Cycle News - Archive Issues - 2000's

Cycle News 2002 03 27

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 o Q o o c c c Shogun Motorsports Yamaha's Josh Demuth clinched the Speed Stick National Arenacross title with a win in the 250cc main in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, on March 16. The night ended with Demuth 126 points ahead of Darcy Lange (Kaw) , meaning that the title was his even before Saturday's racing. Demuth finished fourth in the 125cc main and won the Dash For Cash. This was his first title, and the second Arenacross Championship for a Yamaha rider. Team UFO Corse Yamaha's David Knight dominated the opening round of the World Enduro Championship Series in Valverde del Camino, Spain, March 16-17, claiming victory in both the Scratch classification (for best overall performance) and the highly competitive 250cc Two-Stroke class, Second in last year's 250cc championship, the 23-year-old Manxman's mastery of the unseasonably wet conditions saw him o o c o o o o o take an early lead in the championship as others struggled with the rapidly deteriorating course. Second to Knight in the 250cc class on both days was Finn Samuli Aro and his Husqvarna. In the 125cc class, Finn Petri Silvan (Husqvarna) and Swede Richard Larsson (TM) claimed a day win a piece to top the class heading into round two with young Italian Simone Albergoni (KTM) Michael Lafferty (KTM) won round two of the National Championship Enduro Series on March 17 in Greensboro, Georgia, with Barry Hawk (Yam) finishing second. Third place went to David Lykke (Yam), and Robbie Jenks (Yam) and Rodney Judson (GG) completed the top five overall. Matco Tools Suzuki rider Craig Treble scored an upset win over reigning NHRA Powerade Pro Stock Bike Champion Angelle Seeling (Suz) dUring the Mac Tools Gatornationals at Gainesville Raceway in Gainesville, Florida, on March 17. Treble cut a .429 light to outgun Seeling (.454) off the line. He carried that advantage all the way down the track, posting the win with a time of 7.24 seconds at 184.17 mph. Aboard her asof-yet unsponsored Star Racing Suzuki, Seeling clocked a losing 7.26 at 184.52 mph. Treble's margin of victory was a scant 0.039 seconds. class, 2001 championship runner-up Peter Bergvall finished ahead of former GNCC racer Paul Edmondson on both days, as he hopes to claim the UFO Corse Yamaha team's second 250cc Four- o o o o o Stroke title in as many years. form the necessary bond needed to be successful in such a demanding sport and the difficult decision was made shortly after the Daytona 200 this month." Team owner Mitch Hansen blames no one for the break in the union. "We have every respect for Pascal and his riding talent," Hansen said in the release from HMC. "It's unfortunate that we were unable to find that necessary chemistry with Pascal. We wish Pascal all the success for the future and we wanted to cease the union early enough for Pascal to find another, more appropriate, ride to finish the rest of the season." A gearbox failure knocked Picotte out of the Daytona 200 after he'd qualified fifth fastest. Drag Racing legends Vance & Hines debuted the new Harley-Davidson factory-backed Screamin' Eagle V-Rod Pro Stock during the NHRA Mac Tools, but there was no Cinderella story as the machine failed to make the 16rider field for Sunday's eliminations. With 18-year-old rider G.T. Tonglet aboard, the V-Rod recorded a best run of 7.57 seconds at 171.51 mph - by far the best pass for a V-twin-powered Pro Stock bike - in the first round of Pro Stock Motorcycle qualifying on Saturday. The run, which bettered the team's previous best of 7.68/167.41 in the second session on Friday, still fell short of I ' the bump spot. a 7.39. "' really had high hopes that we would get into the show L here," team crew chief Byron Hines ') said. "We were running into a gremlin that was robbing us of horsepower on the top end. It ran better than that on our dyno. If I knew what the problem was, I would have fixed it." Hines said that the team plans to do some testing before the series' next round in Houston, Texas. 8 c o c C r o E o o French Canadian road racer Pascal Picotte has been dumped by the HMC Ducati team after just a single race the Daytona 200. According to a release issued by the team on Sunday, March 17, "the team and rider were not able to fl 2 MARCH 27. 2002' IC U IC I a day win each to lie tied on points at the top of the "big-bore war.' Seven-time World Champion Kari Tiainen (KTM) was third. lying third. In the 250cc Four-Stroke c o o o o o Three-time World Champion Juha Salminen (KTM) surprised many by not claiming the win in the overall classification, but he did dominate the 400cc Four-Stroke class, finishing ahead of the reigning World Champion, Australian Stefan Merriman and his Husqvama. In the 500cc Four-Stroke class, Finn Mika Ahola and Swede Anders Eriksson continued their battle from 2001, claiming _ Ousted HMC Ducati rider Pascal Picotte says he had no idea that he would be fired from the team after just one race, and that he's had no communication whatsoever with team owner Mitch Hansen since he left Daytona Intemational Speedway on Sunday afternoon, March 10. "I never talked to him [Hansen]," Picotte said on March 18. "He never returned my phone calls after Daytona. I'm really, really, really surprised. I thought he [Hansen] was special - a really kind man. I thought he had a lot of passion for racing and I thought the chemistry between us was really good. We had good tests, I worked well with the engineer they sent over from Italy. We went to Daytona and I kept n __ • hearing from them that I was the right person for the program. I missed the front row by a 10th of a second and he [Hansen] hugged me and told me how proud he was of me." According to Picotte, there was a single and isolated problem with the team's current crew chief at Daytona, but it was nothing that couidn't be resolved. "He's a great mechanic, but he's just in the wrong position. I didn't want him fired or anything. 't was nothing that we couldn't have fixed by just sitting down and talking." Then Picotte was approached by Hansen and asked if he would like to have Gary Medley [the current engine builder at Kawasaki] as his crew chief. "' said sure, loaded my stuff and he [Hansen] gave me another hug," Picotte said. "He told me again that I was the right person for the program. He said he was going to be loyal to me over the next few years, whether he ran with Ducati or some other manufacturer. The next thing I know, Alan [Labrosse Picotte's manager] calls me and told me that was it. We were done. I just don't understand." According to Picotte, he didn't have a contract with the team, but one was promised. "I really trusted him [Hansen]," Picotte said. "We had a verbal agreement and a contract was supposed to be there [at Daytona], but it wasn't. I had a lot of trust in him and I just don't get it. I thought he was such a gentleman, but I tumed my back and got stabbed. He never returned my call - the last time I saw Mitch Hansen he hugged me. Now his press release said they are letting me go in time to get another job there are no other jobs." Current specu- j lation has Medley leaVing Kawasaki to join the HMC Ducati team as its crew chief - with Doug Chandler as its new rider. Stay tuned. Clear Channel Entertainment's motor sports division has announced the return of the Cycle News Holeshot Award within the Formula USA National Road Race Series scheduled for 2002. Beginning with the May 24-26 event at Summit Point Raceway in Summit Point, West Virginia, riders competing in the second leg of the Lockhart Phillips Superbike class will race toward turn one for a chance to win a $250 additional bonus at each event. "This is a great way to support the riders and the sport," said Michael Klinger, publisher of Cycle News. "The holeshot is already a coveted achievement in any race and we're proud to be part of the action." Clear Channel Entertainment's motor sports division has also announced that the remaining rounds of EA Sports Supercross Series will be broadcast on XM Satellite Radio in a two-hour format on 'Extreme XM Channel 152' from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m. (Pacific), in seven markets. XM Satellite RadiO is a coast-tocoast. digital-quality service offering 100 channels of music, news and entertain-

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