Cycle News - Archive Issues - 1990's

Cycle News 1998 10 28

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 . ,', "~-~ ' ." . Semoff Bro s. Racing (Su z) won the WERA Na tiona l End urance race at the Grand Na tional Fina l h e ld at Roa d Atlanta, in Brase lto n, Georgia, October 15-18, lock in g up th e 1998 cha m p ionship wit h its win. In the Suzu ki Cu p fina ls, Josh Hayes top ped both the 600cc and I100cc classes, with Jamie Bowman taking the win in the 750cc class . Derrick Shae Bentley (Kaw) was one of the big winners at the AMA Fall Classic MX/ Top Gu n Series a t Mu dd y Creek Racewa y in Blountville, Tennessee, on October 18. Bentley top ped both the 125 and 250cc Pro classes . In the 250cc class, Ben tley too k th e win a head of Mall Shue (Suz) and JaMJnThomas (Yam). In the 125cc class, Ben tley finis hed ahead of Shue and Kevin Walker (Yam). In the Eastern Fo u r-S troke Natio nal class, Walker came out on top, ove r Anthony Pocorobba (Ya m), and Kell y Smith (Hbg). Spa nia rd Gregorio Lavilta has signed a o n e-yea r co ntract to partner wi th Akira Ya naga wa on the Kawasaki World Superbi ke team in 1999. The 25year-o ld fin ish e d 12th i n th e 1998 Worl d Superbike Cha mpio ns hip. "I am very happy to be with Kawasaki," Lav ilia said. "This is my big chance in a • fa c tory t eam , an d it will be a ve ry impo rtant yea r for me . I know tha t it w ill be d ifficult to switch fro m a private er m a chin e, bu t I w ill b e working hard over the w inter months to mak e sure tha t I a m rea dy for the s tart of the season. Th is year was a good experience for me. I had to learn some new circuits a n d com pe te ag ains t fac to ry ride rs in a low-budget team . However, I was able to narrow the gap at smaller t racks like A lbace te a n d Kya la m i , where I achieved my best resu lts of the season." La villa fini s he d o n th e rostrum in both of those rou nds, impressing team man a ger Ha ra ld Eckl. "Gregorio imp ressed me with so me of his performan ces last season, pa rticu la rly with his tw o podiu m finishes in Spai n and South Africa . He has an aggressive rid in g style a nd showed th e p ro mi se that will d eliv er a good series of resu lts on the Kawasaki." Eckl also announced t h a t Kawa sa k i w ill fie ld a Worl d Superspo rt tea m in 1999 and tha t they are cu rren tly negotiating with riders to fill that tea m. Accordin g to the Gra nds Pass (Oregon) Daily Courier new spaper, the Umpqua Tribe is negotia ting with the owne r of th e Indian trademark to r ev i ve t he fab led line of m otorcycl es . The tr ib e hopes to bu ild a motorcycle factory on tribal land near Myr tle Creek. However, Eller In d u s tries of Niwot, Colorad o, . w hich acquired the India n trademark in January, has said it p lans to change its name to the Indi an Motorcycle Company and bring back th e brand itself. In Ju ne, th e compa ny announced it had "p lanned , bud geted , and sche duled in detail" a 26-month program, at the end of wh ich it wo uld be in full production of hea v yw eight In d ian m ot o rcycl es. OC> Rou sh Ind u s tri es h a s b een h ir ed to 0\ d esi gn a n ew y- twin e ngi ne fo r th e 0\ company . ,..... 00 ("oJ o ..... u WERA No vice Rodney Preast, '28, was killed Friday, October 16, during practice at the WERA Grand Na tional Fina l at Road Atlanta, in Braselton , Geo rgia . Preas t hig h-sided in turn five and was struck by another ride r. ,2 Margie and Chris Ghione recen tl y rece ived th e Ca lifornia O ff-Hi g hwa y I-< Q) ..0 o CARS ruling opens , loor for two-stroke use t T wo years after ban ning man y off- highway mo torcycles from use on pu blic landin the state, officials wit h the California Air Resources Board (CARB) are abou t to take one step back from that position, report s the AMA. On October 13, CA RB officia ls announce d that th ey w ill ame nd a controversial se t of em issions regulat ion s th at ha ve , effec tively pr ev ented the registr ati on of a ll two-stro ke motorcycles a nd ATVs for recreation al use o n public land s. Th ose vehicles will become legal for use in various riding areas again, bu t on ly du ring ti mes of the year w he n good ai r qu ality is expected . The AMA, along with its District 36, 37 and 38 organizations, and