Cycle News - Archive Issues - 1990's

Cycle News 1997 07 16

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 W D IN Belgian Joel Sme ts (Hbg) score d the overall win at the World Championship SOOcc Motocross Gra nd Prix in Farleigh Ca stl e, England, on Ju ly 6. Smets finished second to Jacky Martens (Hus) in the first moto, but came back to win the second moto, thus taking the overa ll victory . Seco nd place on the day we nt to Darryll King (Hu s), who went 3-2, while Ma rtens set tl ed for th ird with a 1-3 sho wi ng. Fourth overa ll went to Trampa s Parker (KIM), followed by defending champ Shayne Kin g (KTM) . By pos ting h is fou rt h win of th e ser ies, Smets extends his series points lead over King to 51 points, 202-151. Kurt Nicoll is third with 147. Nicoll finis hed sixth at his home GP. In Belo Horizonte, Brazil, on July 6, for the Wo rld Championship 25 0cc Motocr oss, d ef ending cha m p Stefan Everts (He n) took the overall win with a 2-1 ta lly. Therunner-u p was Seb astien Tortelli (Kaw), who went 1-8 on the da y. Finishing third was Marnicq Berv oets (Suz ), followed by Yves Demaria (Hon), Everts is currently sailing along with a huge 9O-point advantage over Bervoets , 355-265. Tortelli is a distant third wi th 259. Shaun Kalo s (Hbg) won both motos at ro u nd six of the AMA West ern FourSt r oke So u n d o f Thu nd er N atio nal Motocross Series in Grand Junction, Colorado, on July 6. Mike Hea ley (Hon) finished second overa ll with a pair of second-plac e fin is h es , w hile Robert Naugh ton (Hbg) took third. The series poin ts leader going into the event, Lance Smail, wen t 14-3 for se ven th ov erall. Kalos now leads the series by one point, 270-269, with two rou nds rema ining . Davey Durelle (w-R) rod e to victory in the Open Pr o motorcycl e cla ss a t th e 75th running of the Pike's Peak International Hillclimb in Pike' s Peak, Colorado, on July 4. Pa ul Zinke (W-R) and Rand y Triplett (W-R) finis hed second a nd th ird , res p ectiv el y. Chuck Lee (Hon) top ped Destry Abbott (KTM) and Mark Filler (Kaw) in the 250cc Pro class. M ickey A lz o la (R tx) won th e Open Am a te u r cl ass, a n d Ma r k Er ic k so n (Kaw) won the 250cc Amateur class. Oregon may be the next to join the list of states repealing its mandatory helmet law. The Oregon Legi sl ature has approved a bill that would repeal the state's man datory helmet law for ride rs over the age of 21. The bill, HB2454 .was originally drafted to allow moto rcyclists over the age of 18 to choose whether to wea r a helmet, but the House amended the bill's language to increase the age to 21. In th e Sena te, the bill was fu rther amended to require all motorcyclists to purchase $10,000 in personal-injury protection insu rance. The bill was then sent to a conference committee composed of House and Senate members to resolve the differences between the two versions of the bill. The AMA, ABATE of Oregon and Bike PA C of Oregon ha ve a ll expressed concern over the insurance requ irement to the confe rence committee members, aski ng that the provisio n be removed from the final version of the b ill , citing tha t othe r s tates that h ad e xperimented with vario us form s of mot orcyclist no-fa ult insurance had experienced dramati c rate increases and the wi thdrawal of motorcycle insurers from the marketplace. The confere n ce com m itt ee subs equ ently rem ov ed the p ersonal-injury pr otection-insurance requirement. Australian road racing star Shawn Gile s wa s denied a hat trick of victories in the second round of the Aus tralian Formula Xtreme Series at Eastern Creek on July 7. Afte r scoring back-to-ba ck victori es on his slightly modified Honda CBR900RR, Giles pulled into the pit on lap two of . the final race with a mysterious carbu retion problem . The o ve rall wi n went to Ken Watson (Yam), but the meeting was marred by .the spectacular high-speed accident invo lving fellow Yamaha rider Ma rtin Atlee, w ho s us tained a broken pelvis and leg after trying to pass Wa tson in tum one. The inaugu ral series