Cycle News - Archive Issues - 2000's

Cycle News 2001 04 18

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 hat speed may have come at a cost. eports in the European press suggest hat the problem is a materials failure in he crankshaft, a vendor-supplied part, nd not a design or engineering problem. ayden wouldn't have been able to ride t Road Atlanta because his left wrist is till in a cast as a result of surgery he had ust after the Daytona 200. Hayden is aving the cast removed on April 18th nd might be able to ride soon after, hough they the team may wait. There is possibility the team could test at Willow prings just prior to the Formula USA ce weekend of April 20-22, "He took it ff last week and it was a little tight," iller said, so a different cast was fitted, "He may need a little more rehab time han to take it off one day and ride the ext, We may back it off one week. " a rley-Davidson can relate to onda's plight, as one of its team riders, ascal Picotte, sustained minor njuries in a snowmobile accident during he weekend of April 1 while recreationaly trail riding in Quebec. The injuries are ot considered serious, but may force im to miss the Road Atlanta test. - Pasal did not break any bones in the accient, but he did suffer some minor njuries that need time to heal, - John aker, Harley's director of racing, said. "As a result, he may not attend the Road tlanta test. We'll make that decision ater this week. We expect Pascal will be ealthy and ready for Sears Point in ay." Harley-Davidson's factory VR1000 eam will test as planned at Road Atlanta ext week. azda North America Operations has inked a sponsorship deal ith the Sports Car Racing Association f the Monterey Peninsula (SCRAMP) to ecome the title sponsor of what will now e known as Mazda Raceway at Laguna Seca. With this agreement, Mazda becomes the first auto manufacurer to be the. title sponsor of a major motorsports facility. according to Mazda. errns of the agreement were not released. "Laguna Seca is America's premier road racing facility and one of the most recognized road courses in the orld," said Charlie Hughes, president and CEO of Mazda North America, in a press release issued by the car company. "By renaming it the Mazda Raceway at Laguna Seca, we are demonstrating our commitment to the company's 'Zoom Zoom' brand positioning." MN~O) · 8 o The new Petronas Sauber OPI motor was shown to the press and race teams at Suzuka the fJrst of the new-generation engines to be revealed. As previously reported, the unit is an in-line triple, with a balance shaft and fuel-injection, First mooted in August 1999, the 989cc motor was bench-tested for the fJrst time in December last year, and the first version yielded 200 hp at 15,000 rpm, with a maximum rev limit of 16,000. Petronas Sauber runs in Fl with Ferrari engines, and the engine incorporates FI technology, according to Petronas president Tan Sri Dato' Mohd Hassan Marican. This technology does not include exotic materials such as beryllium, but the engine does have pneumatic valves, with air pressure taking the place of valve springs to allow high revs without valve-bounce. Although officialiy Malaysial'\;designed, the engine was built at the Petronas Sauber Engineering (PSE) base in Switzerland, near Zurich, and the project leader was Oerman engineer Jost Capito and on a more senior level Japanese engine designer Osamu Octo was also involved. Ooto was head of the team that designed Honda's turbo-charged Fl motor, and then moved to Ferrari in the early '90s as an engine designer. The twin overhead camshafts are driven by a train of gears on the right-hand side of the motor, with four valves per cylinder, and short oval intake trumpets on the front. Surprisingly, the motor is notably tali, especially with the wet sump as shown. Yet another Team Husqvarna rider has been stricken by a serious injury. While practicing on a sandy, hole·filled track in Parma, Italy, last week, former World Champion Andrea Bartolini crashed and seriously injured his back, according to Cycle News' Italian correspondent Mario Marini. This comes just more than a year after then-Husqvama rider Stefan Everts crashed and broke his arm, putting him out of the 2000 season. At the end of the previous season, thenHusqvarna rider Alessio Chiodi crashed at the Bologna Motor Show and injured his back and wrist, putting him out for most of last year. According to Marini, Bartolini hit a large hole, lost control and crashed, only to have his big Husqvama four-stroke hit him. The crash resulted in a broken vertebra, the number-nine lumbar vertebra in hiS' lower back. The vertebra was shattered in the fall, and one bone fragment came dangerously close to the Italian's spinal chord. "Fortunately, Andrea didn't lose consciousness," said Marini, who had just spoken with Bartolini's collaborator Fabio Mantellini - present at the scene. "Because of that, and since he was aware that his back was broken, he was able to tell the people on hand not to move him. If they had moved him, "We will have to make it smalier, and have a dry sump," said Capito, PSE has worked with motorcycle people in Europe to integrate the design with a proposed chassis, and now seek customers either to lease engines or a proposed complete motorcycle. Lease price is understood to be between $3- and $5 million, with a racing life of 372 miles, Sources close to the team said that a two-rider team would require 15 engines for a full season. Detailed plans remain undecided, however. . "We have not reached a fJnal conclusion of what we will do - we expect to make a decision halfway through the year," said Marican, adding: "We hope to have a demonstration machine run-. nlng at the Malaysian OP in October." PSE is understood to have approached Aprilia, Piaggio (Oilera) and Ducati so far, without a favorable response. They have also had discussions with Kenny Roberts' OP Motorsports Corporation, the company that builds the Proton (ex-Modenas) KR3 OP machine. "We're not interested in leasing engines," said Roberts. "We are like them - we are an engineering company." They had not been consulted on chassis design, he continued. 