Cycle News - Archive Issues - 1990's

Cycle News 1997 04 23

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 The trio of Peter Goddard, Doug Polen and Eric Gomez (Suz) won the opening round of the World Endurance Road Race series in Le Mans, France, April 1213. Chirster Linholm, Jean-Marc Delatang and Jean-Philippe Ruggia (Yam) teamed up to finish second while JeanLouis Battaslini and Eric Mahe (Yam) wete third. Belgian Marnicq Bervoets (Suz) narrowly landed the overall win at round three of the 250cc World Motocross Championship, held in Valkenswaard, Holland, April 13. Bervoets' 4-1 result was just enough for him to edge secondplace-tie-breaker winner Tallon Vohland (Yam), who scored second overall with 3-2 moto scores to defeat reigning 250cc. World Champion Stefan Everts (Hon) in third, with 2-3 scores. Frenchman Frederic Vialle (Yam) took his first MX GP victory as he rode to the overall win at Pernes-Ies-Fontaines, France, April 13, site of round two of the 125cc World Motocross Championship. Vialle finished the day with 4-1 moto scores, defeating series points leader Chicco Chiodi (yam), with 1-4moto finishes, on the second-moto tie breaker. Italian Claudio Federici (Hus) finished third with a 2-5 score. Doug Lampkin (Bet) pulled out a double win at the second round of the World Trials Championship to open up a championship lead of 13 points - 75-62 - over second-in-points Marc Colomer (Mon), who finished the April 12-13 event in'Warken, Luxembourg, with mixed resul ts as he scored second on day one but slipped to fifth on day two. Kenichi Kuroyama (Bet) kept up his pattern of a slow first day - he finished seventh - followed by a strong day-two result, as he rebounded to finish second behind Lampkin on Sunday and maintain his third in t:!:)e championship. Randy Hawkins (Yam) won round four of the AMA National Hare Scrambles Series held in Good Springs, Pennsylvania, on April 13. Paul Edmondson (Suz) finished second while his teammates Rodney Smith and Steve Hatch took third and fourth, respectively. Chris Smith (TM) closed out the top five overall. Ty Davis (Kaw) won his third consecutive AMA National Hare and Hound when he won round three of the series in Jericho, Utah, on April 12. Nick Pearson (KTM) finished second, followed by Donnie Book (Kaw), Destry Abbott (KTM) and Brian Brown (Kaw). Lance Smail (KIM) won both motos to capture the overall in the opening round of the AMA/Maxima Western National Four-Stroke Motocross Series, held at the Verde Valley Motorplex in Cottonwood, Arizona, on April 13. Smail topped Mike Young (Hbg) and Shaun Kalos (Hbg) in both motos of the series opener. Ty Davis (Kaw) ended up fourth overall via his 5-5 moto tally. Ray Peters (G-G) won the opening t-.. round of the AMA/NATC National Tri- g::: 1"""'i als Series in Amarillo, Texas, on Saturday, April 12, day one of the two-day, two-round event. Peters defeated Lonnie Hallsted (Bet) and Oliver Clamagirand, who just edged Jess Kempkes on a tie breaker for third. Round two of the series, held Sunday, was won by Geoff Aaron (Bet). Mark Manniko (G-G) was second, followed by Jess Kempkes (GG). Troy Bayliss (Suz) continued his winning ways by capturing the second round of the Australian Superbike Championship at Phillip Island on April 13. Bayliss won both races, giving him five wins in six outings in the '97 title chase. Steve Martin (Suz) finished second in the first leg ahead of Mark Willis (Suz) and Martin Craggill (Kaw). In the second race, Craig Connell (Duc) ended up second with Willis third. After two of six rounds, Bayliss leads the title chase over Damon Buckmaster, 85-66. John Myers (Suz) topped Matt Hines (Suz) in the finals of the NHRA Pro Stock class in the Fram Nationals, held in Atlanta, Georgia, on April 13. Myers leads Hines, 309-270, with 11 races remaining in the series. Cycle Nws European Editor Alan Cathcart (Duc) came out on top of a heated four-way battle for the win at the opening round of the British Supermono Series, held at the Lydden circuit in Kent, England, on April 12. Future Perfect Racing Team's Cathcart just defeated reigning British champion Dave Walker (Yam), who was followed closely by Ben Richardson (Yam) and Stuart Shaw (Suz). Team Suzuki Endurance (Suz) won the opening round of the WERA National Endurance Series, held at Talladega Gran Prix Raceway in Talladega, Alabama, on April' 12. Team Suzuki Endurance completed 219 laps of the 1.3-mile race track to top TKO Racing . (Suz) by four laps. Third place went to Team Fast Forward (Suz). Doug Blackwell (Yam) won the AMA Mid-South Winter Hare Scrambles Championship Series by taking the overall win in the final round of the series in Reelfoot, Tennessee, on April 13. Scott Plessinger finished second with Scott McLaughlin (Yam), Tony Hendon (Suz) and Scott Martin (Kaw) rounding out the top five. Josh McLevy (Hon) was the big winner at the opening round of the North Eastern Trail Riders Association Hare Scrambles Series in Modena, New York, on April 13. Todd Levesque (Hon) took second and Tom Norton (KTM) finished third. NASB/F-USA has announced the cancellation of its championship event scheduled for June 1 at Mosport Park in Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada. NASB officials have cited growing concerns about track ownership and management as the reason for the change. "This was a tough call to make," ;wid F-USA president Doug Gonda. "I nave no doubt this would have been the largest motorcycle race in Canada in many years. But the track has been dealing with financial problems that are still not resolved. We can't ask our riders and teams to make plans and travel across an international border when the track might not be capable of providing the services and access we need to put on a quality event. We will be looking at going back there in the future - when Mosport settles its affairs. It's a classic North American road course and the fans in Canada