the Californ ia Motorcycle Dealers Association have wo rked wit h CARB to get the two-s troke ban ame nded since it was first implemented . Prio r to th e ado p tion of th ese strict stand ards, nearly 100 d ifferent mod els of motorcycle were eligible for regis, tration as off-highway vehicles in Ca lifornia. Sinc e then , th at number has d ropped to seve n. . Negotiations betwee n the, two sid es have resu lted in a compromise tha t mainta ins the existi ng emi ssion s standards bu t provides two important exceptions. The first allows noncomplying motorcycles to be used in competitive activities such as enduros and deser t races. The secon d allow s the registra tion of noncom- Motor Vehicle Recreation Commission's prestigious Superior Achievement "Best Volun teer of the Year" award during ceremo nies held at Mammot h Lakes in Mamm oth , Ca lifo rn ia . The Gh io nes have vo lu n tee re d in trail wo rk, road side cleanu ps and various park proj ects . that have helped improve rid ing oppo rtunities and the ima ge of OHV enthusi asts at the Hollister Hills State Vehicular Recr e a t ion' A rea in Ho llis ter, Califo rnia. The fina l ta lly in ou r most recent read er poll on Cycle News Online regard ing w he t he r o r n ot ' 400cc fou r-s t ro kes s ho u ld be all owed to compet e in th e AMA 25 0cc N ati on al Mot o cros s Cha mpionship s howed th at th e vas t m a jor it y o f rea ders vo te d t o k e ep things th e w ay they are . Jus t over 70 p ercent o f th ose w ho vo te d fee l that 400cc four-strokes should stay in the class, w hile 29 percent sai d th at th ey sho u ld n ' t be a llowe d in t h e cla s s . More than 4700 people participated in the poll. Check out this week's reader poll at htt p:/ / w w w.cyclenew . Scott Ru ssell sh ow ed u p as a sp ecta tor a t the WERA GNF bu t didn't stay lon g - Ru ssell was thrown o u t a fte r do ing do ug h nu ts in the infi eld in h is Hummer. Aaron Slight an d Co li n Ed w a rds II w ill join five other Ho nda riders for thei r final superbike race of the year, sched uled for the Sugo Circuit in Sugo, Japan, on November 1. Th e TBC Big Road Race is a lso th e ninth and final ro u nd of th e A ll-Japa n Supe r b i ke Cha mpionship. Honda will a lso field five-time 500cc Wo rld Champion Mick Doohan and his tea mma tes Alex CriviIle and Tad ayuki Okada. Th e AMA and Fas t Trac k Ra cin g will join forces to present cha m pions hip dirt track racin g next Jul y a t the Indi a na Sta te Fa irgro u n ds ' Indy Mile . Kicking off a full week of actio n on Saturday eve n ing, Jul y 3, wi ll be the New Indy Mil e, m arking the retu rn of th e AMA Gra nd Na tiona l Dir t Track Series to a venue th at first hosted AMA championship racing in 1952. After the Mile, the Fairg rounds will host amateur and plying mo torcycles for noncompetitive use accordi ng to a seasonal/regional plan. The plan would open up several riding areas in Northern Californi a for extended peri ods of time. However, rid ing opportu nities in Southern Californ ia, where overall air- pollution problems are mor e serious, will still be sig nificantly curtailed . "We are pleased by the p rogress that we have mad e on several fro nts with this CARB ruling;' said Robert Rasor, AMA vice p residen t of govern men t relations . "Open in g up compe titive even ts to noncomplying mot orcycles is a n impo rta n t brea kthrou gh . In add ition, ridi ng op portu nities in Northern California have been increased treme ndously ove r the level of the past two years. "However," he added , "the situa tion in Sou thern Cali forn ia remains extremely restri ctive, and this plan clearly d oes not meet the need s of the man y off-highway mo torcyclis ts in that region ." CARB is expected to mak e its fina l decision on this issue at a meeting scheduled for 9:30 a.m. on December 10 in Sacra me nto. In the meantim e, the two sets of s tandards are ope n to pub lic commen t. Motorcyclists who would like to state their opi nio ns abo u t the CA RB p roposal can send their comments to: California Air Resources Board, 2020 L Street, Sacra mento, California 95814. y ou th dir t track ra cing for th e 22nd an nual AMA Dirt Track Grand Champio ns hips, July 4-9. For mor e info rmation , call 614/ 891-2425. first -ever