Cycle News - Archive Issues - 1990's

Cycle News 1998 09 23

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 , '.:.. ..~~ , - .. ~. . ." .. Rodney Smith (Suz) clinched the GNCC championship with his win at ro und 10 of the series, held in Millfield, Ohio, on September 13. Fred Andrews (Kaw) was second and Scott Summers (Hon) was third. Donn ie Book (Yam) won round five of the AMA Nationa l Championship Hare & Hound series on Saturday, September 12, 'a 100-mil,e race fro m We lls to Wendover in nor thern Nevada . Ru s s e ll Pearson (KTM) was second an d Destry Abbott (Kaw ) was thi rd. Cha mpionship lead er Ty Davis did no t finish the event, the victim of a failed clu tch eight miles after the sta rt. Jame s Large (H - D) won his fourth straight National Hillclimb in the 800cc class as the se ries mad e anothe r stop in Freemansbu rg , Pennsylvan ia, o n Sunday, Septem be r 13, rou nd nine of the series. Gr eg Will iams (Hon) was second a nd Lou Geren cer (H-D) was thi rd. Terry Thompson (BSA) won the 540cc class ahead of David Wat so .. (Hon) and Paul Pinsonnault (Hon). Damon Huffman (Kaw) mad e his re turn to racing at the 18th an n ua l CMC TransCa l opener held at Glen Helen Raceway in Sa n Berna rdino, California, on Septem ber 13. H uffma n, who hasn't rac ed since April d ue to a broken femu r, won the 250cc Pro class, bea ting Spud WaI ters (Yam) and Scott M yers (Yam). In th e 125cc Pro class, Billy Payne topped the fiel d , foll o w ed by G reg Schnell (Yam) and Danny Carlson (Yam). A lt houg h Aa ro n Slig h t a n d H on d a tr ails them by ju st half a p oint going in to the fina l round of the World Superbike Cha mpions hip, Slight and Hond a were n' t th e to p ics o f co nversa tion a t Du cati last week, a ccordin g to Cycle News contribu tor Paolo Gozzi. 'Instead , the ta lk a t th e Ita lian manufacturer was of how to pat ch u p th ings be tween Carl Fogarty and Pier-Francesco Chili fol lowin g their heated clash in Ho lla nd on Se p te m be r 6. " D ucati h as been more than pleased with w ha t I have done th is year," Chili sai d . "I've won five races, more than any other rider in the World Su perbi ke Championship, and I thin k we ca n alI u ndersta nd why I ac te d so violently to Fogar ty's cha llenge. Losing a cha nce to fight for the titl e right to the Gobert's Su ercross return A ustralian road racer A ntho ny Gobert finished last in his one-off Supercross ride at the Sydney Entertainme nt Cente r in Sydney, Aus tralia, on Se ptember 12. It was th e Vance & Hi nes Duca ti rider's re turn to ac tion foll o w in g his recent 30-day stay in a d rug-re habili ta tio n center af ter testin g positive for ma rijuana in tests cond uc ted by both the FIM and AMA, and it was his first Supercross race in over four years . Gobert is scheduled to make his retu rn to AMA Superbike racing Oc tober 3-4 at Las Vegas Mo tor Speedway after being suspend ed by the AMA for three races. Go bert, the 1992 Australia n Supercross Champion, rode a Yama ha Austra lia-supported YZ250 in the race and was gree ted w arm ly by the cro wd of 9000 fan s. In Friday nig ht's program, Gobert failed to make the 20-lap fina l,but on Satu rday night, the "Go Show" won a heat race and finis hed second in the o ther, despite ge tting away last when he hit the starting gate. In th e fina l, Gober t got a good s ta rt a nd was th ird on the firs t lap before being bu mped backw ard . Gobert th en s tarte d fadi ng backw ard as his YZ250 sta rte d running poorly on the ba d ly deteriorating track. He was ultim at ely lapped twice by race wi nner Craig An de rson. It was a disappointing end to an evening that had started so we ll for Gobert - and it was likely the firs t time he'd eve r finis hed last in a race . "I didn' t finish last, did I?" Gobert asked his tea m . "1 thought a few guys crashed and I migh t' ve got seventh (second to last )." In an ea rlier interview con ducted in front of the crowd , Gober t said that he was ta lking to several su pe rbike teams regardi ng the 1999 season and later confirmed th at Terrv Va nce "w a s keen" to get a deal go ing for nex t year. In a television in terv iew sho t d u ring practic e fo r the event, Go be rt sa id th at his recent drug probl em s we re his own resp onsibili ty, bu t adde d tha t th e w hims of certain forces have been aligned ag ains t him, for w hat he sa id was "o nly smoking a bit of weed." The Aus tralian Spo rts Drug Agen cy retrieved six urine sa mples from com pe titors at the end in this way hurt me a lot, especially becau se I've always been very co rrect w it h h im . His threat s ? D uca ti h a v e give n me a lo t of encouragement, and p ro ba b ly in tim e my a nge r w ill die d own. But d on 't as k me what I w ill do in Japan if I find myself in a position to help Fogarty. My heart is still bleeding o ver w ha t he did to me. I' m so di sappo inted , it will rem ain ' with m e for ev er." Fogarty, m eanwhile, is anyth ing but relaxed . "Carl called me every day thi s w eek for reassuran ces th at he can race in Su go (Japan) w itho u t fears th at Sebastien Tortelli: World Cham ion rench m a n Sebast ien Tortelli d id ex actly w ha t he need ed to d o in th e fin a l 250cc Wo rld Championsh ip Mo tocross ro u nd of th e season in M egal o poli s, Greece, o n Sep tem ber 13 - he rod e his Kawa saki to a perfect I -I mot o score. And he got a little help when his