Cycle News - Archive Issues - 1990's

Cycle News 1997 03 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 Marc Colomer (Mon) regained the lead in the 1996-97 World Cup Indoor Trials Series with a convincing round-six win in Andorra on March 1. Colomer defeated fellow Spaniards Amos Bilbao (G-G) and Jordi Tarres (G-G). What about archrival and the now-second-in-points Doug Lampkin? After Lampkin and Bilbao tied ·on points in the qualifier, Lampkin was apparently illegally bumped from the final when official FIM tiebreaker rules were not followed. And, in fact, Colomer and Tarres had also tied, and no attempt was made to break theirs at all, bringing the overall results of the event into question. Lampkin has filed a protest. Sacramento Harley-Davidson's Joe Kopp (H-D) captured the victory at round one of the Florida Harley-Davidson Dealers Association/KK/Dirt Shirts-sponsored Florida Flat Track Series, held at Savannah's Oglethorpe Speedway on February 28, the event also doubling as the opening round of the new AMA Hot Shoe ational Series. Chasing Kopp home on the half-mile track were Kevin Atherton (H-D) and Geo Roeder II (H-D). Ken Coolbeth Jr. (W-R), Dave Camlin (H-D), Bryan Bigelow (Rtx) and Roy Miller (Hon) topped the 600cc Expert, 883 Harley-Davidson, 600cc Pro-Am and 250cc Pro-Am classes, respectively. On March 1, Florida Flat Track Series action then moved to the newly paved St. Augustine Speedway, where Moroney's Harley-Davidson teammates Mike Hacker and Dave Camlin exchanged wins in the 750cc Expert and 600cc Expert mains, riding Harley-Davidson and Rotaxes, respectively. Hacker was first in the 750cc class over Carnlin and Paul Lynch (H-D). Carnlin prevailed on the 600' s with Steve Beattie (ATK) finishing third behind Hacker. Bartels' HarleyDavidson's Johnny Murphree (H-D) took the 883 with Bryan Bigelow winning both the 250cc and 600cc Pro-Am races, riding a Yamaha and Rotax, respectively. t'~ ...... N ...... ...s:: u J-< CI3 ~ 2 Will Davis rode to a double win at r'ound one of the Motorcycle Asphalt Racing Series (round three of the Florida Flat Track Series) held at Volusia Speedway on March 2. Defending MARS champion Davis rode his ATK to the win in the 600cc class and also topped the 750cc main, riding a Harley-Davidson. Brett Landes (Rtx) and Lonnie Pauley (Rtx) chased Davis in the 600cc race while it was Steve Morehead (H-D) and Mike Hacker (H-D) following in 750cc action. Hacker held off Johnny Muiphree in the 883 class. After a quick trip from Volusia's asphalt halI-mile to its dirt half-mile Total Control Racing's Will Davis (H-D) picked up where he left off in the afternoon when he made a last-lap, turn-three pass to get around both Joe Kopp (H-D) and Rich King (Hon) to take the 750cc main. Ken Coolbeth Jr. (W-R) continues to run in the 600cc class as he beat Rich King (Rtx) and Dave Camlin (Rtx). With the first four of nine rounds of the Florida Fla t Track Racing Series completed, Mike Hacker (66) leads the points race over Will Davis (61) and Paul Lynch (54). Nate "Gator" Wait has done it again. While leading his 883 qualifying heat at the March 1 night event at St. Augustine Speedway, Wait appeared to have lost the front end exiting turn two and crashed spectacularly out the pit gate. He then hit a concrete wall, bounced over that and finally hit a large sign post. Wait's major injury was yet another bra- ken leg as his right femur snapped in the crash. Kyle Lewis (Suz) was the top rider in the CMC West Coast .Arenacross Challenge held February 28 through March 1 at Sacramento, California's Arco Arena. In Friday night's racing Lewis topped Dean Matson (Suz) and Rusty Holland (Kaw) in the 125cc class, then returned to top the 250cc class ahead of Holland and Ray Crumb (Kaw). On Saturday, Lewis again prevailed in both classes. Holland and Scott Davis (Kaw) finished second and third, respectively, in the 125cc class, .while Crumb and Chris Wheeler (Suz) rounded out the top three in the 250cc class. The 56th Daytona 200 by Arai will be broadcast live, flag-to-flag, on ESPN2, Sunday, March 9. ESPN2's coverage of the event will begin at 1 p.m. (Eastern), headlining a record six hours of coverage of AMA Pro Racing. Besides the Daytona 200 coverage, ESP 2 will air 600cc Supers port, 750cc Supersport, 250cc Grand Prix, Harley-Davidson SuperTwins and the Daytona Supercross. Lucky Strike Suzuki's Anthony Gobert underwent surgery to have a plate inserted in his right collarbone after crashing the Suzuki RGvSOO during the first day of testing at Phillip Island in Australia, on February 26, according to Cycle N=s contributor Darryl Flack. Gobert, who originally broke his collarbone last August during practice for the Sentul round of the World Superbike Series, further damaged the collarbone while testing the Suzuki in Japan in November and ha continued to test with the injury. Peter Goddard also tested with the team and also crashed, suffering a dislocated shoulder and a banged-up elbow. Both Gobert and his teammate Daryl Beattie circulated in the high 1:34s, well over a second slower than Michael Doohan and his Repsol Honda teammate Alex Criville. Reports that Gobert's most recent crash was the result of an engine seizure were refuted by Lucky Strike spokesman Stu Avant. He said that on-board telemetry showed that Gobert had entered the Southern Loop too fast after only three laps on new tires. Gobert continued to test the following day, but a CAT scan later revealed tha t his collarbone was crooked and part of the bone had hollowed out. The operation will allow the Australian to test at Shah Alam in Malaysia in two weeks. Although Australian Michael Doohan was the fastest man at the combination Honda/Suzuki Phillip Island test, his teammate Alex Criville was also impressive, lapping at 1:33.2 - just 0.4' of