Cycle News - Archive Issues - 2000's

Cycle News 2001 10 24

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 118 of 119

30 YEARS AGO••• NOVEMBER 2, 1971 Privateer motorcycle racer Bob Bailey was photographed for the cover of lssue 1142 after "claiming" John Cooper's Ontario 250-winning factory BSA for $2500 - perfectly legal in the AMA. Bailey stood beside his new steed for the photo, but BSA eventually struck a deal to keep the machine and provide Bailey with a brandnew one for the price of one dollar.._ Europeans once again dominated Trans-AMA MX by filling the top IS spots! Heikki Mikkola (Hus) won the event, followed by Torlief Hansen (Hus), Sylvain Geboers (Suz), Roger DeCoster (Suz) and Uno Palm (Hus). The top American was John DeSoto (Suz), in 16th... A small sidebar entitled "An Outsider's Guide to the Ins of M<;>torcycle Racing" listed, among many other things, that "Being Kel Carruthers and beating all the 750 road racers with a 350 is IN" and "Being in the AMA has always been OUT, but you have to be OUT and in the AMA to get IN." 20 YEARS AGO••• OCTOBER 28, 1981 Team Suzuki's Frank Stacy checks his watch on the cover of Issue 1142 at the Italian ISDE. Stacy was America's top scorer, although the United States earned no less than 22 gold medals in the event. Stacy finished fourth in the 250cc class, and the United States finished fourth overall. Italy, the hosts, won... Broc Glover (Yam) won both motos en route to clinching the Trans-USA MX Series title at Hangtown in Sacramento, California. Mark Barnett (Suz) finished second in both motos, overall, and in the championship... Montesa-mounted Curt Comer topped rounds seven and eight of the AMA/NATC National Trials Series. Comer clinched the championship after round seven of the eight-round series... Manuel Soler (Mon) topped Oilles Burgat (SWM) for the win at the final round of the World Championship Trials Series. However, Burgat was crowned Champion... Bryan Myerscough topped the 250cc Pro class at a CMC motocross held at Carlsbad Raceway. David Oerig finished second, but won the 500cc Pro class. 10 YEARS AGO••• OCTOBER 3D, 1991 Mike Faria scored his second consecutive feLl llBWS United States National Speedway Champi;--~ onshlp with his win at ;o"dtlC'".::f\:; ~ c .• Costa Mesa Speedway, '~~Ta:lI~;~ ~ ,;~".. and for that he graced ,..•••.,~~" ..:tJ '".".. '::I::' the cover of Issue 1142. Faria's 14-point score gave him a one-point victory over Steve Lucero ... At the final round of the AMA National Championship Hillclimb Series, rom Frazier made history by completing a clean sweep of the 540cc Series, winning every single round and tbe Championship. Lou Gerencer Jr. won the final 800cc round, and that Championship... Mick Doohan (Hon) won the 11th Superprestigio Solo Moto road race in Monrnelo, Spain. Although John Kocinski (Yam) won the second heat of the two-heat event in the 500cc class, Doohan earned the overall. Rich Oliver and Miguel DuHamel battled it out for the duration of the two 500cc heats, with Oliver ending up sixth and DuHamel finishing seventh ... Dave Schultz won round eight of the NHRA Winston ProStock Bike National Championshlp in Texas after John Myers red-lighted in the final. ,"~,. ~c; :"~ awasaki to dump World Superbikes and go Grand Prix racing in 2003? That's big news - not so much for what it is, but what it means. To all sorts of different people. The story broke almost by stealth at the Paris Motorcycle Show. And even though many people in GPs had been saying for some time that Kawasaki was bound to join in, it was not with much confidence. The big green's rated only a little higher than BMW and Triumph on the probability scale. Which is to say, more likely in the dreams of the organiz, ers than in the future planning of the companies. The sneak announcement turned all that upside down. The firm is coming. And whoopee after an absence from GPs of 20 years, it's high time the fourth force in Japanese motorcycling made its presence felt once again. The implications run from the dire to the joysome. Let's start with the latter - which carry the name Chris Walker. Current betting already has the Stalker signing up for Kawasaki's World Superbike team next year, run by ex-GP racer Harald Eckl. Assuming there are no drastic changes of mind along the way, this would put Walker right in line for the GP seat the following year. And this time, instead of being a hapless victim floundering in the deep end, he might have a better chance to show the world what British fans all know he's made of, But that's something of an aside in the great scheme of things. There are much bigger issues at stake - like the future of World Championship racing. As we know, this has been disputed for some years now by Dorna's traditional Grand Prix series (fatuously titled MotoGP - more's the pity) and World Superbike, which has a far better name and - in Britain, if nowhere else - is rather more highly valued. K This is no hand-to-hand combat, though_ If there has been any skirmishing, it has been behind closed doors, at boardroom level, where we are given to understand that Doma's owners have at least once and possibly more than once declined multimillion dollar offers from SBK owner Octagon. And that's just this year. Doma was gambling on victory off the tracks, and Kawasaki's decision is a major body blow to its Octagon rivals. Yamaha had already quit World Superbike; and while Ducati has not said anything about leaving. Ducati is the series mainstay; Aprilia is likely to stay on to fight. BenelJi is not yet to be taken seriously_ This change of emphasis is all in line with the plan of the factories that GP racing will be where they race each other head on, and World Superbike be ramped down - closer to a production racing series - to be contested among national distributors and major dealers. What those planners didn't tell us is that they seem to have a similar fate in mind for GPs - not bringing in dealer teams, but bringing the bikes back from the level of pure prototypes to something closer to production racers. The evidence for this is likewise still behind closed doors. But I have it on good authority that future techni· cal proposals for GPs includes the banning of carbon brakes - one of only a few (though important) items that will distinguish the pure racer of the future from the road-going replica_ Bringing the future GP bikes closer to streetbikes is not necessarily a bad idea. In fact, for the streetbikes, it's a damned good idea. But it's rather different from the lofty words bandied about when the four-stroke switch was first proposed that only "pure prototypes" would be allowed, and any engine or other components derived from road bikes would be banned. Just room for one quick side note. Previously, I have written how champagne was to be banned from podium ceremonies for the remaining GPs, as a mark of respect for the U.S. victims of terrorism. Unfortunately, Cava - who supply the faux bubbly that the winners spray around so symbolically - are a major sponsor, so this was unthinkable. Doma came up with a compromise_ The top three riders in each Valencia race were given Cava bottles on the rostrum. But they were empty. And if they all looked rather baffled at this unexpected and unwelcome gift well, you can take that also as a mark of respect. eN has said it will stay on, the firm is also going GP racing. One day, it might be obliged to choose one or the other. All this brings the number of four-stroke GP entries to six - Honda and Yamaha next year, and also probably Aprilia, Suzuki, Ducati and now Kawasaki in 2003. Plus Sauber, purely a racing factory. Besides all this, the 2003 World Superbike Series looks dodgy. Kawasaki will be gone. Suzuki is already somewhat detached, though it CDming Up in Cycle News • Malaysian Grand Prix • AMA Hare SCrambles Finale • AMA Hare & Hound 'cycl. n • _ S • OCTOBER 24,2001 115

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