Cycle News - Archive Issues - 1990's

Cycle News 1999 10 20

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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Defending class champion Paul Pinsonnaull (Hon) won the 540cc class, but Ted Wilkins (Rtx) pu t in a clutch se cond-round ride to finish second over all at the Devi l's Staircase in Oregonia , Ohi o, and thus clinched his first 540cc ational Cha mpionship by one point at th e fin a l round of the AMA National Championship Hillclimb Series on October 10. Phil Libhart (Tr i) was third . James "Jammer" Large wrapped up his third straight 800cc National title by finishing fourt h ove ra ll in that class . Tim Frazier (H-D) won the class, followed by Jeff Thomas (Yam) and Glen Petty Jr. (H-D). New numbers t' s once again the time of year when the AMA announces the new numbers for the MX and SX rid ers . This time, however, the announceme nt is su rr ound ed by more controversy than usual, as the AMA has implemented a new system for determining said numbers. The system is as follows : I umber 1 is reserved for the champion of the series being contested (for example, champ Jerem y McGra th win wea r number 1 in supercross). - Numbers 2 through 9 are reserved for pa st national champions in active competition (for example, former champ Jeff Emig is number 3). - Ride rs who ea rned a to p-IO pla cing in the ' 99 season can choose any available national number, which they will keep until the y win a title or retire (for example, Kevin Windham, who placed fifth in the '99 season, has chosen number 14). - The old numbering sys tem will still apply to riders finishing the season ranked from 11th to 999th place; the y will be assigned available numbers corresponding to their earned National ranking. Riders placing in the National top-100 w ill be assigned available two-digit numbers until those are depleted. An th ony Pocorobba (Suz) topped the 250cc Pro class at round four of the Unlimited Spor ts Florida Gold Cup Seri es a t Dade City Raceway in Dade City, Flo r ida , on Oc tober 10. Kenn y Yoho (Su z) a nd Ra nd y Valade (Kaw) roun d ed out the top three positions. In th e 125cc Pro divisi on , T yson Had sel (Yam ) scored the win ove r Valad e and Cha rles Du ffy (Suz). Destry Abbott (Kaw) kept his N ati on al Har e and Hound titl e ho pes alive by claiming th e overall wi n at round six in We nd over, I evada, o n Oct ober 8. Fin ish in g behind Abbo tt w as Du s tin Hea dman, se ries-poin ts lead er Brian Bro wn (Ka w) and Ve t cl ass wi n ner Greg Zi tterk op( (Kaw) . Recen t Vega sto-Reno winner Shan e Esp os it o (Ka w) rounded ou t th e to p fiv e. Esposito' s Vegas-to-Reno partner, Da ve Onda s (Kaw ), was running ne ar th e front of th e pack, but ended his day early to . nurse an inju red rider back to the pits. Going into the final ro u n d , Brown lead s Ab bo tt in the points rac e 152136. Damon Buckmaster signe d a contract wit h Suz uk i on Monday, October 4 that w ill see th e Aus tralia n b a ck o n th e Chaparral Suzuki team for 2000. The week prior to signi ng hi s d ea l, Buckmast er an d th e team tested Michelin tires a t Willow Springs Rac e w a y in Rosamond, California, as the French tire compa ny is courting the team to use its rubber in 2000. " It was a good test and I'm ha ppy with the tires," Buckm ast er . said. "But it's really mo re of a business decisio n for Dave Damr on (the owner of Chaparral Motorspo rts) to make." The tea m used Du nlop ru bber in 1999 - its debut season in AMA Supersport rac ing. Fo rmer Wo rl d Sp eed w a y Ch ampi o n Greg Hancock su ffe re d a di sl o cat ed shou lder and a brok en scaphoi d in his wrist after cras hing whil e competing in a British League match at his hom e track in Coven try, Engla n d, o n Sa turday, October 9. Although the injuries are not career-threatening, they are likely to end Ha ncock 's European season.which had three weeks before its conclusion. Ame rica n Supercamp win be hosting a Junio r Supercross d u r ing th e Wo rld Supercross ro u nd at the Rose Bowl in Pasad ena, Cali forn ia, on November 20. Racers aged 7-9 w ill compete on Honda XR50s and there win also be a free kids d emo rid e a va ila ble in th e Expo area fro m 11 a .m . to 3 p .m . Fo r pre-entry information, call American Su perca mps at 970/669-4322. Clinton considering massive land closure for national forests A rnerica ' s off-highway mot orcyclist s may be faci ng th e larges t lan d clos ure in history, covering some 40 millio n acres within the national forest sys tem, accordi ng to the AMA. News accounts indicate