rival in th e cha mp ions h ip, Stefan Eve rts, crashe d his facto ry Hond a in both mot os to end up 3-7 on th e day - all bu t hand ing the 1999 250cc World Cha m pions hi p to Tortell i. In th e fir st mot o, both Tortelli and Everts crashed ou t while lea ding. Eve rts we n t d o w n o n th e fifth lap an d rejoined the m ot o in fifth pl ace; Tortell i th en cras he d af te r tak in g over th e lea d, th ough he was able to remount and cha rge to vic to ry . Eve rts, mean while, ended u p th ir d, following Ge rman Pit Beirer across the finis h lin e. . With just one m ot o remainin g in th e 1999 250cc World Cham pionship, only three poin ts separated Everts a nd To rtelli. The tw o th en head ed in to turn one si de by si de and for the firs t 20 m inutes the gap be tween th e tw o was never mo re than th ree seconds. O n the 13th la p, however, To rtelli attacked Everts, pa ssi ng him off a jump . As th e Belg ia n tried to ca tch up, he crashed again - dash ing his cha nces of d efending his World C ham pionship. A ve ry tir ed Everts rejoined th e race in thi rd pl ace but lost ground to To rtelli, who went on to w in the moto and th e cham p ions hi p, adding it to th e 125cc title he won in 1996. Everts ended up seventh in the mot o and wou nd u p eight points be hind Tortelli in the fina l point s tanding s . Ca lifornia n Tallon Vo hla nd rode his Team Rin aldi Yama ha to a 4-3 score, giving him th ird overall on the day and sixth in the World Champions hip point sta nd ings. F 00 0\ 0\ .- 2 Sydney Supercross, but it is not known w hether Gobert was one of them. As ked what he was trying to achie ve by returning to Su pe rcross, Gobert joking ly sa id that he w ould try to make Anderso n look a bit silly. Darryl Flack Chili will pus h him off the tr ack," sai d team m anager David e Tard o zz i. Vir gini o Ferra ri (C hili a nd Troy Co rser's team ma nager) a lso had harsh w ard s fo r Foga rty a t Assen. "Carl ac te d in a cowa r d ly w a y and hi s di sgra ceful beha vior in the race ha s wiped ou t any mem o ries of th e tw o World titles he won," Fer rari sa id . "Carl just doesn' t und erstand th a t fi rs t comes lo yalty, respect for life, and then vict ori es on the track. Fogarty closed th e d oor on Chili at 280 kph (174 mph) - there cou ld have been a tragedy if th e tw o m ad e contac t. Th e punch in Carl' s face w as nothi ng wi t h re spect to what he could hav e caused by his beh avior. Pier-Fr an cesco ac te d like a ge n tle man in th e w ay he reacted af te r th e race - he cou ld have tried to push him off the tr ack, but he d idn't because he is a clean and loya l rid er ." O n the other side, Tardozzi had th is to say a bou t th e incide n t: "That punch w as se rio us, so m e thi ng w e do not w is h to see, but it w as nothing in comparison w ith th e behavior of Chili's team, which in st ead o f rest rain in g its rid er a nd taking him away, escor te d him to th e podium while Fogarty was arrivi ng. A n d th en t he re was Pi erFrancesco's beh avio r iri th e press confe re nce, w h e re h e turn ed up in hi s d ress ing gown. Th at was a real d rop in style - first by the team, then th e rid er ." C u rre n t Mod ena s fac to ry rid er Ra lf Wald mann test ed th e Team Eckl Kawasaki ZX-7RR at Assen in Holla nd last week. Despit e the fact that it was the 32-yea r-o ld's first time on a su perbi ke, the German came within four-tenths of a second of th e lap tim es recorded by Akira Yanagawa . Waldmann is con sider ing m oving to !;be World Su pe rbi ke Cha m pio ns hip in [999, thou gh he is also rec eiving Grand Pr ix offe rs, including one fro m Aprilia to return to the 250cc class. Ita lia n road ra cer Luca CadaIora m et w it h Ya ma h a W o rld Su perbike tea m m anag er Davide Brivio o n Tuesday, Sep tember 8, and the three-time World Champion is a pparen tly very interes ted in Ya m ah a ' s offe r, according to Cycle Ne ws co n trib u to r Pao lo Gozzi. Brivio now ha s to wait fo r Japan's definitive okay regarding the new YZF-R7 for the 1999 Wo rld Su perb ike Cha m pions hi p . Cadalora reported ly has o ther offers in A new class d es ig ned to bring you ng rid er s in to racin g on p rod uc ti on-based motorcycles w ill be featured in the nine Europea n round s of the 1999 World Su perbi ke Championship. Th o ugh th e technical det ails are still being worked out , riders aged be tween 16 and 23 fro m a ll over th e world w ill be allowed to race . Th e bi ke s will be prod u cti o n b ased , up to 1000cc, w ith a m axim um pow er outpu t of 120 hors ep ow er - with Grand Pri x racing as well as fro m ot her W or ld Su perbi ke team s , in cl u d ing Ducati and Aprilia. Ga tto lone Du cati's Andrea ,Merl on i has se n t a det ail ed technical and fin ancial offer to Ant hony Gobert to rid e for his te am in th e 1999 Wo rld Su pe r bi ke Ch ampionship. "We are offe ring him a chan ce for a come back, because w e are co nvinced of hi s potential ," M erlo ni sa id . "We made him an offer bas ed on his results - the be tte r he goes, th e more he ea rns. I think that after the pa st cou - . ple o f yea rs, Gober t need s the ri ght s tim u lus a nd w e can give him that." Du cati has alrea dy guar anteed the Gat tolone team a '99 ev o lu tion ve rs ion of the Ducati 996 for Go bert , but the team is also negotiating w ith Yamaha.

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