Cycle News - Archive Issues - 1990's

Cycle News 1999 08 24

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 Ton y Lang (Suz) defeat ed Dan Butters (Kaw) fo r th e Top Fu el cro wn during the AMA /Prostar Thu nd er Nationals at Indianapplis Ra cewa y Park in Indi anapolis, Indiana, on August 15. Ga ry Clark (Kaw ) scored th e victory in the Fu nnybike final. ta king the win ligh t over Bryan Bennett (K aw ). Rick ey Gad son (Ka w) was o nce again the top eliminator in th e Pro Superbike ca tego ry . Ga dson d o w n e d Mi chael Iantorno (Suz) in the fina l round . Fo rmer 800cc Na tio nal Cha m p ion Lo u Ge re ncer led a Harley-David son sweep of the top four spots at the Poag's Hole Na tional Hillclimb on August 15. Ce rence r topped Steve Dresse r and James Large. The 540cc class wa s won by Scott McN eel y over his fath er , Rog e r McNeely. Charli e Roberts was third . Mark yo u r calendars, because ev e ry " thing ap pea rs to be on track for Grand Prix roa d racing to re turn to the United Sta tes in 2000, based on the outcome of an FIM inspection a t Road America in Elkha rt Lake, Wisco nsin , o n We d nes- ' d ay, August 11. A six -man tea m was pr esent at Road America , includ ing the FIM's Claude Danis, ride rs' rep resen tative Fra n co Uncini , Ta g Spo r t Ltd ' s William Kau tz, AMA road racing ma nager Ron Barrick, Road America's genera l man ager Geo rge Bruggent hies and Do rna ' s De n nis Noyes. The g rou p enthus iastically approved a new ve rsion of the Road Ame rica race track, acco rding to Noyes . A lt houg h th e exis ti ng four-mile Road America track wo n't be changed , a new section w ill be added for the Gra nd Prix - with the section of tr ack fro m the Kink to Ca nada Co rne r being elim inated . Th e ne w sec tion will be link ed to the trad iti onal circu it a nd will be over three mil es in lengt h, with th e exis ti ng co n fig u ra tio n rem ain ing intact fo r 'o th er Road A me rica ra cing ac tiv it ies . Althou gh fin al approval for th e ra ce mu st co me fro m t h e Road A me rica Board o f Directo rs, th e Tag Spo rts-pro moted ev en t has been tentative ly sche duled for Au gust 4-6, and it wi ll m a ke up rou n d 10 of the World Cham pio nship Road Race Series. en en en ~ g iii ::> g' « 2 Georgian Aaron Yates has signe d a twoyear contrac t to ride Yoshimura Suz ukis in th e 2000-2001 AMA Superbike and 600cc Sup e r spor t C ha m pio ns hi ps , th o u g h d o n 't ex pect a n o fficia l anno u nc em en t u nt il la ter in the yea r. Yates, wh o sig ned his first profession al co n tract w ith Suz ukis in 1996 bef ore switching to th e Mu zzy Kawasaki team for 1999, is the first of the big-name road race rs to sign a contrac t as silly season pic ks up stea m. Yat es will joi n incu m be nt Mat M lad in o n th e team, and it now appears tha t Ja so n Pridmore will also resign wi th Suzu ki. Ori ginally, the team was sla ted to be cut down to three rid ers, but there is still so me speculation that a fourth will be added. Even so, it ap pears that ne ither Steve Rapp or Steve . Crevier w ill be resign ed, and they join an im p ressi ve gro up of rider s w ho do no t yet ha ve contracts for the 2000 season. Th e top riders wi thout contracts for th e coming season - in add ition to Rap p a nd Crev ier - a re Migu el DuH a m el , Doug Ch andler, Tommy Hayd en , Jamie Ha cking, Pa sca l Pico tt e, Rich Oliver, To m Kip p, Ma tt Wait, Larry Peg ram, Eric Bostrom, Ku rtis Rob erts and Jos h Hayes. . AMA Su perbi ke Na tio na l Cham pion Ben Bostrom has a