Cycle News - Archive Issues - 2000's

Cycle News 2001 03 14

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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o o o o ?- , -- "'------ - ' ---'" ~- -.~ ....._ ~ ~ ' ~ - .... '""' _~ -.. ~ _-" ' -------.I Buddy Antunez (Suz) won both of the 125cc Pro classes in the final rounds of the SFX Motor Sports National Arenacross Series in Salt Lake City, Utah, March 3-4 and also added a 250cc Pro win to his resume, Antunez topped Pedro Gonzales (Kaw) and Denny Stephenson (Kaw) on Friday night, and then came back to beat Stephenson and Josh Demuth (Kaw) on Saturday. In 250cc Pro class action, Antunez topped Stephenson and Demuth on Friday, with Rusty Holland (Hon) beating Antunez and Gonzales on Saturday night. o ~ (J c c o Former World Superbike and 250cc World Champion John Kocinski signed a contract recently with Yamaha that will see him as the lead test rider for Yamaha's in line four-cylinder four-stroke entry in the 2002 Grand Prix Series. Kocinski will begin his duties with a test of the OW-M 1 in Sepang, Malaysia, April 3-5. "I'll be testing throughout 2001," Kocinski said this morning. "I'm really excited about the opportunity to work with the Japanese again. The head engineer on the project is someone I worked with when I was World Champion. He's not only an engineer, he's a friend. I signed directly with Yamaha Japan. It will all be pretty secretive stuff LJ and I think it'll be really interesting. I'll be riding the highest·level equipment they can make. This is really a good opportunity for me." Kocinski has ridden for Yamaha before, winning the 250cc World Championship on a YZR250 in 1990 before moving to the 500cc class in 1991. He finished fourth and third in the 1991 and 1992 500cc World Championships riding Yamahas, winning two GPs on the YZR500s. o o o E c c r r [] o o ~ o Frenchman Mickael Pichon, riding for the Corona Suzuki team, won a French International Motocross recently, posting a 1-1-2 tally on the day to beat Belgian Joel Smets (KTM), who claimed second overall with 2-2-1 scores. New Zealand's Josh Coppins (Suz) picked up 3-3-3 results for third overall, while England's Chris Burnham went 4-5-6 for fourth. Thierry Bethys ended up fifth via his 6-4-10 tally, reports Cycle News contributor Geoff Meyer. The French event, which was run at Romaine in southem France, proved to be the perfect preparation for the Suzuki factory team, who had been testing in the area for two weeks prior to the race. o o o o o o o o o o The British Federation of the FIM has withdrawn the British round of the Indi- vidual World Trials Championship because of the current out- break of Foot and Mouth Disease in Great Britain. The round was scheduled for the island of Guemsey, March 23-24. The World Championship will now begin in Sant Joan de les Abadesses, Spain, April 21-22. Meanwhile, the FIM has announced that the final round of the Indoor World Trails Championship in Madrid, Spain, will be held on March 18 instead of March 17. o o o o 8 8 Dustin Miller (Hon) won both nights of competition in Providence, Rhode Island's IFMA freestyle contest on March 2-3, reports Joey Casey. Mike Jones (Kaw) lost his first IFMA contest 2 MARCH 14,2001 • cue'. Okay, so it wasn't the Daytona 200, but on the same track where he last won a race three years ago, Scott Russell won again. Needing seat time to sort out his HMC Ducati, Russell entered his first club event in longer than he could remember, the Championship CtJp Series weekend prior to the AMA race week. The first race was Friday's five-lap Expert Heavyweight Superbike. Starting from the 63rd position on the final row of the grid, Russell rapidly carved his way through the field. By the third lap the five-time Daytona 200 winner was third and he took the lead for good with a double draft-pass of the lead duo entering the chicane on the fourth of five laps, winning handily. "We're working on race set-ups, race tires, nothing else," the 36-year-old Georgian said. "We're trying to get in every lap we can to get ready for the race." With inclement weather plaguing both the Daytona and Willow Springs tests, Russell doesn't have a lot of seat time on the Ducatl and is using the CCS club weekend to make up for it. Russell was eligible to run this weekend. because he didn't finish in the top 10 in last year's AMA/Chevy Trucks U.S. Superbike Championship. "We need every lap," Russell said of the 12 total he got on Friday. "I don't have enough seat time on this thing, nor a twin either. Forget the Harley thing. That wasn't even working. The twin is so much different than the in-lines, and that's alii ever was on, in-lines. These last two years I leamed nothing, zero about the twin, .really, except they sound different. This thing, to ride it, you've got to click a gear higher and try to keep your speed and you feel the engine braking. My head's got some work to do too, but the bike's stili got a long way to go too before, realistically we're going to be able to win it.., The more time that Russell spends on the bike, the more work he realizes he has to do. The five-time Daytona winner was spectacular in winning the race, spinning and smoking the rear tire of the HMC Ducati out of the first tum and the International Horseshoe, but that's not productive, he said. "My feeling is that they never really had a great set-up for these things here, I don't think, or they'd have won the race by now," Russell said. "Looking at it and riding it, I can see why they struggled. The thing's fast and it's got a lot of grunt, but that doesn't make it all right here at Daytona. This is different. It seems like the four-cylinders, you can keep rolling better. It's easier to roll and when you come on the throttle it wasn't just so much torque. They seem to be a little easier to ride. You'd think it'd be maybe the other way around, What you end up doing is babying the throttle too long and you're haVing to baby it for too long. It's critical that we get more traction, period, which is what the Honda guys struggle with so much here, and we are too. "I can smooth out and just go faster, but I want to be able to do that when I want to and go