Cycle News - Archive Issues - 1990's

Cycle News 1998 11 25

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 Matt Hines (Suz) capped off his second straight NH RA Pro Stock Bike championship-win nin g season by eme rg ing victoriou s in th e 34 t h a n n ua l Win ston Finals at Pomo na Raceway in Pom ona, California, on November 15. Hines outran runner-up Ron Ayers (Suz) in the fin al rou nd to finish the yea r w it h 10 wins in the 14-round season. His win / loss record in round s of compe tition was 46-4. Jeff G ibson (Kaw) w on his firs t-ever AMA /PJl Ar en across Series round on Fr id a y , No ve m ber 13 in Wo rces te r , Massachuset ts, then went ou t and won again the followi ng day. Gibso n topped Jeromy Bu eh l (H en ) a n d Bu dd y Ant unez (Suz) to win the 125cc final on Frid ay nigh t, with Heat h Voss (Hon) beat ing Cli ff Pa lmer (Kaw) an d Buehl to win the 250cc fina l. O n Satu rda y, Gibson again wo n the 125cc class, beat ing Jeff Willow (Ho n) and Chad Ped erson (Suz ), In th e 250 cc class o n Sat urd ay, Palmer beat Voss and Denny Step henson (Ho n) . Voss con tinues to lead th e cha m pi ons h ip a fter four round s wit h 124 poi n ts. Pa lmer is second with 116, followed by Antu nez with 104 and Ped erso n with 103. Th e te a m of Johnn y Ca m p b ell an d Jimmy Lewis (Ho n) took the ove ra ll . wi n in th e 31s t ru n n in g of the Tec at e/Score Baja 1000, November 1213. Cam pbell a nd Lewi s finishe d th e race-from Santo Tom as to La Paz, Mexico, in 18 hours, 58 minu tes, 48 seconds , at an ave rage spee d of 56.5 mph, beating the seco nd- placed team of Cra ig Smit h and G reg Brin gle (Ho n) by nearly one hou r. Third at the finish was the team of Joe Ta rqu in and Eric Brown (Ho n). Accord ing to Cycle Ne ws co n tri b utor Paolo Cozzi, Luca Cadalora has turned down Yama ha 's Wor ld Su perb ike offer a nd has signed a one-year d eal to rid e the MuZ 500 in th e 1999 500 cc World Champio nship Road 'Race Series. "I cann ot spea k abou t m y fu tu re at the moment," Cadalora said on November 14, bu t so urces close to the team say that th e d eal is d o ne . Cad a lora ra ced th e Mu Z in the fina l Grand Prix of the 's easo n in Ar gent ina, qualifyin g ninth but pulli ng ou t of the race in the earl y stages ' wi th a tire p roblem . With Ca dal o ra o u t o f th e eq ua tio n, Yam a h a s till see ks a rider to jo in N oriyuki Haga on its World Su per bike team . TI1e latest to come from the team is t ha t te a m m an a g er Da vid Bri vi o recently ha d ta lks with for me r Suzu ki Wor ld Superbike rider Jamie Whitham . " We k now Jam e s ve ry we ll , and he raced in 1996 wit h Yama ha in the British Su pe rbike Cham pion ship and in man y World Superbike rou nds wit h our factory YZF," Brivi o said . "This choice cou ld be okay for us ." Ga ttolone team manager Carlo Pernat is co n ti nui ng to n egoti at e w ith It ali a n Dori an o Romb on i in regard to riding the te a m ' s bi ke s in the 1999 Wo rl d Su perbi ke Champi onsh ip . "We need some more d ays to a r ra nge th e 1999 d eal ," Pern at sai d . Ga tt oio ne has also talked to Yamaha a bo ut ru nn ing th e new R7 in the '99 series. At the moment, Gatt olone is slated to u se Ducatis. Th e FIM 's Gra nd Pr ix Pe rm an en t Bureau met on Mo nd ay, No vember 16 to fin ally d e cid e the fat e of Kazuto Sakata a nd th e 125cc World Ch am pi onsh ip. The Per manent Bu reau cons idered that, acco rd ing to Article 2.10.2 (d) Finland wins Australian ISDE T he Finnis h Trophy Tea m pulled off a narrow vic tory ove r Team Sweden to wi n the 73rd ru nni ng of the Interna tional Six Day End uro, held thi s year in Traralgon, Au stralia , Novem ber 10-15. Finl and and Swe den battled back and fort h all week, with Finland ove rhau ling Swed en on the final d ay of com peti tion to take its second win in three years. Finland accu m ula ted a total score of 323.10 point s to Sweden' s 363.98. A ro ller-coas ter rid e saw Au stra lia' s own Trophy team s tar t fifth, clim b to th ir d , drop back to fift h , th en fin is h o u t th e eve n t in third pl ace. Rounding out the top five we re reigning cha m p ions Italy, and France . Finis hin g a d istan t ninth wa s the Un ited States Trophy team . The Am er ican team, made up of Rodney Smith (Su z), Scott Sum mers (Ho n), Chris Smith (Hon), Randy Ha wkins (Yam), Ty Davis (Yam) and Destry Abbott (Kaw) , stru ggled in the spec ial tests all week and wa s p lagu ed by