a second behind Doohan. "Mick was testing the different versions of the new bike, but 1 have settled on the Big Bang engine," Criville said. "Yes, I prefer this bike. It's the best way for me, this engine is perfect." Commenting on changes to the bike, Criville said: "We have new cylinders which produce a little more power, and the forks are lighter. The bike is very similar to last years, and steers. about the same." Takuma Aoki crashed his V-twin NSR on the first day of the test, damaging his shoulder and sitting out the rest of the session. Tadayuki Okada, meanwhile, also tested the 1997 NSR500 and recorded a best time of 1:34.2. Three-time World Champion Max Biaggi was no match for fellow Honda rider Ralf Waldmann during the three-day Honda test at Phillip lsland, according to KR3 finishes Malaysian test M arlboro Team Roberts recently completed its first full test session with the brand-new Modenas KR3 SOOcc GP bike at Shah Alam, Malaysia, with the team running two engines and two chassis during the test with the promise of a new "stage-two" engine scheduled for the next test session. "This has been a very useful test and we're feeling optimistic," Kenny Roberts, the man behind the new three-cylinder GP bike, said. "Right now we're still in reliability mode, but we did over two GPs of mileage on one of the motors without changing any major components. The engine has a few teething problems, but that's absolutely what we expected with the first prototypes. Later this month we will have a completely different motor - closer to race spec. We aren't ready to run with the big boys yet, but our feeling is that we will be able to do that in the very near future." Jean-Michel Bayle, however, was tossed off the new bike on the final day of the test .. when an engine problem caused the bike to seize. "Part of a reed cage broke and we have never seen that happen before," Roberts explained. "A piece of aluminum from the cage got into the crankcase area and stopped the motor. As 1said, we knew we would have teething problems, and the guys back in England are already working on a stronger cage." Kenny Roberts Jr. came away from the test impressed: "The chassis is really good, the suspension works well and the bike is going to be very easy on tires," Roberts Jr. said. "It feels good aerodynamically, too. The wind seems to flow over you, and not against you. The guys already knew there would be things to fix on the motor - that's only natural at this stage of the project. But I'm happy and I can't wait to get out on the bike again." Further tests are planned in March in preparation for the season-opening Grand Prix in Malaysia on April 13. For the full story on the Modenas KR3, see page 20. Cycle News contributor Darryl Flack. Team boss Erv Kanemoto said the team is fighting a chattering problem with the new NSR25.0. "We're just still trying to understand the machine a little more, but we're having big problems," Kanemoto said. "Though in this test we've probably closed the gap of what we needed to from our last test in Malaysia. We are just going to have to make things work, though that's necessarily not being real optimi~tic either. It's difficult to say how far off we are from being prepared for the first race, but you would think too that the Aprilia machines are pretty well sorted out and I think they have been testing more than us." Biaggi's best at Phillip Island was a 1:36, roughly twotenths off Waldmann's best. Biaggi has four more tests scheduled, in Sentul, Indonesia, in Shah Alam, Malaysia, in Jerez, Spain, and again in Malaysia. The FIM has released its 1997 World Supercross Championship chedule. The rounds are as follows: Barcelona, Spain - November 2; Paris, France November 7-9; Tokyo, Japan - November 23; Osaka, Japan - November 30; Geneva, Switzerland - December 5-6. The FlM has also announced that the 125cc World MX Championship round scheduled for Andujar, Spain, on April 13 has been canceled, and that the 250cc World MX round scheduled for Indonesia on August 3 will be held in' Bandung. Jeff Fox, President and CEO of Parts Unlimited, and Terry Vance, owner of Vance & Hines racing, recently announced the formation of the Vance & HineslDucati/Parts Unlimited Superbike team. The agreement results in expanded sponsorship by Parts Unlimited of Vance & Hines Racing. Vance & Hines recently signed a three-year contract with Ducati SpA to compete in the AMA Superbike Series and Parts Unlimited will be a major sponsor of the team for the duration of the contract between the two. Thomas Stevens has been named the lead rider for the team and his mechanic will be Jim Leonard, who tuned for Stevens when he won the AMA Superbike title in 1991. The team will begin the 1997 season with the third round of the series at Laguna Seca Raceway in Monterey, California, on April 1920. The first annual Motorcycle Industry Academy of Arts and Science Awards Presentation will take place Wednesday, March 5, at 8 p.m., at 777 Main St., in Daytona Beach, Florida. The Motorcyclist lmage Award nominees are: Main Street Daytona, Florida; Sturgis, South Dakota; Hollister, California; Myrtle Beach, South Carolina; and Buffalo Chip, South Dakota. The Motorcycle Events Publication Award nominees are: Cycle News, Easyrider, Matorcycle Events Guide, Motorcycle Happenings Guide and Thunder Press. The Motorcycle Industry Academy of Arts and Science Lifetime Achievement Award winners are: Willie G. Davidson, Karl "Big Daddy Rat" Smith, J.e. "Pappy" Hoel, Mike Corbin and the late Elmer Trett. Kawasaki Team Green will be offering trackside assistance at both the GNC at Mosier Valley and the Lake Whitney FMF Spring National Races. Both events will be held on March 13-26. Kawasaki Team Green will also be offer-

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