Cycle News - Archive Issues - 1990's

Cycle News 1997 02 12

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 Jimmy Gaddis (Kaw) won the l25cc class in the first night of racing at the AMA/PJ1 National Arenacross Series held in Winston-Salem, orth Carolina, on January 31 through February 1. Oiff Palmer (Suz) finished second and Denny Stephenson (Hon) was third. Palmer won the 250cc class, while Buddy Antunez (Hon) and Stephenson finished second and third, respectively. During the second night of racing, Jeromy Buehl (Yam) topped Chad Pederson (Yam) and Palmer in the 125cc class, while Jim Neese (Suz) topped Pederson and Antunez in the 250cc class. Palmer has regained the series points lead from Antunez, 621-614. Ty Davis (Kaw) dominated by winning five out of six classes in the 17th annual Desert Vipers MC Adelanto Grand Prix in Adelanto, California, on February 2-3, an event which drew some 2000 entrants. Greg Zitterkopf (KTM) won the Unclassified race, but Davis proceeded to win the rest of the classes he entered, including the 125cc, 250cc, Open, Four-Stroke, and Pro races. In other news from the Adelanto GP, Team Honda rider Johnny Campbell crashed at nearly 75 mph on his XR628 and suffered a broken lower right leg. Campbell and his bike wound up nearly 150 feet from the tart of the crash, with both narrowly avoiding a parked motorhome. Campbell will be out of action for about four to six weeks. Mike Lafferty (KTM) won the opening round of the AMA National Reliability Enduro Series at Loretta Lynn's in Hurricane Mills, Tennessee, on February 2. Lafferty topped Doug Blackwell (Yam) and Fred Hoess (Suz) with Chris Smith (Hon) and Scott Plessinger (KTM) rounding out the top five in th.e unofficial results. Bob Moore (Yam) won the 125cc Pro class at round three of the GFJ Winter Series South held at Perris Raceway in Perris, California, on February 2. Jiri Dostal (Suz) finished second and Ty Kady (Suz) was third. James Dobb (Suz) won the 250cc Pro class followed by Tim Ferry (Suz) and German 250cc Grand Prix contender Pit Beirer (Hon). Tennessee State Senator Carl Koella was arraigned on Tuesday, January 28, in Blount County General Sessions Court for the hit-and-run death of motorcyc1jst Terry Barnard, according to the AMA. Motorcyclists across the country have been following the Koella case with interest after the facts of the accident and allegations of police impropriety were made public late last fall. According to witnesses, the accident was caused by the driver of a minivan that made a left turn across the southbound lane of U.S. Route 321 in Blount County, sou th of Knoxville. When th.e van started its turn, they said, Barnard's motorcyd was 30 to 40 feet from it and traveling approximately 45 mph in a 50 mph r:-... zone. Police reports indicate that 0\ Barnard struck the side of the van and 0\ caromed off it into a car that was .-l stopped behind the van. The minivan C'l' driver stopped to briefly inspect his """" vehicle after the collision, but then got ~ back into the vehicle and drove away. ctl Despite eyewitnesses at the crash scene who identified the sen.ator as the driver ..0 of the minivan, local authorities waited C1) almo t four hours before questioning ~ Koella about his involvement in the accident. Koella was subsequen.tly charged with leaving the scene of a fatal 2 2 accident, which is a misdemeanor. In Tuesday's hearing, special pro ecutor Gus Radford sought to amend the complaint and upgrade the charge to a felony. In addition to the criminal charges that Koella faces, Barnard's family has also filed a $15 million wrongful death lawsuit against Koella in federal court. Ward's Da tona return J Moto-Liberty has announced its contingency program for the WERA ational Challenge Series' 125cc Grand Prix class. Racers who have purchased a 1996 Honda RS125 from Moto-Liberty will be eligible for cash awards with a total of $810 being paid out to the top five riders in the class. For more information, call 972-466-0065. eff Ward returned to Daytona In ternational Speedway from January 30 to February 2 to tackle the Speedway's famous circuit once again. Only this time the racing didn't take place on the one-mile serpentine, strength-sapping Daytona Supercross By Honda track, the site of some noted success by the native of Mission Viejo, California. Ward, who carded four second-place finishes in the Daytona Supercross, became the first top-level AMA Supercross Series competitor to return to Daytona and challenge the 3.56-mile road racing course. His return came as part of a four-driver team to contest the Rolex 24 at Daytona in a Kopf Precision Race Products Ford-powered World Sports Car. Ward and his co-drivers ended up finishing 52nd in the 80-car field, completing 348 laps despite transmission problems. . "We had a problem with the transmission and gearing," Ward said while waiting for his team to finish repairs. "We'll fix it and get back out there until we can't race it anymore." Ward's thoughts about his ride, after his initial practice session, could just as well have been about his supercross bike. "It a nice car," he said. '1t's preclictable. We need more gearing and more top speed, then we'll be okay. These cars seem like a lot of fun. In the race, because it's so long, you want to get into a good pace out there, be comfortable and get a rhythm going." For Ward, returning to Daytona to tackle the road race course has been a dream. The former Team Kawasaki racer has been building his auto-racing resume since 1993. He was called into action for the January 19 running of the Indy Racing League opener, the Walt Disney World 200 as a replacement for the injured Davy Jones in the Galles Racing entry. With Jones' return a long way off, Ward is currently working on a ride with Galles Racing for the rest of the IRL season. "I always wanted to get on the road course when we were here at Daytona racing the supercross," Ward said. "J