Cycle News - Archive Issues - 1990's

Cycle News 1998 09 02

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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Page 62 of 63

IN THE TAPES BYSCOTT ROUSSEAU ere we go aga in. Whe n the AMA Grand Nati onal Cha mpionship Series roll ed into Route 66 Raceway in Joliet, Illinois, rid ers, mechanics and team owners learned the news that Mike Ha cker had won the appeal over his 883 disqualificati on at Park er sburgvWest Virginia, w here 883 com petitor Scott Stu mp had p ro tested Hacker's win ning motorcycle for havi ng mater ial re moved from th e cam cover. Ha cker was award ed h is $1000 fi rstplace money and a t the same time penal ized five poin ts. So he wo n. Bu t he lost. Actuallv, bot h - and neith er - are true . To a~y ou tsider, it bas ically looks like Mike Hacke r won, and Pot MOI'VIley lost. Moro ney, who spo nsors Hackel' in both the Harley -Davidson Sportster Performan ce and Grand Na tional classes, was fined $250 by the AMA . Furthermo re, ' wi t h Ha ckel' los in g fiv e p o ints , the AM A, wh ich s a ys th a t it " w on" the app ea l, kep t the $500 th at Mo ro ney po st ed o n H a c ker's be ha lf fo r th e appeal-boar d procedure. ."The way that I look a t it, they knew that the ca m covel' wasn 't a performa nce ad va ntage, and the y should nev er even ha ve accepted th e p ro tes t," Moro ney says . "If they w ould have co m p le tely ov erturned the appeal, the n they would have had to give me my $500 back , and then they wou ld have had to pay for the appea l board - that 's jus t my opinion." If Moroney was guilty of a nyth ing, then it was pr obab ly a far greater crime one that he can 't be tried for. And tha t's the crime of bein g too stu pid to rea lize tha t he already has two of the mos t talented rid er s in the H-D Sportstel' class , neither of whom need any unfair help in wi nni ng races . But tha t's no t rea lly th e point. 2 The AMA found Moroney - or ra ther Hacker - gu ilty of far less, according to the sa nctioning bod y' s national technical inspector, Rob King . "Mike H acker go t his mo ney ba ck fro m his d isqualification: ' King says, "But he d id not win his appeal. Mike Hacker' s bike was illegal. Pa rt of the ex terior cases o n h is motorcycle had metal removed ." Kin g cites p age 57 of the AMA ru le book as the basis for the dis qualification. Basically, that ru le is one of those "if it doesn ' t say that yo u can, then you can' t" type of reg ula tions, which requ ires that the exterio r of the eng ine must basica lly re ma in stock - no m e tal r e mova l is allowed, d espite th e fact th a t several int ernal mod ificati on s are okayed. The p roblem, a s H acker pu ts it , is that Moron ey and Hacker were told by AMA refe ree Br uce Bobe r t ha t th e y could, in fact, mod ify their cam covers. "T h is was th e year th a t they were going to open up the rul es a little bit, so th at we d id n 't h a ve to worry a bout H being protested about stupid shi t like a cut cam cover or something like tha t, but th e problem w as th a t th e AMA d id n' t even have their '98 rul e book ou t until tw o weeks before Daytona," Hacker sa id . "Pa t tak es his 883 program as serious ly as a lot of other guys take their 750 programs, and you can't p ut together eig ht 883s in tw o weeks. Every time he wen t to make a new change to these bikes, he wa s on the p hone to Bobe r, and he told h im what he w as going to do , a nd he wa s to ld w hether or not it wa s ok a y Till' bi kes were like that a t Day tona: an a t Harr ington, and they " ere legal both times then ." "All of mv bikes were like that from day one: ' Moroney confirms. "They all w e nt th ro ugh tech li ke th a t before . Bruce (Bober) knew tha t mv ca m covers were like that ," . For the record, Moronev has been dis q u alified fo r eq u i p men t in fra ctio n s before; bo th Hac ker and forme r Moro ney's H-D teamma te Jason Fletcher have bee n busted for items ranging from a failed chargi ng system to the dreaded "illegal deck heigh t" rule, the latter having since been elimina ted fro m the AMA ru le book beca use it see ms as th ou gh ha lf of the 883 com petitors in the class have been nailed by tha t one at on e time or a no th er. O ne po int of co n te n tio n between the AMA and Moroney stems from an incident at the