Cycle News - Archive Issues - 1990's

Cycle News 1998 01 14

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 : .. ,';., ~ Josh Demuth (Suz) won b oth the 125 a nd 250cc Pro classes in th e seven th round of the AMA PJl Arenacross Series in Fort Worth, Texas, on Frida y, January 2, but Cha d Pede rso n (Kaw ) and Buddy Antunez (Suz) came back to take class wins in rou nd eight on Saturday, January 3. Demuth topped both An tu nez and Pederson to win Friday' s 125cc Pro class and beat Mike Jones (Kaw) an d Grayson Good man (Kaw) to wi n the 250cc class. On Saturd ay night, Ped erson beat Travis Hodges (Kaw) and Cliff Palmer in the 12 5 c c cl a ss, wh il e Antun ez wa s abl e to h o ld off Brad Woolsey (Kaw) and Pede rso n to win the 250cc class . Demuth, mean wh ile, man aged only a fifth and seventh in the two fin al s o n Saturd a y. Af ter eigh t of 28 ro unds, Ped erson lead s Antunez in the series point stand ings , 244-235. Palm er is third with 232 points. Forme r 125cc World Motocross Champion Sebastien To rt elli (Kaw) wo n the 250cc Pro class a t the ninth annua l GR $10,000 lItVitationa l Supe rcross, held a t Perris Racewa y in Perri s, California, on January 3. The Frenchman held off the ad van ces of Jeff Emig (Kaw ) and early race leader M ik e Bro wn (Ho n) to tak e the win. M ike Craig (Hon) and Damon Hu ff man (Kaw) finished fo u r th and fifth , respectively. In 125cc Pro act ion, Ricky Carmichael (Kaw) took the win over Robbie Reynard (Suz), wit h Greg Schnell (Suz), Mike Brandes (Suz) and Brock Sellards rou n d in g out the top five. Denny S tephenson (Hon ) and Chad Pederson (Kaw) were the big winners at rounds thr ee and four of the K Pro motions Are nacross Series held in Kearney, Nebraska, December 12-13. Pederson won Fri day's 125c c m ain a hea d of Stephenson a nd Brian Stone (Kaw), with Stephenson coming back to win the 250cc class in fron t o f Pe d erso n a nd Stone. On Satu rda y, Pederson aga in topped Stephenson in the 125cc class, foll owed by T racy Bachman in th ird . Stephenson th en wo n the 250c c class over Pederson and Stone . Tony Grave s (Yam) d ominated ro und four of th e CMC /Dunlop No rth wes t Arenacross Series in Mon roe, Washington, on Dece mb er 14 by winning both the 125 and 250cc Pro cla sses . In the 125cc class, Jason De mpsey (Kaw ) and Bra d' Hagse th (Yam ) fini sh ed se co nd and t h ir d , respecti vel y, w h ile Sc o ll Stef fy an d Travis Gage (Suz) filled out the rest of the podium in the 250cc class. 2 Frenc h ma n Ste p h an e Peterh a nsel su rged in to th e lead a fte r th e fou rth day of th e 20th runnin g of th e Dakar Rally, which go t und er way January 1 a t t h e Plac e d' Arm e s in Versa illes, Fra nce. Th e more-t han -6000-mile rall y is scheduled to conclude on January 18 at Pin k Lake in Dakar, the cap ital city of Senegal. Five- time Dakar Rally winner Peterh an sel rode his Yam aha Motor Fran ce XTZ850 TRX tw in into the lea d after the compe tito rs arrived in Africa. KTM rid ers Fabio Farioli and Giovanni Sala ca ug h t Peter han sel off guard early in the even t with test wins on the second and third da ys of the even t, bu t the Italians have fallen slig htly off the pa ce and are now running back a few places. Six-time World Enduro Champion Kari Tiainen (KTM) is cu rren tly se co n d, followed by Fre nc h m a n Richar d Sainct (KTM) a n d South African Alfie Cox (KTM ). Fou r- time. Dakar winner Edi Orioli (BMW) ho lds down 10th . Ton y Loru sso (Suz) a nd Ronnie Tichenor split Pro-cla ss wins in the second round of the Florida Winter AMA Motocross Series on Jan uary 4. Loru sso top p ed Brandon Jesse man (Suz) and Tichenor to win th e 125 cc Pro cl ass, w h ile Tichenor be at Keith J ohnson (Kaw) and Cory Keeney (Yam) to take the 250cc Pro-class win. S FX Broa dcasting Inc. ha s ag reed to acquire PACE Entertainment Corporation fo r a p proxima te ly $130 millio n, according to repor ts fro m New York . PACE Motor Sports, a division of PACE Ente r tainment , pro m ote s th e AMA Supercross Series tha t is set to begin on January 10 in Los Ang eles, Ca liforn ia . PACE Theatrical is the largest presen ter and prod ucer of theatrical shows tou rin g outside of New York City; PACE Music owns interests in and mana ges 13 amphithea ters and