wanted to see what it was like to go around the track like the road racers did Jt's kind of a neat feeling. Actually, the atmosphere for the race (RoLex 24) is somewhat like the supercross with lots of activity, lots of people and things happening all the time." The 1992 supercross/motocross season was Ward's last. After two AMA Supercross Series titles and five series crowns in National Championship MX action, Ward traded his Kawasaki riding gear for a driving suit in the Indy Lights Series. "I still follow the sport because I have a lot of friends in it, but J don't miss it," Ward said. "I still want to see Kawasaki do well. J went to both LA Supercross rounds and, from what J saw, I think it's going to be an interesting year, probably one of the best years since Jeremy (McGrath) came into it. "Jeremy's move is probably good for him in the long term if he wants to run his own team. In the short term - money-wise and winning - I don't think it's too good. It's going to take a while because he's not at the beginning of his career. He's close to the end and that makes it even more tough. "Nobody wants to admit that their career is coriting to an end. I never did. But it does make it tougher - the year-to-year grind - as you get older. One plus for me was that I never raced anything but Kawasaki. J didn't change bikes. I was fortunate I didn't have to go through the dilemma of new bike, new team, new mechanic every few years." The way Ward sees it, the change for McGrath has added pressure to the all-time supercross event winner and upset his training. It could cause some problems for the four-time AMA Supercross Series Champion. "It's going to be very tough on Jeremy," Ward said. "It's a big confidence builder for the other riders now that Jeremy has switched bikes. You've got three winners in the first three rounds and that hasn't happened in quite a few years. ow the riders who used to really race for second once the starting gate dropped see McGrath can be beaten. It's given them back a bit of the mental edge." The 27th Daytona Supercross By Honda takes place on Saturday, March 8. Ward, a 20-time winner in the series, hopes to be in the pits with the Kawasaki crew if his schedule permits. "I feel I missed something in not winning the Daytona Supercross, but it wasn't really my type of track," he said. "I would have loved to have won Daytona. It's the biggest race in our series. Sandy tracks were never my style and I struggled here. To get second felt like winning to me. 1 probably never won at Daytona because I came here looking more at the overall series picture than at winning this one race." Ward's prediction for this year's race winner? "I want to see a Kawasaki rider take the victory." Courtesy of Daytona International Speedway Moto-Liberty will also sponsor a Superteen Award in each round of the WERA National Challenge Series. The Moto-Liberty Superteen Trophy will be presented to a djfferent promising rider aged 16 to 19 at each of the 10 rounds in 1997. There will also be a Superteen of the Year presented at the WERA Grand National Final. WERA has also announced that there will again bE! a one-hour 125cc GP endurance race at the GNF. Hi-Torque Publishing's Scott Wallenberg has put together another ice hockey tournament which will be played at the All-Seasons Ice Arena in Crescent Springs, Kentucky, on February 16 - just 10 minutes from the Cincinnati Motorcycle Show. AMA 250cc National Champion Jeff Emig ha igned up to play, according to Wallenberg. There are still a few spots open for wanna-be players. Former Suzuki World Superbike rider Kirk McCarthy has turned down an offer to ride for the Australian Ducati Superbike team in the Australian Superbike Series and will instead test and race a secre(Australian Superbike project bike that has been on the drawing board for 18 months, reports Cycle News correspondent Darryl Flack. The V-twinengined bike has been developed by Hallam Boyz, a pair of Victorian brothers who rUn a successful engineering and machining business that works for Australia's leading superbike teams. Details about the project are extremely sketchy, but McCarthy has confirmed that he has signed a long-term contract as racer and development rider. He added that he has rejected offers in both World Superbike and Grand Prix racing and said that this project has "huge potential." It is understood that the allnew Hallam engine and chassis will be ready to race in the 1997 Australian Superbike Sprint Series, with plans to enter the 1998 World Superbike Series, pending homologation. On Trac Events will host two arenacross races for Pro and Amateur racers at the Arco Arena in Sacramento, California, on February 28 and March 1-2, and at the Portland Memorial Coliseum in Portland, Oregon, April 18-20. Both events will feature a $10,000 Pro purse. For more information, call 702/267-4392. Bob and Velma Bagwell have announced that they are retiring from the motorcycle race promotions business, but that Scotty Adams Racing will take over the pre-Daytona half mile at Devil's Bowl in Mesquite, Texas, on February 23. For more information, call 405 / 789-6045. Australian Supersport racer Jason Love will join Craig Connell in the D'ucati Dealer team for the 1997 Australian Superbike Championship, reports Cycle News contributor Darryl Flack. The Donnie Hansen Motocross Academy will hold a school at Hollister Hill in Northern California on February 14. The one-day school will be held prior to the CMC Golden State race, which will be held the following day. For more information, call 719/495-2624. For more information, call 805/2955765. Two Four Sports has inked a deal with Dorna/Two Wheel Promotions to host the British Motorcycle Grand Prix at Donington Park for the next three years. This year's event will take place on August 15-17. In addi.tion, Two Four Sports has also signed a contract that

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