Cycle News - Archive Issues - 2000's

Cycle News 2001 04 25

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 Round one of the World Endurance Championship, the Le Mans 24-Hour, ran on a cold, drizzly Le Mans road race circuit in Le Mans, France, on April 1415. The day-long event was won by the Superproduction-c1ass team of Guyot/ Scamato/Dussauge aboard a 200 1 Suzuki GSX-R1000, while second overall went to first-place Superbike finishers Charpentier/Foret/Gimbert, who finished one lap behind aboard their factory Honda RC51 SP1. Third overall went to another Superproduction team, Lavieille/Morisson/van den Bossche, aboard another GSX-R1000. o o o o o o o Harley-Davidson, Inc. has announced record sales and earnings for its first quarter ended March 25, 2001. Revenue for the quarter was $767.3 million compared with $681.1 million in the year-ago quarter, a 12.7-percent increase. First quarter diluted earnings per share (EPS) were 30 cents, a 26.2-percent increase compared with last year's 24 cents, which excludes last year's first-quarter gain from the sale of the Harley-Davidson credit card program. The Company's diiuted EPS grew 15.4 percent from 26 cents when the credit card sale is included in last year's first quarter, according to a Harley press release. "We are delighted to announce another outstanding quarter and to report that demand for HarleyDavidson products remains strong dUring this period of economic uncertainty. We are in very close contact with our market. and our U.S. dealers have demonstrated confidence that 2001 will be another record year for Harley-Davidson motorcycle sales." said Jeffrey L. Bleustein, chairman and chief executive officer of Harley-Davidson. Inc. "Based on continued demand and our manufactUring success. we are raising the 2001 production target for Harley-Davidson motorcycles to 229,000 units, up from the previous target of 227.000. I am also pleased with a new seven-year labor contract that was recently agreed upon with our Wisconsinbased unions. This agreement. together with the multi-year contract we signed with our York. Pennsylvania. union last fall, underscores the unique working relationship we have with our employees and supports our long-term plan for sustainable growth." 8 o o o 8 o o o o o o o As of April 11. Jeff Emig's Kawasaki has folded. Due to financial problems caused by the title sponsor's inability to meet its monetary obligations to the squad, team owner Emig has opted to shut the doors on his' racing team. "Personally, I've been dealing with it for about four weeks. so I've kind of come to terms with it." Emig said. "If I sound insensitive during these interviews. it's because I'm already used to the idea. After all of the things I've faced in my career. I can handle this." The move leaves team riders Michael Byrne and Casey Johnson without a ride, but Emig says he expects both to line up some sort of a deal in short order. While there is a lot of work ahead for Emig (as well as business partners Tony Strangio and Tim Dixon), his plans to return are 8 8 o .0 o 'C 2 APRIL 25, 2001 • cue I Gentlemen, It will perhaps seem strange that a President is writing to two riders to reproach them because of certain behavior that the Race Direction and the Stewards, who were present at the scene, did not judge liable for sanction, In my opinion, it should not be considered strange, but on the contrary, justified. You are without doubt among the best known riders who give the greatest image to the sport, and for this reason you have not only the responsibility of your own image, but also that of motorcycling in particular and sport in general. Rules can be subject to different interpretations llnd applications according to the points of view of the persons who must apply them; however the impact of the actions of the persons who, like you, are subject to the scrupulous attention of millions of spectators are not unimportant and cannot pass without comment from me in my capacity as the person responsible for the running of our sport. It is not my role to establish if what happened during the event could have been sanctioned as a sporting offence and whllt measures could or should have been taken: in this connection, it was the Race Direction at the scene, formed by the four bodies who monitor the races: representatives of the FIM, Dorna, teams and riders. I think that after having verified the events and the (rightly called negative) reactions which materialized in negative judgements in your regard and in the regard of our sport, it is my duty to intervene. My intervention is two-fold: the first is a reproach to you both, in order to invite you to more attentively and correctly control your actions and reactions, without taking anything away from your fighting instinct and your desire for victory, your skill, your courage and the sporting qualities that a true champion shows to all the world. A real champion must be recognized by his behavior during the competitions but also by his behavior in his daily life, by his acts and by the words he uses in his contacts with others around him, including journalists. The second, much simpler but more direct, aims to avoid repeating situations in the future where the persons who must intervene do not know the manner in which to do so. For this reason, the Grand Prix Permanent Bureau will request the Race Direction to intervene with the appropriate sanctions according to the graVity of the actions and/or reactions that could