motorcycle roa d race and that if hi s sc hed u le p ermit s, h e wou ld return for the November an d December WSMC events. Kazuto Sakata may no t have clinched th e 1998 125c c World Cha mpions hi p a t Phillip Island af ter a ll. Th e fou rth pl ace and 13 p oints that Sak at a scored in th e 125cc race a t th e Qantas Au st r a li an M ot o r cy cl e Gr an d Prix on October 4 gave him a season's tall y of 218 points and a seeming ly unbeat able 26-point lead ove r fell ow Ja pa nese rid er Tomomi Manako, w ho was second in the race at Ph illi p Isl and wo n by anothe r Ja pa nese rider, Masao Azuma. How ever , the FIM has fou nd th at the fue l in Saka ta 's Aprilia mot orcycle at Phi lli p Is land was " no t in accordance w ith the Gran d Prix regula tio n s ." T he re gul ations sta te that "any in fringeme n t of th e fuel specifica tions will automatically resu lt in th e exclu sion of the com pe titor fro m the entire meeting." Saka ta , 32, has five da ys fro m his receipt of official not ification of the finding to ask for a coun ter t est of the fue l sam ples ta ken a t Ph ill ip Isl an d . If Sakata is e xcl uded fro m th e Qanta s A us tra lian Grand Pr ixresults, he would go in to n ext w eek e n d ' s fi nal ro u n d of t he FlM Road Racing World Cha mpionships the Argentine Motorcycle Grand Pri x in Buen os Aires - 13 points a head of Manako a nd 23 poi n ts ahead of Italia n 16-year-old Ma rco Meland ri. Wit h 25 po ints for a win, it would still be poss ib le for Manako, 26, or Melandri to take the 1998 World title. Sak a ta w on th e Wo rld title in 1994 a nd was ru nner- up in 1993 and 1995. A fte r w owin g th e m ot orcycle wo rl d with th e Hail w ood Evo luz ione a t the Interm ot Sh ow in M u nich, Du ca ti ' s styli ng dire ct or, Pierre Terblanche, revealed at a n infor ma l press confe rence during th e recent ST4 lau nch in Bologn a th at he has p lans for a 750cc Imola Evoluzion e, to be exec u ted in a simila r fashi on as the Hailwood - th at is, mod ern mechan ics wi th retro /mod e rn s tyling fl a ir. T he Imol a wou ld include wi re w heels, met alflake pa int a n d a tw in -sho ck rear en d, but with rad ical styling co nce p ts melded w ith images of th e past , as with th e Ha ilwood . In ad di tion to th e 750cc Im ola, Terbl anche also said that he wou ld like to d o a 750cc GT. Wh y ? Be ca u se he used to own one in h is native South Africa : Anot her p oss ib le project is a Scra mbler. . Shaun of all trades: World Cha mpion sno w boarder a nd Pr o mounta in-bike racer Shaun Palmer, wh o qua lified for the 125cc main event at the L.A. Su pe rcross earlier this yea r, tried his hand a t road raci ng du r in g a recent Will ow Springs Motorcycle Clu b event at Willo w Sp rings Internation a l Ra ce w a y . Pa lm er rode in th e M idd lewei ght Novice class on October 18 after qu alify in g for h is com petition license th e day before. Palmer finis hed sixth af ter sta rting on the third row in the six-lap eve n t. Palmer said he had "fun" in his At th e sam e p re ss co nfere nce, Du cati's d irector of globa l image a nd stra teg y, Dav id Gross, sta ted that limite d -edition customs su ch as the Hailwood Evoluzion e wou ld be much m ore lik el y to see prod uctio n than , sa y, th e Supermono, du e sim p ly to th e lo w er sta rt -up cos ts and h igher . re turns such models represen t, sin ce th e y would all be b ased largel y on exist in g pa rts. Wit h a projected se ries of th ese bikes b u ilt in limited nu mbers - maybe 1000 pe r yea r for th ree yea rs, with p erhap s a tot a l of fiv e m od els - that wo u ld boost Du cat i p rod u ction by 5000 units per yea r, a sign ificant number considering Ducati's goal of 40,000 per an num by 2001. As for the Su permono , Gross indica te d th a t whil e e mo tio na lly eve ryo ne wo ul d love to see th e b ike reach p roducti on , it is much mor e feas ib le economically to p roduce a se ries of limited -ed ition customs. Afte r Suzuki elected not to ren ew its con tra ct with Harris Performance, the Britain-based team is now workin g on a deal th a t wou ld see th em return to th e World Su perbike a re n a for 1999, on ce again campa ignin g GSX-R750s.

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