Sp ringf ield Mile, where o ne of Moroney's moto rcy cles was d isqu alified after "someone" had repor ted ly s tu ffed g a s k e t mater ia l underneath the cy lind ers to avoid getting pinched for a deck- height infrac tion . Moro ney denies that ever happened. However, the cam-eover issue is further confounded by the fact that ano ther 883 racer, James Ha rt , claims that he 'was also of the und erstand ing that cut ting an exte rnal cover would be legal. "My uncle (Marlo n Ha rt) go t on the p hone with th em , and they sai d th a t any thing below the cylinder heads was okay," Ha rt said . , When asked with whom at the AMA h is uncle d iscu ssed th e m atter , Har t responded : "I don ' t kn ow for sure, bu t I'd guess it was Merrill Van derslice . That's w ho he always calls." At any rate, AMA d irt track manager Bruce Bob er says tha t Moroney di d conta ct hi m bu t th at it was r e ga rd in g . sprocket cove rs, and that the AMA was in the process of disseminating information to wa rn all riders that such modifications we re no t allowed to any cove rs w hen Stu m p p ro tes ted H a cker' s machin e at Parkersburg. "I tried to talk him ou t of making the p rot est , because I kn ew th a t we were goi ng to do so me thing about th e covers: ' Bober said. "But he was wi thi n his right to make it, so I wrote it up and had him sign it." At the appeal, the board found Hacker to be - in effect - inn ocen t, ye t th ey co m p licated the ma tte r by giving h im h is money , and shav ing five of his poin ts. King feels that it was the proper thing to do. "Mike Hacker ga in ed nothing that would have. a llowed him a performan ce advantage:' King says. "We' re talk in g abo ut two or three ounces of metal, an d that wo uld not have won him the race. The m otor cycles collect mo re di rt than ' tha t over the cou rse of a race." Yet Hacker was fined five points for so me thing. King resor ts to a lega l ana logy to defend tha t. "You can ge t a ticke t for ru nnin g a red lig ht , o r you ca n get a rres ted for drunk d rivi ng," King says, "The penaltie s for both in f ra ctio n s a re not th e sa me." But if any legal analogy is going to be used , then w hat possible scen ari o co uld be prese nt ed tha t mi g ht in a ny way , s h a p e or for m , ex p la in the fat e that Moroney su ffered in this appeal? " Pa t Morone y has been caught for infractions in the past," 'King says . "He is Mike Hacker's s po nso r, h e is the ow ner 01 the motorcvcles, and he is the on e respon sible for -the preparation of the mo torcycles. The rid er is responsible for his actions, bu t an y AMA part icipant at an AMA event is responsible for his actions." If it we re to come down to it, legally, however, th e AMA co u ld n ot p ro ve who owns th e motorcycle in question, because nobody has to be lis ted as the ow ner of tha t motor cycle. King says that doesn' t matter. "We don't know, and we d on 't necessarily need to know (w ho owns th e motorcycle): ' King says. "Pa t Moroney is listed as the sponsor on Mike Hacker 's motorcycles , and we know for a fact that he is res po nsible for their prep ar ation, The appealing party di d not win, so the y do n ot get t heir (a p peal) money," "It looks like it' s just sort of a ma keu p-th e-rules-as-t hey-go type of d eal," Moro ney says. "The way they' ve put it, I cou ld walk up to an y 883 ou t there and find me tal removed fro m some p art of the frame or a hole d rilled, and I cou ld protest it. (Moroney proved his point at a recent 883 race by walki ng up to several machines a nd p ointing out pl ac es where metal is commonly shaved from 883s to make them more su itable for di rt track raci ng .) If I've go t a hol e drilled through a bolt, th ey could disqualify me. (In the ru les.) it's legal to take so me bu shin gs and replace them w ith needle bearings, and it's also legal to open up the breathers. Why is it illegal to cut an inch off a cam cover, es pecially when it's just to access the oil pump wit ho ut having to pull th e ca m cover? It shouldn' t be that wa y, and it won't be long befo re I pa rk my bikes because I'm tired of this shit. " "We are in a n ew e ra here a t the AMA:' King sa ys in defense of AM A poli cy. "You look at the other sanctioning bodies, lik e N ASCAR . The y don 't have the same penalty for eve ry infraction . If a