is also one of the top three presenters of non-a mphith ea ter mu sic concert s in the cou nt ry . In 1997, more than 14 milli on people atte nded more 'than 5000 eve nts present ed or produced by PACE. Acco rdi ng to reports, Bri an Beck er, p resid ent a n d C EO of PACE Ent erta inment, w ill con tinue to manage the d ay-to-da y ope ra tions of PACE and will also becom e a director of the new SFX Enterta inm ent and a member of th e soo n-to-be-formed Offi ce of the Preside nt. The AMA h a s annou n ced that Fi rs t Auto Sports Television (FAST) wi ll p rom ote the Road Atlanta round of the AMA /MBNA Superbike Na tio nal Cha mpions hip, May 30-31. Even more newsworthy is the fact that th e Road Atla n ta ro u nd will act ually consist of two po ints-paying AMA Superbike Nationals - one on Satu rday an d one on Sunday . Ac co rd ing to a sc he d u le released by th e AMA, final su perbike qualifyin g will be held on Sa turday from 11:30 a.m . to 12:~0 p.m., with the Saturday National schedu led for 3 p.m. Sunday's National will also begin at 3 p.m. With two races schedu led for Road Atlanta, the series will now consis t of 14 round s . T he schedul e is as foll ow s: round 1 - Phoen ix In tern a tional Raceway (Febru ary 13-15); round 2 - Daytona Interna tional Speedway (March 68); rou nd 3 - Laguna Seca Ra ce w a y (April 17-19); round 4 - Willow Springs Raceway (April 24-26); round 5 - Sear s Point Racewa y (May 1-3); rounds 6-7 Road A tlanta (May 29-3]); round 8 Road America (Ju ne 12-14); round 9 New Hampshire In te rn a tiona l Sp eedway (June 19-21); round 10 - Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course (July 17-19); round 11 - Brainerd Intern ational Ra ce w a y (Augus t 1-2); round 12 - Route 66 Raceway (Aug us t 7-9); round 13 - Pikes Peak Int ernational Raceway (September 4-6); round 14 - Las V egas Motor Speedway (September 18-20!. Stiffie prod ucts will be field ing a fourma n race team for the 1998 12Scc Weste rn Reg ion al Supercro ss a n d 125 cc Na tio na l Motocross even ts to promote their new Air Rid e apparel. The team will con sist of Mike Brandes, Shaun Perolio, Jeff Willoh an d Tyler Evans' > all riding Su zukis s up p lied by Grand Pri x Spo r ts. Major backing w ill al so come from West wood Int erna tion al of Japan , and Tom Mo rga n Racing will handle the motor and sus pensio n modifications . Two-time 125 cc Na tio na l Mo tocro ss Cha mpio n Steve Lamson bro ke his collarbon e while practicing at Glen Helen Raceway in San Bernardino, California, Kocinski and Edwards si n with Honda merican road racing fans are now guaran teed of having at least two locals racing for World Cham p ions h ip honors in 1998, as bot h John Kocin ski a nd Colin Edwards II have fina lly signed thei r one-year contracts with Honda. Kocinski will rid e a MoviStar Pons Ho nd a NSR500 in the 500cc World Champ ionship, while Edward s takes ove r Kocinski's rid e in the Castrol Honda World Superbike team . "It' s all signed," Kocinsk i sai d afte r returning hom e fro m a snow-skiing trip in Nevada. "I've sig ned two contrac ts - one with Hond a and one with Sito (Pons)." Kocins ki tested the team 's NSR500 Decemb er 19-20 at Jerez in Spain, thou gh most of the test was inte rrupted by wet conditions. "It was raining all the time," Kocinski said, "so we d id n't get a lot of time on the bike beca use it took so long to dry ou t. We never had a comp letely d ry track. I rod e a '97 bike and it all we nt okay. Well, I fell down on the last day. I lost the front in the first tu rn, bu t it was my fault - I just pu shed a bit too hard too soon. As a racer, it's har d to jus t cruise. Oth er than that, everything went good . The team's very organi zed and it shou ld be okay for the year." Kocinski will be team ed with Spani ard Carl os Checa on the MoviStar team , effectively replacing Spania rd Alberto Puig, wh o recentl y an nou nced his retiremen t from the spo rt. In ad dition to sig ni ng his con tract w ith HRC, Kocin ski, now the nond efend ing World Superbike Champion, has also sw itched helm et brands for the coming seaso n and will wear an Arai, ending his long association wit h Bell Helm ets. Aft er testing the bik e for the first time recently at th e Suz u ka Circuit in Japan, Ed wa rds also signed