Cycle News - Archive Issues - 1990's

Cycle News 1998 05 27

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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Randy Hawkins (Yamfwon the opening round of the AMA National Championship Reliability Enduro Series in New Waverly, Texas, May 16-17. The two-day qualifier was also a POints-paying event toward the Acerbis AMA National Enduro Series title. Finishing second to Hawkins was National Enduro Series points leader Mike Lafferty (KTM), followed by Jason Dahners (Hbg), Pat Garrahan (KTM) and Mike Windmann (KTM). Due to scoring problems, the positions from third place down are unofficial. Round seven of the Grand National Cross Country Series in Brownsville, Pennsylvania, on May 17, was won by defending champion Scotl Summers (Hon). Second place went to Rodney Smith (Suz), while Steve Hatch (Suz), Fred Andrews (Kaw) and Barry Hawk Jr. (Yam) rounded out the top five. Angelle Seeling (Suz) won the fourth round of toe NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle Series at the Mopar Parts Nationals in Englishtown, New Jersey, on May 17. Seeling topped Greg Underdahl in the finals. Michael Rutter (Hon) won the NorthWest 200 on the 8.9-mile circuit near Coleraine in Northern Ireland, on May 17. Rutler topped his teammate Ian Simpson (Hon), with Ian Duffus (Hon) taking third in front of 100,000 spectators. Three 125cc riders were injured in the event. Robert Dunlop suffered a broken collarbone and a broken leg, while Darren Lindsay and Phelim Owens suffered serious leg and head injuries, respectively. Grant Lopez (Suz) rode to a double win at Pikes Peak International Raceway in Fountain, Colorado, on May 17, round two of the Formula USA series. Michael Bames (Yam) was second in both races, leading double third-place finisher Tray Batey (Suz) each time. The AMA National Championship Hillclimb Series got under way in Middlebury, Indiana, on May 17, and it was Paul Zander (BSA) taking the win in the 800cc class. Russ Vander Veen (H-D), in his best-ever ride liS a Pro, was second, ahead of G1en Petty Jr. (H-D). In the 540cc class, Ted Wilkins (Rtx) topped the field in his first ride since breaking his back last September, beating David Watson (Hon) and Tim Frasier (BS~). Several of the top World Superbike riders completed a test session at Misano in Italy, May 12-13, with Ducati's Troy Corser putting in the quickest lap. The . Australian Ducati rider lapped at 1:34.45 on the second day of the test, just bettering the 1:34.5 turned in by Yamaha's Scott Russell. Corser was also a crash victim on the second day, suffering abrasions to his right hand. John Kocinski holds the superbike lap record at Misano, a 1:34.290 set in 1996 when he rode a factory Ducati. Third quickest at the te twas Castrol Honda's Aaron Slight with his 1:34.55, just ahead of Pier-Francesco Chili (1:34.69) and Colin Edwards II (1:35.01). Yamaha's Noriyuki Haga also participated in the test, though he is still suffering from the effects of his crash during practice for the recent Monza round of the series. The World Superbike Championship will hold its sixth round at Misano on June 21. The AMA would like to remind dirt track racers holding Pro Sport licenses that their en tries for their classes in the 1998 AMA Dirt Track Grand Champi- onships, scheduled for July 6-11 in indiana polis, Indiana, will close on June 1. This is the first year that the AMA Dirt Track Grand Championships have included a National Championship program specifically for Pro Sport-licensed riders, with those rising stars competing for more than $12,000 in cash awards. The Grand Championships kick off with a day-long signup party on July 6 at the Brickyard Crossing Resort and Inn, and racing will begin on July 7 with the Half Mile Grand Championships at the Indiana State Fairgrounds, followed by the TT the next day - also at the fairgrounds. July 9 will feature a practice session on the Indy Mile, followed by an AHMRA National. The Short Track Grand Championships will be held on July 10 at the 16th Street Speedway in Indianapolis, with r~cing concluding on Saturday, July 11, on the Indy Mile. Rumors are flying about an all-new Big Twin Evo replacement