Cycle News - Archive Issues - 2000's

Cycle News 2001 12 05

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 Supercross rounds will be held at Edison Intemational Field on January 4 (the season openerl, January 18 and February 1. [ [I o C o o o o o o c c c o [l ......., L, In a stunning turnaround, Suzuki has announced that it will contest the new-format 2002 FIM World MotoGP Championship with its new four-stroke-engined Grand Prix machine, and they will do it on Dunlop tires. Suzuki's entry increases to six the number of four-stroke GP bikes confirmed for the 2002 campaign. Both Honda and Yamaha previously announced they'd each run two four-strokes for their factory efforts. Originally, Suzuki planned to develop the new machine throughout 2002 and launch it in 2003, which meant Kenny Roberts Jr. would have had to ride the outdated RGv-500 for another year against superior cutting-edge four-strokes. But initial test results convinced Suzuki to bring the whole schedule forward by 12 months. The new four-stroke Grand Prix machine will make its debut next year at the opening round at Suzuka. The machine will be all new, but other vital parts of the official factory Suzuki team remain the same, with main sponsor Telefonica Movistar continuing with Suzuki. Former 500cc World Champion Roberts Jr. will remain with the team for his fourth year, joined for the second year by Spaniard Sete Gibemau. Other major technical sponsors confirmed for the new four-stroke development program include Motul and Dunlop. The new four-stroke engine project, code named XREO, started in February 2000 and the phase-one targets were achieved and exceeded well ahead of schedule, according to Suzuki. The XREO engine was then installed in a modified RGV-r race chassis for the next stage of development. The XREO is an extremely light and compact 990cc, 60-degree, V-four configuration engine design with a single crankshaft, gear-driven DOHC and electronic fuel injection. Specific attention has been paid to the combustion design in the interests of obtaining maximum fuel efficiency and consumption, Suzuki says. Suzuki's vast experience in designing and developing the GSX-R factory Superbike race machines has helped to accelerate the XREO development program and the new engine produces exceptional low-to-mid range torque to aid controllability, as well as the high maximum power figures required to win the new MotoGP championship. Much of the technology used to create the chassis of the year 2000 W.orld 500cc Championship RGV-r machine has been incorporated in the new XREO machine, and its similar dimensions will feel comfortably familiar to riders Roberts Jr. and Gibernau when they join the on-going test program. The XREO development program will continue over the winter period with experienced Japanese test riders working with the Suzuki factory development team. with Phoenix's Bank One Ballpark to produce its motor sports events in the Southwest's newest retractable-roof stadium. The agreement makes Clear Channel Entertainment the exclusive provider of motor sports events to the facility through 2006. In 1999, Clear Channel Entertainment brought Supercross to the new facility. treating fans to a luxurious spectacle never experienced before in the Southwest. The 6900-ton expandable roof is the only one of its kind in Supercross and is composed of six operable telescoping panels that. when opened, access 5.5 acres of vast Arizona sky. The venue is the home of the major league baseball Arizona Diamondbacks. and recently hosted the World Series. "This will be our fourth EA Sports Supercross, and the event has been a grand-slam for the Ballpark every time." said Charles Johnston. president/CEO of Select Artists Associates. the exclUSive booking company for Bank One Ballpark. "Clear Channel ntertainment's offering of both the Monster Jam and EA Sports Supercross [has] The motor sports division of Clear - L record of success. ·We are pleased to ter for fans, riders and the industry - the Channel confirm that the path of both the EA sport belongs at Edison Field." In 2002, Entertainment has announced a three-year agreement held at Edison International Field on Jan- Mancuso, president of Clear Channel uary 5 (the season opener). January 19 Entertainment's motorsports division "For Supercross, Anaheim is the epicen- events at the Southern California facility EA Sports Supercross rounds will be firmed for three years." Mancuso said. Field to produce its motor sports and February 2. In 2003. EA Sports said that the Phoenix stop has tradition- , through 2005. The agreement makes Clear Channel Entertainment the exclu- @GfJ[j)@[ff!