Cycle News - Archive Issues - 1990's

Cycle News 1998 08 05

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 '""" " ~' ",:-~ ,' ' .;" "'!j:''''''~~'~ ' ' ,:>,-~ • ." ,-,:~;":.,, > ,~,,, <, ..:.. , ,. " Terry Thomp s on (BSA) a n d Steve D re sser (H -D) ca p tu re d th e 540 a n d 800cc victories , respectively, at the fifth round of the AMA Nation al Hillclimb Ch ampion s h ip Se r ies , h eld in H a yd en ville, Ohio, on Ju ly 26. Th om p son topped David Watson (Hon) and Wes McCoy (Hon) in taking the 540cc victory, w hile Dresser was ab le to hold off the attacks of Mike De Busk (Kaw) and Glen Petty Jr . (H -D) to win the 800cc class. Craig Connell (Due) and Damon Buckmas ter (Ka w ) split wins in th e most recent round o f th e Australian Su pe rbik e Cham pio nship, held on Jul y 19 at th e H idd en Valley Ra ceway. Co n ne ll bea t Martin Craggill (Kaw) in the first ra ce , with Buc kmas ter toppin g Paul Young (Kaw) in the secon d . Craggill still leads the cham pions hip over Con nell, 228-219, wit h one round rem ain ing on Au gu st 2. Giovanni Sala (KTM) has regained the World 250cc End u ro C ha mpions hip . Sa la sco r ed 1-2 r es ult s in th e la te s t round , held in Linkop ing, Sweden, July 25-26. Th e forme r 250cc champ fou nd the tou gh , muddy conditions to his liking and now has 194 points to secondpl aced Eric Bernard (KTM ), w ho ha s 132 poin ts. With only 40 points availabl e in the fina l round in Finland, Sala cannot be beaten . In the 125cc class, Rom an Mich a lik (TM) le a ds Stefan o Pa sseri (KTM), 210-204; Bjorne Ca rlsson (Hbg ) lead s Cy ril Esquirol (Ho n), 221-206 in the 400cc Four-Stro ke class; in the 80cc cla ss, Gia n ma r co Ro ssi (H o n) lead s Joakim Joha nsson (Ho n), 218-210; and in th e 600cc Fou r-St roke cla ss , An d ers Eriksson (H us ) le a ds Ka r i Tiain en (KTM), 222-209. In the FIM overall Cu p, Sala leads wit h 170 points, followed by Bernard w it h 149 points and Stefano Passeri with 117 points. Aus tra lian road racer Ant hony Gobert en tered an in-p a tien t progr am for subs ta nce ab u se in So uthe rn Ca li forni a u p o n hi s re turn fr om th e Mi d -Oh io rou nd of the AMA Su perbike Na tional Champio nship on Ju ly 20, according to a p ress release issued by Gobert. "I wish I co uld go ba ck in time a nd ta ke ba ck what ' s hap pen ed ," Go bert sa id in the release. "I sho uld've figu red ou t the toll m y conduct wo uld tak e on everybody, including m y famil y, my fellow racers and, most of all, my team - because they $ Tortelli takes over renchman Sebastien Tortelli moved in to the series points lead in the FIM World Cha mp ions hip 250cc MX Ser ies after rid ing to victory on his Oxbow Kawasaki in both motos at the Brazilian GP in Belo Hori zo nte, Brazil, on July 26. To rte lli won the first mot o w it h m or e tha n 13 second s to sp are over Rads on Honda' s d efending cha m pio n, Stefa n Eve rts of Belgium. Third pla ce wen t to Ge rmany's Pit Beirer, on the Pam o Honda, while American Tallon Vohland , on the Rina ld i Team Yamaha, and Belgian Mamic q Berv oets, on the Winfie ld Suzuki, rounded ou t the top five. In the second rnoto, Tortelli finished just tw o seconds ahead of Bervo ets, with Vohland finishing five seconds behind the Belgian. French rider Yves Demaria took fourth, follow ed by Sweden's Joakim Karlsson . Everts did not score any points in that second mot o. The champ was involved in a first-tu m pileup in which his bike was run over, resulting in a broken silencer. Everts go t back up and fin ished fou rth in the moto bu t was later prot ested by the other team s for his machi ne bei ng too lou d . Everts was event ually DQed from the rnot o, which resulted in him picking up only 17 points on the day, compa red to Tortelli' s 40. Tortelli now owns the series lead w ith 387 points, followed by Everts w ith 377. Beirer is third with 281. There are still five rounds left in the series F wer e co u n ting on me . I kn ow I' ve let eve ryo ne d own ." Gobert' s a ttorn eys , meanwhile, have lod ged an ap pea l of th e AM A' s sus pensio n of his racin g privileges and are hoping the AMA will allow him to return to ac tio n once he d em onstra tes th a t he is d ru g-free. " It would be great if I could sa lvage this se aso n a n d ra ce a b it m or e," Go bert said . "I reckon I have a lot of wo rk to do off th e trac k righ t now. Raci ng is th e easy part." Reg ar ding h is s u s p e n s io n fo r th e remaind