Cycle News - Archive Issues - 1990's

Cycle News 1999 02 03

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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Buddy Antunez (Suz) won both the 125 and 250cc finals during round 17 of the AMA/PJl ational Arenacross Series in Baltimore, Maryland, on January 22, with Jeff Willoh (Hon) and Cliff Palmer (Kaw) splitting the wins in round 18 on January 23. Antunez beat Greg Rand (Kaw) and Jeromy Buehl (Hon) in the 12Sec race on Friday, then topped WilJoh and Palmer in the 250cc cla s. On Saturday, WilJoh beat Palmer and Mike Jones (Kaw) in the 125cc class, while Palmer managed to beat . Jones and Denny Stephenson (Hon) in the 250cc class. After 18 of 34 rounds, Palmer leads Antunez in the series point standings, 564-540. Willoh is third with 521 points. Destry Abbott (Kaw) scored the overall win in round one of the AMA National Hare & Hound Series, held on January 24 in Lucerne, California. Abbott's teammate Brian Brown (Kaw) finished second, ahead of Johnny Campbell (Hon) and Dave Ondas (Kaw). Rounding out the top fi ve was Vet-class winner Jeff Capt (Kaw), who led the first half of the 80-mile event. Donnie Book (Yam) and Tim Staab (Yam) won their respective cla es. Book took 250cc honors with sixth overall, while Staab finished 13th and first in the Four-Stroke division. Dana Van Stee (Kaw) topped the 125cc class. Spud Walters (Yam) topped Cory Keeney (Yam) and Chris Rigway (Yam) in the Stadium Thunderbikes clas at the third round of the U.s. Off-Road Champion hip Series, held on January 23 in the Minneapolis Metrodome in Minnesota. Ryan Hughes (Hon). swept the Proclass competition in round three of the GFI Winter MX Series South, held at Competition Park in San Jacinto, California, on January 24. Hughes topped the 125cc Pro class, followed by ick Wey (Kaw) and Rusty Holland (Suz). In 250cc Pro action, Hughes topped Weyand third-place finisher Brett Racine (Kaw). Chaun McAllister (Suz) was the big winner in round one of the CMC Pacific Northwest Golden State National Series, held in Salem, Oregon, on January 24. McAllister won the 125cc, Over 25 and Vet Pro classes, as well as placing third in the 250cc Pro class, a class won by Dustin Lenaburg (Kaw). II Don Canet (Hus) won the opening round of the inaugural SITARS Super TT American Racing Series on the Streets of Willow Springs in Rosamond, California, on January 24. Canet narrowly defeated Chuck Sun (Hbg) in the Super IT Premier main event and then rode to second place behind Don Howard (Suz) in the Super TT Middleweight race. Five-time SOOcc World Champion Mick Doohan will be the co-owner of a new 250cc Grand Prix team beginning with III the 1999 250cc World Championship season. Doohan will co-own the team ~ along with Shell Advance team founder :iii Jeff Hardwick and. will run young AusQ tralian Anthony West and Japan's • Tohru Ukawa on Hondas backed by Sh 11, according to Cycle News contribu~ tor Darryl Flack. Doohan said he was M delighted to "be associated with Shell ~ and Honda in the 250cc title chase as ::::I well as getting the opportunity to nurture young Australian talent. Ukawa If will ride a factory Honda NSR250, with 2 the 17-year-old West getting factory-kit- ill! :! m ... .c ted Honda RS250s. "With Shell and Honda, we have the most established names in Grand Prix racing teaming up to form a winning combination," Doohan said. "There's some very good Australian talent coming through, and Anthony's one of the best of those young guys. U a rider is happy to finish on the podium, then we're not interested in them. If he want to win, then that's what we're looking for." In the Shell Advance team's debut season in 1998, Hardwick ran two production Honda NSRSOOVs with Juan Borja and Garry McCoy. '1 wanted to see the team established with a connection to HRC through the 250cc class this year, because some people would see a clash of interest if I had involvement with another rider in the 500cc class," Doohan said. "My objective is to win the 500cc championship, and that is my association with the 500cc class for this year." One rider who may be out in the cold with the new Shell Advance team is Australian Garry McCoy, according to Darryl Flack. McCoy received a