Cycle News - Archive Issues - 1990's

Cycle News 1996 12 04

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" INTH.E WIND Mike Jones (Kaw) picked up the majority of main-event victories during rounds seven and eight of the PJ1 National Arenacross Series by MSR/ Answer at the Shelby Farms Arena in Memphis, Tennessee, November 22-23. Jones picked !IP Friday's 125cc feature win over Chad Pederson (Yam) and Buddy Antunez (Hon) before finishing second to Pederson and ahead of Antunez in the 250cc main. Antunez then won the 125cc main event Saturday, finishing ahead of Pederson and then Jones, who turned the tables in the 250cc main by scoring the win ahead of Pederson and Antunez. Marc Colomer (Mon) rode to a convincing win in the opening round of the first-ever World Indoor Trials Championship, in Turin, Italy, November 24. The Spanish World outdoor champ progressed through the eight-man heat and four-man semi to hold off world number two Doug Lampkin (Bet) in the head-to-head final to score a maximum 20 poirits from a determined Lampkin, who' forced Colomer to clean all the sections in the final to take the win. Team Suzuki's Greg Albertyn passed Honda-mounted E>amon Bradshaw on the last lap to win the Tokyo Supercross in Japan, November 23. Bradshaw held on to finish second, while Kawasaki's Jeff Emig finished third. AMA Supercross Champion Jeremy McGrath elected not to ride after injuring himself in a crash prior to the event. McGrath reportedly took a hit to the face that required stitches. Spea'king of injuries, Honda of Troy's Larry Ward reportedly broke his leg while practicing at Honda's test track in California. Newly crowned World Superb ike Champion Troy Corser was scheduled to meet with Yamaha executives the week of November 18 to finalize details' of his entry into the 1997 500cc World Championship, according to Cycle News contributor Darryl Flack. Speaking at his civic reception in his home city of Wollongong, Australia, November 16, Corser said: "Racing 500s has been my dream, and I'd like to get it tied up as soon as possible. I'm flying out to Japan to try and sort it out with Yamaha so we'll be prepared for 1997." Over 5,000 people a ttended the reception, an honor similar to tha t bestowed on 1987 500cc World Champion Wayne Gardner, another Wollongong native. '1t's a great honor to be acknowledged by the people of Wollongong," Corser said. '1t has been the culmination of a lot of hard work. I have had an incredible amount of support, especially while I've been overseas for the past three years. It is always a great feeling when I come home and to be here as World Champion is something special." A Lucky' Strike Suzuki insider has refuted claims that Daryl Beattie will not ride in next year's 500cc World Championship. Rumors in Australia have Beattie sitting out the 1997 season because of ~ his ongoing injury woes, with Peter 0\ Goddard taking his place alongside '""' Anthony Gobert on the Suzuki ",,' RGv500s. "Daryl's still getting over the I-< floating bone in his broken arm and the Q) perforated eardrum he's had operated on," the source told Cycle News contribQ) utor Darryl Flack. "His personal trainer u from the u.K. is due out on December 1 Q) and he is -scheduled to start his fitness Cl program with Anthony Gobert on the Gold Coast. The team is scheduled to test the 1997 RGv500 at Eastern Creek S 2 on January 14 and, as far as I know, Daryl will be there." Goddard has refused to comment on his racing plans for the 1997 season, but he filled in for Beattie in the Australian GP where he finished ] Oth and he later finished fifth in The Big Road Race in Sugo, Japan, as Beattie's replacement. Australian Anthony Gobert aggravated his broken right collarbone when he crashed a Suzuki RGv500 while testing in Sugo, Japan, November 7. The 21year-old completed just 15 laps before crashing the bike, but he still managed to better the best time set by Peter Goddard on the same bike during The Big Road Race at the same venue. "I was trying to prove a point, I suppose, and went a bit too far," Gobert said. Commenting on his flamboyant style on and off the track, Gobert said: "500 racing needs a bit of excitement and I'm the man to do it." Former-500cc World Champion Kevin Schwaniz was lucky to escape injury after he was involved in a ISO-mph crash in Australia, November ]7. Schwantz was competing in the Australian NASCAR Championship round at the Calder Park Thunderdome when another car spun in his.path. Schwantz's Chevrolet T-boned Terry Wyhoon's car on the banking and, although the Texan's Chevy suffered heavy damage, he walked away from the incident uninjured. Another former World Champion, Wayne Gardner, was less fortunate' when he was knocked unconscious from a 5-G impact after crashing his CocaCola-backed Holden Commodore in' New Zealand, November 17. Hong Leong Industries Berhad has. purchased MuZ GmbH - MuZ Motorcycles - according to a press release from American Jawa Ltd., the U.s. distributors of MuZ motorcycles. The new MuZ company will consist of two divisions: an engineering division, funded by $18 million and dedicated to the design and development of new MuZ products from 50cc scooters to 1000cc motorcycles; and a production and marketing division. The MuZ factory in Germany will be completely updated, according to the release. Hong Leong is a $30 million international company with motorcycle production plants in the Far East. Hong Leong's American assets include the Trump Tower in Manhattan and the McQuay air conditioning company. The AMA has announced that Elf Lubricants North America Inc. will be the title sponsor of the ] 997 AMA 250cc Grand Prix Series. The Elf 250cc Grand Prix Series will run in conjunction with the AMA Superbike National Championship, which will begin on February ]4-]6 in Phoenix, Arizona. Elf