Cycle News - Archive Issues - 1990's

Cycle News 1999 01 13

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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Ryan Hughes (Hon) pocketed the $20,000 first-place cash prize at the GFI Racing 10th annual Invitational Supercross, held this year at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in Nevada on January 3. The runner-up was Tallon Vohland (Hon), who was followed by Tim Ferry (Yam), Michael Brandes (Suz) and Kyle Lewis (Suz). Jeff Willoh (Hon) won both 125cc main events at rounds 11 and 12 of the PJl National Arenacross Series in Fort Worth, Texas, January 1-2. Willoh topped the 125cc feature on both Friday and Saturday nights, while Mike Jones (Kaw) and Cliff Palmer (Kaw) split the 250cc wins. Palmer still owns the series points lead with 367; Buddy Antunez (Suz) is in second with 337 points. Reigning 125cc World Motocross Champion Alessio Chiodi (Hus) was the big winner at round one of the 23rd annual Sunstar Sprockets Golden State Nationals, held at Glen Helen Raceway. Chiodi won the 125cc Pro class with a 5-1 moto tally over Ty Kady (Yam) and Travis Preston (Suz). Honda-mounted Rusty Holland won the 250cc Pro class. Second went to Preston, and Brett Racine (Kaw) nabbed the final podium position. Should one rider win the Anaheim, Houston and Indianapolis rounds of the 1999 AMA Supercross Series, he will take home $250,000 in what PACE Motor Sports is calling the PACE Triple Crown. The winner-take-all award will tie in with the series' return to Anaheim Stadium and also with the two ABC-televised even ts in Houston (round 10) and Indianapolis (round 15). "The PACE Triple Crown is intended to highlight our return to Anaheim and add yet another element of excitement to our two events scheduled to air on network TV," said Gary Becker, CEO of PACE. "This is the single highest bonus opportun! ty in the history of off-road motorcycle competition." If no single rider wins all three Crown races, .then the rider with the best overall finish for all three will receive a $25,000 bonus. PACE has also announced that its supercross contingency program has reached an alltime high, wi th sponsors po ting awards that exceed $3.6 million. In all, 27 companies have posted $3,667,735. Those of you looking to tune into Cy.cle News Online's Virtual Grandstand coverage of the AMA Supercross Series from Anaheim, California, on January 9, be forewarned: There won't be any. Cycle News and PACE Motor Sports have not reached an agreement for this year's online coverage. We'll continue to bring you AMA Supercross coverage on the Cycle News web site following each event and complete coverage from each race in the printed version of Cycle News. Fo.r more information, contact PACE through its 110me page on the World Wide Web at ~ ... ... -.. ::I C 2 In mid-December, five-time AMA 600cc Supersport Champion and 1995 AMA Superbike ational Champion Miguel DuHamel had more surgery on his broken leg, an operation he hopes will help speed his recovery. DuHamel had a bone-graft operation in which doctors took bone from his hip and grafted it to his still-healing femur. "It's going pretty good right now," DuHamel said on Thursday, December 31. "It was healing at a slow rate and we didn't want to miss our season." The surgery will most likely force DuHamel to miss the upcoming test at Laguna Seca scheduled for January 12-13, though he expects to get back on a bike again in February at Willow Springs. "It's really frustrating," DuHamel said. ''I'm still on crutches. Every time I start to get better and get off of them (the crutches), I end up with them again. After seven months, this is getting a bit boring." DuHamel suffered a compound fracture of his left femur and a broken knee in a crash at New Hampshire International Speedway on June 19. Eraldo Ferracci still hasn't hired a rider to team with Matt Wait on the Fast By Ferracci Ducati team for the 1999 AMA Superbike Series, though he has had talks with both Jamie Whitham and Doriano Romboni. Whitham rode factory Suzukis in last year's World Superbike Series, and Romboni has yet to ride a superbike after a career in 250 and 500cc Grand Prix racing. "We talked to him (Whitham) and we talked to Romboni," Ferracci said on Thursday, December 31. "The factory has told me not to worry about it - they'll send me a rider." Ferracci said that he expects Wait to have his