is o p en to 800-1300ee r oa d b ik es (no h omol ogat ed ra ce bikes, i.e. Duca ti 916SP) w hich are allowed to run slick tires and modified exhaust systems . The opening two rounds have attracted significan tly bigger crowds than the Shell Australian Road Racing Cha mpionships, an d organizers claim that , in addition to Way ne Ga rdner a nd Rob Phillis, Australia' s top local superbike stars in tend to enter the Xtreme Six-Hour race at Eastern Creek on Nov ember 22. Former AMA 500cc Nati ona l Motocross Champion Rick Burgett (CZ) won the legends race held in conjunction with the AHRMA vintage motocros s National at Ca rlsbad Raceway in Carlsbad , California, on July 5. Wayne Boyer was second, and Rich Eirstadt was third . Gunning for the competition: NHRA Pro Stock motorcycle rider Regg ie Cole has secu red sponsorship from Sm ith & Wes- Fabio helps off-roadin9~I ~ n an effort to help at-risk and und erprivileged yo u th , intern a tional person ality Fab io ha s joined with the California Off High wa y Motor Vehicle Recreati on Division (OHMVR) a nd the California Police Activities League (CALPAL) to form "Off-Road Pals." • Off-Road Pa ls is a program tha t promot es motorcycle and ATV saf ety s kills, a nd offe rs cam ping and supervised trail riding. The two-d ay program, offered to boys and girls from ages 10 to 0\ 14, is conducted by PAL and SVRA volun teers. ...... Fabio volunteered his services to ask the pu b'!5 lie for suppor t throu gh public service announce...... ments that w ill be d istribut ed to 71 televisions >. and cable stations . For more information on the Off-Road Pals program, contac t the Ca lifo rnia --- Department of Pa rks and Recreati on Off- Hig hwa y Vehicle Division, PO Box 942896, Sacram ento, CA 94296-0001, 916/324-4442. " .. b\ :3 2 Meet the new boss? ate last week, rumors began swirling tha t American Honda had made a decision to subcontract its 125cc motocross and 125cc su percross program ou t to a well-estabIish ed American afterma rke t compa ny. Very much along the same lines as the cooperative effort between Team Kawasaki and Mitch Payton 's championship-winning Pro Circuit/SplitFire 125cc support team opera tion, ru mor and conjecture claims that American Honda ha s tapped FMF of Harbo r Ci ty: California, to run their new "ou t-of-hous e" opera tio n. However, upon mq ulr)', It appears tha t a number of factors involving the proposed new ventu re are nowh ere near being finalized . . "We are still inv estigating our options," said Ho nda race-team manager Wess McCoy from his office at American Honda Friday afternoon. "No thing has been fina l- L ized." Somewhat ironically, becau se the two entities were part of a joint endeavor known as "Team Pea k/Pro Circu it/ Ho nda" (which was instrumental in launching the careers of Jer emy McGra th and Steve Lamson) in the ea rly 199Os, it appears tha t Hond a' s potential new effort was initially offered to Payton and his prolific - and well-established - Pro Circuit Racing enterprise. "We offered the program to Mitch Pay ton abou t a mon th or so ago," ad mi tted McCoy. "But he dec lined, an d now we are left with a lot of options to cons ider. Despite all.of the rumors we a:e hearing,.we have no fina l commi tment to anyon e. All of the pnvate teams that are in teres ted 10 ru nn ing the program ar e gathering their information, searching for spo nsors and talking to rid ers. We're sitti ng back and look ing at all of it." While no one seems to be making declarative statem en ts rega rding the Ho nda /FMF effort, one can be led to ass ume that where there' s smoke, there's fire. A number of teams, afraid of being caug ht back on their heels, have allegedly been sent scrambling 10 an effort to formulate their plans for 1998. "The ru mor of us takin g our team ou tside seems to have started all of the teams pla nning for 1998," added McCoy . "With a number of supposed contract offers bei ng made to a few riders, the teams are all tryi ng to focus on their programs and begi nning to make plans. With all of