Cycle News - Archive Issues - 1990's

Cycle News 1996 11 06

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~IND' .' '1 Rodney Smith (Suz) won the final round of the AMA Grand National Cross Country Series in Crawfordsville, Indiana, October .26. Scott Summers (Hon), who had already clinched the title last month, finished second. Third place went to Duane Conner (yam), followed by Scott Plessinger (KTM) and Jason Dahners (KTM). The following day, Smith competed in the final round of the AMA National Enduro Series in Delaware City, Delaware, and finished second. Greg Zitterkopf (Kaw) capped off his championship season by winning the final AMA National Hare & Hound race of the year in Lucerne Valley, California, October 27. Dave Ondas (Kaw) finished second, followed by Jeff Capt (Hon) and Destry Abbott (KTM). Steve Hengeveld (Kaw) ended up fifth over· all. Dave Schultz (Suz) pulled off an upset of sorts as he stole the NHRA/Winston Championship in the Pro Stock Bike category away from John Myers (Suz) during the NHRA Winston Select Finals at the POII).ona Fairplex in Pomona, California, October. 27. Myers needed only to win the first round of eliminations to secure the championship, but he suffered a mechanical failure during his run against Stephanie Reaves. It was then up to Schultz, who had to make it to the semifinal round to earn the title. He did just that, grabbing the crown by defeating Larry Cook, 7.37/182.03 mph to Cook's losing 7.51/176.57 mph in round two. Schultz advanced all the' way to the final round but broke down and lost to John Smith, who recorded a 7.42/180.03 mph for the event win. Vance & Hines Racing's Matt Hines set a new national record for elapsed time with a 7.34-second blast during a Saturday qualifying session but went out in the semifinals Sl\nday. "One guy sets the record, one guy wins the championship and one guy wins the race," Schultz said afterward. "If that isn't parity, then I don't know what is." Road racer Scott Zampach, who was injured in the NASB Formula USA round at New Hampshire International Speedway October 6, was transferred from Dartmouth Medical Center in New Hampshire to Froedtert Lutheran Hospital in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, October 25, where he will continue treatment for his injuries. Zampach has shown great improvement since the accident that left him with head as well as spinal injuries. Zampach's wife Dinah has put out a plea to his friends, fans and well-wishers to please not call or visit him at the hospital. "He's just too delicate right now to have any visitors," she explained. "Even the phone calls can disturb him and there have been so many calls that sometimes it just gets to be too much. I promise to do everything I can to keep people informed of Scott's progress. Pat Murphy has promised to send out information on a regular basis." Cards and letters can be sent to Zampach at the \0 hospital: Scott Zampach, Froedtert ~ Lutheran Hospital, 9200 W. Wisconsin ...... Ave., Milwaukee, WI 53226. The motorcycle community has reacted strongly to the Zampach family's finan~ cia! woes. A benefit auction was held s:; recently at Daytona Int~rnational SpeedCIJ way with over $16,000 being raised from ~ fellow racers. Gary Gallagher, a representative for EBC Brakes, which has Z sponsored Zampach for most of his career, organized the auction and said over 20 individuals and companies ""' 2 made donations. "Everybody in racing likes Scott and is praying for him," Gallagher said. "Substantial donations were also collected at the WERA Finals at Road Atlanta." Individuals wishing to make contributions can do so by sending checks to The Scott Zampach Family Trust, c/o M&I First National Bank, 321 North Main Street, West Bend, WI 53095, attn: Chris Ohm. Four-time AMA Supercross and twotime 250cc National MX Champion Jeremy McGrath will be looking for a new tuner for the 1997 season. Skip Norfolk announced that he is quitting his position as McGrath's mechanic so he can spend less time on the road and more time with his family in California. He also said he leaves Team Honda on good terms. "My wife Kristy gave birth to our son, Tanner Hutchins Norfolk, on August 23, 1996," Norfolk said in a letter he recently sent to Cycle Ne:ws. "The miracle of childbirth has changed my life. The excitement and happiness of the first 250cc Supercross win in January 1993 and the championships that followed pales in comparison to the feelings I now realize. I cannot explain it the joy, excitement, pride and love for my family is simply overwhelming. After many weeks of thought, I have decided to leave the motorcycle industry. I believe as parents we have a responsibility to raise our children to our best ability. My impending career change will allow Kristy and I to spend more time at home together raising our son. I have accepted a motorsports marketing position at No Fear. Not only will I be able to continue my association with American Honda and the motorcycle racing community, but I will also have the opportunity to work with athletes in CART, NASCAR, NHRA and others. I cannot thank American Honda and their associates enough for the opportunities and support that have been provided to me over the past six years. Most of all, I would like to thank Jeremy McGrath, not for the many wins, but for the friendship we share. I wish Jeremy, Steve (Lamson) and Scott (Sheak) and American Honda the best of luck for the future." Works bikes to return to the AMA National Championship 250cc Motocross Series? Yes, it's very possible. Rumors have it that Doug Henry, who recently re-signed' with Team Yamaha, will compete in the 1997 250cc National MX Series aboard a prototype, fourstroke Yamaha. This brings to question the production rule that was implemented back in the mid-'80s that basically bans factory, one-off, works bikes, such as the one Henry will be riding next year - if, in fact, he does ride a four~ stroke - from competing in the Nation· also According to AMA's MX Manager Duke Finch, the AMA is considering the idea of letting each manufacturer have a one-year moratorium on the homologation