Cycle News - Archive Issues - 1990's

Cycle News 1998 03 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 · Denny Stephenson (Ho n) swep t round 21 of the AMA /PJl National Arenacross Series in Den ver, Colorado, on February 20, with Mike Jones (Kaw) and Buddy Antunez (Suz) spli ttin g wi ns in round 22, h eld on February 21. Stephenson topped Jero my Buehl (Hon) and Mi k e Jones (Kaw) to wi n Friday nigh t's 125cc ma in, and then came back to beat Jon es and Buehl in the 250cc class. On Saturda y n ight, Jones b eat T o d d D eHoop (Yam) and Stephenso n in the 125cc class as Antune z topped Stephenson a n d Jones to win the 250cc main. After 22 of 28 ro u nd s, Antunez lea d s th e s eries poin t s tandi ngs ove r Ch ad Pederson, 689-646. The Bea u caire Cla ssic, th e first maj or international mot ocross race of the year in Europe, took p lace on February 22 at the Circuit d e SI. Rom an in Beaucaire, France , and Belgian Joel Smets (Hbg) scored the win , going 3-1-3 on the day. Germany' s Pit Beirer (Ho n) was second, followed by Belgian Stefan Everts (Hon) and Frenchman Fred eric Bolley (Ho n), Americans Tallon Vohland (Yam) and Keith Bowen (KTM) com peted , w it h Vohland finishing 17th and Bowen 20th . Vohland co mp eted in only one moto, ch oosin g to sit ou t the other tw o races with a sore sho ulder. England's Kurt Nicoll (KTM) broke his right elbow in six places durin g a practice session a few days befor e the Beaucaire Classic. Following th e acci den t, Nicoll anno u nced his retirem ent at the age of 33. Ni coll never won a World C ha m pio nship b u t finis hed second numerous times. For the third time in a row, Frenchm an Arnau d Demeester (Yam) w on the Le Touqet Beach Race in Le Touqet, France, on February 22. Fell ow Fr en ch rid ers T hi e r ry Beth y s (Ya m) and Da v id Hauquier (Hon ) fini shed second an d third , respectively, while Belgian Gerald Delepin e (Hon ) a nd ano ther French rid e r , Je a n-Claud Mous se (Yam) , roun ded ou t the top five. The top -finishing Am erican was Jimmy Lewi s (Yam), who pla ced 27th. A claimed '250,000 sp ectators viewed the race. Ty Da vis (Yam) won the Laughlin U.S, Hare Scra m b les Ch ampionships team rac e in Laughlin, Nevada, on February 21. Da v is soloed th e event while his teammat e Donnie Book is still healing from injuri es. Finishing seco nd wa s the Dave Onda s /D e s try A bbott (KT M) en try, nearl y a minute and a half behind Davi s. Third we nt to Russ Pea rson and Jim G ray (KTM), follow ed by Oakle y Lehma n and Brtan Bro wn. Rounding out the top five was the Johnny Campbell/T jm Staa b (Ho n) team. Veteran motocrosser Rick Ryan (Suz ) emerged as the big winner at the Gold en Sta te Nati on als Showdown - held at the Badl and s Raceway in Victorville, California, February 21-22 - by locking up the overall championshi ps in bo th th e 125 and 250cc Pro classes . On Saturday, Chris Wheeler (Suz) wo n the 12Sec Pro class over Keith Johnson (Ya m ) and Travis Preston (Suz) . Spud Walter s (Ya m) too k the 250cc- class win , fol lowed by Jeff Willoh (Suz) and Pat Foster (Kaw) , On Su nday, Ryan took h is only win of th e weekend in th e 125cc Pro class, wi th Whee ler and Evans closing out the top three. Evans came back to wi n the 250cc class over Walt ers and Ryan . Spaniard Carlos Checa em erg ed from Mazda to sponsor AMA Netione; Motocross 'Series M azda has acquired title sponsorship rights for th e 1998 AMA N ational Ch amp ion ship 125/25Occ MX Series, with an option for a tw oyea r renewal. In recognition of the spo nso rship, AMA Pro Racing has introduced the upcomin g season as the 1998 Mazda Truck Motocross Nationals. Ma zd a' s mo to cross s ponsors h ip brings a d d ed momentum to a spo rt that has already shown steady gro wth and wide ma rke t appeal. accord ing to