Cycle News - Archive Issues - 1990's

Cycle News 1999 12 08

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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Ov er 4000 entries were filled ou t for the annu al W inter N a ti o nal Ol ymp ics in Gaines ville. Florida, over the Thanksgivin g w eek end . So m e of th e even t's b ig winner s in clud ed M ike Alessi (KTM), who won the Fox Racing Bronze Boo t Award , Ryan Morais (Yam ), w ho too k th e Scott Golden Goggles award. Brett Raci ne (Kaw), w ho earned the Du nlop Silver Tir e awa rd , a n d Ryan Morais (Yam) . w ho won th e Pr o Circuit Platinum Pipe award. Other "TImers incl uded Supermini and 85cc (12-13) class winner James Stewart (Kaw ), Junior Women class wi nner Kr isti Meyers (Kaw), and 50cc (4-6) class winner [eb Smith (Cob). Although the Willow Springs round of the AMA Supe rbike N a tional Championship Series. originally sch eduled for April 30. has been taken off the schedule, two more doubleh eader races have been added by th e AMA. according to road race manager Ron Barrick. The fourth round of the series. sch eduled for Road America in Elkhart Lake. Wisconsin. June 9-11. will now feature an AMA Superbike Nati ona l on both Saturday an d Su nday; ditto for the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course round. July 14-16. Those two doubleheade rs will join Road Atlanta in hosting su perbike doubleheader weekends during the 2000 seaso n, bringing the total number of AMA Superbike rounds to 12. According to Barrick. the d oubleheaders will feature an increase in the superbike purse. Barri ck. however. is upset with how neg otiations with Willow Springs broke down, and feels he wasn't granted an opportunity to bring in a promoter to save th e round. Instead. the track has made a deal with PACE Motor Sports to host a round of its upstart road race series on April 30. "We received a fax from Stephanie Huth (the track owner] on November 5 stating that she didn't want to promote the race and tha t we'd ta lk th e following the w eek," Barrick said. "She wasn't aro und when I called so I spoke with Chris [Hu th] on Friday. No vember 12 and he indica ted that he did n' t know anything about them not wan ting to do the race. and that he'd look into it . Before he got back to me, Step hani e called and emphasized that she didn't want to promote the race because of the extra work, etc.• that it meant for ·her. I asked her to hold the dat e for me w hile I tried to find an ind ependent promater . On the 16th, I told her I had a promoter who was interested and that I needed some finan cial information from her on ren tal fees, etc. She said she'd hav e a staff mem ber work on it." After some missed phone ca lls on both ends, Barrick was finally able to s pe ak to Huth again on Novem be r 22, a t which po int he was informed that a d eal w ith PACE had alread y been struck for the original AMA date. 'The reason I'm angry is beca use it's not the business you conduct. but the way you cond uct it." Barrick said . "She (Huthl left me out to dry and I never had th e op portunity to get the information to the individuals who were interested in promoting the event. Then I had to get back to them and tell them that the date was go ne . That's not how I like to co nduct business." A tte m p ts to reach H uth for commen ts on Monday, November 30 were unsuccessful, Alt hough we now know of at least two rounds (Daytona Internatio na l Speedw ayan March 5 and Willow Springs on April 30 ) of the PACE Motor Sports road race series. th ere' s little el se to report. acco rd ing to Bill Syfan, PAC E's d irecto r of road rac ing. "We' re w aiting to get confirmation on some tracks." Syfan said . "We d on't wan t to re lea se so me thing and then have to change it. And we don't have the classes totally firmed up yet either." Although the proposal wa s discussed . the so un d li m it s for the Wo rld Superbike Championship will r em ain unchanged for th e 2000 racing season. Ther efore. the cu rrent noise limit of 102 dB / A (w it h a to lerance of +3 dB / A w h en measured after the r ace ) s ti ll sta nds for next year' s se ries . American Honda too k deli very of it s firs t Superbike- spec RC 51 on Friday. N ov ember 26 - just i n tim