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

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 76 of 77

DNF ----------------------------------------------:~ he America ns in Spa in fe ll m a inly in the ra in . No, we Am erican jou rnalists didn't old up the hon or of the United States 'ery well in the presen ce of the rest of e,world's ink-stained wretches. Th e usu al Ego Grand Prix that jouralists get int o at p ress int roductions r many of us, this is the only time we et to ride on a race track - d id n't take lace a t Catalunya , site of Kawa saki' s -6R press launch, beca use conditions ere jus t so horrifyin gly bad. As Au sa lia n Mo to rcycle 1 ews ed it or Ken ootton said in his write- up, "It was so old, my nipples had gone as har d as all bea rings ..." Yea h, it was th a t b ad . Damn cold , nd pouring rain. Ridi ng anywhe re in onditions like that takes the fun ou t of sp hal t tw o-wheeling, and ofte n ends p makin g it simply a game of survivalgam e tha t didn't end up goi ng so well r a few of us from the States. Three of ix A mericans cra s hed (even th e aw asa ki press rep crashed a scooter in on t of ou r pit. Exonera ted , yes l), and h iIe I' ll let the tw o o th e rs rem a in am eless un til their publications come ut a few mo nths from now (can't wait see if they 'fess u p), I was one of the u ilty. With s ix of us there from th e tares, that was a whop ping 50-pe rcent rash rate. It 'got so bad at the end of the ay - 'just minutes after I hit the d eck a t when one of th e' Italians crashed d totaled his bike (he was okay) , the . pan ese tec hnicians fro m Kawasa ki soked in disbelief at the machine when was rolled into the garage and asked, nly half-qu estion ing, "America n?!" It as munched up enoug h that the y took ne look and didn't even bother hosing ff the mud. As I sai d , though , riding in condiions such as we had takes away the fun , u t to make it all that much worse, just icture to yourself where we were: Ciruit de Ca talu ny a - th e world -famous ircuit de Catalu nya , hallowed ground o fans of any kind of roa di e motorports, tw o-wheeled or four. (The da y fter we had the track, all the Formula ne car teams showed up to test - David ou ltard eve n came close to letting his enta l car roll into ours when he forgot set the brake! Figures, can' t dri ve...) And let me tell you, being there, seen g th e aweso me la yout, wi de a n d mooth asp halt and miles of ru noff, the roun d was a lmos t wetter inside the arage th an outside from all the tear s e shed . It was .like going to Disneylan d nd findi ng ou t Mickey was dea d . Being the hard-core fools that we are, we took to th e track (ra the r anxio us ly after our longish hour-and-45-minute rid e to the track via the Nissan tran smi ssion plant and many, many other digressions that just weren' t necessary). After a while it was getting so wet, I half exp ected to see "Jet Ski" down th e side of th e thing I was riding, and "No Wake Zone" sig ns en tering pit lane. Anyway, every nat ion had its own pit garage and, as far as I could tell, jus t about every n a tion w a s represe nt ed ove r the two track days . The first gro u p - at the track the day we arrived - d id n't even get to ride . We we re all glad they didn' t, because if they had ridden any- introducti on? Did I mention that my bos s spe cifica lly told me not to cras h? (No t that he hasn't done his share. ) Yes, but the s u n was breaking through here a nd there and the wa ter that had been running across the track in rivers had stopped doing so , My pace wa s getting better and I got to the point that I was feeling the bike squirm a little bit at th e ap ex of the corners and also get ti ng th e rea r to sp in o n e xit althoug h a fter a few tri es that saw the rear end wa g ou t w ay too much and then fishtail a bit from the abru p t, wettrack spin-u p behavior, I decided to go back to lirnp- wristin g it wi th the throt tl e. O kay, so I'm ac t ua lly not John Captain Mark Hoyer gl,!,es It all ahe ad full on Catalunya's front cana l. Icebergs were a bit of a worry, but the ZX-6R proved almost unsi nkable. thing like our grou p (a total of 10 cras hes were ru mored ), there w oul dn 't have been any bikes left, an d Kawasaki ultim at el y would ha ve h ad to r ai se th e price o f th e bike to m ak e u p for th e expense - if they'd eve n had any left to sell. So w e ge t to pu n ti n g around an d everybod y thinks they're getting a little fas ter, and I get to feeli ng pret ty good tow ard th e end of the d ay, I' d ne ver been on a wet ra ce track b efo re a nd don' t even ha ve tha t many laps in the d ry, so I was trying to be cau tious , Did I mention this was my first ove rseas p ress oYEARS AGO ••, ARCH 8,1968 red Edwards (Yam) mad e the cover as he bopped ove r a jump en rou te to the 250cc Exp ert wi n at the Perris, Cal ifornia, sc ra mb les. Ed w ar d s a lso cor ed the w in in the lOOcc Expe rt class.., BSAs ran 1-2 the 500cc class a t th e Ta coma Ducks scra mble in acoma, Wash ington . Emil Ahola beat Gary Ragan in he northwest "mu d fes t" ... Spea ki ng of BSA, yo u ou ld purchase a brand-new Starfire 250cc si ng le for 695.., Another muddy even t took pl ace in San Lui s bispo, as the college-boy Cal Poly Penguins hosted heir an nual High-M ounta in Enduro.., Gary Ba iley