Cycle News - Archive Issues - 2000's

Cycle News 2001 09 19

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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Page 114 of 115

LOOKj ~ ••II)~ 30 YEARS AGO••• SEPTEMBER 28, 1971 Two pictures from the first U.S. GP of Motocross were photographed in full color for the cover of Issue j/37. The fim picture shows Brad Lackey grabbing a huge holeshot in moto two, while the picture at the bottom showed event winner Sylvain Geboers. Two of the favored Europeans, Joel Robert and Roger DeCoster. didn't make the event because of early contract agreements. Lackey was the first American, though, finishing fourth overall on a CZ... Bm Bogner topped the Cactus Cats Hare Scrambles in Adelanto, California, aboard a 500cc CZ. Amazingly, Tom Brooks (Car) finished second, on a 125... A Cycle News subscription ad featured a picture of Richard Nixon, with the headline, "Let me make one thing perfectly clear, I am NOT the Nixon that subscribes to Cycle News. 20 YEARS AGO••• SEPTEMBER 23, 1981 Team USA - consisting of Danny laPorte, Donnie Hansen, Johnny O'Mara and Chuck Sun - receives all the accolades of victory after topping the Trophee des Nations in Belgium for the first time ever. They won by 17 points over the heavily favored Belgian team. All the Americans were members of Team Honda ... Round 24 of the AMA Grand National Charnpionship/Winston Pro Series was dominated by Jay Springsteen (H-D), who led all but one of the 25 laps around the New York State Fairgrounds. The win was the 28th of his career, which moved him into second on the all-time list, just one behind the record holder, Kenny Roberts, who had 29... Bruce PenbaU outrode 15 other speedway stars for the World Individual Speedway Championship in London, England, with a near-perfect effort. Penhall scored 14 of IS possible points, while Denmark's Ole Olsen won a run-off for second against countryman Tommy Knudsen. 10 YEARS AGO••. SEPTEMBER 25, 1991 Suzuki's Steve Hatch graced the cover of Issue j/37 after leading the four-rider U.S. ISDE team to the Junior World Trophy win at the 66th running of the event in Czechoslovakia. The winning team comprised Hatch, Chris Smith, David Rhodes and Jimmy Lewis ... Scott Parker (H-D) won his sixth consecutive San Jose Mile, round 14 of the AMA Grand National Championship/Camel Pro Series. Parker's teammate Chris Carr finished second, allOWing him to hold the championship lead by one point over Parker after the event. .. Lucky Strike Suzuki's Kevin Schwantz won round 14 of the 500cc World Championship Road Racing Series, but it wasn't enough. The third-place finish by Wayne Rainey was enough to clinch him the championship with one round remaining ... Jan-a Pedersen, from Denmark, won his first World Speedway Championship in Sweden with a perfect IS-point score... Recently crowned 250cc Supercross and 250cc National motocross champion, Jean-Michel Bayle (Hon), made his homecoming a great one in front of 45,000 spectators at the Supercross du Parc des Princes in Paris. Bayle won the main event, ahead of Stefan Everts (Suz) and Dean Matson (Suz). D id he or didn't he? It depended on whom you asked, and whom you believed. I'm talking about Carlos Checa, who was widely if unofficially reported to have set the most amazing lap times at a summer-break test of Yamaha's new Ml four-stroke Grand Prix racer for next year. Not only was the bike comfortably faster than this year's two-stroke, being tested alongside at the Bmo circuit. Then (so the story goes) Checa ran race distance - and clocked a time a full 40 seconds quicker than teammate Max Biaggi's race-winning time from the year before - a difference, over 22 laps, of almost two seconds per lap. He was even 10 seconds faster than Rossi's record-breaking winning time this year. This story had wide credibility, and when Carlos smilingly denied it (looking rather proud that it had even been suggested), the believers said he was lying - that. he'd been told to lie by Yamaha, to avoid putting too much wind up the likes of Honda and PetronasSauber, their potential four-stroke rivals next year. This is possible, of course. But when I put the question to Yamaha's racing chief, Lin Jarvis, he simply said: "On the record, I can't make any comments on testing times. » How about off the record, then? He smiled and said: "Well, you already know." If it is true, it is a major piece of news. Everyone already knew that a 990cc fourstroke would be substantially more powerful than a 500cc twostroke. This was quite clearly the intention when the manufacturers framed the regulations: that the two-strokes would be allowed to run, but would be outclassed, and wither on the vine. If they'd wanted a genuine battle between Lawnmowers and Diesels, they'd have limited the latter to 750cc. But most people thought the four-strokes would take a year or so to get up to speed, and that the twostroke was such a highly developed racing machine that it will carryon winning races while the four-strokes struggle to do more than a few fast laps here and there - most particularly because the overpowered diesels would simply rip up their tires. Apparently not. The Ml had punished the rubber more than the twostroke at the Bmo tests, apparently. But the much better throttle control meant that the rider could compensate. Checa said that he could slide the bike smoothly and keep doing consistent lap times without any trouble. performance down rather than talk it up. If Honda, etc., are led to believe that the M1 is worse than it is, then they might not try so hard with their own bikes. Talking the performance up would have exactly the opposite effect - causing the Big H to throw even more of their vast resources of money and engineers into their own V-five development program. If it is true, then there will be a mlld scramble among teams and riders to chuck their old strokers stra ight onto the scrap heap and go diesel. Both Honda and Yamaha have already said that they expect to run both types next season in full factory teams. In light of this new information, why bother? And, in the end, why should it be so surprising? After all, a relatively humble 750cc four or 1000cc twin Superb ike, with a road-derived engine and chassis, can already almost match and sometimes even beat a highly developed purebred racing GP 500 on lap times. Give the fourstroke the same advantages of a prototype engine and pure race chassis, and why wouldn't it be vastly superior? Next year is going to be fascinating, and probably very fast indeed. Please stand well back from the barriers. Meanwhile, one can imagine Chris Walker hooting with laughter every time his V-four replacement Leon Haslam or new Shell Advance recruit Brendan Clark throws one of the yellow Hondas down the road - which is happening with almost the same regularity as it did before he was dumped. But the team's latest move must surely have wiped the smile from his face. They have stepped in to rescue the career of Fast Fraulein Katja Poensgen, who was also dumped after the German GP after sponsorship problems, giving her a 250 for the rest of this season, a contract for next year too, and hopefully (according to team boss Jeff Hardwick) for two more years after that. It's one thing being dropped by the team. It's quite another to be replaced by a girl. eN ..." ar's ••J .•• " . 'aSC'aat,.. • a." .., ••ably ery 'as. I .. e • "'ease back 'r. .lIe barr'ers. s.a." " All this must strike terror into the hearts of the likes of Suzuki, committed to one more year with their V-four lawnmower before their V-four fourstroke comes on stream for 2003. But can it really be true? If not, then it is hard to divine the reasons for lying. Disinformation is common enough in these circles, but it would usually go the other way. Yamaha would be trying to play their Coming up In CyeleNews • Italian Wortd Motocross • Willow Sprtngs AMA Superblke • Sacramento F-USA Dirt Track • Ohio AMA Hare SCrambles/GNCC cue. e n e _ S • SEPTEMBER 19. 2001 115

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