Cycle News - Archive Issues - 1990's

Cycle News 1997 01 22

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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IN THE WIND Doug Lampkin (Bet) and Marc Colomer (Mon) continued their titanic battle for the 1996-97 World Indoor Trials Championship at round three of the series in Koblenz, Germany, January 11. Lampkin ultima tely prevailed over Colomer after an intense and very close battle that ended with the pair separated by a single point, Lampkin with eight, Colomer nine. Amos Bilbao (GG) was third with 19 points. As a result of his win, Lampkin extended his championship lead slightly and now heads Colomer by five points, 57-52. Paul Currie (Kaw) swept both the 125 and 250cc Pro classes in round three of the Florida Winter AMA Series, held in Dade City, Florida, January 12. Currie topped Keith Johnson (Kaw) and Jeff . Curry (Suz) in winning the 125cc Pro class prior to defeating Keith Bowen (KTM) and Johnson to win the 250cc class. The Vet Pro class was won by Earl May (Ka~). Muzzy Kawasaki',s Doug Chandler was again the fastest of the superbike men when the top AMA Superbike and 600cc Supersport teams participated in a three-day test at Laguna Seca Raceway in Monterey, California, January 810. Chandler ripped off a few laps in the 1:26 range and several low 1:27s (John Kocinski set the superbike lap record during qualifying for last year's World Superbike round at Laguna Seca with a 1:26.715). Yoshimura Suzuki's Pascal Picotte and Smokin' Joe's Honda's Miguel DuHamel lapped in t!:le high 1:27s with Picotte and teammate Aaron Yates lapping in the mid 1:31s on their new Suzuki GSXR600s in Supersport trim. Despite being off the pace during the Daytona tire tests in December, Yamaha's Tom Kipp was right behind Picotte and Yates, turning in a 1:31.8 on his Yamaha YZF600. Several top riders crashed over the threeday test, including Smokin' Joe's Honda's Steve Crevier, Muzzy's Todd Harrington and Tommy Hayden, and Yoshimura Suzuki's Larry Pegram and Yates. The Barley-Davidson factory AMA Superbike team has announced that it will be backed by Zippo Manufacturing for the 1997 season. Zippo,'a maker of refillable lighters - including a line of licensed lighters for Harley-Davidson will have its logo on the VR1000s ridden by Chris Carr and Thomas Wilson. "We're pleased tha t we could further our relationship with Zippo," said Harley-Davidson racing manager Art Gompper. "It's not often that two American icons with reputations for producing quality products can form this kind of team." An AMA practice day for the six classes scheduled for the AMA National Championship Road Race Series opener at Phoenix International Raceway in Phoenix, Arizona, will be held on February 13, the day before official practice begins for. the February 16 National. The fee for taking part in the practice session is $125 per motorcycle and the deadline for submitting a practice entry and fees is January 31. If a minimum of 60 bike entries are not received, the session will be canceled, according to PIR. For more informa'tion and practice forms, call Shannon Dunn at 602/2523833. 2 The first-ever motorcycle road race at the new 3.1-mile Buttonwillow road course is scheduled for March 9 and will be run under" AFM sanction. A full day of practice will be held at the facility, which is located near Bakersfield, California, on Saturday, March 8. For more information, call AFM at 510/796-7005 or 510/537-8208. AMA Pro Racing has announced that' Beer Nuts Brand Snacks will sponsor a five-rac;e dash series at select Grand National events in 1997. Beer Nuts Challenge events will take place at Rapid City, South Dakota, August 6; Springfield, Illinois, August 31; Syracuse, New York, September 7; Sacramento, California, September 27; and Del Mar, California, October' 12. A $2,000 purse will be up for grabs in each five-lap dash. Beer Nuts will extend the promotion of its program to .over 20,000 retail outlets by holding a national sweepstakes. A new HarleyDavidson Sportster, donated by. Harley-Davidson Inc., will be the grand prize. The program is being handled by Sports Management's Tom Mueller, the former vice president of AMA Pro Racing. "Former AMA Grand National contender Dave Durelle has secured a date for the first-ever Grand National mile to bl! held, i,n t,he state of Minnesota. The event is scheduled for September 13 at Canterbury Downs in Shakopee, Minnesota. It will mark the first time that the AMA Grand National Championship Series has visited Minnesota since the late 1950s. For more information, contact Durelle Racing Promotions at 612/659-0870. The Vintage Dirt Track Racing Association has released its 1997 Vintage Classics X National Championship Series schedule. The series will start in conjunction with Daytona Bike Week, hosting its first three rounds in Barberville, Florida, March'3, 4 and 5 before moving to Cambridge, Minnesota, May 31 and June 1; Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, July 18 and 20; Rapid City, South Dakota, August 7; and Sturgis, South Dakota, August 9. The series concludes with rounds in Del Mar, California, October 10 and 11. For more information, call 918/836-6999. The Vintage Dirt Track Racing Association has also released its 1997 Regional Championship Schedule. Central Region dates include Purcell, Oklahoma, February 22; Devil's Bowl, Texas, February 23; Wichita, Kansas, June 7-8; Grand Island, Nebraska, July 25; Nort<,>n, Kansas, July 26; and Stockton, Kansas, August 11-12. Rocky Mountain Region dates include Casper, Wyoming, June 27-28; Sturgis, South Dakota, July 12-13, and again on August 4. Great Lakes Region dates include Columbus Junction, Iowa, May 18; and Rockport, Indiana (Pro only), July 5. VDTRA said that more events are in the works. For more information on the Central Region dates, contact John Pike, 316/663-8977. For the Rocky Mountain Region, contact