Gre) proved h is mettle in TT sc rambles as w ell as otoc ross. Baile y won the 250cc cla ss at th e Friday ig ht TT at Trojan Raceway in South Gate, Cali fornia... arry Berguist (Bu l) cha rged from the ba ck of the pack win the Sid e Winders MC Hare Scrambles in Tro na, alifomia. Kocinski. Mor e like the anti-Kocinski, But th en thi s guy passed m e - for abou t the fifth time on the day , His bike ·Ioo k ed jus t like min e (fo r the brief mom ents I sa w it) an d I hadn't hea rd an y thi n g a bo u t anybod y u sing full rains, Was it a race-kitted bike? I should have known bette r than to tr y to cha se h im, It' s one thi ng to ge t barely passed by a guy and then wa tch him creep away from you, but it's something else ent irely w he n that guy flies by you so fast his wake makes your bike bob u p an d down . Did my engine seize? Did I have a flat ? Was I towing a skier? 2 EARSAG .., 0Y O M CH 8 1978 AR , he Lat st Poopreported the passing of Du d Perkins Sr. e T af ter a len g th y s tay in a Sa n Francisco h ospital. Amo ng thousands of other accomplis hments in the motorcycle industry, Perkins was the world's oldest motorcycle d ealer ... Mark Barnett, j ohn Ca lathes and Don Ku d als ki came aw ay with th e series titles at the final round of the eighth annual Florida Winter AMA Series... Part six of the "How to ride like the Hurricane" series dealt with bumps, rough stuff, and saving it when you get out of shape... Roger DeCoster was interviewed briefly while he was still in the hospital, recovering from his near-fatal accident durin g a p ractice sessio n in Belgium. DeCost er labeled the mishap as "jus t a stu pid cras h"... Reigning world champio n Yrjo Vesterinen (Bu l) aced out M artin Lampkin (BuI) to win the openin g round of the World Trials Series in Ulster, North Ireland . Bernie Schreib er (BuI) was the highest-placing American, finishing ninth. BY M KH Y R AR O E It turns out his bike was n' t race-kitted, just his brain. "His" brain wa s tha t of John Boustas, a mad Greek who just won his National Championship on an unmodified RC30 - against 916s and the like - the same Boustas tha t's stuck himself in the top IS at a few World Superbike races. We o ften m ake fu n o f racers who spou t o ff th e litan y of "p u t my head d own and rod e my ow n race." This was a lesson learned. If a guy pa sses you that fas t, it's time to say, "He's fast, I'm not" and put your head down... The humor of the whole situa tion for me was that I didn't crash the bike un til I'd backed d own the pace after coming too close to crashing too many times in my vain pursuit. I kn ow Jesu s wa lked on water, but Boustas haul s ass on it. Th e whole da y I' m thi n king, " Be ' smooth, be smoo th," and do ing everything I can to make the right line cho ice and to pick the rig ht brake mark ers and turning points. So there I am feeling positi vely brillian t sin ce I'v e backed it d own and smoothed it out aga in, s till ge tti ng a good driv e o ff th is tigh t, d ownhill h a irpi n to w ard some cool, uphill esses. I brak e hard for the left, keeping in mind that three other guys have crashed in and around this very tum. Oops. Just got the orde r of ope rat ion m ixed up, lik e tr ying to scra mble th e eggs after you' ve cooked 'em. Hey, I've been to a riding school, I'v e watc hed the p ro s cu t cou n tless la ps around every kind of circui t. Everybody who rails sets his bod y up for a tu rn way before the corner, and if possible alm os t alwa ys before eve n braking. ot me. I deci ded to shift my weight over as I was tipping the bike in, still on the brakes, As I said las t week in my ZX-6R story (the one I'm sticki ng to), this new ZX-6R has rubber on the footpegs, and they get migh ty slippery when they' re we t. I was slid ing along the gro u nd befor e I'd eve n real ized I'd cras hed, ~' T h a t wa sn 't s moo t h a t a ll," I thought to myself, "That was posit ively idiotic," For th e en te rtai ning exc hange tha t followed wi th the comer worker, see the abov e-men tioned First Ride . "Do n't crash !" echo ed through my rung bell, Just wet behind the ears, I guess, but no matter... Jesus walked , Boustas haul ed - bu t I l~ slid with the best of 'em , 10YEAR SAGO.., M C 2, 1 AR H 988 n In the Wind item reported that Roy Jansson had been named as the new motocross manager for the AMA profess ional-racing departmen t... Rick j ohnson (Hon) barelv bea t jeff Ward (Kaw) to win round tw o of th e MTEG Super Crown Seri es at San Diego' s Ja ck Murphy Stadium... Dutchman Ra cing' s Kevin Ren tzell and jeff Heino (Suz) held off challenges by Tea m Lockhart to win the opening round o f th e AMA /CCS EBC Brakes End urance Challenge Series at Firebird Raceway near Phoenix, Ari zon a. K y e Gunn (Suz) was the big winner in the sp rint races ... Factory rid er Don Griewe (Hus) took the overall win at the fastpaced Moose Run Hare & Hound in Red Mount ain , Ca lifornia, round two of the AMA National Series ... We ran a feature on the refu rbished Lagu na Seca Racew ay, which was gearing up to hos t the U.S. Grand Prix road race... Chad Pederson (Yam) won the 250cc Intermediate cl ass a t the CMC /Dod ge Tru ck Gol d en State Nationals in Porterville, California. l~ A

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of Cycle News - Archive Issues - 1990's - Cycle News 1998 03 04