verbal agreement to rejoin th e Van ce & Hin es Ducati team for 200 0. " We 've s ig n ed a le t te r of int ent, " Bostrom 's manager Fred Brarn - "'\,I ~\ bl ett sa id o n Thursd a y , A ug us t 12. "Terry (Va nce) ha s told u s it' s a d one dea l; a n d the're' s n o rea son to d oubt Terry. He' s signed it, Ben 's signed it and I've signed, it' s just a matter of wa iting for the paperwork." Bostrom's offers to go els ew here were p lent iful, includ ing some for World Su pe rb ike and Grand Prix racing. "Everyone had an in ter est," Bramblett sa id . Among those sho wing interest were' the big fou r Japanese companies in AMA Superbik e, Aprilia in Wo rld Su pe rb ike a nd MuZ for Gra nd Prix racing. "We think it's best for him to race here for one mo re year," Bramblett added . " He's (Bostrom) comfortable w it h Te rry , th e team and the Ducati. " Kawasaki race team manager Mike Presto n has n' t sig ned any riders fo r the new in-hou se Kawasak i roa d race tea m for th e 2000 season, though he' s been bus y tal kin g to as m an y riders and /or managers as possible. In the meantim e, Prest on jus t finished guiding Kawasaki's personal wa tercraft racin g team to tw o IJSBA Na tio na l C ha m pio ns h ips. With jus t th e IJS BA World Fi na ls rem a ining in O ct ob er , Pres to n' s focus has turned to the road race team . Na turally, Doug Chandler is at the top of his list for riders . "We wa nt to keep Chandl er, but evi den tly some o the r peo ple wa nt hi m as we ll ," Preston s a id o n Thursd ay, August 12. ~ I ' m nowhere yet and things ha ve been m o vin g a li tt le slower than I'd like, bu t I've bee n talking to a lot of the rid ers an d managers. I expect so m e things to happen here in the next couple of weeks." Little known fact : Mi k e Pr est on has worked a t Kawasak i for 19 years - m os tly in th e m ot orcycle research and d evelopment departme nt Jo rd a n Szoke (Ho n) scored his th ird s t ra ig h t w in in th e Toyo ta Ca nada Superbike Cha mpions hip on Aug us t 15, topping Francis Martin (K aw) by .98 of a sec ond to wi n th e su perb ike fina l a t Autodrome St.- Felicien in St. Felicien, Qu ebec . Third p la ce went to J e ff Williams (Kaw), Martin lead s the cha mpi ons hip p oin ts chase over Mic hael Tay lor, fifth in St. Felicien, by 34 poi nts, 281-24 7, wit h o ne round rem a in in g . Will iams is th ird w it h 236 poin ts, jus t one bet ter th an Szo ke. The 600cc Spo rt Bike race wa s won by Owen We ichel (H on ) over Jeff Snyd (Han) and JeanFrancois Cyr (Yam), but Lin nley Clarke ca p tu red th e cham p ionsh ip via h is fourth-pla ce finis h. The Open Sport Bike race was won by Be no it Pil o n (Yam) over Taylor and Cy r. Whether or not Miguel DuHamel will ride at the season-endi ng AMA Super bike round at Pikes Peak Rac eway in Fountain, Colorado, has ye t to be d ecide d , acco rding to h is ma nage r A la n Labrosse. Alt hough Labrosse says that DuHam el is more fit a t this point than w he n he wo n the Daytona 200 in March, the bo ne in his broken leg is on ly 70 percent healed . Italian Valentino Ro ss i recen tly co mpleted a test sess ion at M ugello in Italy, u s in g a n e w cha s s is fo r th e A p ri li a RSW250 GP ra cer, accord ing to Cycle News contribu tor Paolo Gozzi. The new chassis was desig ned to improve traction , Rossi's main complaint d uri ng the first half of the season. Rossi di d som e 57 laps on th e firs t day with a best lap of 1:56.6, then did 68 laps on da y tw o with a be st effo rt of 1:55 .7 - hal f a s eco n d abo ve his