e fo r this wee k's Dunl op tire test at Da yton a In ternational Speedway. That's the good news. The bad news is that there Is only o ne of the RC5 1s in the country. so Mig u el DuHamel and Nicky Ha yden will have to share the bike. Still. the pair will also have CBR600s to test, so everyone should stay bu sy . In addition, th e tea m is b ri nging o ne o f last yea r's Ho nda RC45s for Erion Racing 's Kurtis Roberts to tes t . " I' m looking a t o n e [RC5 1 [ rig h t n o w ," crew chief Ra y Plu mb sa id on Monday. N ovember 30. "We're checki ng it over and it loo ks rea dy. Jap an stepped up and go t us one in time for the test. I can' t wait. It's pretty cool having something new to try." The Malaysian Grand Prix has repl aced the Ar gentine Grand Prix on the Wo rld Cham pions hip Road Race Series ca lendar . Th e Argentine event. scheduled to ru n on April 2 in Buenos Air es, has been canceled for th e 2000 season, and th e Mal a ysi an Grand Prix at th e Sepa n g Int ernational Circuit in Sepang wi ll now fill the Ap ril 2 date. It di d n' t tak e lon g for Rob Muzzy to be back in ra cin g on a full -time basis. Th e m an who los t t h e fac tory Kawa s aki Superbike r oa d r a cing team w he n . Kawa saki opted to tak e the program inhou se has now created a "partners hip " Vuillemin crowned renchman Da vid Vuillemin wrapped up th e FlM World Super cross Champions hip w ith a fourth-place fini sh at the se ries final in Leip zig, German y. November 27. It is the first suc h title for the Yamaha rider. . But th e man of the night was Mazda /Chaparral Yamaha rider Jeremy McGrath, who scored the main-event w in. Seco nd in German y was Honda's Seba stien Tortelli, who w as followed across the finish lin e by Kawasaki 's Larry Ward and Vuillem in. Vuillemin w on only one round of the th ree-race series, while a pair of fourth-place finis~es in Pasadena. Cal.ifornia, and in Germany we re enough to give him a l fl-point cushion w hen all was sa id and do ne. Tor telli ended up finis hing second in the series, with 36 points to Vuillemi n's 46 . A fte r crashing out of th e first rou nd in Franc e. McGrath came back to go 2-1 and finis h ou t the series in third, wi th 35 po ints . Des pit e winni ng th e crown. Vu illemin was quick to po int out who is the " real" World Supercross Champion. "I might have won the series," Vuillem in sa id , "[but] McG rath is the real World Supercross Champion. He's won in America and that' s given him the role as bes t supercross rider in the w or ld . I will , however, use this w in as a confidence-builder for my assault on America in 2000." Two weeks earlier, Vuillemin also won the King of Bercy crown in Paris, France. F 2 Hot action cool traction W ith the running of its World Cup series ope ner at the New Haven Coliseum' New Haven, Connecticut. o n November 24. Internati onal Championshi Even ts (ICE) embarked upon its 24th seaso n of promoting indoor speedway mo torcycle raci ng on ice. Including the season ope ne r and the April 8 se ries finale ' Joh nstown, Pennsylvania. the series will make 20 stops befo re cro wning a World Cu Ice Speedway Champion. Merseyside, England's Anthony Bar low is the reigning sen cham pion. an d is se t to defend his title agains t a cavalcade of internatio na l racing tal ent, incl uding Southe rn Ca lifo rnia speedway regular Randy DiF ra ncesco of Bakers field , California. According to ICE Presiden t Gary Densford, enthusiasm for the Wor l Cup Series is at an all-time hig h. "An annual winter series involving speedway's bes t ice racers has been a lab or-of lov e project of mine for many years," Densford said . "It's a natural really. and we ar seeing good signs of growth fro m all levels. incl uding par ticip an ts. fans, ven ues. televi sion, etc." The 1999-2000 ICE World Cu p schedule is below. Dates are su bject to change. November 26-27, 1999 December 4. 1999 December 11, 1999 December 26, 1999 January 7, 2000 Janu ary 8, 2000 Janua ry 13-14, 2000 Jan ua ry 15-16. 2000 January 20, 2000 Janua ry 21, 2000 Febru ary 4-5, 2000 February 11-12. 