'If they want to buy a chassis, as long as they design it then we could build it for them," Roberts said. . The team had been surprised at the cost. "It's expensive to go four-stroke racing - as everyone is going to fJnd out," said Roberts. "The biggest problem in 2002 will be the number of accountants in the paddock." Michael Scott the bone could have shifted and he could have been paralyzed." Bartolini was transported by helicopter to the Ospedale di Parma, and although he initially couldn't feel his legs and had difficulty breathing (he also was vomiting blood), Bartolini eventually regained feeling and the ability to breathe - with some difficulty (the blood in his vomit was due to a hemotoma). Although Bartolini will have to remain immobile for 20 days (he is not in a cast), it is currently unknown what the doctors' next move will be, or how long it will be until Bartolini can retum to racing. At the moment, the focus is on simply returning him to full health, which isn't expected to be a problem. More will be known after a few days, and Bartolini is also .expected to be moved to a clinic in the town of Forli. motors port activities", states Berthold Hauser, the Sports Director of BMW Motorrad, in explaining the decision. BMW Motorrad will pursue the International BMW BoxerCup being held throughout Europe for the first time this year during three Grand Prix and four World Championship Endurance Races. • Otherwise we do not have any specific plans for the future right now," says Hauser, "but we will naturally keep a very close eye on the development of intemational motorcycle racing." In assessing other opportunities, BMW Motorrad will in each case evaluate events based on appropriate product representation, whether the sport involved is in line with our image and resulting media interest and response, according to the release. AUTOGRAPH SIGNING: At Plano Kawasaki-Suzuki in Plano, Texas, on April 20 from 7 to 8 p.m. Team Chevy Trucks Kawasaki's Ricky Carmichael and Stephane Roncada and Team Kawasaki/Pro Circuit/SplitFire's Shae Bentley and Casey Lytle are scheduled to appear. For more information, call 972/422-4111. Although he admits that the option has been discussed, HMC Ducati team owner Mitch Hansen says that it is highly unlikely that his team and the Competition Accessories Ducati team could merge into one factory Ducati team. "There has been some talk about it, but I don't think that will happen," Hansen said. "I've talked to Tim Pritchard [Competition Accessories general manager] and he's looking to sign a number of different people. It would really be a nightmare [logisti. cally] to combine the teams." Both Ducati teams are currently without second riders, with HMC's Scott Russell suffering serious injury in the Daytona 200 and Aaron Slight opting to go car racing in England rather than stick it out with the Competition Accessories team. "I still don't know what we're going to do yet," Hansen said in regard to adding another rider. "We have some ideas that we're working with but. as far as combining the two teams, I don't see that happening." AUTOGRAPH SIGNING: At Desert Motorsports in Las Vegas, Nevada, on May 4 starting at 6:30 p.m. Team Honda's Ezra Lusk and Sebastian Tortelli. Factory Connection's Mike laRocco and Team Suzu· ki's Travis Pastrana and Kevin Windham are scheduled to appear. For more information, call 702/795-2000. The Ecko Unlimited Company recently announced the formation of an artistic collaboration between clothing designer Marc Ecko and freestyle motocross star In an effort to pursue other motorsport opportunities, BMW Motorrad will not enter the 2002 Paris-Dakar Rally and will concentrate on the International Boxer· Cup instead, according to a release issued by BMW on April 6. "After four very successful years in desert rallies with two victories in the Dakar Rally as the absolute highlights, we have decided to set other priorities for our future 6 • FORMED: A partnership between Bank of the West and Sears Point Raceway in Sonoma. Califomia. that will make the westem regional bank· : ing company the "Official Bank of Sears Point Raceway." The three-year • agreement will give Bank of the West a significant signage package at • the raceway and a major business-ta-business initiative, plus consumer promotional rights to use the Sears Point Raceway name and logos. AUTOGRAPH SIGNING: At Plano Suzuki in Plano, Texas, on April • 20, from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Team Suzuki's Travis Pastrana, Kevin Windham, Danny Smith and Radrig Thain are scheduled to appear. For more information, call 972/422-4111. · . ......................•.........•.••...................................••...........••............•........••.•••.•....•.•••.•.......• cue. _ n -------Continued on page 100 __ S • APRIL 18, 2001 3 o o o o o o o o o o o 8 o 8 o o o o 8 o 8 o o o o o o o o o o o o o o

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