an AMA press release. Mazda has established a $100,000 rid er cha m p ions hip bonus fund , a nd th e compan y will a ggre ssively promote the Ma zd a Tru ck Motocross National s to d riv e sales of the new Ma zd a B-Seri es trucks. Mazda marketing group manager Jack Stavana sees great val ue in being associa ted with the sanctioning body of one of the wo rld 's mos t closel y watch ed motocross se ries. A n AMA member a nd a ma teu r Mazda has teamed up with pain ter/designer Troy Lee to create its newest motocross rid er himself, Stavana said, "Mo tocross co ncept truck· the 8 4000 Dual Sport. Mazda has recently been named the title exemplifies the you th fu l, tough, ag ile an d a thle tic s ponsor of the 1998 AMA National MX Series. image we created in our new Mazda B-Series tru cks." St a va na, wh o with h is tw o so ns 'h a s b een invo lve d in motocro ss and Mazda trucks. "Maz d a's bonus fund is a g rea t boost fo r th e rid ers, and mot ocross for years, said , "I kn ow through person al experience that this sport is a great wa y to promote the new Mazda B-Series motocross as a whole will benefit from Mazd a's cross-promotiontru ck line. The project combines three things I'm very passion ate al ad vertis ing campa igns," said AMA pro racing director of comabo ut: Mazda, tru cks and motorcvcles." petition Merrill Vanderslice. Th e 1998 Ma zda Truck Motocross Na tiona ls w ill kick off Further evidence of this com mitme nt is Mazd a's cu rre nt spo nso rship of Team Ch aparral Yama ha riders Jeremy McGrath an d May 10 at Glen Helen Raceway in San Bernardino, Ca lifornia. Jimmy Button. The Ma zd a rid er cha m p io nship bonuses w ill be presented in Ma zda expects to be very visib le in th e sport. "The AMA th ree segme n ts over the cou rse of the Mazd a Tru ck Mot ocro ss sponsorship also gives us the ability to di rectly reach the 220,000 Nationals season. The first payout of $30,000 will be presented AMA mem bers across the country," Stava na said. to top-ranked r id ers 'a ft e r r ound eight at Kenw orth y ' s Mazda will be very active in motocross race markets, wi th on- Mot ocross Par k in Troy, Ohio. The fina l bonus pool of $40,000 site tru ck displays and tie-ins to market-ar ea d ealershi ps . ati on - will be distributed at the season finale a t Steel City Raceway in al print and electronic advertisi ng campaigns wi ll also highlig ht Delmont , Pennsyl vania. the thr ee-day IRTA Gran d Prix tests on February 22 in Jerez, Spain, as the fastest of the 500cc GP testers. Che ca lapped at 1:43.606 to edge his MoviSt ar H onda Pons team mat e Joh n Kocinski by .255 of a second . Checa's time was only mar gin ally slower than his quali fying tim e set in last year's 500cc Grand Prix at Jerez. Kenny Roberts Jr. rod e the Modenas KR3 to the third-qu ickest time, some 1 .1 se con ds s lo wer th a n Ch eca . The fastest 250cc rider at the test was Italian Val e n t ino Ro s s i. The 125cc Worl d Champion lapped at 1:44.249 on his factory Aprilia to bea t ou t teammates Tetsuya Harada a nd Marcellino Lucchi. Look for a full re po rt and photos from the test in next week's Cycle News. Spanish road rac er Sete Gibernau ha s been chose n to replace the inju red Takuma Aoki on the Repsol Honda V-twin for the 1998 500cc World Ch ampionship Road Race Series, according to reports fr om Eu ro pe. Gi bernau rode a Team Ra iney Yamah a in la st yea r's 500cc Grand Pri x Series. Aoki suffered dama ge to h is s p ine in a recent cr a sh a t Honda's test track in Jap an and is currently paralyzed from the waist down. The Brazilian rou nd of the 1998 World Superbike Championship ha s bee n canceled, thou gh a replacemen t rou nd is expec ted to be announced . The races a t Sao Paolo we re scheduled for Jul y 5, but the event ha s a lways be en in doub t because the