2000 February 19, 2000 February 25-26, 2000 N ew Haven, CT North Charleston. SC Charlotte. NC Augusta. GA Gr eensboro, NC Floren ce, SC Lake Charles, LA Belton, TX Tupelo, MS Little Rock, AR Boise, ID Nashville. TN Biloxi, MS Molin e, IL ~:~~~ ;il~~~ooo::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::.::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::~.~.~~~;:::~:~ March 24-25. 2000 March 30. 2000 March 31-Aprill . 2000 April 7-8. 2000 with Kaw asaki to run an AMNProstar drag racing team in th e 2000 series. Muzzy wi ll tune and trans po rt the Team Kawasaki Ni njas for the Pro Superbike, 600cc Su perspor t an d Stree tb ike Shootou t classes to all eight ro u nds of the series. "Kawasaki and Muzzy's wil l jointly fie ld a team th a t we hope will combine to delive r more of the cham pio nsh ips th at have become so much a part of the history between Rob Muzzy and Kaw asak i," s aid John Hoover , Kawasaki' s drag racing team manager and th e com pa ny's director of mo tor cycle product m ana gement. Muz zy a nd Kawa saki won fo ur AMA Superbike titles and one World Superbike Champio ns hip together, and Muzzy has al so tun ed the ch ampi onship-w innin g engi nes fo r Rickey Gad son in the AMA/ Prostar Series. Abilene, TX .Trent on , NJ Roanoke. VA Johnstown. PA until the end of next season with his for mer team, Polini-Honda. If he w ill fix it, we w ill have a second fac to ry Aprilia 125 for him." Sa nna has also had ta lks with Mauro Ben etton abou t the possibility of him taking the rid e left vacant by Marco Melandri's mov e to 250cc Aprilias . The main problem for San na , however. is the existing contra ct w ith PoliniHo nda . "Sanna is und er contract with _us until end of 2000, and we will respect the agreement with lawyers ," said a Polini-Hond a s poke sm a n . The Vasco Rossi 250cc GP team, meanwhile, will feature Lu ca Boscoscuro, who replaces Robe rto Rolfo on th e team. Aprilia is expected to conclude negotiations this week with Australian T roy Corser. acco rd ing to Cycle News correspondent Paolo Cozz i. Th e team's seco nd World Superbike rid er , however, has yet to be decided, th ou gh Aprilia is now looking seriously at 20-year-old Robert o Ro lfo . Rolfo tested Aprilia' s SOOcc GP racer on November 28 in Jerez. Spain , an d he' s now an op tion for th e World Superbike team. Rolfo ha s ridden two-strokes since he w as 15. but has also spent considerable tim e aboard his own H onda RC30. " I like so much to rid e four-stroke as well," said Rolfo a few d ays ago. "I cannot exclude anything." Aprilia b e gan te s ti n g the Aprilia RSW500 on November 28 in Jerez, Spain, using four different configurations of the new bike. Th e bikes w ere tested by Tetsuya Harad a and Roberto Rolfo, and th e factory is exp ec ted to mak e a d ecisi on sho rtl y on h ow many riders they will have for the 2000 500cc GP team. Jan Vittewen ha s asked for two riders in order to help develop th e bik e, but Aprilia has yet to decide o n w ha t th e budget will all ow . Right no w th er e a re s till three op tions : tw o rid er s, one rid er , or completely disband th e 500 cc effort. One th ing is ce rta in - Harada ha s ask ed to return to the 250cc class after his frustratin g 1999 500cc GP season . Whether he ends up in the 250 or 500cc class, Harada will race in Giovanni Sandi' s team - a separate entity from th e team in which Marco Melandri will race. Italian road racer Rob erto Loca tell i has re-signed to ride a Vasco Rossi-backed factory Aprilia in the 2000 125cc World Cha mpionship Road Racing Series . Th e team, sponsored by Italia n rock s tar Vasco Rossi . still has to sign a second rid er . tho ugh they a r e ta lking wi t h Simone Sanna. "We are very in terested in Simone." sporti ng d irector Fio renza Caponera said. " He is a very fast and young rider and a colorful an d new GP face . Bu t Sa nna has still an ag reement Italian former 250cc World Champion Loris Cap iro s si has left the Fa us to Gresi ni Honda team, according to Cycle News contributor Paolo Gozzi. "I offered to Loris a very good p a ckage to win th e 250cc world titl e in 2000 season." Gresi ni said. "I offered a factory NSR250 Honda a nd a very pro fessio na l structu r e, a rich salary (ru mored to b e $600,0001 p lus any availa ble spaces on his leathers for personal sponsors." But Capirossi turned the offer d own. " I can -

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