Cycle News - Archive Issues - 1990's

Cycle News 1997 09 03

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 Jess Kempkes (G-G) wo n rounds eigh t and nine of the AMA / NATC National Tria ls Champ ionship on A ugust 23 (Canyon City , Colorado) and 24 (Taos, New Mexico), but it w as Geoff Aaron (Bet) who clinched the title after the two ro unds. Aaron finished his season off with a third in Taos, behiTId New York's Ra y Pe te rs (G -G) , w ho was se co nd be hi nd Kempkes . Despite ta kin g the win at both rounds, Peters is un officially second in the final cham pionship stan dings, just in front of Kempkes, G eo Roed er II (H- D) w on the AMA N atio na l H ot Shoe Dirt Tr a ck Series round at the Darke County Fairgrounds in Greenville, Ohio , on Au gust 22. Roede r topped Steve Bea tt ie (H -D ) a nd Bryan Bigelow to win the ha lf mile race. O ther w inners on the nigh t included 600cc Expert victor Ryan Brown (Rtx), and Nic ky Hayd en, wh o won both the 600cc Pro-Am and the 250cc Pro-Am . Todd Levesque (Yam) won the NETRA Ha re Scrambles rou nd in Union, Co n- necticu t, on August 24, topping Josh McLevy (Hon) and Pat Timo thy (Kaw) , W.,,; Clarke (Yam) finished fourth over all and also captured the A-class overall victory. to Yamaha} has invested too much time in the mo to rcycling giant to joi n it s nu m be r-o ne riva l o n a s ho rt- te rm whim. Doohan has described his fourth world tille as the mos t "gratifying" of his dis tin guish ed career. After coming back from shocki ng leg injuries sus ta in ed d uring p ra c tice fo r th e 1992 Dutch Gr and Pri x, Doohan sai d that he may have retired if he had won the 1993 title. "When I started out in GPs, I set myse lf the goal of winning back- to-beck titles," Dooha n explained . "As it turned out, I won my fir st cha m p io ns h ip in 1994, which was great, and then again in ' 95, so I achieved my original goal. But if I had won the '93 champio nsh ip after wha t happened the year befo re, I ma y ha ve retired." Des p it e jo ining Geoff Duke, Jo hn Surtees, Way n e Ra in ey , Kenny Robert s, Giacomo Agoslini and Mike Hailw ood in winn ing three consecutive 500cc wo rld titles, he merely sees his 1996 championship as a bonus. "I really though t I'd see how the yea r would go without setting my sights on the cha m pionship , so wi nning it was really a bonus . But w inni ng the fo urth one is really gratifying personally , and a trib u te to Dr. (Claud io) Costa and my team ." In o minous news for his riv als, Wit h Gra n d P rix g ia n ts Honda a nd Yama ha engaged in a m igh ty tug-ofwa r for Michael Doohan, the man himself ha s publicly clouded his plans for 1998 wi th comments he mad e during an in terview fo r the Aus trali an Cha nnel Nine Netwo rk, reports Cycle.N ews con- tr ibu tor Dar ry l Flac k . The four- ti me Wo rl d Cha m p io n is co ns ide ri ng hi s op tio ns af ter receivi ng an offer fro m Yamaha tha t he says is better "in black and w hite " than HRC' s bid. Speaking . from the hilltops of Monaco last week, the 32-yea r-old Aus tralian said, "Making a change is pr obably a good thing at this stage of my career, bu t w hoever I ride for will be based on a bu siness d eci s ion . I've had a very s ucce s s ful career at Honda, but as I have alwa ys do ne, I've only signed one-year co ntracts. I expect to have everything sor ted out in the next few weeks." After flying to Japan for prom otional work prior 2 to the British Grand Prix, it is believed that Doo han was disappoin te d wit h Hond a's proposal for 1998. But the gritty Qu e en sl and er has mu d d ied th e wa ters in light of Wayn e Rainey' s public decla ratio ns about securing the second-winningest-rider spot in 500cc GP his tory. Asked abo u t th e prospect of wo rk ing with tr iple World Cha m pio n Rainey, Doo han said: "Who's to say it's Wayne Rainey, or eve n Yama ha ? Who actua lly ru ns the team is not a big deal. Wayne's a good friend , but my decisi on w on' t b e ba sed on fri end ship . It wo uld n' t be a situa tion w here Way ne tell s me how to ride, a nymore than I would tell him how to rid e." There have been rep orts that Suz uki is also in the b idding for Doohan, despite sources who cl aim tha t All-J apan Yamah a Superbike star Noriyuki Haga will saddle up alongside Anthony Gobert on a wo rks RGV500 next