Doug Stewart, 719/541-2560. For the Great Lakes Region, contact Mike Ragan at 618/7242613. The AMA Midwest Ice Racing Championships have been scheduled for Feburary 8-9 at Lambs Farm in Liber. tyville, Illinois. Seventeen different amateur and pro classes have been scheduled for the the third -mile oval and·TI races. There is a $4,000 guaranteed purse for the pro classes. A portion of the proceeds from the event wilJ Biaggi to Honda I t's official - three-time 250cc World Champion Max Biaggi will ride a Honda NSR250 in the 1997 250cc World Championship with backing from Phillip Morris. "I am pleased to announce that early this morning I received a fax from Japan with some really good news," said Biaggi at a press conference in Madonna de Campiglio, Italy, last week. "They (Honda) have confirmed that, thanks to an extra special effort on their part, I shall be able to have the spare bike, as allowed by 1997 bike rules, right from the fiFst race of the season. This is proof that HRC is intending to do everything it possibly can to assist me in my efforts to keep the number one on my bike that I have brought to them and that they haven't had on their 250 bikes since 1992." Biaggi's team will be run by Erv Kanemoto, though Biaggi says things will be different than the last time they were paired together in 1993. "1 shall again ,be with Erv Kanemoto's team, but in 1993 things were not the same because, in those days, apart from being much less experienced on understanding how to set up the bike, I couldn't speak a word of "English, making it very difficult for me to communicate with my team engineers. This year I shall have three Italian technicians with me in the team, led by Mario Galeotti (the engineer who has worked with Loris Capirossi in the past). Another important factor is that this time I shall be using Dunlop tires, unlike my 1993 season when I was using less-competitive tires on my 250 machine as (Doriano) Romboni and (Tetsuya) Harada found out tater," Biaggi will begin preseason testing at Phillip Island in Australia, January 21-23, prior to the arrival<,>f the rest of Honda's 250cc riders - Oliver Jacques, Ralf Waldmann, Tohru ~wa, Haruchika Aoki and Emilio Alzamora. "It's a difficult and risky challenge," Biaggi said. "1 shall have the number one on my bike and other riders will try and take it away from me using the same bike I won it with, or with Honda NSR250 bikes identical to mine. I shall be going flat out to try and win the championship again and this challenge is giving me the necessary motivation and 1 feel that, as in all the difficult moments of my career, I will be giving it everything I've got. Backing me up, though, I've got the 'world's biggest motorbike company, and the world's best sponsor - it promises to be a winning formula." benefit Lambs Farm, which is a home for mentally handicapped adults. For more information, contact George Mack at Race Face Promotions at 630/766-7978. The Trials Training Center will be hosting two two-day trials schools in February. Top-rated trials rider Ray Peters will serve as the instructor, and the school is open to trials riders of all abilities. The sessions will be held February 22-23 and February 25-26 at TIC in Jasper, Tennessee, and rental bikes will be available. For more information, call 423/942-8688. Longtime AMA 250cc Grand Prix rider Mike Sullivan will ride Bellevue Suzuki-backed GSXRs in both the AMA 600cc and 750cc Supersport classes this year. Sullivan's engines will be prepared by Mike Castro and he will compete in WMRRA and OMRRA as well as the AMA Nationals which are held out west. The team wiU be captained by George Ledwith, who will campaign a Suzuki TLlOOO in 1997. For more information, contact Team Bellevue Suzuki via its home page at Dunlopad Sintered Brakes has released a listing of several new sport bikes for which it has fitments. The listing includes the Honda CBR1100 XX, Ducati 944 ST2, Suzuki GSXR600, and Yamaha YZF600. Race compound pads are also available for the front of the two 600s and the Ducati 944. Two Four Sports Limited has purchased the 25-year lease for Donington Park, the site of the British rounds of the World Championship Road Race Series and the World Superbike Championship. The Midlands"England- based promotions company fought off a rival bid from Brands Hatch Leisure and two other companies to secure the lease valued at over 40 million pounds sterling. Two Four Sports has operated Donington Park on an annual basis since 1986 and has acquired this new contract from Donington Park's owner, Tom Wheatcroft. Two-time World Champion Doug Polen has signed a contract to use Pirelli tires for the 1997 racing season. Polen's Team Polen Suzuki will compete in the AMA Superbike National Championship, 750cc Supersport, NASB Formula USA and Sportbike, using Pirelli sticks and Dragon Corsa DOT tires. "Doug brings us a wealth eX benefits in both the short and long term," said David Porter, racing manager of the Pirelli Motorcycle Tire Di~ sion, the company's North American operation. "First, having a rider of his reputation on Pirellis should do wo~ ders for our credibility with American sportbike riders. In Europe, where Pirelli's a market leader, we won more than a dozen road racing championships in '96. But we need the kind eX boost that Doug Polen can give us ill the U.S. market. Secondly, he's got a computer for a brain when it comes to testing and evaluating tires. That's going to be a big plus in developing the right slicks and DOT tires for the future." AMA Pro Racing results and schedules are available through a new 900 telephone number - 1-900/CALL-AMA. Racing fans can receive up-to-theminute racing results from the AMA Superbike Series, AMA Grand National Series, AMA Supercross Serills and. AMA National MX Series. In addition, callers can access schedules and listeft

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