deserve a major motorcycle road race." Last month, Mosport Park officials announced the cancellation of the SCCA Trans-Am race that was scheduled for the Canadian track bn May 18. The next round of the NASB/F-USA Series is scheduled for Road Atlanta in Braselton, Georgia, on June 20-22. Yanagawa leads the way L ap records tumbled in the World Superbike test session at the Autodromo Santamonica circuit in Misano, Italy, held April 8-9, and surprisingly it was Kawasaki's Akira Yanagawa who came away from the test as the fastest of the superbike men. The Japanese rider lapped at 1:33.885, under the race record and very close to the qualifying mark set a year ago by John Kocinski on the factory Ducati - a 1:33.750, in what was his first ride at Misano and his first visit to Europe. To further illustrate that Kawasaki is in fact a threat in World Superbike racing again, Yanagawa's teammate Simon Crafar came away from the test with the second-quickest time at 1:34.485. The World Superbike season resumes with the second round of the series scheduled for Misano on April 20. "We are very satisfied with our work," Kawasaki team manager Harald Eckl said. "The 1997 engine parts are very competitive and our riders are very aggressive. We are confident to do a great result next Sunday." The two Kawasaki pilots knocked Ducati Corse's Carl Fogarty from the top spot. The Brit was quickest on the first day of the two-day test and his 1:34.517 remained good enough for the third-quickest time. "I remember that our 1995 Ducati was very easy to ride," Fogarty said. "But the new Ducati has an injection system that's 60mm in diameter and now we have more power in the low- and medium-rpm range - now the ride is very heavy and we need an accurate suspension setup to save the rear tire until the end of the race. That's our problem at the moment." Things continued to go well for the Yamaha factory team with Colin Edwards II lapping at 1:34.584 for the fourth-quickest time while his teammate Scott Russell ended up seventh at 1:34.859. Edwards crashed on the second day but escaped without injury. "We were testing tires at the time, doing some quite long runs, and we found our times were consistent," Edwards said. "We didn't go looking for a fast time because that'll come - we were looking for a good race setup." Pier-Francesco Chili was fifth-fastest at the test, lapping at 1:34.650 on his Ducati. "I have the same suspension problems as Fogarty," Chili said. "But I'm very confident to have found the right way before the races." The Castrol Honda team ended up sixth- and 10th-fastest, with Aaron Slight leading his teammate and World Championship points leader John Kocinski. "Misano is very hard for our bike, but I've never lapped so fast here and I'm a little bit confident," Slight said. "We tested many setups but we're close to the Kawasakis, Ducatis and Yamahas." Suzuki's Jamie Whitham and Mike Hale ended up 11th and 12th, respectively. seventeen riders tested over the two days. Paolo Gozzi The Speedway Racing U.S. National Qualifying Series will return for 1997, with four races set to decide an overall winner. Last seen in 1993, the qualifying series will pit the top Northern California Speedway, riders against the best from Southern California. The series will kick off on May 17 in Costa Mesa, California, before making stops at Paso Robles, California, on May 30; Auburn, California, on June 6; and the finale in Dixon, California, on July 26. In addition to the U.s. National Qualifying Series, Costa Mesa will host the North American Qualifier for the FIM on June 14 and the U.S. National Championship on August 29. Each of the National Qualifying races will pay a $4000 purse with the top three from the qualifiers invited to race in the North American Qualifier on June 14. Sears Point Raceway in Sonoma, Cali.fornia, had a groundbreaking ceremony on April 8 that included the demolition of the old media center. Among the several improvements scheduled to be completed by June of 1998 are: a widened driveway at the main entrance; new Russell Racing school and administrative offices will be built; an expanded paddock area; a larger hospitality area between the paddock and tum two; permanent grandstands added to turns two, four, seven, eight and nine with permanent restrooms; a new. pedestrian tunnel will replace the old bridge; and a pedestrian overpass built over Highway 121 from the 50-acre parking lot to the Gate 3 entrance. These changes will be made, according to Sears Point, in addition to major improvements to both the quarter-mile drag strip and the 2.52-mile road course. "We want this facility. to accomodate all forms of racing," said track president Steve Page. "By adding run-off space as well as sand and gravel traps, this facility should bec,?me a very attractive venue to all major racing series. The new concrete launching pad, coupled with our ideal barometric pressure, will create an ideal combination of setting world records on the drag strip." Sears Point was recently purchased by Speedway Motorsports, the owner of Atlanta, Bristol, Charlotte and Texas Motor Speedways. Former SOOcc World Champion Barry Sheene has blasted Lucky Strike Suzuki's Anthony Gobert, according to Cycle News correspondent Darryl Flack, accusing the Grand Prix rookie of not "trying hard enough." In an attack while commentating for the Australian Ten Network from the Shah Alam circuit in Malaysia, Sheene was paying tribute to Michael Doohan after he started to pull away from Nobuatsu Aoki in the season-opening 500cc GP when he questioned Gobert's decision not to ride in the first GP of the season for fear of reinjuring his broken collarbone. "He's right where he deserves to be," Sheene said of Doohan. "You can see he puts a lot of work into it. I have to say, having been here for the weekend, that Gobert .deserves everything he is getting, which

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