Cycle News - Archive Issues - 1990's

Cycle News 1998 02 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 Four d ifferent ,w inners emerged again from th e AMA PJl National Aren across races as rounds 13 and 14 were held in New H aven , Co nnecticu t, January 23-24. Chad Pederson (Kaw) topped Mike Jones (Kaw) and Cliff Palmer in 125cc Pro-class action o n Fri d ay nigh t, with Jones com ing back to win the 250cc class ove r Jim Chester (Suz) and Palmer. On Saturd ay n ight, Buddy Antunez (Suz) b e a t Jo n e s a n d Pe derso n to win th e 125cc class, w h ile Ch ester was able to top Jones and Grayson Goodman (Kaw) to wi n th e 250cc class. Antunez continu e s to le ad th e cha mp io nsh i p po int s t a n d i ngs o v er P e ders o n , 44 2-4 17. Palmer is th ird wi th 416 point s. Rick Ryan (Kaw) an d Ro dney Smith (Suz) w ere the big winners in the second round o f th e CM C G olden Sta te M X Nationals North, held at Sandhill Ran ch in Brentwood, California, on January 25. Ryan won the 250cc Pro class and Smith took top honors in th e 125cc Pro class . Smith also w on the Vet Pro di vision. Fo rm e r 500cc National M oto cr o ss Champion Chuck Sun (Hbg) we n t tw ofor-three d u ring th e Butt onwill ow Super IT w eekend in But tonwillow , California, Jan uary 24-25. Sun beat Don Canet (H on) and roa d racer Roland Sands to wi n th e 12-lap feature event. Sun also w on th e Open Superm otard rac e and fini shed se co n d to Canet in the Midd lew eigh t Motard. R ooki e Pro Bill y Pa yne (Kaw) w on the 250cc Pro class at the opening round of the GFl Winter MX Series South, held at Perri s Raceway in Pe rris, California, on Janua ry 25. Japanese racer Kyuichizo Takahama (Hon ) finishe d seco nd and German 250cc G ra nd Prix regular Pit Beirer (Hon) finished third. Casey Lytle (Hon) w on the 12Scc Pro class, with Brit James Dobb (Hon) taking second and Payn e (Kaw) en ding up third. The 500cc Pro class w as ba ck, due to an d dominated by Yamaha's new YZ4ooF, with Kenny ' Zahrt (Yam) taking the win, followed by Dan Berg (Yam) and Joe Root (Yam). Former World Superbike Champion Tro y Corser says that Ducati must change the power delivery of its latest 996cc V-twin in order to stan d any chance of winning the 1998 World Su perbi ke Cham pions hip, according to Cycle News contributor Darry l Flack. Desp ite record ing competitive times in tests at A1bacete and Jerez in Spain last month, Corser said the new-spec eng ine needs m ore pr ogress ive engine response . H e also comp lained of un der-steer problems. "The latest engine we tested has a lot m ore bo ttom -end and m id range power than the bikes I rode in '96," Corser said. "The powe r is so strong. thou gh, that the bike is tying itself in knots off the comers, which is causing obvious handling problems . I kn o w th ere h a ve been so me chan ges to the sus pension since 1996, but I think the immediate problem is d ue to the abru pt bottom-en d pow er. I know Foggy (Carl Fogarty) has been complaining about the Duke's beha vior and I believe the new engine is m aking it w ors e. I th ink th ey need to flatten out th e power curve and m ake it com e on like the '96 bike d id ." Corser is re turning to World Superbike racing after a disastrous 500cc Grand Prix se aso n en th e Red Bull Yamaha team, a season tha t w as cut short when he failed to come to terms with the team. '1 believe I can win it," Corser said of his return to the World Superbike scene. "I'm approaching it the same wa y I did in '96, and I've got a lot of the gu ys working with me from that team. But I think it's going to be tougher this year because the Kawasakis are a lot faster now." Davis wins Hare & Hound 0 ener M 2 o n tcla ir Yamaha-b ack ed Ty Dav is (ri gh t) turn e d in an amazin g co me-fro m-be h in d ride to w in th e o peni n g round of the AM A National Cham p ionshi p H are & H ound Se ri e s, h eld in Lucerne Valley, Californ ia, on January 25. Davis' win was in teresting for a numb e r of reasons, the