car runs with a .OIO-inch ove rbore in one cy lin der, they ma y no t be di squa lified , but the crew chief ma y be fined ." So , a p paren tly , ju sti ce ha s b ee n served . Mike Hacker has wo n, but lost. Th e AMA thin ks it won an d ha s now gone so far a t to liken itself to ASCAR - which m akes it a big los er . And Pat M or one y lo st tw ice , 'b eca u s e he appealed Hack er 's DQ. I dn n ' t give a damn w ha t a nyone says. In my opinion , Mike Hacker now h as to w in th e 1998 Ha rley- Davidson Spo r ts tel' Performance Series by more than 23 points in order for me to personall y co nsider him the tru e cha m pion. Otherwise, it look s like he has cheated his way to the title. Pat Moron ey need s to serious ly think about whatever move he is going to make next, because now it looks as though he is the Carry And rew of AMA dirt track racing. And the AMA ? Let' s just say that it lo oks a s thou gh th ey' ve su ccess fu lly come up wi th a luc ra tive little mo ne ymaking sys tem that will ensure excellent hou se odds the next time someone ga mbles on an appea l hea ring . And wo e unto the rider who pr epares h is own motor cycle. Under the Moro ney / Hacker mod el, should tha t guy ge t dis qualified and elec t to appeal a decision, he has the potential to win $1000 and lose $750. ' "In effect, that is corr ect," King said , when asked abo ut such a scenario. "Bu t that' s jus t the way of the racing wo rld. " Just like NASCAR? Excuse me, but in NA SCAR, a points /pen alt y and fine is usually only carried ou t when the infraction in qu estion is discovered at tile race track. Sho uld n't an appea l-boa rd heari ng only serve to uphold or overtu rn the disqualification, and nothing mo re? Ins te ad , d irt track racin g ha s been ta in ted , a t least at th e Spo rts tel' level, with "official" rulings tha t do n othing m ore th a n fu r t he r co mp ro mise th e int egrity of AMA-sanction ed motorcycle racing . On ce aga in, I will refe r yo u to my previou s take on this (In The Tap es, Issue # 19), where a ha lf a millimeter in one carburetor equals a full DQ w hile an inch and a half of windscreen equa ls a five-poi nt deduction. Of course, illegal fue l is su bject to a fine , or a DQ - tha t cou ld depend on who you are. The "new era " of AMA Pro Racin g. Ju st keeps ge ttin' bett er and bett er, don' t m ' 0 30 Y ARSAGO,.. E SEPTEMBER 12, 1968 2 0YEARSA O G ... SEPTEMBER 6,1978 topped Roger DeCoster at the World Cha mpionship 500cc MX Series in Luxembourg to win his second title. he Peoria Na tional 20-Lap IT Championship was featured on the cove r ot Cycle News 30 years ago . Bart Markel maneuvered his Harley-Davidson to v icto ry , b rin gin g hi m to wi t h in four ol ty i ng Jo e Leonard 's all -tim e cha m p io ns h ip recor d ... Fr ed Nix won the sho rt-track ational race at Sante Fe,in Hi nsdal e, Illinois... A Kawasaki advertisement claimed that th e 175 Bushwhacker cou ld "clim b 40-d egr ee s lopes like a mountain goat ," and that the 120 Road Ru nn er " ...furni shes th e high est po w er- to-weigh t rat io in its class." " 10YEARS A O G ... AUGUST31, 1988 T K ing Kenny" was proudly displayed in bold type on the cover of Cycle News 20 years ago, as well as a phot o of the new 500cc Road Race World Cham pion, Kenn y Roberts. Roberts, on his Good year/ Lectr on-sponso red Yamaha , clinc hed the 1978 title with a third-place finish at the German GP in Nurburgring.. West Germany, putting an end to the reign of Barry Sheene as 500cc World Cha mpion... Yamaha rid ers logged other titles on thi s wee ke nd . In the mot ocro ss scene, Rick Bu rg ett wrapped up the Na tional Cha mpio nship 500cc MX Series title with a wi n a t Sunshine MX Spee dway in St. Petersburg, Flo ri da. In Europe, Yamaha ' s Heikki Mikkola . en years ago , Eric Geb oers was featured on the cover of Cycle News. Alex Hodgkinson in terviewed the Belgian, who had just completed the hat trick - claiming World MX titles in the 125, 250 and, the week earlier, the 500cc class...Keith Bowen and Steve Ch ildress were some of the big winners a t the Amateur Na tiona l Motocross Championships a t Loretta Lynn's ...Terry Fow ler took top honor s at the SCORE Off-Road World Champion ships at Riverside Intern ational Speed w ay in California . rx T 63

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