Cycle News - Archive Issues - 2000's

Cycle News 2001 11 21

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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r E1[j) O!J:K9 L o Watts didn't win was the 125cc class, which was won by Thompson. Scot Harden (KTM) won the Legends race. Johnny Campbell and teammate Tim Staab (Hon) captured the overall =' According to a press release issued by his public relations man, the Sugo round of the World Superbike Championship may be one of the rounds in which Eric Bostrom takes part next season. Bostrom recently raced in an All-Japan Championship round at Sugo, finishing event's Supercross race. "Our working relationship with Speedvision remains strong," said NOVEMBER 21, 2001 • cue I • n • _ Pier-Francesco Chili's World Superbike future is still by no means certain as he and his proposed NCR Ducati team go on the lookout for the final part of the sponsorship money they require to compete on competitive Scott Hollingsworth, AMA Pro Racing's CEO. "Speedvision's coverage has greatly assisted the development of the AMA Pro Racing properties of road racing and flat track. We've been working with Dan Murphy at Speedvision and expect to announce our AMA Chevy Trucks U.S. Superbike Championship schedule soon with expanded television coverage for the series in 2002." Murphy added, "There will be some changes to the weekly program lineup in 2002 with the additional NASCAR programming. However, Two Wheel Tuesdays and our live motorcycle racing will remain intact, due to the support of the sponsors and viewers. The viewers should really thank all the sponsors of the motorcycle programming because the sponsor support gave us another compelling reason to keep all the motorcycle programming intact." Speedvision, which currently reaches 45 million homes, is being rebranded as Speed Channel and will be relaunched with new programming and a new logo in February of 2002. The relaunch will come one month after the channel celebrates its sixth anniversary. Speedvision, the motorsports cable channel acquired last July by the Fox Cable Networks Group. has announced its continued commitment to AMA Pro Racing for 2002, according to a press release sent by the sanctioning body. Speed vision will be the television home of the AMA Chevy Trucks U.S. Superbike Championships and will broadcast select AMA Progressive Insurance U.S. Flat Track Championship races. "We want to make sure our network satisfies the motorcycle enthusiast market, an audience we consider extremely important to the network," said Speedvision President Jim Liberatore. "The fact that Speedvision received tens of thousands of e-malls from motorcycle enthusiasts shows the passion of that audience." Bolstering Liberatore's assertion that motorcycle racing is an important part of Speedvision's future is the announcement from the network that it will proVide live coverage of the 61st Annual Daytona 200 by Arai in March and three hours of live coverage from the 2 11th. "It was real cold out dUring qualifying - it even snowed up in the mountains - it was super cold and we were there for testing only," Bostrom said in the release. "I didn't care about the race. We would have liked to have had a good result if we had gotten the bike completely set-up in time, but it didn't happen. In qualifying, we had a bad deal - I went in too fast in the beginning and almost highsided, which took me into the gravel trap and the bike got worked a little bit. So by the time we got the bike back out on the track after fiXing a few things, there wasn't much time left to qualify. And in the race, we got off to a slow start and after I got used to the bike, I caught up to Chris [Walkerl and another Japanese rider and we had our own little race. The track was a little wet here and there, but it was fun. For a while, I couldn't get the bike to turn in how I want. but finally we made some advancement with the bike on Monday and Tuesday [after the race], and we put down some decent lap times. And if we can get just a little bit more handling out of the bike, I think we'll be in the hunt when we come back for the World Superbike race in April." The trip also allowed Bostrom to get to know Kawasaki's two World Superbike riders for next year, Chris Walker and Izutsu. "Izutsu's a good dude, he's pretty funny," Bostrom said. "He's a full-on high roller, with his big-bodied Benz and his Rolex - it's funny. But he rides real hard. It bites him sometimes because he falls off a bit, but obViously it's a different game in Japan, and he does great there. Then in Europe he got thrown to the wolves and had some pretty tough results this season - next year he'll have some ups and downs. But he's good and I like him. And Chris [Walkerl is a good guy too. He's funny to be around and seems to try real hard when he gets on the track. All the fans like him, especially the Brits. He'll be fun to ride with next year." Bostrom will be flying to Puerto Rico thiS week, along with his brother Ben, to take part in a Red Bullsponsored trip. s machinery in the series next season, according to World Superbike contributor Gordon Ritchie. "We still have to find all the budget," confirmed Chili on November 12. "We are all working together to find the budget for the team. I don't care at the moment for my own budget - the main thing is to find the budget for racing with Ducati. We will see in the next 15-20 days if thiS is pos- I sible." When questioned about the bad feeling that Chili and Ducati have had ( about each other in the past he said, "You know the time has moved on, I don't have to be scared of anything and , they don't have to be scared about me. This is the solution that I must have and what I have to believe in." Chili also gave some more info on exactly how and why he split with his former Suzuki Alstare team, run and owned by Francis Batta. "I am not disappointed with Suzuki. I respect 100 percent the decision of Francis Batta because [itl is also my position. We make a decision together. I said to him 'Okay, I don't want to be racing in these conditions,' but not for the team. In the team everything was very good. I like everyone in the team, but this year I am not so happy. My feeling was very low. I spoke with Francis and the mechanics and explained my situation at that moment. We did not have hard talking [an argument] just normal talking and so that is very important because I hope to be a friend to everybody and to have the opportunity to : work with Francis again. You have to stay friendly in life and then everybody is friendly. The last two or three races " maybe he was nervous because he has 'I a lot of problems - but not because of " me. " The final statement flies in the face ' of a press release issued by Batta at the : final race of the 2001 season, which was highly critical of Chili. Chili also was: intent on pointing out that his current :; lack of ride for 2002 was not due to any greed for a signing-on salary on his behalf, after claims at Imola that he rejected a high-salary offer from Alstare to continue in 2002, and reports from Italy that Chili was demanding too much money for NCR to go racing. "Everyone seems to be thinking that I am asking for a lot of money for next year, but it is not true," Chili said. "What I try to do is find money for the team at the moment. Then we can see if there is an opportunity or not [for his sa/aryl. When it is possible to have money, I have to have money, but when it is not possible, you have to look around so see what you have to do." Chili also said the NCR team will likely miss the early December Dunlop tests in Kyalami, but hope to attended the official World Superbike tests at Phillip Island in Australia in late December and early November. Suzuki's British Superbike team has done as- expected and turned over its British Superbike Series effort to the GSX-Rl000 rather than the GSX-R750 it ran John Crawford on in 2001, according to World Superbike contributor Gordon Ritchie. Faster than the 750 in a recent test, due to a 20 hp advantage at the top and a huge slab of torque in the midrange, the liter bike will be cam-

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