fastest lap set at Mu gello on June 6 at th e Italian Gra nd Pri x. "The tra ck su rf ace w a sn 't s o g o od ab out g rip ," Rossi sai d. "With better co nd itions, I would be ab le to get down under m y record . The new chass is is reall y good. Now th e traction is a lot better, and we found al ready a good rear setup . M y feeling with the n ew bike is excellent and I ask to have it for the next race a t Brno (A u g u s t 22). " Ross i also rod e th e sa m e mot orcycle he us ed to w in the German G ra n d Prix, a n d h e lapped at 1:56.1 on that bike. "Now. we will have a little advantage in respect to the last races," Rossi said. "Bu t the sea son is still very long and hard . Seven GP remain and also the Honda NSR is now really fas t. I think that also the Jap an ese technician s we ren' t at the beach during . th is bre ak . I ex pec t to find (To h r u) Ukawa and (Loris) Capi ross i with bett er thi ngs in their hand s a t Brn o.' Ap rilia and Rossi are continui ng to ta lk ab out next yea r. "In effec t we talk a lot afte r the German GP , an d now I ha ve everything to make d ecisi on s," Rossi sai d. "But before talkin g of 2000, I w ant to w in this title." A t the sa m e A p rili a test, RaIf W aldmann and Fran co Battaini also tested new parts: In addition; Wald mann had a rid e o n the Aprilia RSV Mille Superb ike, turning in some four laps. "An inter esting experience ," sa id Wa lmann . Wa ldmann lapped at 1:56.0 while Batta in i did a 1:57.0, both o n their Aprilia 250s. Aprilia also tested a fuel -injection sys tem on its A prili a RSW500 with test er Alessa ndro An to ne llo, d oi ng so me 70 laps over the two day s on the bike. This was the first ou ting for the bike with the injection system, as Te tsu ya Har ad a has been competin g in th e 500cc G ra nds Prix w it h De ll'Orto carb u re to rs . The develo pm en t of the fu el-injec tio n system wa s sche d u led for last win ter, but other probl ems wi th the bike took prior- ity. According to rep orts from Europe, JeanMichel Bayl e su ffered a brok en heel in a m oun ta in b ike crash la s t week . The Moden as fac tory rid er was s lated to return to action at the Czech Republic Gra nd Prix on August 22. Mo toc rosser Mi ke La Rocco h as renewed his con trac t w ith the Factory Connection team and American Hond a, ac co rding to his m an ager Fre d Brambl e tt. La Rocco ' s ne w d ea l is fo r tw o yea rs . LaR occo has al so inked a new tw o-year d ea l with O ' N ea l Racing to wea r t h e ir pa n ts , je rseys, h elm ets , gloves and ches t protectors. Lo re tta Lynn n o tes: Th ree m in i cycle racers from the Loretta Lyn n ' s AMA A mateu r MX C ha m pio ns hi ps we re selecte d for the U.S. en try in the firs t, ever FIM M in icycle des Nations se t to ta ke pl a ce o n A ugust 28 in Ga il dorf, Ge rma ny. Th e yo u th ra ce w ill inclu de three rid er s from eac h nat io n entered , incl u d ing Fra nce, Ita ly, En gla nd a nd Holland . The ra cin g will take pl ace as part of th e Ger ma n ro und of th e 250cc World MX Cha m pio ns hips. The rid ers se le c te d to m ake u p Te a m USA a r e Ohio's Gavin Gracyk, Ca liforn ia's Sha ne Bes s, a n d Florid a ' s Jam es Stewa rt Jr. Sco tt USA ' s Bevo Forti sa id af te r the thre e y o u ng m en were an no u nc e d , "With th ese three rid ing for America, I would hate to be one of those European kids." The top 14 finis hers from th e 85cc Stock 02-13 ) cl a ss a t Loretta Ly n n' s w ere invi ted after their final moto on Frid ay, Au gust 6 to a tten d th e U.S. Open of