fi rs t o f w h ich being th e fac t tha t he was riding a new Yamaha YZ400F fourstroke with very limited riding time on the new bik e. "I' ve onl y been testing the bike for a w eek and a half," Davis sa id . " I wa s go ing to ride a big-bore YZ250 in th e o pener, but after riding th is 400 around last week, I changed my mind. The motor is box -stock, exce pt for the FMF spark arrestor. ACM E re-valved the suspension for m e, and I just got my gearing on Frida y." Also m akin g the wi n very impressive wa s the fact that Dav is didn't get his typical holeshot, but ra ther had to wo rk up from a bad start. "It took me about four or five kicks to get the bike going." Davis sa id about the dead-en gine start. " It wasn't th e bike's fau lt - I ju st didn' t kick it hard enough. By the tim e I go t goi ng. 1 was in 60th place at the end of the bo mb ru n. I just sta rted passing gu ys like cra zy - gro u ps offive an d 10 at a time - and I just played it as safe as I could in all th at dust." By the first and only pit stop, Davis had worke d his way up to sixth place and set out after the lead er s on the final loop. "I got Dest ry Abbott in the pits w hen he changed a flat and then I set ou t after the rest," D avi s sai d . "I knew I wa s getting close to the front and then I pa ssed Ca pt, then Russell (Pearson), then Da ve Ondas, and th en Ni ck (Pearson ) wa s the only one left. I passed Nick in the tu m right before th e finish chute. It w as a pre tty tens e race and th e cro w d was going crazy at tha t point. 'That w as th e m ost awesome ra ce I' ve eve r had . I reeled in eve ry bo dy and I've never had to ride dust like th at before. The y all had to be a cou ple of m inutes ah ead of me. It w as aw eso me. " . Rou nd ing out the top five overa ll we re Nick Pear son (KIM), Dave Ond as (Kaw), Destry Abbott (KIM) and Russell Pea rso n (KIM). Gobert quick again in La una test V ance & H ines Ducati's An thony Gobert w as th e quickest of the factory su perbi ke m en who tested at Laguna Seca Raceway in Mont erey, California, Ja nuary 23-24, lapping at 1:26.5 on his facto ry Du cati V-twin. . • Gobert led Muzzy Kaw asak i's Dou g Chandler, wi th the defending AMA Su perbike National Cham pion turnin g a 1:27.1 on h is su p erbike . Chand le r, th ough, was th e fas tes t of the 600cc Su perspo rt test ers, lapping under the lap reco rd with a 1:30.8 on the new ZX-6R "The 600 "going good," team owner Rob Muzz y said . "I th ink that Doug (Chandler) is at least halfwa y hap py with it." Chandler's teammate Tommy Hayden , mean while, lap ped at 1:30.7 on the su pe r. bike and 1:32.7 on the ZX-6R. Third-qu ickest after two d ays w as Yoshim ura Suz uki's Aaron Yates . The Georgian lapped at 1:27.38, th ou gh it wasn' t kn own w he ther he d id h is best tim es on the carbureted or fuel-injected vers ion of the GSXR750. Both he and teammate Mat Mlad in tested both bikes, w ith MJad in doin g hi s best la ps on th e carbureted model. Th e Australi ans stopped th e clocks at 1:28.1. Yoshimura also had the TSlOOOR V-twins at Laguna, wi th Steve Crevie r lap pi ng at 1:29.29. The team concen tra ted its efforts entirely on the su pe rbikes and didn't do any 600cc Super sport testin g. "We just got th e new stock cha ssis with su pe rbike br acin g and it' s a lot better than the earlier one-off racing cha ssis w e test ed ," Crevier sa id . "I th ink th e bike is com ing along great. Its 'steering characteristics are more su ited to me than what I've been riding the las t couple of years." Somewhat surp risi ng ly, class rookie Jamie H acking turned the fourth -faste st super bike lap on th e factory Yam aha YZF750 - a 1:27.6 - des pite sit tin g ou t the firs t da y of the test w hil e his leathers w ere being altered . H ackin g' s teammate Rich Oliver, however, crashed during the test an d suffered a broken finger. The crash came after Oliver h ad lapped at a best of 1:28.8. " He crashed four minutes before the lunch break," Yam ah a crew