Cycle News - Archive Issues - 1990's

Cycle News 1997 06 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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IN THE WIND Australian Shane Watts (KTM) was the overall winner at the AMA National Championship Reliability Enduro senes in McArthur, Ohio, on May 24. Randy Hawkins (Yam) finished second, followed by Scott Plessinger (KTM), Doug Blackwell (Yam) and Mike Lafferty (KTM). Watts and Plessinger were the Lightweight and Heavyweight Two-Stroke-class winners, while Mark Hyde (Suz) and Chris Graber (Hon) topped the Lightweight and Heavyweight Four-Stroke divisions. Overall winner Watts competed on a 1998 prototype 125cc KTM that featured a nonlinkage, single-shock rear-suspension system. Marc Colomer (Mon) and Doug Lampkin (Bet) split wins in round four of the World Observed Trials Championship, held in Borgo Maggiori, Italy, on May 24-25. Colomer topped Lampkin and Kenichi Kuroyama (Bet) on the first day, with Lampkin beating Colomer and Takahisa Fujinami (Hon) on day two. Road racer Colin Gable was killed during practice for the Isle of Man TT on May 27 when he crashed his Honda at Ballagarey on the 37.73-mile course. Gable finished fourth in the Junior TT last year. He was the 170th rider to be killed in the 90-year history of the TT. Oefending Canadian National Superbike Champion Michael Taylor (Kaw) won the opening round of the Toyota Canada Superbike Championship at Shannon ville Motorsport Park in Ontario, Canada, on May 25. Don Munroe (Kaw) finished second with Neil Jenkins (Yam) third. Martin Craggill (Kaw) has taken the points lead in the 1997 Shell Australian Superbike Series after winning both legs of the series at Phillip Island" on May 25, reports Cycle News correspondent Darryl Flack. Craggill beat Craig Connell (Due) and Troy Bayliss (Suz) in the first race with Bayliss getting second ahead of Shawn Giles (Hon) in the second race. Noriyuki 'Haga (Yam) won the third round of the All-Japan Superbike Championship at the Tsukuba Circuit in Japan on May 18, beating Yuichi Takeda (Hon) to the line by 7.75 seconds. Katsuaki Fujiwara (Suz) was third, with Akira Ryo (Kaw) and Hitoyasu [zutsu (Due) filling the top five, all riding motorcycles from five different manufacturers - Yamaha, Honda, Suzuki, Kawasaki and Ducati. Haga won last year's Suzuka 8-Hour with Colin Edwards II. Frenchman Richard Sainct (KTM) won the L'Atlas Savane Rally that concluded in Africa on May 17 after 11 stages. Sainct beat Alain Perez by over 13 minutes, with Thierry MagnaLdi (KTM) finishing third overall. Team Valvo line Suzuki (Suz) continued its dominance of the WERA National Endurance Series with a victory in round three of the series at the Hallet Motor Circuit in Hallet, Oklahoma, on May 24. Northwest Honda (Hon) finished second, and Arclight Racing (Suz) was third. Joe Prussiano III (Suz) won every sprint race that he entered during the WERA National Challenge Series round held at Hallet on the same weekend. Florida motocrosser Anthony Pocorobba has signed a contract to contest an F&:S Suzuki for the remaining rounds • of the AMA 125/25Occ National Championship Motocross Series. Pocorobba finished 11 th overall in the 250cc class at the Mount Morris, Pennsylvania, round on May 25. Scott Parker called Cycle News to announce that he plans to make the Peoria Hot Shoe TT'in Peoria, lllinois, on June 8 - one day after competing at the OLd Time Newsies Half Mile in Dayton, Ohio, on June 7. 'Tm going to drive all night if I have to," Parker said. "But I want to make that (Peoria) race for practice for the Grand N ationa!''' Even with his 76 career Grand National wins, Parker has never won the Peoria TT or the Daytona Short Track. The dirt tracker who reaches the top spot on the podium after the running of the La Salle Grand National Short Track in La Salle, IlLinois, will not be Everts perfect in British Grand Prix H onda's Stefan Everts took another step toward his fourth World Motocross Championship (and third in consecutive years) when the Belgian won both motos of the British 250cc Grand Prix at Foxhill's Moto Park in front of 25,000 fans. The win gives Everts a 55-point lead in the standings after seven of 15 rounds. Everts' archrival Sebastien Tortelli crashed again, this time within a few hundred yards of the start when he collided with Californian Tallon Vohland in the first moto. Tortelli ended the day with a 6-2 tally and holds down third in the series point standings. Marnicq Bervoets ended the day second overall with a 2-3 tally and is second in the points chase, 10 dear of Tortelli and 55 behind Everts. Vohland's return to the Grands Prix after a shoulder fracture wasn't very successful. He was unable to continue to race in the first moto because of damage to his motorcycle, and a knee injury sustained in the first-moto collision forced him out of the second t--. moto. 0\ Chesterfield Yamaha's Mike Brown ended the day with a pair of eighth-place finish~ es, moving him up to 12th in the 250cc World Championship point standings. The British l2Scc Grand Prix was also held at Foxhill, with Yamal1a's Chicco Chiodi winning both motos. Sandro Puzar and Claudio Federici shared the other podium placings to complete another Italy-dominated race. Chiodi now leads the title chase by 30 points. ' Former World Champion Bob Moore qualified for the race, but a crash late in the final practice session forced him to withdraw. Alex Hodgkinson 2 Ward third in Indy 500 ix-time AMA Motocross National Champion and two-time AMA Supercross National Champion Jeff Ward (right) finished third in the rain-delayed Indianapolis 500, held on