Cycle News - Archive Issues - 1990's

Cycle News 1999 06 02

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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Rodney Smith (Suz) topped Steve Hatch (Suz) and Paul Edmondson (Suz) to win the Brownsville, Pennsylvania, round of the Grand National Cross Country Series on May 23. Brian Brown (Kaw) scored the overall win in the fifth round of the AMA National Hare & Hound Series, held in Murphy, Idaho, on May 23. Ty Davis (Yam) finished second, with Destry Abbott (Kaw), Russell Pearson (KTM) and Oakley Lehman (Kaw) rounding out the top five. Brown currently holds the series points lead with 131, followed by Abbott's 106 and Davis' 101. Tommy Ahvala (G-G) won the fourth and fifth rounds of the AMA/NATC National Observed Trails Series in Howard, Colorado; May 22-23. Ahvala topped Geoff Aaron (Bet) on both days, with Raymond Peters finishing third in both rounds. After five of 11 rounds, Aaron leads Peters in the series standings, 125-123. Ryon Bell, with a pair of fourths over the weekend, is third with 96 points. Tim Ferry, the top privateer finisher in this year's AMA U.S. Supercross Series, has signed on with Team Mazda/Chaparral Yamaha for the balance of the AMA Mazda Trucks National Championship 250cc MX Series. Team Noleen, Ferry's main supporter this year, had intended to campaign the entire National series, but expected sponsorship did not materialize and the company (Noleen Motorsports) chose to take advantage of an opportunity to let Ferry ride for Chaparral. "This is a great opportunity for Tim that will also work out well for Noleen," said Steve Russell, president of Noleen Motorsport. "Tim will continue to sport Noleen identification and we will have the opportunity to provide Noleen equipment for his bike. And Chaparral runs a first-class team that will provide Tim with all the great support he deserves to continue his terrific performance." "Tim is one of the top riders in the country, as his supercross performance for Noleen has proven," said Larry Brooks, Team Manager for Team Mazda/Chaparral Yamaha. "We know he'll do a great job for the team and Yamaha." Ferry, naturally, was pleased. "It's been great riding for oleen this last year and a half," Ferry said. "I want to thank all the folks at Noleen for the help and enthusiasm. The equipment and support was the very best. Now I'm looking forward to working with Larry Brooks and having Steve Lamson as a teammate." Noleen has no immediate plans to replace Ferry. "We knew it would be nearly impossible to keep Tim for the 2000 season," Russell said. "After such a terrific year, Tim is definitely in the factory crosshairs. Now we'll look to next season, where we want to repeat as top privateer." I I ; iii Q §! . ... N ... ... Shane Watts, the series points leader in the AMA Grand National Cross Country Series and last year's overall individual winner at the Australian International Six-Day Enduro, was forced to pull out of the Grand National Cross Country event in Brownsville, Pennsylvania, on May 23 after apparently suffering a knee injury while winning the Australian Four-Day Enduro on May 13-16. Watts retired after two miles in Brownsville and may be out for up to six months if he elects to have surgery. Watts injured the same knee in 1997. c ::> 2 Steve Martin (Due)" regained the lead in the Australian Superbike Championship Ducati goes chic D ucati introduced its new line of motorcycle clothing in New York on May 20, highlighted by such items as a $1200 white leather Donna Karan women's jacket. "I think that the big novelty here is that we have for the first time introduced DKNY, Donna Karan, into the fantastic world of Ducati," said Federico Minoli, Ducati's chief executive officer. "And I think that the technology and the racing that all of a sudden meets the fashion is very different and could be explosive in terms of potential and what we can do together. So I think it's very appropriate that we are here today in the heart of fashion to see for the first time the beautiful leather that Donna ~aran has done for us. "These leathers will be displayed in the new DKNY store opening on Madison Avenue," Minoli continued. "They will also be displayed in London and in Milano at the DKNY flagship store. They will also be worn by our riders and by our mechanics and by our racing teams in the circuits all over the world." .Minoli pointed out that Ducati's involvement with DKNY came about through the interests of Steven Weiss, Donna Karan's husband, who has several Ducatis and races them. "I think the Donna Karan leather will be on the shoulder of the winning team for the entire season." The event was held at Ducati Manhattan, the company's first North American showroom. with two race 'wins in round five of the series in Mallala, South Australia, on May 23. Martin