Cycle News - Archive Issues - 1990's

Cycle News 1998 04 22

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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. If' ,..- t' IN THE WIND . , ,. c.... .. ' '..,~"" -.~.: .. ' ~"" ; , ' ',' ti<.. All 14 rounds of the AMA/MBNA Superbike Series will be broadcast over the course of the year on TNN, ESPN2, Speedvision or Fox Sports Net, according to the AMA. The Phoenix round of the serieS (held on February 15) will be broadcast on TNN on April 18 at 2 p.m. (Eastern). Speedvision will air the laguna Seca round of the series live at 5 p.m. (Eastern) on April 19. Check your local listings. Formula USA's programming on Speedvision kicks off on April 14 with what they call "Formula USA MCTV." The first show, featuring the series opener from Willow Springs Raceway, will be aired at 8. p.m. (Eastern) on the 14th, show repeating at 2 p.m. on April 18 and at 3 p.m. on A-pril21. • It now appears as though the Kyalanii circuit in South Africa will play host to the World Superbike Championship round on July 5, replacing the canceled Brazilian round. The race will mark the first time that a World Superbike Series round will be held in Africa. The Kyalami circuit still has to be homologated by theFIM. After 13 of 15 rounds, the AMA ~uper cross Series ·is on the brink of breaking last year's all-time series attendance mark of nearly 700,000. With 13 races averaging more than 52,000 attendees each, some 625,550 fans have attended the series thus faI in 1998. The ARHMA Regional dirt !.rack scheduled for April 19 in Temecula, California, has been canceled due to heavy rains. San Diego Flat Track Association's volunteer efforts to drain the inundated race track with the use of water pumps were quashed by more bad weather on the weekend of April 4. The event has been rescheduled for April 26. Beer Nuts brand snacks has stepped up its involvement in the AMA Grand N'ational Championship Series for 1998 by sponsoring the BeeI Nuts Hall of Fame Qualifier races. The top four riders from each of three Beer Nuts Qualifiers will advance to the September 5 running of the $50,000 Hall of Fame Race in Springfield, Illinois. Qualifier rounds are scheduled to take place at the Springfield Mile on May 24, the Peoria IT on August 2 and the Route 66 Half Mile in Joliet, llIinois, on August 8. Each Doohan: One race is not a championship__,, F our-time 500cc World Champion Mick Doohan has played down the importance of Max Biaggi's stunning debut victory at the Japanese Grand Prix on April 5. Blaggi, the fourtime 250cc World Champion, turned the Grand Prix world upside down after blitzing the top 500 riders in Japan. After , securing pole position by a wide margin and then running away with the opening race of the season, Biaggi became the first debut 500cc GP winner in 25 years. Facing the biggest challenge yet to . his stranglehold on road racing's premier prize, Doohan's title defense got off to the worst possible start after qualifying an unlikely fourth before he ran off the track in the opening laps while holding down the seventh position. He later retired when his Repsol Honda NSR500 broke a crankshaft while he was 11th. "He (Biaggi) rode extremely well," the 32yeaI-old Doohan said. "You can't take anything away from the guy. He put in a few good laps in qualifying. Perhaps he wasn't as consistent as he should've been throughout (qualifying), but he put it on pole by a fair margin, so it would've been quite a frightening lap, I'm sure, being on the bike, and he did the business in the race." In qualifying, Biaggi was quickest through two of three lap sectors, with Doohan the fastest on the other. Like Biaggi's Erv Kanemoto Marlboro Honda team, the Doohan. camp elected to jet the Honda NSRSOO on the rich side to counter any reliability problems in the . race, mainly caused by overheating due to the new compulsory unleaded-fuel regulations. This necessitated a heavier fuel load, which the Australian said affected the handling of the bike, contributing to his early off at turn one. Conversely, Biaggi was able to deal with the problem, which Doohan was ready to concede, but reserved his judgment about the Italian's title hopes. "The guy's won four championships on the 250," Doohan said. "And if you relate that back to, say, a (John) Kocinski or a Luca Cadalora, both previous World Champions, he didn't look 00 any different to those guys when they had everything working perfectly on the race track - very smooth, very fast. But when rl things start to get a little bit loose - and this is what we've got to N wait and see - the guy might be brilliant and overcome all these N things. But to me, he looked exactly like Kocinski when he's on ~ winning form, and exactly the same as Luca Cadalora when he's ~ on winning form. Everything just looks so easy, like it's on rails. 0.. But as soon as it starts to look a bit messy, and Suzuka is very much a 250-style circuit..." Before Doohan continued, he interrupted himself to spell out that his,comments were not sour grapes. ~ ~ .g:;

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