first outing on the Ducati in early February, most likely at Willow Springs in Rosamond, California. Dan Stanley recently wrote Cycle News to state that he was "shocked and disappointed" to learn of the rumors regarding his status with the Gardner Racing team for the 1999 AMA Grand National Championship season. "I do have and always have had a contract with Gardner Racing for this year," Stanley continued. "Davey (Camlin) and I will be teammates on equal equipment." There is confirmaHon of more movement among sponsors, teams and riders on the Grand National scene. The latest word is that Johnny Goad will again field a two-rider team, with backing from Tom Seymour and the folks at Sad. dleman Racing as well as Lancaster Harley-Davidson and the Dodge Brothers; Saddleman was the title sponsor of Pat Moroney's 1-800-FASTHOG team. Dan BuUer will be making his return to the team for 1999, and he will be joined by Kevin Varnes, who rejoins Goad after a tenure with Rose Racing. Meanwhile, Rose Racing co-owner Keith "Chico" Bednar announced that he has ho ked up with Geo Roeder II for 1999 and will receive backing from Schaeffer's Harley-Davidson and Las Vegas Harley-Davidson as well as KK Motorcycle Supply. And former Goad rider Bryan Bigelow has struck out on his own with a new team that is sponsored by former Goad supporters USC Racing. In an unexpected move, Pennsylvania Governor Rom Ridge vetoed a helmetlaw-repeal bill that his state's legislature approved earlier this month. In vetoing the bill, Ridge cited concerns over provisions in the bill that would also allow motorcyclists to ride without eye protection. The bill was designed to permit riders their cllOice of helmet use if they are at least 21 years of age and have either held a motorcycle license for more than two years or taken a rider-education course. The helmet-law-repeal issue is still alive in Pennsylvania, however, as Ridge said that he would support a bill to repeal the state's mandatory belmet law if it also maintained eyewear requirements, and he pledged to work with the state legislature and helmet-bill lobbyists to bring a revised version of the bill back to his desk for signature by May. Normalcy has returned to the Muzzy Kawasaki team, with Doug Chandler resolving his contract dispute with team owner Rob Muzzy and Kawasaki. "Everything'S back to normal," Chandler said on Tuesday, December 29. "We've got some new mechanics. I think everything will be all right now." Muzzy has hired former team mechanic Rick Johnson and Nick Allen to work on Chandler's machines for the 1999 AMA/MBNA Superbike National Championship. Chandler will not compete in Supersport racing in 1999, leaving teammate Aaron Yates to carry the Kawasaki banner in the 600cc class. Australian road racer Mark Willis has inked a deal that will see him ride the New Zealand-built BSL in the 1999 500cc World Championship. Willis, 22, finished sixth and ninth in the two legs of the Australian round of the World Superbike Championship at Phillip Island in 1998 and later in the year rode a Suzuki to 14th in the Australian Grand Prix. "Our focus is to build the team for the future, and Mark is focused the same way," BSL spokesman Dave Stewart said. "We hope to keep him in the team and develop him and the bike - hopefully to World Championship level." The BSL 500 is expected to run for the first time in mid-January. After running a single-cylinder test engine from its Vthree, the team has redesigned the cylinder and piston and is now waiting for the new parts to be plated in England, according to Cycle News contributor Bernard Carpinter. Randy Mamola is still planning to ride the bike in its initial testing, according to the team. Two-time Australian Superbike National Champion Martin Cragill has signed a deal with Suzuki to contest the 1999 British Superbike Championship on a GSX-R750. Cragill will join James Hay.don on the team. "I'm delighted to have made the move to the UK and know that I have made the right choice with the Suzuki team," Cragill said. "The bike really suits my style, and I was very impressed by the 1998-spec machine that I used for my shakedown in France. The whole team works well together, and I am certain that I can make an impact on the UK scene. It's not going to be easy, but that's the way I like it." AMA Superbike ational Champion Ben Bostrom will be ready to test the Vance & Hines Ducati