topped Adam Fergusson (Hon), who finished second in both races, with Shawn Giles (Suz) and Kevin Curtain (Yam) splittin,g thirdplace finishes, according to Cycle News contributor Darryl Flack. The Track Review Advisory Committee (TRAC) of the AMA's Superbike Series . recently traveled to New Hampshire International Speedway to check on the -progress of the course modifications that were proposed by TRAC last year. Yamaha racing manager Larry Griffis, Chaparral Suzuki's Tom Kipp and AMA road racing manager Ron Barrick visited the facility on May 12 and agreed that the completed track changes have resulted in improved run-off areas, smoother transition surfaces and a more fluid racing line for motorcycles, according to the AMA. The new track layout will be used by the Loudon Roadracing Series the weekend prior to the June 1820 AMA Superbike National and Barrick will review the results of the event with track management in preparation for the AMArace. Disgruntled Modenas rider Jean-Michel Bayle is rumored to be testing a Red Bull Yamaha at Brno in the Czech Republic this week - and he may make a midseason switch to take over the ride from 1998 British Grand Prix winner Simon Crafar, who is suffering through a lackluster season. Daryl Beattie had also been earmarked to test the bike as a possible replacement rider, but sources close to the team have indicated that his financial requirements were too high. Officially, a Yamaha spokesman refused (Above) Ducati CEO Federico Minoll speaks before members of the press in Manhattan. (Right) A Donna Karan of New York model shows off the new $1200 DKNY Ducat! leather jacket. to confirm or deny the rumor. '1 know nothing," he said. But the unhappy Crafar, who has been unable to find his strong form from a season ago after the team switched from Dunlop to Michelin tires, had already told a television reporter at the Spanish Grand Prix that his job was in jeopardy. Bayle, who was dropped from the factory Yamaha team after one year of riding for Wayne Rainey in 1998, had rejoined Modenas for the 1999 season, bu t the former motocross superstar was disappointed with the performance of the Mk2 machine. He missed the Spanish GP due to "an infected insect bite" and retired early from the French GP on May 23 following a heavy crash during qualifying, blaming electrical problems. Bea ttie did not race last year after a poor season with Suzuki in 1997. The Australian rider, who was second in the 1994 500cc World Championship, was still suffering from head injuries sustained the previous year in a testing crash. A Modenas team member pointed out that if Bayle did test the Yamaha, he would be in breach of his contract. Meanwhile, British rider Jamie Whitham will get a second outing on the three-cylinder Modenas after Texan Mike Hale crashed and suffered hand injuries in race-morning warmup for the French GP. Whitham, who impressed at Jerez before crashing out of the race, will race the Modenas at the Italian Grand Prix in Mugello on June 6. Nineteen congressmen have written a letter to U.S. Transportation Secretary Rodney Slater complaining that a government agency is ignoring federal law by lobbying for mandatory helmet laws, according to the AMA. In the sharply worded May 17 letter, the congressmen criticized the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) for continuing to lobby states to pass mandatory helmet laws despite' language in the Transporta tion Equity Act for the 21st Century, approved last year, that bars the NHTSA from lobbying state legislatures. The congressmen asked Slater to stop further production and distribution of the NHTSA video "Without Motorcycle Helmets We All Pay The Price." They also asked that the NHTSA "cease providing opinionated testimony that urges adoption or defeat of any specific legislative proposals." The motorcycle-helmet video is·a clear attempt to persuade state lawmakers to adopt mandatory helmet laws, the congressman said. Also, the NHTSA's regional administrator in February testified before a Maryland Senate comrnit-tee urging 1awmakers to reject a proposal to repeal Maryland's helmet law, they said. A promoter's practice will be held on Thursday, June 3, at Road Atlanta in Braselton, Georgia, prior to the weekend's AMA Superb ike National - the Dunlop Big Kahuna Nationals. In order to participate in Thursday's practice, you must be pre-entered in the Superbike class. The session is for Superbike riders only - with no exceptions - and all pre-entered riders must be on the bike they are going to ride in the Superbike race, according to race promoters. In order to ride in the Aprilia Challenge Cup practice, you must be pre-entered in the race. Only Aprilia motorcycles will be allowed on the track during this practice session. For more

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