yea r. By negotiating the biggest sing le co nt rac t in GP racing, Honda is conduc ting a stra tegy of brinkmansh ip in its negotiations with Doohan, believing it is in a win -win situation. If the m ultitime World Champion re-signs, all well and good - but if he does jump ship, HRC believes tha t a fit Taddy Oka da in his seco nd year on a Honda NSRSOO V-fou r will be a match for Doo han on an unfamiliar Yamaha. HRC also believes tha t Doohan 's team, wh ich is believed to be pa rt of a mov e Doo ha n added, "I ha ve no p roblems Italy breezes to ISDE victor I t was a wa lk in the par k for Team Italia as the Italian World Trophy Team cruised to victory at the 72nd running of the Internationa l Six-Day Enduro in Brescia, Italy, Au gust 19-24. Italy' s six-man team , led by overall individual win ner Giovanni Sala, was ahead for the entire six days, wi th no real threat coming from any of the ot her 17 teams . In the end , they finished with a 956.56-point advantage over Finland , 263.22-1219.78. Third place went to France, followed by the Czech Repu blic. The American Trop hy Team , consisting of Rodn ey Smith, Ty Davis, Steve Hat ch: Chris Smith, Rand y Hawkins and Scott Summers, rou nded ou t the top five after starting the even t in eigh th place. ' . In the Junior World di vision, for riders 23 years of age and un der, Italy aga in scored an easy victory over France. Sweden finished third, followed by Finland and Aus tralia . The American Team , made up of Sam Buffa, Mike Lafferty , Scott Stretch and Brian Garra han , finished eighth. • Class winners included Italian Stefano Passeri (KTM ) in the 125cc class; Sala (KTM) in the 175-25Occ class; Italian Mario Rinaldi (KTM) in the 400cc Four-Stroke class; and Finland 's Kari Tialnen (KTM) in the 500cc Fou r-Stroke class. KTM mo torcycles swe p t all four di visions . The "Top American" honors (based on lowest evaluations among the America n riders ) went to Rodney Smith (Suz), who finished fifth in the 250cc class - one spot better than Ty Davis (Kaw). Of the 36 American riders who star ted the event, 33 made it to the finish , wit h eight of them earn ing gold med als: Randy Hawkins (Suz): Chris Smith, (TM); Rodney Smith (Suz); Ty Davis (Kaw): Steve Hatch (Suz): Destry Abbo tt (KTM); Mike Lafferty (KTM) and Brian Garra han (KTM). · The win was Italy's fourth in the last six years. Kit Palmer with my moti vati on, and I be lieve I'm improving as a rider des pite my injuries that have res tricted my mobilit y on the bike." Colin Edwards II un d erwent su rgery on Augus t 7 in Freemont, California, to have the broken plate removed from his left collarbone - a result of his cras h in Monza, Italy, which also left him wit h a bro ken arm. Or . Art hur Ting also fitted a stronger plate to the injured area, and it was discovered during the operation tha t Edwa rds had a lso re b roke n h is shou ld er. Ting also repaired the anterior crucia te ligament in both of the Texan 's knees d uring the sa me operation . Edwar ds has since started rehabili tation , u n d er the g u id a n ce of Ting , a nd is expected to return to racing at the Sugo round of the World Superbike Cha mpions hip on Oc to be r 5. Edwa rd s wa s inju red du ring p ractice for the Monza roun d of the se ries o n June 20 when Frenchman Jea n-Phi lippe Rug gi a ran into him. Mu ltitime AMA Supercross and National Motocross Cha mpion Rick Johnson , who now li ves in Mo oresville, N orth Carolin a, fi nis h ed eig hth in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Parts Am erica 150 in Watkins G le n , New Yor k, on Au gust 24. Johnson drove a Prime Performance Mor or spo rts C he v ro le t, ea rn in g $7 125 in purse money . The Hunwick Hallam X1R s u perbike prot otype has overcome a se rious oilaera lion problem by u sing th e bi ke's swingarm as a catch-tank, reports Cycle News contributor Darry l Flack. Accord ing to project p rincipal Rod Hu nw ick, "We ' ve been having trouble since we' ve been racing, w here the eng ine is con stan tly revved past 10,000 rpm. It' s a problem that any big twin has, because the engine acts like a pump that increases the volume of oil at peak revs ov er a race, w hich w e nev er ex perienced on the d yn o . Using th e swinga r m gives us ano ther two liters of capac ity, and the aera tion probl em has