that Presi dent Clinton is on the verge of an nouncing a massive plan to ban a varie ty of activities on an area of federally contolled lands equal in size to Virginia and Wes t Virg inia combined. The clos ure wo uld be imposed through an executive or de r, byp assing the federal Wild ern ~s Act that requires a congressional vote to eliminate off-highway motorized recreation. The scope of the proposal is clear from the numbers. Since the Wild ern ess Act was pas sed 35 yea rs ago, 100 mill ion acres of land have been approved for wilde rness designation, which bans all comme rcial acti vitie s and .all motori zed recreatio n. Reports pu blished this week indicate that with this executive order, the Clinton administration plans to add 40 million acres, mos tly in Western states, to the wild land s category, which is a notch down from wilderness pro tection . The de tails of the Clinton plan, w hich could be unveiled as o early as next week, haven't been reveal ed , so it's impo ssible to N :;;, know exactly how much land would be affected and which activ.a ities wo uld be banned. However, sources in the environmental o U movement have indicated the y are hoping to target off-highway o recreation wit h the proposal. "We are waiting to see exactly what, if anything, the adminis- 2 tration announces," said Robert Rasor, execu tive vice president of the AMA. "If the repo rts are tru e, this executive order wo u ld represent a total repudiation of the Wilderness Act. "In the past," Rasor continued, "the merits of any wilderness legis lation had to be publicly debated , with all sides getting a cha nce to make their case. We don't believe circu mve nting that process throu gh an executive order constitutes managing these lands in the pub lic in terest. " Th e Clin to n p la n coul d be as th rea tening to off-h ig hway enthusiasts as an executive order issued by Presid ent Nixo n in 1972, and one p rop osed by President Carter in the late 70s. The Nixo n order was the first to call for "control and direction " of off-highw ay vehi cle use on public land s. Enviro nme ntalists wanted to use tha t proposal to ban all mot orized recreation while studies were done to determine whether off-highway vehicles were causing damage. Eventually, Nixon agreed to leave the lan ds open. Car ter proposed an executive order that wo uld have closed all public lands to motorized recreation without publi c comme nt. But an outcry from AMA members forced a cha nge in the pro posal. Reports have indicated that Clinton is expected to unveil his proposal Wednesday, October 13, during a presidential visit to the George Washington National Forest in Virgina. According to th e Motorcycle Riders Foundation, the ationa l Highwa y Traffic Safety Ad ministration (NHTSA) ad mi nis trator, Dr . Rica rd o Martinez, will be step ping d own from his post at NHTSA to take a position with a p rivate firm in Atlan ta, Georgia. Martinez is best known for his aggressive stance" to pass mandatory helm et law s, acco rding to MSF. "Ho pe fu lly, the next person t o le a d N H TSA w ill n a v e th e sa me in ten tion to reduce highway fatalities, includ ing motor cycle fatalities, but will focus on educa tion an d tra ining rather th an regula tin g th e motoring public into submission," said Steve Zimmer, MRF vice president of government relations. "The p a st a d mi nis tr a tio n 'h as viewed motor vehicle fa tali ties as if they were a treatable symp tom of a disease rather than focusin g on education and ina p p ro p r ia te so cia l a ttitud es ." Martinez was a ppoin te d to o ffice on August 29,1 994. Paolo Fla rnmini, after serving for three yea rs as vice pres id en t of Su perbike Intern ational, has been appointed p resid en t and chief execu tive officer of th e company. In his new positions: F1ammin i will be responsible for the man agement and d evelopm ent of the Superbike World Champions hip and of the Superb ike Int erna tion a l Grou p Co mpanies, which is now pa rt of Oc tagon Motorsports . Maurizio Flammini, chairman of Octagon Motorsp ort s, rem ains chairman of Superb!ke Intern ation al. On October 6, California Govern or Gra y Davis signed AB 975, a bill sponsored by the California Mo torcycle Dealers Association (CMDA) tha t removes the 2003 "su nset clause" from th e sta te' s award-winning California Motorcyclist Safety Program , thus making it permanen t, according to the CMDA . Assemblywoman Deni se Duchen y (D-San Diego), a champion of motorcycle causes in California, au tho red AB 975.

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