circuit had no t met official homologa tion . The World Superbike Cham pionship begins on March 22 at Philli p Island in Aust ralia. AMA Fo rmu la Xtreme Cha mpion Andrew Stroud is hea ding to the World Superbike Champ ionship. The tall New Zealander has procured a 1997 Kawasa- ki ZX-7R in a pri vateer bid to contest the entire 1998 series . Stroud has p reviously ridden in 500cc Gra nd Pri x and selected World Su perbike round s, in add ition to his regular AMA rides. . . Ch ri s Carr has been confirmed as an en trant at both the Day tona Short Track and Peoria IT ro un ds of the 1998 AMA Gr and National Championshi p Series , and the '92 series title winner said that he may return to th e se ries as a parttimer, running as ma ny as 12 ev ent s. "Between 10 and 12 (races)," Carr said from h is Pennsylvania h ome. " It a ll depends on how much work Kenn y Tolbert wan ts to do, if the tracks are good, and' if I like going ther e. I'm prett y non co m mi tta l right n ow, but I a m co nfirmed for Da ytona and Peoria , and I want to try and qu alify for that Springfield (Ha ll of Fame) bonanza. I'll mor e tha n likely do Jolie t, Vegas a nd Sacrament o. I' m back to bein g a pri vat eer again, but I' ve go tten so me good help from H-D of Sacramento, James Finch of Phoenix Racing , W is ec o, Cometic, Motion Pro and Ar ai." Whether or not th e partial mov e back to th e dirt has an ything to do with a full-time effort in the fu tu re, Carr is n' t saying . "It (the . ro ad ra cing program) is going pretty well," Ca rr said . "We' re doing as well as we would be wit h the factory, but I wish that I had been able to drum up so me more sponsors h ip . We' ll see (for next year). Maybe I'll fi nd ou t tha t I like hangin' aro und the dirt tracks aga in." Th ere are still sp ots available for th e 1998 Clayton Memorial Foundation Go lf Tournament, schedu led for Tuesda y, March 3 in Dayton a Beach, Florida . Among the racing stars sched u led to compete are p a st and present A MA Superbike Cha m pions Miguel Du Ha mel, Do ug Cha n dler and Thomas S tev en s, Su zuki ' s M a t Mlad i n and Jas on Pridmore , form er AMA Grand N ational Champion Ch ri s Carr, and Wo rld Su perbike cont ende r Co li n Ed wards II. So w here are the supercross and d ir t track sta rs? An en try form is located on page 57 of this issue of Cycle News and wa lk-up regist ration is available at the Indigo Lakes golf course, not far from Day tona International Speedway. Among the prize s ava ilable a re sev eral ho le-in-on e award s, including a 1998 Yamaha XL760 p ersona l w a tercr aft, Maxfli golf clubs and va ca tion p a ckage s . Th ere w ill a lso b e pri ze s awarded to th e longest drive and th e closest to the pin . Sponso rship of selected holes is still available. For more information, call 714/ 751-7433. The canceled round of the World Championship 250cc MX Series in Indone sia has been replaced by a round in Monteva rchi, Italy, on June 28. The 250cc GP will now be run in conjunction with the ' World 125ec GP . This makes two GP doubleheaders for the 1998 season; the other doubleheader is th e Brit ish GP , scheduled for Foxhill on May 24. A bill that w ou ld modify Kentucky's mandatory h elmet law and requi re motorcyclists who choose to rid e wit hou t a helme t to provide proof of health insura nce to government officials u pon registering th ei r mot orcycles was recom mended favo rably on February 18 by the Sena te Ban king an d Insurance Co mmittee. It only need s the approval of the full Sena te before being sent to the governor for his considera tion, according to the AMA. If approved , the legislation, HB 106, wo uld mod ify Kentuck y's current mandatory helmet law for all riders to permit motor cyclists' over the age of

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