disappeared . It's saved us build ing a catch-tank and has kep t the weight d own and lower . The plu mbi ng is a lit tle obvious now , but fut ure versions will have all the lines hidden insid e the swlnga rm ." Craig Anderson (KTM) and America n Mike Jones (Suz) sha red th e spo ils a t the final tw o rounds of the Aus tralian Ind oor Su pe rcross Mast ers a t the Sydney Entertainment Centre on August 1516. In Friday night's Zo-Iap final. Ande rso n too k the w in and the series from d efending cha m p Pet er Melton (Kaw ) and Kim Ashkenaz i (Ho n), Jon es finished fifth after coming off second-best in an altercation with As hkenazi. After getting the holeshot in Saturday's final. Jones held off sp irited cha llenges fro m both Anderson a nd Me lton to take a po pu lar wi n, following man y yea rs of ba d luc k at Syd ney . American Aren across ride r Ier omy Buehl (Yam) struggled over bo th ro u n d s afte r b e in g ca ug h t u p in a runni n g battl e with H onda Australia teamst er 'Sick' Mick Cook. In other news, Suzuki Aust ralia rider Andrew McFarlane will contes t the final two ro unds of th e AMA National Motocross Series on a Morgan Racing Suzuki RMI 25. Recently crowned Australian Superbike Sp rint Ch am pion Martin CraggiII has turned down an offer to ride an Elf SOD ' in the re maining Grand s Prix in 1997, ac co rdi ng to Cycle N ews co n tribu to r Darryl Flack. "I was ap pr oached about the ri de, but I'm co ntra cted to Team Kaw asaki Australia until the end of the year, and I'll stay loyal to them." Craggill rod e for Serge Rosser's Elf team at the 1996 Australian Grand Pri x, wh ere he ran in the points before retiring with brake problems . Whether Cragg ill or Suzuki's Peter Godda rd will be able to enter this year's Australia n 500cc Gra nd Prix as wild card s is still to be co nfirm ed . Peter Goddard is hoping to defend his World Endurance Cha m pionship with Doug Polen next year. "I'm happy to go aga in next year, and so is Doug," God dard said while spectating at the Sydney Supercross rece ntly . The pa ir clinched the titl e fo r Suz u ki at th e Su z uka 8 Hours in July and are d ue to contest the fina l round at the Bol d'Or 24-hou r race at Paul Ricard on Sep tembe r 21. The 32-' year-old Godda rd, wh o also runs Aus tralia' s Suzuki Supe rbike team and fills in as Lu cky S trike Su zuki's rese rve 500cc GP rid er , is sched u led to meet" with Su zuki' s head hon chos in Japan about his role in 1998. In a last-minu te mov e, New York Governo r George E. Pataki took action to ensu re that his sta te wou ld establish a self-funded motorcycle-safety program , according to the AMA. Earlier in the year, a rid er-education bill introd uced by State Senator Owen H . Johnson (RSu ffolk) had passed th e Sen at e, bu t it . h ad bo gg ed dow n in th e Asse m bly while legislators argued over legislation. With time running ou t, it became ap parent that the bottleneck in the Assembly would kill the motorcycle-safety bill, so activists and staff from ABATE of New York, the Motorcycle Safety Foundation, and the AMA pe titioned Pataki's office for help in establishing the state' s firs tever mot orcycle-sa fet y progra m. The governor res po nded by including th e bill's lan guage in his budget, w hich was subsequentl y approved by the Legislature. The move establishes a moto rcyclesa fe ty progra m th at w ill b e fun d ed entirely by a 53.50 annual surcharge on mo torcycle licen se s and regi strations . Th e fund will be used exclusively for rider-e d ucatio n ac tivities thr ou gh out the sta te. New York becomes the 45th state to establish such a program. According to a pres s release issu ed by NASB, road racer Steve Grigg will race a Fast Bv Ferracci Ducati 748SP in the EBC Br'-kes Sport Bike class at Pocono Internatio na l Raceway, Aug u st 29-21, during the NAS B Formula USA weekend at the facility . . According to his moth er, Liz Reynar d, rnotocrosser Robbie Reynard is recovering well after breaki ng two bon es in his hand a t the Washougal, Wa shi ngton, rou n d o f th e AMA 125cc Nationa l Motoc ros s Championship. Liz Reynard a lso wa nted to thank racer Ryan Duff for stopping and helping Reyna rd and s tay ing wi th h im unt il assista nce arrived. "It just goes to show there are

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