from HarleyDavidson, set to debut in July of this year. Unconfirmed reports have displacement for the air-cooled twin at 88 or 92 cubic inches, with twin cams, though evidently these are not in the cylinder heads but in the engine cases. The oil pump has also been mo.ved inside the engine cases. Fuel injection will be used and power output is said to be about 90 horsepower. There are strong indications that the engine ·and gearbox have been unitized, and that the frames have been altered to accommodate this fundamental engine-design . change. The aU-new powerplant should make its debut in two models this year possibly one Electra Glide and one Dyna Glide - and power the rest of the lineup in '99. Stay tuned. In addition to its sponsorship of several teams on the dirt track circuit. TravelcadelSaddlemen announced that it has entered into a television-sponsorship agreement to help briog the AMA Grand National Championsbip Series to ESPN2. The schedule of 10 televised dirt track events will begin with the airing of the Springfield Mile on June 8 (check your local listings). ESPN2's projected subscription base was 59.6 million households for the third quarter of 1998. With the World Ducati Weekend coming up, Ducati enthusiasts from Canada and the United States will be joining those W110 will celebra te in the Italian cities of Bologna, Misano and Rirnini by participating in celebrations at different functions in North America. The Southern Ducati Dealers Group will organize a Ducati rally May 29-30 in Eureka Springs, Arkansas; The North eastern Ducati marketing group will host a Ducati rally in the town of Laconia, New Hampshire 00 June 18 and on June 21 at ew Hampshire International Raceway in Loudon; and Ducati North America will again sponsor Ducati Island for the World Superbike round at Laguna Seca Raceway in Monterey, California, July 11-12. The AMA turned down the appeal submitted by road racer Nicky Hayden following his five-point penalty for running an illegal windscreen on his Suzuki GSXR750 when he won the Willow Springs round of the series on April 25. "The AMA has decided not to accept the appeal submitted regarding the legality of the windscreen used on your bike in the 750 Supersport final at Willow Springs, and we feel that the penalty of five points to be a just penalty for the potential advantage gained:' road race manager Ron Barrick wrote in a letter to Hayden, dated May 8. Chiodi cleans u I talian Alessio Chiodi scored the overall win at round three of the World Championship 125cc MX Series in Orehova Vas, Slovakia, May 17. Chiodi rode his factory Husqvama to victory in both motos, winning the first moto by five seconds over Great Britain's James Dobb, and he won the second moto by about four seconds over countryman Alessandro Puzar. Finishing third in the first moto was KTM rider Luca Pretlo, followed by Yamaha-mounted Alessandro Belometi and Suzuki rider Brian Jorgensen. Frenchman David Vuilleritin rode his Yamaha to seventh. Vuillemin chased Puzar's TM across the finish Line in third in the second moto, ahead of Kawasaki's Dave Strijbos and Yamaha rider Carl Nunn. Honda rider Dobb finished 10th. With his double moto win, Chiodi padded his series points lead over Puzar, 105-78, while Yamaha rider Erik Camerlengo, who did not compete because of a broken collarbone suffered three weeks ASB's Pat Murphy, Road America media d:irector Roger Jaynes and road racer Billy Graef were the victims of a hit-and-run while doing a pre-race publicity tour in Milwaukee before the recent World Cycle Fest at Road America. "The guy was stopped at a red light as we entered an intersection and then just decided to gas it as we were passing him:' Murphy said. "At first it looked like he backed off, but then he gassed it and Roger had to floor it to keep from being broadsided. We pulled over after we got hit and I looked and saw the guy's custom license plate laying on the road. It got torn off when he hit our car." A Milwaukee police cruiser showed up moments later and took the plate. Defending NASB EBC Brakes Sport Bike Champion Eric Wood is 0-for-2 thu far in defense of his title. Wood has suffered mechanical DNFs in both rounds of the NASB