rule. "We've been asked by the manufacturers to let them test prototype (four-strokes) in the Nationals, and we are considering this," said Finch. "We feel this would help four-strokes get started, and it looks like we'll start letting them do this next year." Currently, production-based four-strokes up to 550cc are allowed to compete in the 250cc class. Mike Brown, who rode for Honda of Troy in 1996, has reportedly signed a contract with Michele Rinaldi's ChesterfieldfYamaha team to ride a YZ250 in the 1997 FIM 250cc World Championship Series. This comes as a surprise Hawkins claims sixth title T eam Suzuki's Randy Hawkins (right) wrapped up his sixth AMA National Championship Enduro title at the series finale in Delaware City, Delaware, October 27. Hawkins and defending champ Ty Davis of Team Green Kawasaki went into the event nearly tied for the series lead - basically a win by either one would secure the championship for that rider. Hawkins, h"wever, suffered mechanical problems early in the event, ending any chance he had of winning. At that point, and taking each rider's throwaway rounds into account, all Davis had to do was finish second or better and the title would be his for the second year in a row. Unfortunately for him, Hawkins' teammates, Steve Hatch and Rodney Smith, prevented that from happening. Hatch easily won the event with Smith finishing second. Third place, one spot out of the title, went to Davis. Kawasaki rider Jeff Kirchner finished fourth, while KTM's Alan Randt rounded out the top five. The series officially ends with Hawkins on top of the charts with 184 points and Davis in second with 182. Both Hawkins and Davis won four events throughout the course of the 10-round series. Finishing third in the series with 146 points is KTM's Mike Lafferty, followed by CRE's Kevin'Hines and Hatch. because it was thought that Brown would be riding for Manchester Honda in the AMA Supercross and Motocro~s series. Brian Swink, also a Honda of Troy rider in 1996, has signed to ride the AMA 250cc Supercross and AMA National Motocross Championship for Team Moto XXX (video)/SMP. Brian Deegan, formerly of Team Chapar~al, will also ride for the team in the AMA 125cc West Supercross and 125cc National MX Series. Kenny Watson, Scott Sheak's former mechanic, will manage the team that is also sponsored by the rock bands NoFX and Strung Out. Speaking of 1997 supercross and MX teams, here's a list on how things stand as of now: Team Honda/l-800-Collect Jeremy McGrath, Steve Lamson and Scott Sheak (l25cc East); Team Suzuki Greg Albertyn, Mike LaRocco, Mickael Pichon and Tim Ferry (125cc East); Team Kawasaki - Jeff Emig, Damon Huffman and Ryan Hughes; Team Yamaha - Doug Henry, Ezra Lu~k, Kevin Windham (l25cc West) and John Dowd (l25cc East); Team Kawasaki/Pro Circuit - Ricky Carmichael (l25cc East), David Pingree (125cc East), Casey Johnson (125cc West) and Craig Decker (125cc West); Team Yamaha ChaparralPhil Lawrence, Jimmy Button, Larry Brooks, Chad Pederson (125cc East), Michael Brandes (125cc West) and David Vuilemin (125cc West); Team Honda of Troy - Mike Kiedrowski, Larry Ward, Mike Craig, Stephane Roncada (l25cc East) and Casey Lytle (l25cc West); Team HondalPrimal Impulse Robbie Reynard (125cc East) and Nathan Ramsey (125cc East); Team Moto XXX - Brian Swink, Brian Deegan (125cc East); F&S SuzukUKawasaki Mike Metzger, Shaun Perolio, Jeff Heden, Kevin l;rine and Cliff Palmer. And what about Damon Bradshaw? As of yet, no team has picked up the former factory Yamaha rider, though a few teams in Europe have expressed interest in him. Former Great· Western Bank 1Kawasaki riders Buddy Antunez and Denny Stephenson will focus their attention on the 1997 AMA PJl National Arenacross Series, which gets under way in Des Moines, Iowa, November 1-3. Antunez and Stephenson will compete aboar.d Primul Impulse-backed Hondas. Dirt track silly season is already upon , us, as well. Rich King has re-signed with Craig Rogers and the R&R Racing Team, which has in tum struck a deal to join Team Corbin for the 1997 AMA Grand National Championship season. King will remain on a Honda RS750, which will be'tuned by Sam Wessely. Chance Darling will again be a Team Corbin rider, competing aboard the same Jerry Griffithrrim Torrecillasbuilt Hondas that he campaigned in '%. Lonnie Pauley will step up to a fulltime 750cc ride on the team, contesting both a Harley-Davidson XR750 and his Wood-Rotax, both of which will be prepared by Billy Fagundes and John Byers. R&R number-two rider Gary Rogers has been secured as well. Rogers will compete aboard a Harley-Davidson XR750 and make a run for the AMA 883cc National Championship either in Team Corbin or Supertrapp livery. The AMA has announced that it has signed a multi-year agreement with New Hampshire International Speedway in Loudon, New Hampshire, that creates an Amateur National Championship road race event scheduled to debut September 26-28,1997, at the New England facility. The AMA Road Racing Grand Championsltip will bring riders together from organizations and clubs throughout the country to recog. nize the best amateur competitors, according to the AMA, Winners will be awarded AMA National Championship titles. No special licenses will be needed to compete, as licenses from all amateur road racing organizations and clubs will be honored. AMA membership, however, will be required. "WERA, CCS and various other organizations currently provide good service to the motorcycle road racing community," AMA President Ed Youngblood said, "And we have taken pains to create an event that will complement rather than compete with existing programs. Rules and classes for the AMA Road Racing Grand Championship will be developed in a compatible manner with the nation's leading road racing organizations." For more information, call Hugh Fleming at 614/891-2425. According to the AMA, a total of 1,425,075 spectators attended AMA Pro Racing events in 1996. Topping the list of AMA Pro attractions was the AMA Supercross Series, which drew a total of 635,626 spectators in the 15-race series,

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