mechan ical prob lem s. Abbott drop ped ou t on d ay two w hen his bi ke su ffered a bo tt om-end seizu re, bu t wi th th e rela tiv el y new th ro w aw ay ru le that allows each team to throw away its worse score each . o f th e G ra n d Prix re gu la ti o n s, "t he resu lt of the co m pe titor's fuel analysis (A or B sam ple) more favorab le to .the compe titor wiIl be t aken into account." With the resu lt of the B sam ple being in co n fo r mi ty wit h the ru les, Sa ka ta's fourt h-p la ce fini sh in th e 125cc Australian Gra nd Prix was confirmed and he is the 1998 125cc World Champion. Accord ing to reports fro m Europe, John Koci n ski tested the Kan emoto Hon d a NSR500 at the Jerez Circui t in S pain last week. Those reports also ind icated that he was und er the lap record . Stay tuned . The T rack Revi ew Ad visory Co mmitle e (TRAC ) o f th e AM A' s Superbi ke Cham pionship Series has beg u n wo rk in pre p ara tion fo r th e 1999 s eas o n, acco rd ing to the AMA. The firs t item on TRAC' s 1999 agenda was to me et with the staff of New Ham pshire Internat ion a l Speedway in Lou d o n , New Hampshire, a nd TRAC me mber To m Kipp recen t ly m ad e t h e t r e k to Loud on. Kip p met with tra ck owners Ga ry a nd Bob Bahre, opera tio ns ma nage r Ted God dard and Pengu in Racing Schoo l d ire ct o r Je r rv Woo d . T RAC member s and AMA Pro Raci ng manag eme nt were ha pp y w ith the tr ack 's r e ce pt i ve n e s s of T RAC ' s concern s . Accor di ng to the AMA, ex tensive track changes will be mad e to N HIS 's roa d cou rse . Am ong those ar e the following : reco nfig uring turns one, eight and 10; re movi ng tr e e s and barrie rs , a n d reg ra d i ng terra in t o e xte n d run o ff a reas ; in s tall in g grave l traps a t ke y turns; inst aliing ad d itional protective barriers; a n d resur fa cin g tra n sit io n a reas . N H IS s taff wi ll wo rk o n th e t ra c k over th e w in ter a n d in t o th e spri ng , with AMA road race manager Ron Barrick and TRAC members conti nuing to m onit or th e work as it is com p leted . A site visit is plann ed p rior to the June 18-20 ru nn ing of the AMA Superbike Ser ies rou nd at the facility. Span is h road racer G regorio Lavilla ma de h is Ka w a s aki d ebut during a three-d ay tes t a t the Jerez Circ u it in Sp ai n, Nove m ber 10-12. La villa was joined a t the test by his teammate Akira Yanag awa. After completing 225 laps of the circu it, Lavilla recorded a 1:46.2, just .3 of a second slower than Yanagawa in wh at was h is . fi rst o uti ng o n the Kawasaki. "I have been pleased wit h my debut rid e on the fa ctory Kawasa ki," Lavilla sai d . "At first, I concent rat ed on getting a good feel for the bik e, before . we went on to try so me d iffer ent se tu ps . d ay, the team was able to main tain its sixth-place start after da y one . Th e team was still ra nked sixth go ing in to the fin al da y when Rodney Smit h's motorcycl e suffered a top-end seizu re during th e opening lap of the mot ocross special test. Smi th was u na ble to finish the moto and was kn ocked from gold- to silvermed alsta tu s, and the team slip ped fro m sixth to ninth. In the Junior World com petition, Spa in took th e w in ove r Swe den, Aus tralia, France a nd Ital y . The Un ite d States team, made up of Micha el Lafferty (KTM), Robbie Jenks (Yam ), Brian Ga rra h a n (KTM) a nd Jaso n Rain es (KTM ), fini shed ou t th e even t in sixth. The overa ll ind ivid ua l winner o f the event was Aus tra lia' s own Shane Wa tts (KTM), w ho acco m p lished this fea t on a 125cc mot or cycle. This yea r' s "Top Ame rican" - based on tot al points lost - was Davis, wh o finished eigh th in the 400cc Fou r-Stro ke class . The top-p laced Ame rican class finis her was Chris Smit h, w ho fini shed six th in the 250cc Fou r-Strok e clas s. The top -p lacin g Am er ican Clu b te am w as the Rid ge Runners MC, co mp rise d of Russ Pearson (KTM), Pa trick Ga rra ha n (KTM) and Co le Marshall (Hon). The team fini shed se venth. Every change we mad e to the bike w as a n improvem en t, so w e were ab le to move forward during every session . We com pleted a high number of laps over the three days, so th ere wa s p lent y o f tim e to ex p lo re every a sp e ct o f t h e Kaw asaki. We achieved a good compromise for the Jer ez circu it, but now w e must thin k abo ut othe r race tracks and how to make the necessary ad justment s. To do this, we m u st es ta blis h a good