the rumors floating aro un d, we even had Honda of Europe calling and asking us what we are up to. We've had numerous di scus sions wi th Mitch (Payton), and that prompted Kawasaki to get on the ball and they provided him wit h a final plan . Mitch w ill have that entire progra m (I25c c) for Kawasaki now." While insid er opinion claims tha t FMF has inked the deal wi th American Honda no thing has been confirmed, "FMF is in the same pla nning mo de as a number of othe; U.S. teams," McCoy said. "There are no givens here; we are still making plans. (Honda) manageme nt still has to look at all of this. It' s going to come down to whether we have enoug h mo ney in w hich to make it hap pen - it all depends on if it' s financiall y realistic." In an effort to obtain FMPs side of the story , we contacted team liaison - and former AMA 500cc Nati onal Motocross Champion and FIM 250cc World Motocross Champion - Danny laPorte. "There are a lot rumors floa ting aroun d," claimed laPorte from his office at FMF, Frida y ~0n:'ing (luly 4): :'and a lot of it just isn' t true. There were over six shops trying to obtain this deal and It s now come down to JUst a few . Neither laPorte nor McCoy would comm ent on the other teams being considered .) I can' t elaborate on if we have got ten the program or not , but Honda called us out of the blu e and asked us to consid er it and we could n't tum them down. You can' t just do tha t wi th Ho nda (lau ght er). MIke Garret and I put the proposal together, but as far as u s having the team, it's not completely etched in stone yet." If the proposed Ho nda satellite team was, in fact, to materializ e, a number of insid ers close to the situation have claimed that the chosen team would receive full-factory Honda 125s a nd enou gh fu nd ing for a fou r-ri de r assa ult on the 1';198 AMA 125cc Eas t/West Region Supercross Cha mpionshi p Series a nd the AMA 125cc Na tional Championship MX Series. Current Honda 125cc factory rider Scott Sheak, Team Primal I?,pulse's Robb ie Reyna rd , Team Ho nd a of Troy's Stephane Ron cad a, FMF support rider - and current FIM 125cc Grand Prix campa igner - David Vuillemi n, and top ProAm Nick Wey out of Michiga n have all been men tioned as potential rid er candidates for the new ou tfit. Moreover, rumor dict ates that Tho r will outfit the squad wi th race clothing as part of a major sponsorship deal. Eric Johnson son, the world 's larges t handgu n manufacturer, which is based in Cole's home town of Springfield , Massachusett s. Cole and his Sm ith & Wesson-backed drag bike will be in attendance at the remainder of the NHRA Winston Drag Racing Se r ie s and A MA /P rostar N ation al events. Kell y Pichel of Racing Adva ntage Technologies crashed in practice at Starwest Supercross Par k in Moreno Valley, California, on Th ursday, July 3. Pichel went ove r the bars, fractu ring his C5 and C6 ver te brae a n d rupturin g t he disc between the C6 an d C7 vertebrae. The re is no sign of pa ra lys is , bu t surger y including a bon e gra ft and a plate to stabilize the inju red section - will be perfo rmed Wedne sd ay , July 9 a t Lorn a Linda H ospital to re li e ve p e rsi st ing numbness and muscle weak ness on his rig h t sid e. A co mple te reco ve r y is ex pecte d a n d Pi ch el shou ld be di scharged a few days after surgery to recup erate a t home. Kell y ca n th en be reached at 909/7670448 or by card or letter c/o RAT Racing, 40225 Reed Valley Rd ., Agu anga, CA 92536. The 1997 AFM Four-Hour En du ra nce Road Race will take place on Saturday, Sep tember 6 at Thun de rhill Park in Willows, Ca lifornia . Cla sses will incl u de 450cc, 600cc. 750cc, an d Open. Up to 50 teams will be allowed to enter. The entry fee is $150 per team, and so me restrictions apply regarding Novice rid ers. The eve nt will be followed by a full day of spri nt races on September 7. Fo r more 'inforrnation, call 510/537-8208. The Castrol Honda team will take part in a Go-Kart Challen ge at Lagu na Seca

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