will put up $10,000 in a championship point fund which will be distributed among the top 10 riders in the final championship point standings. "We are excited to have Elf as a new sponsor of AMA racing," said Merrill Vanderslice, director of competition for the AMA. "Elf has always been very visible in motorsports and, through its involvement in AMA Pro Racing, we're confident that they will substantially increase brand recognition among motorcycle consumers." For the fourth year in a row, the HarleyDavidson of Glendale (California) Love Ride raised over $1 million for the Muscular Dystrophy Association. Over 20,000 riders participated November 10 with grand marshal Jay Leno leading the 50-mile caravan from the dealership Russell tests YZF750 ormer World Superbike Champion Scott Russell (above) made his return to World Superbikes at Misano in Italy in his first test with the Yamaha World Superbike team. ' The Georgian had his first ride on the YZF750 Thursday, November 21, using Colin Edwards II's 1996 bike. Russell spent the morning getting comfortable with the bike and adjusting the riding position to his liking. In the afternoon he began pushing hard and in the end set a best time of1:36.90, despite the fact that the damp and dirty track was not in the best condition. For comparison's sake, Edwards set a 1:34.728 during official qualifying at last April's World Superbike round, while Wataru Yoshikawa turned a 1:35.211. The lap recordof ]:34.296 at Misano Adriatico belongs to John Kocinski. ''It was only one day, but already I feel very positive about the year ahead," Russell said Friday after testing was canceled due to rain. 'Tm amazed how quick the bike handles and the top speed is pretty good as well. The track. was a bit dusty in places, so I took things steadily, but I know I could have improved my lap times if it had been dry today. . "The bike was set .up for Colin Edwards, so we had to make some changes and move the handlebars and footpegs around. But I reckon the bike's basic setup is good, so all I'm trying to do is make it more comfortable for me. Of course, I would have liked to have lapped quicker, but I wanted to get used to the bike first. Once that happens, just watch the lap times fall." The only alteration to the YZF from its '96 race specification were the brakes. Yamaha, which until now has used Nissin calipers, asked Brembo to carry out a comparative test. Unfortunately, this test only lasted a dozen or so laps because the second day of testing Friday was called off due to rain. The next tests have been scheduled for Indonesia on January 29, when Russell and Edwards will try the '97 version of the YZF for the first time. The bad weather also prevented the team from trying ~e numerous tires brought to the test by Dunlop. Engineer Mark Sears wanted to give Russell (who used the AngloJapanese'tires on the Kawasaki) a chance to try the latest developments. Those tests should take place in Indonesia. Fiorenzo Fanali, in charge of technical direction, had a good impression of the first day of work for Yamaha's new rider, as did Silvano Glabusera, who will be his chief mechanic. - "I was very surprised," Fanali said. "I have never worked with Scott before, but was impressed with the very accurate and precise feedback ┬Ěhe was giving after every four or five laps. We've made good progress in just one day. He made many of the same comments as Colin and he seems to like a very similar setup, which means we shall be working in the same direction. I couldn't be happier." Davide Brivio, Yamaha's team manager, was also the epitome of happiness. Aside from the return of Carl Fogarty to Ducati, the most important acquisition in the rider market (at least for now) bears his signature. Russell hasn't come back to race for peanuts, however;as he is said to be earning about $600,000 for the year. "We wanted a World Championship rider and we think we've got him;' Brivio said. "Russell is also a good friend of Edwards. The two Americans have a mutual respect and I don't think there'll be any problElms between them. We count a lot on harmony in our team. Wataru Yoshikawa, who didn't have a bad debut season in the series, will probably be going back to the Japanese Championship because running three riders is too difficult and would take away some of the energy from the team." Yamaha's racing program, which will see the debut of the new lineup at the Bologna Motor Show on December 5, is an ambitious one. The first aim will be victory in the Daytona 200, which Russell has already won three times before on a Kawasaki, the last time in ]995. Then, halfway through the World Superbike Championship, on July 27, there is the prestigious Suzuka 8-Hour, which Edwards won last year. At Misano, Russell ran with a completely white bike instead of the traditional blackwhite-red machine, which was also available. Does this mean that a big sponsor is on the way? Paolo Gozzi F to a barbecue, trade show and concert with Crosby, Stills & Nash at Castaic Lake. .Pro-Circuit will have a support technician at the remaining rounds of the AMA PJ1 Arenacross Series, beginning , with the December 6 round in Rockford, Illinois. The technician will be able to help with jetting and suspension settings as well as with exhaust-pipe testing. For more information, call 909 /7388050. Author Tod Rafferty is planning a book on the history of the Indian motorcycle and is seeking restored or original motorcycles for photography purposes. Interested parties can contact Rafferty at 805/461-1103 (phone) or 805/466-8248 (fax). Due to inclement weather conditions in Northern California, round four of the AMP/MSR Oktoberfest Fall Motocross Series, scheduled for November 17, has been rescheduled for November 24 at

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