happen during an event, or in the area of an event, and which could manifest itself not oniy as a sporting offence already provided for in the rules, but also more generally as "anti-sporting or censurable behavior." I realize that this definition is generic, even if it is precise, but it is not possible to establish a list of cases and actions that would define this behavior. We wiJJ watch to see that the persons charged with applying the sanctions are, as far as is humanly possible, the most attentive, moderate and conscious of their very important role. Mistakes can be made, but it is important to do all that is possible to avoid them being made and to avoid them being repeated, and that the persons who mllke these errors are pUnished approprilltely. KnoWing you, I am sure that you understand the spirit of this letter and the sentiments thllt inspired it_ I hope to see you soon on the circuits, where I llm sure thllt you will again demonstrate your great technical, sporting and human potential, which makes great champions of you both. Francesco Zerbi F1M President Rosal .nd at Suzuka: Why _n't _ not necessarily Wishful thinking. Winston Cup team owner/driver Johnny Benson iost sponsorship for his number-1 0 Pontiac last year when Lycos (another tech company) was reportedly unable to make its payments. This year. Benson is back with backing from Valvoline. and is currently tied for third in the Winston Cup Series points standings. o o o o c o The following Is a letter sent from F1M President Francesco Zerbi to 500cc Grand Pcix riders Valentino Rossi and Max Biaggi, following their "anti-sporting behavior" during the 500cc Japanese Grand Prix: e tions. creative, and sponsorship sales for Emig Racing. Team members have not yet been announced. However. Emig and The Familie are reassessing potential sponsors for the new team. The Familie shares Emig' s enthUSiasm and is actively pursuing ideal supporters for what will be one of the most progressive supercross teams to date. On April 12, altemative marketing agency The Familie issued a press release with the following update on the Jeff Emig situation. Following are some excerpts: "Motocross champion Jeff Emig' s former team. Strategic 3 Motosports. was recently dissolved due to The Edge's failure to fulfill their financial obligation as title sponsor to the team. The Edge had committed to sponsoring the team for three years, but did not come through on their promise. As a result. with three races remaining [jn the Supercross Series], all riders and mechanics of Strategic 3 Motosports. including Michael Byrne and Casey Johnson, have been released, and the team will not be able to finish the EA Sports Supercross Series and the upcoming Chevy Trucks U.S. Motocross Championships. However. Emig is not discouraged. In fact, he. along with partners Tony Strangio CTeam Coordinator) and Tim Dixon (Crew Chief) have aligned with The Familie to launch Emig Racing. a new Supercross racing team. The Familie will be responsible for the marketing, promon e _ s Reigning 500cc World Champion Kenny Roberts Jr. is to meet former South African president and international freedom icon Nelson Mandela on the eve of next weekend's South African GP - in what the motorcycle racer describes as "a real big honor." Roberts, who won the premier championship riding a Telefonica MoviStar Suzuki, will be joined by the 2000 champions in the smaller classes, French rider Olivier Jacque and Italian Roberto Locatelli. The champions have been invited to a special reception at Mandela's residence near Johannesburg, where they will have a chance to talk to the Republic of South Africa' s foremost elder statesman. according to a press release issued by Suzuki. "I don't know what we will talk about - but I don't think it will be about tire choices or suspenSion settings," quipped Roberts. "Alii know is it's a real big honor for myself and the other champions in our sport to meet a world leader of the stature of Nelson Mandela." Roberts will be accompanied by Team Telefonica MoviStar Suzuki manager Garry Taylor. who echoed his .11 Juet get 8Iong'P sentiments. "When Nelson Mandela was imprisoned in the old South Africa, I recall - along with many people all over the world - supporting the Free Nelson Mandela events. I shared the Euphoria with all those people when he was released," said Taylor. "To be able to meet him will mean a lot to me. personally. It will be a priVilege to shake the hand of a man with a world-wide reputation for the highest prinCiples, who made such personal sacrifices for his beliefs. ' Motorcycle racing fans can now purchase the VIP Superticket 2001. with only 200 of the tickets being sold at $100 apiece. The tickets will give you admission to five major motorcycling events: The Hangtown Motocross Classic (May 18-20): the World Superbike/AMA Superbike round at Laguna Seca ('July 68); the Old Highway 40 Motorcycle Days at Donner Ski Ranch (August 11-1 2): the AMA Speedway National Championships (September 15): and the Sacramento Mile (September 29). The money from tickets sold will benefit the Clayton Memorial Foundation. a foundation that helps injured motorcycle racers. For more information, call 714/751-7433. Dale Bosworth, a career U.S. Forest Service employee who worked his way up from ranger to regional forester. has been named chief of the U.S. Forest Service by the Bush administration, according to the AMA. Agriculture Secre-

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