chief Tom H ousew orth sai d. " He was on his in lap, actu ally, an d just hi t the th rottle too hard in tu m three and it high-sided him." Gobert's Va nce & H in es Du cati teammate Tho mas Stevens turned a best lap of 1:28.5, sixth- fastest of th e su perbike riders in attendance. French Canadian Pascal Picotte was the faster of th e tw o factory H ar ley-Davidsons, lapping at 1:28.4 to teamm ate Thomas Wilson's best of 1:29.1. The H arl ey team now features nearly all new crew members, including Scott Beach, for m er ly of Kinko's Kawasaki, and suspension man Dale Rathwell, w ho came wi th Picotte fro m Yoshimura Suzuki. "You've go t to rem ember that th e riders w e've had for th e p ast coupl e of years haven ' t had an y previous su pe rbike exp erience," team manager Steve Schi ebe sa id . "Pascal brings a lot to the tab le w ith hi s expe rie nce." HyperCycle Suzuki' s Jason Pridmore was a busy m an d uring the test, doing lap s on h is su pe rbike and his 600cc and 750cc Su persport Suzukis. In the end, the Californian lapped at 1:29.4 on the su pe rbike, 1:32.1 on the GSXR750 and 1:32.4 on the GSXR600. Hy pe rCycle also had u p start N icky Hayden at the test, wi th the 16-year-old lapping at 1:33.1 on the 750 and 1:33.4 on the 600. Lan ce Holst Accord in g to news w ire reports, Octagon, th e new sports-marke ting division of th e glob al ad ve rtising gian t In terp ub lie (IPq, h as acqu ire d 50 p e rce n t of Superbike Int ern ation al, th e rights holders of the FIM Wo rld Superbike Champ ionship. Prior to th e purchase, Su perbike Intern ational was owned 50/50 by The F1ammin i Grou p and an Indonesian holding com pany headed by the son of the Indonesian president, Suharto. IPC boasts a clien t list that includes General Motors, Coca-Cola and Burger King . The South w est Vi ntage Racing G rou p (SVRG) will be in action at San Diego's Q u aIco m m Stadium on February 14, racing as a support cla ss in the PACE Motor Sports-promoted Monster Tr uck Show . SVRG will also d isp lay numerou s vin tage motocrossers, in clu d ing several pr e-1974 works machines. SSC w ill hold a Mid-S ta te GP Series at Hungry Valley SVRA in Gorman , California, begin ning on Feb ruary 8. The GP will consist of th e 1.5-m ile MX tra ck and 3 mi les of an off-road cou rse. Ro u nd tw o is sche d uled for Feb ruary 22, with the fina l race to be run on March 15. For m ore informati on , call 805 /294-0020. Ducati Manhattan is sche d u led to hold its grand ope ning on March 12 after an unveiling on January 23. Represe nting th e firs t app lication of the Ducati Store co nc e p t, th e d ealer shi p will p ro v id e Duca ti en th us iasts with " a co m p le te s port- mo to rcy cl ing ex perie n ce in an e nvi r o n men t devo te d to th e b ran d , inclu d ing every th ing from b ikes and parts to rid ing gear, cust om accessories and club eve nts ." Du cati Manhattan is loca ted at 42nd Street and 11th Avenue, close to Times Square in New York. Rou nd five of the Speedway Ice Racing Worl d Ch ampion ship w ill be h eld on February 14 in th e Cow Pala ce in San Francisco, Cali fornia , with three-time ICE World Champion Charlie Venegas head in g the entry list. For more information, call 970 /262-9067. Former World Champion Wa yne Gardner is still cou nting the procee d s from a m illion-dollar garage sale at his Sydney, Austr alia, work shop. Several thousand peo ple were on ha nd to bid on hundreds of items - from old racing gloves to his Veight race cars. "I had 20 years worth of junk sitti ng ar ou nd h er e and I thou gh t so m eone w ould u se it," Ga rdner said. "I'm abso lu tely stagge red by the number of peo ple we had come out." On e woman p aid big money for an au togra ph ed 44gallon d rum, while othe rs bid for a 1924 Velocette and one of his Harl ey Fat Boys. After 20 ye ars as man ager o f Barber Honda-Su zuki in Ve n tura, Ca lif ornia, transplanted Brit Phil Smith has moved

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