fast when I want to too, like a man. I'm of the year on Friday with a second· place finish. Saturday went worse for Jones, who received a concussion in practice follOWing a failed attempt at a no-footed nac naco Drake McElroy (Hon) finished third on the first night, followed by a runner-up finish on night two. Nate Adams (Suz) finished third on Saturday night. Shane Trittler was also injured in practice on Saturday, breaking his foot upon ghosting his bike from loop-out. European correspondent Geoff Meyer reports that with little time remaining before the World Championship MX Series opener in Bellpiug, Spain, on March 18, rumors are abounding that the PAMO Honda team for which World Champion Frederic Bolley (and American Ryan Hughes) rode last year has been dissolved. British publication Trials & Motocross News also reported the rumors, and added that Bolley has been linked to the Italian Martin Honda team, though Meyer notes that the Frenchman has not ridden any of the major pre-GP intemational competitions. Hughes has retumed to the U.S. to test for American Honda and race the outdoor series. n __ s not near where I want to be yet,' he said. Traditionally when AMA Superbike riders use the club weekend to sort out their machinery, they pull onto pit lane on the final lap to hand the win to the club racers. Russell thought about it, then took the checkered flag. "I thought about and I said. 'I've waited around here all day for this five laps, I ain't pulling in. Forget it. I paid my money. I haven't won a race in two years. Forget it, sorry guys.' And I stopped and asked, and I said, 'Are they paying money to you guys?' and they said, 'No,' and I said, 'okay.' " Russell had two more races on Saturday and he didn't win, but he could have. Instead of winning, Russell pulled off one while holding a commanding lead In one and intentionally jumped the start in the other, "We had some front fork problems internally that we found and discovered and that's what we've been testing with," Russell said of the problem which hadn't been uncovered in the two off-season tests. The team fixed the forks for the final race of the day, the $1000 Unlimited GP, but a new problem arose. "I went out with that tire that was out of round, the rear. We kind of got somewhere today, but then we really didn't. So that's why I'm out there just screwing around, If the bike's not good enough and I'm out there, I'll make a show." And he did, witnessed by the smoke coming off the Russell's rear tire exiting the Intemational Horseshoe. Because Russell didn't want to deny any of the other riders the $1000 purse in the Unlimited GP, Russell intentionally jumped the start, knowing that he'd be penalized one lap. For that race, the Unlimited GP, Russell had started from the 43rd spot, the 11 th row. He was in the lead on the second of five laps, passing one startled on-looker along the way. "' just saw some of the most incredible things," Dega Racing's Larry Denning, who finished second in Unlimited GP, and won a trio of other CCS races, said. "Scott Russell came by me going into one - to see him smoke the rear tire like that coming out of one. And then we came into the horseshoe and he had the bike so out of control, and then he just stomped on the rear brake and slid it in. I mean, my jaw had to be wide open to be behind him and see something like. And we came onto the banking and he just has it sideways, spinning the rear tire and pulls it up into a wheeJie. And I'm just trying as hard as I can and he just takes off and it's awesome_ I have no idea what it takes to be able to do that." The show's well and good, but Russell is thinking ahead and the times he tumed during the club races weren't encouraging. His best was a 1:52.8 during Saturday practice. "'t's just nothing," he said. "That's miles off, It's a traction problem, a- major traction problem with this thing too. We're working. We've still got some stuff coming." Henny Ray Abrams If you'll be attending the Daytona Supercross on March 10, you can expect to hear a new voice over the P.A. system, as well as a familiar one. Traditional SFX announcer Erv Braun will be relating the non-SFX event, but he'll also be joined by son Zegin Braun, 23. Zegin, whose regular job is at Elmira, New York's Glider City Cycles, has announced at Loretta Lynn's and the Steel City National, as well as various semi-pro events, but Daytona will mark his first job coannouncing a Supercross. Trials & Motocross News also confirms this week that former World Champion Alessandro Chiodi, who signed this year to race the MX GPs for Free Time Yamaha after an injury-rUined 2000 season in the States, is interested in returning to the U.S. "i want to race the new Yamaha 250 four-stroke," the paper quotes Chiodi as saying. "I have spoken to Mr. Berni, the team owner, and he is keen to expand his team into the USA too.' T&MXN also reports that in addition to the problems with the 2001 italian MX des Nations and GP (both of which have been cancelled), the FIM is now faced with cancellation of the 2003 British International Six Day Enduro. No official replacements for any of the can celled events have yet been announced. Coast Racing Association (CRA> ha taken over the MX operation at leg endary Carlsbad Raceway in South ern California, and is raising fund towards building a new track, renovatin the U.S. GP track, utiliZing both track in a regular race series, midweek an weekend practice sessions, a qualit grand prix series, and special event like a six-hour team endurance race One fund raiser practice was alread held on March 3, and another will tak place on March 17. (Riders must be 1 and older.> For more information, cal 760/722-6639, or e-mai Freestyler David Turner is in the hos pital follOWing a scary crash during demo at a local Hooters restaurant Tumer endoed upon take-off and lande 10 feet past the landing, shattering hi lower left leg and ankle. "I have the bes ankle specialist around, and he said m ankle is the worst he's seen. Right now we have to wait for the swelling to g down and the infection to clear befor they can operate. They don't know if

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