er of the season for having tested positive for marijuana in a test given on Jul y 16, Gober t is di strau ght , thi nking that what he calls "voluntary disclosure" would have eased the pena lty. "I ' fessed up to mak in g a mis ta ke afte r Loudon , an d I' ve staye d totall y cle a n si nce th en ," Go be r t sa id in a pre s s release issued pri or to going to the rehabilitati on cen ter . "I reall y thought the AMA w as en couraging vo lu n ta ry d isclosu re so I cou ld get th eir help a nd keep racing . So I'm to tally blown away by how severe the penalty is. I feel like th ey encou raged me to come to them and then ignor ed their own rule s whe n I did . Also, they used the mos t vigo rous testi ng device out there, which is gonna show residu e eve n if I haven't touched the stu ff for weeks or mon ths . I feel like I' m bein g damn ed over and ove r again fo r on e m istak e I ma d e m onths ago . Any rid er out there could have the same probl em ." Th e AMA is sued a pres s re lea se to cou n te r Go b ert's rel ea se on Ju ly 22 . "A MA o ffi cia ls were ma d e aware of Gobert' s failure to pa ss th e FIM test throu gh an FIM communication to AMA officials at the Jul y 11-12 Lagu na Seca Wor ld Superbike roun d ," th e release states, "and late r read of Gob ert' s own ad mission (thro u gh a release he issued on July 12) to smoking ma rijuana after an AMA Pro Racing eve n t. O n Ju ly 15, a re p resen ta tive fo r Gober t co n tac te d AMA Pro Racing and informed officials that Gobert wis hed to parti cipate in the Volu ntary Disclosu re progr am . At that time, AMA officia ls ad vised Gobe rt's represen tative that he wou ld be given the ben efit of bein g consi d ered u nder th e Voluntary Disclosure policy, and would not be immediately suspended based on the FIM test results alone. AMA officials then info rmed Gobert th a t, sho u ld he choose to enter the Mid -Oh io rac e, he would need to test before he wo uld be allowed on the racecourse. Gobe rt's representatives ind icated that he intended to enter the Mid -O hio race. AMA officials th en mad e eve ry effor t to arra ng e and exped ite the testing process." The AMA release, totaling some 18 pages, ou tlined the Volun tary Discl osure portion a nd Subs tance Abuse Policy portion s of the AMA Pro Racing ru le book as well as the testing procedures used by the AMA at the Mid-Ohio round where Gobert again tested positive for marijuana metabolites. "The board and staff of AMA Pro Racing a re sa d d en ed b y An th o ny Go be rt's Honda takes the Suzuka 8 Hours W ith their second consecuti ve ", in, Shinichi Ito and Tohru v Ukawa gave Honda its 13th victory in the Sprite Suz uka 8 Hou rs, held at the Suzuka Circuit in Suzuka, Japa n, on Wi B ~ July 26. And even thou gh Kawasak i finished with tw o bikes in the top five, it was really only Yamah a tha t was able top pu t u p a real figh t against Ho nda. But after bad luck hit the YZF-mounted riders, every thing fell in to place for Ho nda and it claimed the top thr ee posi tions. The d ays lead ing up to the mo st importan t race of the year were aga in at least as exciting as the actual race. Several team s wer e reshuffled at the last mom en t, due to injuri es (Akira Yanaga wa, Pie rgi orgio Bontempi) or ot her reason s. O n top of that , rain spoiled the fun in the majority of the p ractice sessions . After the infam ous Attack & Jump Up qualifying stages, all of the competin g manufacture rs got at least one bike into the top five, with Itoh / Ukawa leading the way from No riyuki Haga / Simon Cra far (Yamaha ), Ne il Ho dgson /Hitoyasu Izutsu (Kaw asak i), Yuu ichi Taked a / Daijiro Kato (Hond a) and Keiichi Kitagawa / Akira Ryo (Suz uki). On Sunday, when the weat her finally clear ed, it also becam e obvious after ju st an hour tha t only a Hond a or a Yam aha cou ld win. Ito and Ukawa took the lead almos t from the start , wi th the iden tica l bik e of Ta ked a /Kat o, the Cas tr ol H on d a of Co li n Edwa rds II and Tadayu ki Okad a, an d the fas tes t Yamaha of Haga / Crafar in hot pursu it. As expected, the Yama ha team was in the biggest hurry, especially when Haga was on boar d . The fig ht a t th e fro n t was joined later in th e race by th e Hond am ounted tea m of Sete Gib erna u an d Alex Barros, w h o had foug ht back after a poor start. Their fight over third tu rn ed into a fight for second when the second Lucky Strike Hond a, ridd en at the time by Taked a, retired