base se tting. The ZX-7 RR wa s really good throu g h th e fast co rners an d I al rea~y fou nd it quite easy to ride." Accord ing to Cycle News correspondent Darryl Flack, the Australia n Superbi k e Ch ampionsh ip ha s app a rentl y been saved. Following the withd rawal of the Mobil Ho nda team, the other top teams w ill be bac k fo llo wi ng a n 11 th- ho u r reprieve from the major motorcycle d istributors in Australia. In a bid to shore up d w ind lin g grids, a new ye t- to- be " na med class w ill com bine th e Su perbikes wi th a revamped big-bor e Production Superbike catego ry that origina lly made its d eb u t in th e 1997 Shell Austraii an Road Raci n g Cha m p io ns hips. The inclusion of the Production Superbike class, which is ope n to prod uctionbased bik es up to 1300cc, w iIl prov id e an in teresting sho w down be tween the Ka w a s aki ZX -7 RR, Duca ti 996 a n d Su zuki GSX-R750 Superbikes agains t the all-conq ue ri ng Yama ha Rl and the Honda CBR900. Due to concerns of the Prod ucti on Superbikes upsta gi ng the trad itional Su pe rbikes, a review of the rul es conce rn ing issu es of equity wi ll be ca rri ed o ut a fter the third rou nd . It 's believed that the Superbikes wiIl appear in at least five of .the Shell V8 Supe rcar rou nds and the five SARRC rou nds . GFI Racing will celebra te its 10th annive rsary and its final races at Perris Raceway in Perris, California , with five ' rou nds of racing in the IOth annive rsa ry Super Satu rday Fina le Series . The series go t u nder way on November 14 and will ru n through Decem ber 19. GFI will ho ld its Las Veg as Su percross Invitational, Janua ry 2-3 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in Las Vegas, N eva da . For more inform ation, call 909/653-4042. New ly ' crowned AMA Sup er bike Nationa l Champ io n Ben Bostrom wi ll appear at Sport Bike Nig ht at In Ca hoo ts in Sacrame nto, Californ ia, on No vember 23 from 7 to 9:30 p.m. For more infonnation, call 916/373-1557. ' The Legen ds of Chicago land Motor- cy cle Raci ng Brunch wi ll 'be he ld on Nov em ber 29 from 10 a.rn, to 3 p.m. a t the Elmhu rst Holida y Inn in Elmh urst , Illin o is . For m ore info r ma ti on , ca ll 773/282-2176. . Kawasaki Mo tors Co rp . U.S .A . ha s annou nced that it has more tha n trip led its drag-racing con tinge ncy program for 1999 . Wit h th e a d dit ion of a liq u id coo led eng ine bonus a nd a new se ries for '99, Kaw asa ki wi ll post $116,200 for mot or cycle drag racers. Riders usi ng a Kawa sak i motor cycle eng ine are eligible for u p to $1000 for a w in in the AMA Pros tar Na tionals , the jus t-a dd ed AMA /Prostar West Coas t Series , Internationa l Drag Bike Associ a tion Na tion als a nd the N HRA Pro Stock d ivision . The payou t will be do ub led in selected cl a ss es if th e rid er is u s in g one of Kawasaki's liquid-cooled eng ines from a late-m od el Ninja motorcycle. American Su zu ki has announced that it will offer monthly e-mail newsletters to co ns u mers w ho wis h to su bs cribe th r o u g h t he co m pa ny 's s ite o~n th e World Wid e Web . For mo reIn forma tio n, vis it Suz u k i's h o m e p a g e a t http :/ / www .su zu . • O n Novem ber 12, the Spo rts Ca r Racing Associatio n of the Mon ter ey Peninsula (SCRAMP), the nonpro fit orga niza tion tha t runs Lagu na Seca Racew ay, paid ou t $540,000 to over 70 local charities a nd civic orga niza tions, inclu d ing the Un ited Way of Mont erey and Salin as. "T he m embers o f SC RA M P a re very proud to be able to make a record contribution this year," said Bill Reichmu th, presid en t of SCRAM P. "We 've had a grea t yea r, and bei ng able to gi ve this money back to the comm unity is what we're all abo ut ." The Pro 'Ci rcu it Rac e Su p port Te a m will be on hand at the 27th an nua l Mini Oly m pics in Florida ove r Thanksgiving wee ke n d. Pro C irc u i t ca n as sis t in mo torcycle se tup a nd will also ha ve silencers and pi pes for 1999 models for tes tin g o n a s p eci a l track. Fo r mo re informa tion, call 909/738-8050. Motocrosser Paul Cu rrie wi ll ride a Performa nce Engi neeri ng /F&S Suzuki/Sinsale-backed RM in the AMA 125cc East Coa st Sup e r cr o ss a nd A MA 125cc Na tiona l Cham pio ns hip Series races in 1999, accordi ng to Perfor man ce Eng ineering . Performance Engi neer ing is al so cu rren tly ac cepti n g resu mes fo r racer su pport for 1999. Resu mes can be

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