fax from Shell Advance team manager Jeff Hardwick two weeks ago explaining that there wouldn't be room on the Shell team for the 26-year-old. "Things were looking really good before Christmas, but then everything changed in the ew Year when r got that fax," McCoy said. "I've still got a contract with the Shell team for 1999, but Jeff basically said that if I received any other offers to take them." McCoy is also coming back from a badly broken right ankle. '1 rode my Honda XR600 in a dirt track recently, but I wasn't confident of putting my foot down," he said. "It's pretty painful if I'm forced to stand for too long, and I've really only just started doing weight-bearing work. StilJ, it's getting stronger and my range is pretty good. I have to get two screws removed later in the year." McCoy is also waiting to hear if Erv Kanemoto can attract sufficient Shell sponsorship to fund John Kocinski's sea on, because joining that team is a possibility. "Basically, I'm second 'TBA' on the IRTA entry list in Erv's team on a Honda Vfour. U Erv. can get the Shell money, Jeff told me he will sponsor my place in that team with Shell Australia sponsorship. I'd really love to have a shot on a Vfour under Erv, because the V-twin was simply too slow with the unleaded-fuel rules that were brought in last year. Obviously, that would be the id.eal outcome, but there are no guarantees especially with the first race not so far away and teams already testing." Some of the options McCoy has been looking at are a move to the 250cc class on an Aprilia and the second Modenas ride, which will likely be filled by Texan Mike Hale. The all-new Marlboro Yamaha team of Max Biaggi and Carlos Checa will make its debut at the Phillip Island' IRTA test in Australia, January 26-29. The test will be the first opportunity for Checa to ride the Yamalla YZR500, but Biaggi has already tested the bike in Japan. "My first impressions of the bike were good," Biaggi said. "We did a lot of work at Suzuka and Twin Ring Motegi, and I'm nnw looking forward to testing the latest improvements, especially since the weather conditi ns should be better in Australia." The Marlboro Yamal1a team will be based in Amsterdam, Holland. Biaggi, meanwhile, was impressive in his Ferrari Formula One car test on Jan- uary 19. The four-time 250cc World Champion lapped the Fiorano, Italy, test track in 1:06.5, only some five seconds slower than the circuit lap record - set by Micl1ael Schumacl1er in 199 . Early reports had Biaggi going quicker than Schumacl1er, but those prove.d to be erroneous. Still, Biaggi's efforts in the F300 were enough to impress the Ferrari brass, and the Italian has been promised another test. Multi-time AMA Supercross and National Motocross Champion Jeff Ward kicked off his Indy Racing League season in fine fashion on January 24 when he finished third in tne IRL season opener - the Indy 200 - at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida. Ward fini hed behind Eddie Cheever and Scott Good year in the 200-mile race. Italian· road racer Doriano Romboni will definitely be racing in the 1999 World Superbike Championship after forming his own Ducati team. Ducati will be providing Romboni with factory 996 factory bikes. Romboni's Ducatis won't be ready for action until Marcl1, 0 he'll miss the first two tests scheduled for Kyalami and Phillip Island. His first test of the Ducatis will be held in Spain. Spaniard David Checa, the 18-year-old younger brother of 500cc Grand Prix star Carlos Checa, has signed a contract to ride a factory Ducati 748 in the 1999 World Supersport Championship for the Falappa- CR team. Checa finished fourth in the European Supersport Championship in 1998, riding a Honda CBR600. Checa will be teamed with Italian Serafino Foti. According to a press release from BMW, BMW of North America posted record sales of 7861 units in 1998, an increase of nearly 30 percent over year-end sales figures for 1997. Capping its 75th anniversary year, BMW Motorcycles sold more than 60,000 units in more than 100 international market. The BMW R1200C was' BMW of North America's top-selling model, according to BMW. Sports trainer Dean Miller, who has helped train every American Road Racing World Champion with