Tuesday, May 27 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indiana. Ward, who was competing in his first-ever Indy 500, was in position to win the race right to the very end, finishing 4.081 seconds behind race winner Arie Luyendyk and 3.5 seconds behind second-place finisher Scott Goodyear. Driving a Team Cheever G Force-Aurora, Ward was in contention for victory late in the race as he led laps 142-166 and laps 169-192 of the 2oo-lap race. But his lead of almost 12 seconds evaporated when the yellow flag came out for a crash by fellow Indy rookie Steve Kinser with 11 laps to go. The yellow flag allowed both Goodyear and Luyendyk to close tlle gap and Ward was forced to pit for fuel, losing the lead to Luyendyk. When Ward took the lead for the first time on lap 142, he became only the second rookie and third driver to lead his first Indianapolis 500. Ward was one of only five drivers to finish on the lead lap, with the race finishing in a controversial manner as three caution flags were shown in the final 12 laps - the last of which went all the way to the final lap. When the race was restarted with a lap to go, the green flag was shown, but the lights along the oval remained yellow, causing some confusion. S taking the customary swig of champagne. Event promoter Magic Racing Group has brought aboard Dean's Milk as a sponsor; thus, milk will be the celebratory beverage in the winner's circle. The La Salle Short Track is scI1eduled to take place on May 31. Yamaha has armounced that it will field three teams in an effort to defend its victory in last year's Suzuka 8-Hour on July 27. Led by last year's winning combination, Colin Edwards II and Noriyuki Haga, Yamaha's factory entries will also include the team of World Superbike Champions - Scott Russell and Troy Corser. The third team will consist of Wataru Yoshikawa and Norihiko Fujiwara. With only Corser not able to participate because of his GP racing commitments, all of the riders participated in a test at Suzuka on May 21-22. While both Edwards (2:09.70) and Russell (2:10,40) bettered last year's lap record, it was Haga who came away from the session with the quickest lap, a 2:08.97. Haga and Edwards will run the race in the Marlboro colors used by Yamaha's Japanese domestic team. "It went pretty good and I'm happy with the times I did," Edwards said. "I was taking it easy for most of the test, doing a lot of work with the ride height to try to improve some front-end chatter. So to get into the low 2:09s with the bike as it was is great. 1 can't wait to see what lap times we can get down to when the bike is stable. I really went for it in the last few laps, just to see how things would go - and I was surprised how good it was. With Haga doing consistent low 2:09s, I think things are looking good for the B-Hour." Russell and Corser will use Michelin tires and will run in Yilmaha factory colors. "It took some time getting used to riding on Michelins again," Russell said. "But Troy is running them in the GPs, and I rode them for the last year and a half, so Yamalla thought it would be a good idea for us to run them. I wasn't trying to set any quick times, and to get into the 2:10s wi thout too much effort was pretty cool. If we get the bike set up right and Troy (Corser) comes around, we can win the Suzuka 8-Hour for sure." Cycle News contributor Alan Cathcart won the second round of the British Sound of Singles Championship, held at Wroughton on May 18. Cathcart rode a Vee-Two Ducati to win his second successive race in the series. Racers Scott Parker, Kevin Atherton, Will Davis and Randy Renfrow were acknowledged for their accomplishments at a May 7 congressional luncheon held at the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) second annual Salute to the American Automotive Performance & Motorsports Industry on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. The racers, representing the AMA, were joined by other motorsports notables, including celebrity racers Janet Guthrie, Shirley Muldowney and Angelle Seeling. Senator Ben Knighthorse Campbell and SEMA president Charles R. Blum were on hand to make the presentation to the participants. Road racer "Kiwi" Steve Vlasblom called the Cycle News offices on Thursday, May 22, to let us know that he's putting to rest his Yamaha YZF750 and is free to race for another team, beginning with the next round of the AMA National Championship Road Race Series on June 7-8 at Road America. "I'm changing things with Kiwi Magic Motorsport," Vlasblom said. "The bikes are going to a museum, and I'm now available to ride anythin'g. I'm making myself available to any of the teams. I'll be at all the races with my gear bag and will ride anything .superbike or supersport. We've proved to the world that we're capable of doing this, but it just cost me a fortune and my riding was suffering because I had to do a lot of the work myself. It's an aggressive move, but you've got to strike when you've got to strike." Vlasblom finished 10th in the 1996 AMA Harley-Davidson SuperTwins Championship, finishing 11 th three times over the course of the season. He also finished 80th in the AMA Superbike National Championship, with a best finish of 29th coming at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. The Summer Series points championship at Powerline Motocross Playground in Willis, Virginia, is well under way, with the third round of the MX series scI1eduled for May 31. Gates open at noon, with races beginning at 2 p.m. The track also offers weekly practice hours. For more information, call 540/789-7640.

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