again at the Laguna Seca tests, scheduled for January 12-13 in Monterey, California. Bostrom, who suffered serious hand injuries in his crash at Daytona International Speedway in December, has recovered well from his skin-graft surgery. "It took awesome," Bostrom said of the surgery. "My doctor here can't believe how good it's doing. [t's really not that bad right now. The. first couple of weeks there was a lot of pain, but now I'm just working on rehabbing the thumb and getting my grip stronger." . Yoshimura Suzuki's Jason Pridmore will also be back in action at the Laguna Seca test in mid-January after suffering a badly broken wrist in the last AMA Superbike-National of 1998 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in October. "It's getting there," Pridmore said of the wrist on December 30. 'Tve been going to therapy three times a week. It's been tough because there was a lot of damage. inside the joint, but I've got a really good therapist and it's getting better. I rode a motocross bike last week and it felt pretty good. It should be really good for Daytona, and I'll be at the Laguna test." Entries are still available for rounds two through 15 of the 1999 KTM Junior Supercross Challenge. Applications can be picked up at any KTM dealer and, if chosen, riders will get the opportunity to compete on brand-new KTM 50 SX Pro Juniors during intermission at the AMA Supercross rounds. To qualify, riders must be 7 to 8 years old, weigh less than 68 pounds and stand no taller than 50 inches. Italian road racer Mauro Lucchiari has signed a one-year contract with the Gattolone-Benelli team to ride the team's Yamaha R7 in the 1999 World Superbike Championship. Australian Peter Goddard had his first outing on the Aprilia RSVI000 superbike at Jerez in Spain, December 14-16, and ended up lapping less than a second off the pace of Kawasaki's Akira Yanagawa.. Goddard clocked a 1:45.4 on the new bike. "The bike is already really fast and we hope to still improve," team technical director Ferdinando De Cecco said. ''We have another test here in January, then we will be in Australia and South Africa in February for the World Superb ike winter tests. We hope to arrive in very good shape, just in time for the first race." Four-time 250cc World Champion Max Blaggi recently completed his first test on the factory Yamaha. Riding the YZR500 at the Motegi track in Japan, Biaggi clocked a 1:52.4 - just off the best time set by Sete Gibernau on the Honda V-twin. "I never used soft tires," Biaggi said. '1 searched for the best tires for the race. I found a perfect front tire and I'm very satisfied about the front-end feeling." Biaggi didn't have any new parts for the Yamaha, but he will have an updated bike for the January tests scheduled for AustralIa and Malaysia. Biaggi's opening day of the test was interrupted when he struck a bird with his helmet wIllie circulating around the track, according to Cycle Ne7.vS contributor Paolo Gozzi. Team lMS/Pro Series rider Mike Metzger suffered a broken right wrist in a practice crash at Glen Helen Raceway in San Bernardino, California, prior to Christmas, and will be replaced on the team by Don Upton while he recupera tes. Metzger will be on hand a t all the AMA Supercross rounds to sign autographs and promote his clothing line, Warped. Mike LaRocco, Casey Johnson, Billy Payne and Justin Buckelew will be making guest appearances when the Donnie Hansen Motocross Academy schools open sessions in California in January and February. For more information, call 719/495-2624. According to a press release issued by AHRMA, a federal judge has permanently barred Team Obsolete Promotions from using the name BEARS, a trademark owned by AHRMA, in connection with sanctioning, organiZIng, promoting or operating motorcycle events. The injunction was handed down on December 8 in a 14-page decision by Judge G. Kendall Sharp of the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida in Orlando. According to the release, Team Obsolete promoted a non-AHRMA event in October of 1996 in Del Mar, California, that included the BEARS class. When Team Obsolete attempted to use the BEARS name a second time for an October 1997 event in Daytona Beach, Florida, AHRMA filed suit to protect its trademark. Judge Sharp ruled that the trademark is valid and "entitled to the fullest protection."

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