§)D!fI@ @@[}u@@GfJD@8 D(19~ @(![JD@DfiJD complete renovation that reverted the 30-year-old structure back to a more ,""",0 intimate and luxuriOUS baseball-only facil- I ity, Clear Channel Entertainment has The 2002 AMA Chevy Trucks U.S. Superbike Championship schedule will include a record 16 rounds at 10 venues, including the new road course at the California Speedway in Fontana. The changes include three additional doubleheader rounds, and improve the flow of the series for the growing television audience, according to the AMA. The 2002 schedule delivers six Superbike-c1ass doubleheader race weekends. Promoters, racers and fans have wholeheartedly endorsed the doubleheader format, and the additional three Superbike doubleheaders will increase live Speedvision television coverage by approximately 20 percent. Another change with next year's schedule is its duration. Compressed into a March-through-August time frame, the move yields a smoother cadence of events that does not compete with college football, and helps to fill the traditional void between the series-opening round at Daytona Intemational Speedway, March 10, and Sears Point Raceway, May 4-5. with the addition of the California Speedway event. California Speedway's doubieheader round on April 6-7 will feature a new, 2.36-miIe, 21-tum road course that has gotten rave reviews from riders who've tested there. The circuit impressed even former AMA and World Champion Eddie Lawson. "The new road course at California Speedway is really incredible," said Lawson. "The layout ensures that every race will be close and intense. With long straightaways and slow tight tums, you'll get a great mix of speed, hard braking and passing opportunities. This track actually makes me wish I was still racing'" Absent from the 02002 schedule is New Hampshire International Speedway. AMA Pro Racing has asked noted track designer Alan Wilson to consult both AMA Pro Racing and NHIS regarrong modifications to the facility that would allow the return of AMA Superbike racing in the future, according to AMA Pro Racing. "We're excited about our 2002 schedule," said Scott Hollingsworth, AMA Pro Racing CEO, in the AMA press release. "California Speedway brings the series back into the Los Angeles metro area for the first time in several years, and that's obviously an important market. We are also pleased with the success of our doubleheader rounds and are happy to add three more to the schedule." The 2002 AMA Chevy Trucks U.S. Superbike Championships schedule is as follows: March 10: Daytona Intematlonal Speedway, FL April 6- 7: Califomia Speedway, Fontana, California (Superbike doubleheader) May 4-5: Sears Point Raceway, Sonoma, California (Superbike doubleheader) May 18-19: Road Atlanta, Braselton, Georgia (Superbike doubleheader) June' 2: Pikes Peak Intemational Raceway, Fountain, Colorado June 8-9: Road America, Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin (Superbike doubleheader) June 30: Brainerd Intemational Raceway, Brainerd, Minnesota July 13: Mazda Raceway at Laguna Seca, Monterey. California July 27-28: Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, Lexington, Ohio (Superbike doubleheader) August 10-11: Virginia International Raceway, Alton. Virginia (Superbike doubleheader) - ' increased its event presence by producr i n g five motor sports events each year in the last three years. Kevin Uhlich, vice r president of ballpark operations for Edi- ):=;' son International Field, said that the" Big Ed" is tnuly excited to ensure three more years of spectacular motorsports events I at their ballpark. "Of the 15 events Clear Channel has recently produced oJ and promoted, 13 have been sell-outs." Uhlich said. "It was also important for us L to confirm that Supercross would be coming back to its annual premiere home in Southern California. Supercross '- and Clear Channel Entertainment belong ~ at Edison International Field." Charlie Mancuso, president of Clear Channel Entertainment's motorsports division. said that all five weekends of events at Edison International Field, produced every first quarter, have a proven track u 2 DECEMBER 5.2001 • cue and quickly gave the nod to." Charlie 5Jlij)iij sive pro~ider of motor sports events to ~ the facility. Since the facility's 1997 [ the opportunity to extend the relationship through 2006 was one we proudly Sports Supercross and the Monster C Ll [ become a tradition [with] Arizonians, and Jam successful events are now con- with Anaheim's Edison International r In related news, Clear Channel also announced a five-year agreement • e n _ _ os

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