the exception of Kevin Scl1wantz, has joined Suzuki's 500cc Grand Prix team for the 1999 season. Miller has signed an exclusive contract with Suzuki that will see him work with riders Kenny Roberts Jr. and obuatsu Aoki. "Obviously, we've know Dean for a long time, and we've wanted to have him on our team for a long time, too," said team manager Garry Taylor. The AMA ational Road Race Series will feature a pit-lane speed limit at the 1999 events, according to road race manager Ron Barrick. Barrick said the advisory committee has recommended a 50-mph limit in pit lane. Barrick also said that a paperwork problem at the AMA led to Eric Bostrom initially being assigned number 3 for the 1999 Superbike Series, and that he wilJ now wear number 32. "Our policy has been that only former champions have single-digit numbers in superbike," Barrick said. '1t was really ju t orne personnel changes at the AMA, with (road racing coordinator) Kerry Gunderman leaving. The new girl just wasn't fully up on our policy. It was our fault, internally." . Jason Pridmore's STAR Motorcycle Schools, American Suzuki and the AMA have pledged their support for the third annual Clayton Foundation Golf Tournament, scheduled for the Indigo Lakes Golf Course on Tuesday (March 2) of Bike Week in Daytona Beach, Florida. If you're interested in teeing it up with the likes of Pridmore, Yoshimura Suzuki's Mat MIadin, Grand National Champions Scott Parker and Chris Carr and former AMA Superbike National Champion Thomas Stevens, to name a few, call Judy Klinger at 714/751-7433. Sponsorship packages are also still available. According to a press release issued by the Louisiana Off-Road Vehicle Association, the Louisiana Office of State Parks and the Louisiana Off-Road Vehicle Association will coordinate the efforts of a neWly' formed task force to conduct a feasibility study and recommend strategies for implementation of a state off-highway vehicle program. "The popularity of off-road vehicle use in a recreational capacity i increasing, and we should explore a managed program to ensure a safe recreational option for participants in areas de ignated appropriate for the activity," said Lt. Governor Kathleen Babineaux Blanco. For more information, call 504/8515356. ew 500cc Grand Prix rider Mark Willis is confident of riding the new BSLSoo V-three to 'l- creditable debut at tl1e IRTA tests, scheduled for Phillip Island in Australia, January 26-29, according to Cycle NI!WS correspondent Darryl Flack. The new BSL racer has yet to turn a wheel. "At this stage, the bike will be ready," Willis said. "We may miss the first day, depending on customs. Everything is running quite smoothly apart from a few minor problems with supply of some parts over the Christmas break. It will be very interesting and I'm looking forward to tl1e cl1allenge. There will not be a lot of pressure on me, so I just want to put my head down and get some valuable time on the bike. I just want to do as many laps as I can to give the team some good feedback and get some good base settings." The Over The Hill Gang and its new Northern California chapter will hold its first-ever Over The Hill Gang-only race at Sandhill Rancl1 in Brentwood, California, on February 21. The race will be a Grand Prix. For more information, call 209/839-9332. Promising young dirt tracker Kenny Noyes was severely injured in a practice crash while training for the seasonopening Daytona Bike Week. oyes was reportedly training aboard his motocross bike near his home in Borrego Springs, California, when he came up short on a double jump and broke both wrists - one of whicl1 needed everal pins to set. oyes is the son of Speedvision's lead GP announcer, Dennis Noyes, and rides for the Northern California-based L&R Husaberg dirt track team. Noyes' injuries, combined with a near-fatal bacterial infection suffered by teammate Dennis Cameron, leaves the L&R squad looking pretty thin for Daytona '99. Peter Knick of Lexington, Virginia, will be the sole L&R rider attending Bike Week. White Brothers has armounced that it is posting a $20,000 cash-contingency program for the 1999 AMA Grand National Championship Dirt Track Series. Racers

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