will satisfy federal law, provide coverage to motorcycling employees and satisfy the comEany's fiscal needs as well. Youngblood showed a copy of an AMA advertisement in the' August 28 issue off the Wall Street Journal promoting the new employer outreach program, while saying: "In the past, we have encountered numerous situations where companies had excluded motorcyclists from their employee group health plans. We worked hard to demonstrate to these companies that policies of this sort were blatantly unfair and could not be justi' fied by actuarial analysis. However, we were limited in our ability to confront these discriminatory policies. With the enactment of the health-insurance reform act, the playing field has shifted. Now, it is not only unfair and unreasonable for a company to deny healthinsurance ·coverage to a motorcycling employee, it is also illegal... As the headline states, There are options, and we're here to heLp." Employers interested in getting more information about the AMA program can write to: AMA Fair Coverage Project, 33 Collegeview Road, Westerville, OH 43081-1484, or they can call 614/891-2425. Texan Colin Edwards II underwent surgery in San Francisco on Monday, August 26 to repair the left collarbone he broke in a quaJifying crash in Sugo, Japan, August 25. Dr. Arthur Ting used seven screws and a plate to repair the collarbone, which was broken in four pLaces. Edwards was scheduled to travel to his home in Texas on September 29, but will miss the next round of the series in Holland on September 8. Ting said that Edwards may be healthy enough to take part in the Yamaha tests in Albacete, Spain, on September 26-27. Although he's not riding as a replacement for Edwards, Dutchman Jeffry De Vries wiJI race a factory Yamaha YZF750 in the Dutch round of the World Superbike Championship in Assen, September 8. The 32-year-old has won two Thunderbike races this year, at Assen and the Nurburgring. De Vries was able to test the- bike, though the session was interrupted by rain. "We only managed to get in IS laps because of the weather, .but I don't think it will be a big problem," De Vries said. "We will have four hours of practice before the racing starts and that should be enough. Remember, I don't have to Learn the circuit. The bike feels completely different - it has so much more power than last year's version. I am really happy with it, the chassis is very stable this year whereas last year it was quite nervous. Although the top speed has remained much the same, I am surprised it has so much more power." John D. McMahon, 48, died on Monday, August 26 in Stockton, California after a bout with cancer. McMahon, an attorney who held an AMA Pro road racing license (which he obtained when he was 45), teamed with Scott Gray and Ricky Graham in a few selected events in 1994, finishing 10th in the AMA SuperTeams Championship. McMahon won the WSMC Formula 40 Championship at Willow Springs Raceway and sponsored Gray to a podium finish in the 1993 AMA Superbike National at Sears Point Raceway. American Suzuki Motor Corporation has announced a 1997 contingency program for its RM motocross bikes, with postings of $3.6 million. The Suzuki RM Cup Challenge will continue for a third straight year and the Suzuki Good Scholar Program will also return for the upcoming racing season, according to Suzuki. Suzuki also will continue to offer a free Tony D. Motocross School, for any customer who purchases a new 1997RM. Team Obsolete Promotions is looking for volunteers to help with track setup, c<,>rner-working, scoring, crashed bike . recovery and cleanup for the vintage road race scheduled for Del Mar, California, October ,,0-11. Enthusiasts with free time between~ober8-12 can call Paul or Geoff at G.P. Cycles at 619/233-4762 or 619/233-5006 (fax). All volunteers will receive aT-shirt, meals and passes. The vintage road race will be held on the 1MSA track at the Del Mar Fairgrounds,. though Don Vesco, Don Emde and George Menzie have made improvements to the layout to make it more user friendly and safer for motorcycles. Two buildings have been torn down to improve the infield layout and several areas are being repaved. The circuit will feature 12 turns, once chican and a long straightaway, according to Vesco. Comer workers are also needed for the upcoming Fall Cycle Scene races at Daytona International Speedway, Octeber 16-20. Lunch and water win be provided and volunteers may also qualify to work during the 1997 Daytona 200 By Arai. For more information, call Egor Emery at 352/357-7104. The Middle Atlantic Motocross Associa tion reports that $2600 was raised t benefit the Donny Schmit Memoria Fund during the Donny Schmit Memor ial Fund Day, which was held at Budd Creek Motocross Park on July 20 an featured some 300 racers. The Riders Association of Triump (RAT) was officially launched on Sep tember 1, designed for owners of th British-built motorcycles. The new clu will begin operating simultaneously i the United States, England, France an Germany with members provided wi exclusive events, discounts, specia offers and club-only merchandise. Fo more information, call Triumph Moto cycles America at 770/631-9500 or fa them at 770/631-6401. According to a press release fro OBETC A/S of Denmark, the manufa turer of SBS disc brakes, brake shoe etc., FTM Enterprises Inc. is no longe "our master representative of our pro uct in the U.S. market as of October 1996... the new master representative f SBS in the U.S. market will becom again Parts Unlimited. However, so of the current SBS distributors for SB Harley-Davidson pad range only, wi maintain their current position importer / distributor."

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