Supercross in Las Vegas (October 9-10) and par ticipat e in th e m in icycl e race . Tim Clark and his wife Cindy were on hand to pass out the invites for the second annual race. Among the riders making the cut were Florida 's Jam es Stew ar t Ir ., Pen nsylva nia 's Broc Hep le r, Las Vega s' o w n Kyle Pa rtr idge, Floridia ns Ma tt Goerke and Bryan Joh n so n [ r. , Ind ia na ' s Sh awn Clark and Georgia 's Shane Lusk, Erza Lusk's younge r brother . Sp o rts Illust rat ed for Kids was on hand a t Loretta Lynn' s to d o a sto ry o n 11ye a r-old Flo rida minicycl e s ta r Davy Millsa ps. The Suzuki-mo un ted Millsaps won th e 85cc Stock (7-11) cla ss wit h a three-m o te sweep. Millsa ps a lso fi nished 19th overall in the 85cc Modified (9-13) class wit h an 18-2-42 score. Th e AMA's Sta te Championship Trophy at Loretta Lynn's saw a tie between Ca lifo rnia and Florid a fo r th e best overall scores, bu t Ca liforn ia ea rn ed the trophy bas ed on more second-place finish: es. Ri d ers fr om Ca li fo rn ia wh o won classes a t th e AMA Am ateur Na tionals were Sha ne Bess (Ox na rd), Bobb y Bon ds (Ma rico pa), Billy Payne (Sim i Vall ey), Mik e Alessi (Moorpa rk), Ryan Mora is I (Turlock) and Sean Hamblin (Quail Valley). Australian road ra cer Mark Willis will lease a Mod ehas KR3 from team owner Ken ny Roberts for the next 't hree 500cc Grand s Pri x. Willis had hop ed to rid e th e New Zealand -bu ilt BSL, but the bike still isn ' t race ready. Willis will rid e the Modenas in the Czec h Republ ic Grand Pri x o n Au gu st 22, th e Sa n Marin o I Gra n d Pri x. o n Se p te m be r 5 ·a n d the Valencia G ra nd Prix o n Sep tember 19. Willis has also hint ed tha t he may be on th e Mod ena s for his ho me Grand Pri x I on October 3. "The BSL is still undergoin g so me tes tin g in New Zeal and , so I until it is read y we wi ll be racing a Mod- , enas, " Willis said . "A t this stage , we will , p ro bab ly u se th e Mod en as a t Ph illip Island as well. Rid in g the Mod en as in the next few ra ces will be a goo d opportu nity for me to gai n some valua ble rae- I ing miles before Phillip Island . I am real. ly looking forwa rd to it." Fi v e- tim e W o r ld C ha m p io n M ic k I Dooh an h as pos tponed his return to , 500cc Grand Pri x racing . Dooh an was ' o riginally sla ted to make his return at th e Czec h Re pub li c Gra n d Pr ix o n Augus t 22, but problems with an injured a rm ha v e forced him to cha nge hi s m ind. He is still recu perating in Northern Cali fornia an d is now hoping to be I fit for the eithe r the Imola rou nd on Sep- I tem ber 5, or the Valencia round on Septem ber 19. Vintage Iron w ill o nce again promote th e Vintage I ro n World Champ ion sh ip s at Glen Helen Raceway in San Bernardino, Ca liforn ia, o n October 30- I 31. Th e '98 ru nning of the eve nt saw rid- I ers and team s fro m 32 sta tes com pete, I p lu s ri d ers from A u stralia, En gla nd , I Canada, Den mark, Sweden an d Fra nce. i The ev ent wi ll hav e a class structure to acc o m moda te a ll motocross m ach in es , from the Pre-' 65 era to the mid -'80s. I New for this year will be the Evol uti on 3 ' class w hich will be o pen to all machines I that we re origina lly manufactured with drum bra kes (linkage rea r sus pension and wat er -cooled mach ines willbe eligi- o b le in this ca te go ry o n ly) . For m ore . informa tion o n the event, ca ll 714/6940066. I r Mo to cr o s s er Travis Pastra n a w as ) awarded the AMA Mot ocross Horizon I

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