in the third hour. On lap 99, things wen t wrong for Haga: He missed the chicane and then the bike started slowi ng do w n. Five laps later he came in, and the team cha nged the ECU box. When Crafar wen t ou t ag ain, their Marlbo ro Yam ah a wa s n in th a nd th ree lap s beh ind . In add ition, overshooting the chica ne cost the team dearly, as they were pena lized two lap s. As Ha ga and Crafar dro pped dow n the lead erb oard , the BP Yamaha pai ring of Scott Russell and No rihiko Fu jiwa ra starte d their ow n charge - bu t then their YZF star ted to suffer simila r electron ic p roble ms . They fina lly d ropped back to eighth, with Haga recovering to finish sixth. Up front, nothing mu ch had cha nged after the Yama has lost grou nd . Ito / Ukawa took the chec kered flag in fron t of Gibernau / Barros and Ed wards / Okada. Johan Vandec kerckhove actions, wh ich hav e forced his suspen sion from professional com petition," the release stated in its conclusion. "Gobert is a tal en ted racer who ha s ad ded much excit emen t to th e 1998 season, and his prese n ce o n th e r a ce ci rcui t w ill b e missed by spectators and AMA Pro Racin g offi cia ls ali ke . As th e sa nc tio n ing bod y, AM A Pro Racing has a duty to hold all riders accountable to the rules of competition and to the ag reeme nts they sign to be licensed for professional competition." An appea l board will me et to review Gobert's case as soon as possible, according to the AMA . Yama ha Tea m Rain ey' s Jean-Michel Bayle looks to be set to make his racin g come back in the Czech Republic Grand Prix in Bmo on August 23. The Frenchman, who has missed the entire season w ith post-con cu ssion sy ndrome, ha d a success ful two-day test at Brno, July 2223, posting the quickest time s of the test. Bayle lap ped at 2:02.2, just ou tside Luca Cadalora' s lap record, set in 1995, and four-tenths quicker than Mick Dooh an's 1997 lap record . Bayle was the only rider to record sub-2:03 laps . "I felt very good on the bike and I'm very happy with my time ," Bayle said . "I kno w what I have to d o now to be read y for the race. I' m go ing to have to be fitter, so I'll be training hard and riding my motocross bike be tween now and th en . I've also co nvinced the team to let me do a downhill mo u n tain-bike race. It' s a bit d iffer ent fro m a GP, but I feel that it's important for m e to ge t into race mode befor e I corne back." Five Yama ha rid er s w er e on hand in the test - Bayle, Norick Abe, Regis Laconi, Niall Mackenzi e and Kyoji Nanba - trying new chassis and engine parts, and they wer e joined by Marlboro H onda' s Max Biaggi. Biaggi ended up w ith the second-quic kes t lap , followed by Abe, Mackenzie, Laconi and Na nba . The latest version of the Modenas KR3 we nt well in a test at Thunderhill Racewa y in Northern California , July 21-22, accord ing to tu ner Bud Aksland. Both Kenny Ro berts Jr. and Kenny Roberts Sr. tested the new en gin e, comp leting some 150 miles w it ho u t incurring any engine problems. The bike will undergo more testin g in England an d also possibly a t Willow Sprin gs Racewa y in Rosam ond , C a li fo rnia , p ri or to th e n e xt roun d o f th e World C ha mpio nshi p Road Race Series in the Czech Republic on August 23. Revised results have been issu ed fro m the AMA 750cc Supersp or t fina l at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Co urse fro m Jul y 18 - an d the tw o Hy perCycle Suzukis have been d isqu alified agai n. Race wi nner N icky Hayden and h is teamma te a nd runn er -up Jaso n Prid more were both d isqu alified from the race based on "ill egal frame mod ificat ion s" on their Su zuki GSX-R750 s, a cco rd in g to the AMA. Th e di squali fica tion gives th e ra ce vi cto ry to ch am p io ns h ip p oi nt s leader Steve Rapp, with every one else also moving u p two places in the official race results. This d isqua lification marks t h e thir d ti me this s eason th a t th e Hy per Cycle team has run afou l of the rules, and it has basica lly elimina ted defendi ng champion Pridmore from this yea r's cha mp ions h ip . "Basica lly , I feel b ad for th e tea m and s o r ry fo r m y mechanics," Pridmor e said . "We've all been working hard to win this cha mpions hip and it's not go ing to happ en. I also feel sorry for m y fellow com p etitors, because I've been ridi ng a bike that wa sn't u p to s ta nd a rd . I really d on' t

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