a one-year contract with Castrol Honda to ride the team's Honda RC45 in the 1998 World Sup erb ike Championship. "It's the fastest thing I've ever thrown my leg over," an excited Edwards said in a phone con versation on Janu ary 4. "This is a great opportunity for me af ter a dis appointing year. Nex t year wi th Castrol Honda I hope 1 can pro ve that I am capa ble of becoming World Cha mpion." The Texan, who finished 12th in the 1997World Superbike Cha mpions hip aft er missing eight of the 12 round s wit h a broken ar m, will join New Zealander Aaron Slight on the team. A on December 18. Th e fac tory Ho nda rider is ex pec ted to m iss the firs t few rounds of th e 1998 AMA Supercross Series, but is likely to return for the Seattle round o n January 31. Des pite long n eg ot ia tio ns with KTM . an d longtime sponsor Kawasaki, it now ap pea rs that 1997 AMA Na tional Hare & Hound Cha mpion Ty Da vi s w ill be riding Yama has in 1998. In a d eal tha t will likely pu t him on a Yamaha ou t of Mon tclair Yamaha in Sou thern California, Davis is expected to be joined on the team by Team Gree n teammate Donnie Book. It is not known whether the two will be ridi ng YZ250s or the new fou rstroke YZ400Fs. Ansett Suzu ki Su pe rbike team in last yea r's Aus tra lia n Su pe rbi ke Na tio nal Championship. More reminders: Cycle New s has moved its offices fro m Long Bea ch to Costa Mesa, California. The new address and ph on e numbers are as follows : 3505-M Ca d illac Ave ., Costa Mesa , CA 92626, 714 /75 1-7433, 714 /751-6685 (fa x), 714/436-9577 (editorial fax). According to rep orts fro m Australia, former 500cc World Champion Kevin Schwantz h a s q uit th e Aus t ralia n NASCA R Cha mpio nship to concentra te hi s efforts on preparing for his 1998 Busch Gran d Na tional Cham pionship cam pa ign. A change i n po int s : T he AMA h a s changed its po int- pa ying stru ctu re for the AMA Superbike Na tional Cha mpionship Roa d Race Series. Points will now be paid to the top 30 fini sh ers in the following order: first - 36 poi nts; second - 32 poi n ts; third - 29 points; fourth - 27 points; fifth - 26 poi nts; sixth - 25 points; seventh - 24 points; eighth - 23 points; ninth - 22 points; 10th - 21 poi nts; 11th - 20 poi nts; 12th - 19 points; 13th 18 points; 14th - 17 p oints; 15th - 16 poi nts; 16th - 15 poi nts; 17th - 14 poin ts; 18th - 13 points; 19th - 12 points; 20th 11 poin ts; 21st - 10 poi nts; 22nd - nine points; 23rd - eight poi nts; 24th - seve n p oin ts; 25 th - s ix po ints; 26th - five po in ts; 27th - fou r poin ts; 28th - three poin ts; 29 th - tw o poi nts; 30 th - o ne point. Th e American Tr ials Associa tion h as announced the site and date for the 28th annual El Tria l de Espana. The two-day event will be held April 18-19 at Reed Valley in Aguanga, ap p ro xima tely 25 miles from Temecula, Californ ia. "Th e ATA is excited abou t once again staging bo th of these even ts, as Southern Califo rnia is a g re a t pl a ce to ride and is enjoyed by all on the Na tional tria ls circuit ," ATA presid ent Bill Markham said . "T his is a b rand -n ew site on p ri va te land , in a trial s rider's dream are a of rock -strewn va lley , which will provide crowd -pleasing world-class sec tio ns right at the specta tors' fee t." Satu rday'S even t will feature the third round of the Na tio na l Trials Cha m p io ns h ip, wi th Sunday featuring the EI Trial de Espana. Aus tra lian road racer Tro y Bayliss " ill ra ce in the British Su pe rbike Cha mpions hip in 1998 on th e officia l Brit ish Du ca ti team, accord ing to Cycle News correspondent Darryl Ra ck. Bayliss was offered a rid e o n th e Te a m Molenaar Suzuki 250 c<: G ra n d Pri x te am, but a pparen tly h a d to brin g in h is ow n sponsorshi p mon ey to make the d ea l h ap p e n . Ba ylis s rod e for th e Tea m French road racer Jean-Philippe Ruggia h as sign e d to r id e a fa cto ry Bim ota YB9SR in the 1998 Su pe rs p ort World Series. The former Ap rilia 250cc Grand Pri x rid er w ill ra ce in a n ew factory tea m -manag ed b y Ste fa n o Ca racch i. Ruggia will be joined in the team by Italian Su perbike Cha mpion Serafino Foti, who will race in bo th th e World a n d Italian Superspo rt Champ ionships.

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