Sport Bike class thus far in 1998. earlier, is third with 61 points. Vuillemin currently sits in fourth with 55 points. In Vantaa, Finland, Belgian Joel Smets took top honors at the World ChamF-on ship 500cc MX GP on May 17. Like Chiodi, Smets swept the GP, winning both motos on his factory Husaberg. In the first moto, Smets rode to a 13second win over Yamaha rider Andrea Bartolini of Italy. Bartolini finished well ahead of the King brothers, Darryll (on a: Husqvarna) and Shayne (01'1 a KTM). Rounding out the top five was the Netherland's Gert-Jan Van Doorn, on a Honda. Smets finished a full 20 seconds clear of Yamaha rider Peter Johansson of Sweden in the second moto. Once again, the' Kings finished 3-4 but in reyerse order,' Shayne this time taking third and Darryll fourth. Van Doom again took fifth. Leaving Slovakia, Smets enjoys a modest four-point lead in the series over Darryll King, 151-147. Bartolini and Johansson are tied for fourth with 115 poin ts'I . apIece. AMA/MBNA Superbike National Championship bonuses after the Laguna Seca round of the series. Chandler and Mladin to.ok home $5000 and $4000, respectively, from the $30,000 bonus program. MBNA bonuses will be paid out in two -additional segments over the course of the 1998 season. Virginia Motorsports Park will host the AMAIProstar Dixie Nationals May 3031, with all AMA and Prostar members invited to give it a go on the quartermile drag strip. Temporary memberships are available for $20, a price that includes a Prostar number plate and dial-in plate. The only addition required of any motorcycle is a kill switch, and those are also available at the dragway. The Belgian Federation of the FlM has canceled the round of the Individual World Trial Championship scheduled for June 20-21 in Chaumont-Gistoux, Belgium, due to "problems of organization." It isn't known whether the FlM will replace the event on the championship schedule. According to Dan Murphy of F.A.S.T., the promoters of the Dunlop "Big Kahuna" Nationals at Road Atlanta, May 29-31, advance ticket sales have exceeded all expectations. The event will feature the ixth and seventh rounds of the AMA/MBNA Superbike ational Championship with the points-paying races taking place on both Saturday and Sunday. Spectators attending the event will note the many renovations and additions to Road Atlanta, including a new specator tunnel that crosses under the straightaway of the 2.6-rnile course (lengthened from 2.52 miles). The addition of the tunnel has eliminated the "Gravity Cavity" section of the track, and a chicane has also been added there. Improvements at the track were headed up by owner Don Panoz and a staff that is headed by Australian Bob Barnard, the man who brought the Australian Grand Prix to Phillip Island in 1989. A "Big Kahuna" party will kick off festivi- ties on Saturday at RW Good Times in Norcross, Georgia, roughly 35 minutes south of the race track. According to a press release issued by The Petersen Companies Inc., owners of Petersen Publishing, Petersen and SFX Entertainment's PACE Motor Sports Inc., the promoters of the AMA Supercross Series, have agreed to form a joint venture to produce automobile and motorcycle special events. In addition to co-producing consumer automobile and motorcycle events, SFX and Petersen agreed to consider new co-pa rtnership opportunities in such areas as motorsports parks, events based on Petersen's automotive and motorsports titles, air shows, expansion of PACE Motor Sports and Petersen's existing racing activities, the development of national and international sponsor hips, and the development of television, radio, video-broadcast rights, licensing, merchandising, ch,aracter creations and affinity cards, according to the release. Brian Becker, executive vice president of SFX Entertainment, will head the joint vellture, according to Petersen. Muzzy Kawasaki's Doug Chandler and Yoshimura Suzuki's Mat Mladin were the big winners when checks were handed out in the first round of the 1998 The AMA's government relations department has developed a new program, AMA Moto-Vote in '98, designed to help clubs and motorcyclist-rights I

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