Cycle News - Archive Issues - 2000's

Cycle News 2002 06 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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c [ o o o !- -~. - -, - -~ -- -- - Paul Carpenter (Hon) scored the overall win at the fourth round of the AMAfYamahafMaxxis Western FourStroke National Motocross Series in " L Washougal. Washington, on May 26. Carpenter went 2-1 on the day, topping ( ' Lance Smail (KTM), who posted 1-3 l..J moto finishes. Third overall went to C C Spud Walters (Hon), who went 3-2, while Brad Hagseth ike Championship will be thrown open to JOOOcc four-cylinder machines, albeit with airintake reslrictors fitted. A press release issued at the race reads: "In a meeting held today in Silverstone, the Superi:>ike Commlssion, composed of Messrs. Claude Danis (FlM), Paolo Alberto Flammini (SBK International), Takanao Tsubouchi (MSMA) and Giulio Bardi (Team representative), has unanimously approved the following proposal: To allow JOOOcc four-cylinder motorcycles to take part in the 2003 Superbike World Championship. The JOOOcc four-cylinder motorcycles will compete under the current Superi:>ike World Championship Technica] Rules and Specifications except from: a) The engines will have an air reslrictor specified as follows: 26.3 millimeters by J 18.7 millimeters by 2 b) Minimum weight: 168 kg (369.6 pounds) The above rule will therefore be included in the 2003 Superbike World Championship rulebook. For the sake of clarity, the current F1M Superbike World Championship rules wHi remain unchanged in 2003, save for the above provision. F1M Road Racing Commission President Claude Danis will present this modification to the rules to the Managing Council in its session of June 22-23 next." The reason for the early switch, rather than waiting to 2004, was given by SBK Intemational President, Paolo F1ammini. "What has changed is simply the fact that the manufacturers understood the importance of keeping alive the image of a competitive four-cylinder bike," he said. "Clearly, this season has demonstrated that the four-cylinder 750 is struggling too much to be competitive, and clearly we don't want - nobody wants - to forget about the four-cylinder image in Superbike. Everybody understood that this move was necessary. In my opinion, there is another idea, one which is important. The fact that in 2004 we will go racing with all the bikes with air-restrictors. This wiJJ represent a significant step, and if we can start to understand how the air-restrictor works, .in a softer way - because we only apply to one type of motorbike - I think this will greatly benefit a correct application of the restrictors for everyone." The wording of the regulations, and the fact that the voting was unanimous, make the presentation to the F1M a rubber-stamping exercise. The rules, originally proposed to be introduced for the 2004 season, wiJJ allow machines such as the Yamaha RJ, Suzuki GSX-R1000 and Honda CBR959 to compete in the premier category of production-based racing. Honda has a new four-cylinder-across-the-frame CBR undergoing testing in Japan right now, and are not thought to be going to produce a V-five GP replica for the road, according to Honda insiders at Silverstone at least. Honda is expected to race the VTR twin in World Superbike next year no matter what. Yamaha could race with the RI, although according to previous statements from the Yamaha racing bosses, they would rather wait until 2004 to run a fuji offiCial team with an all-new RI, one more specifically designed to the rigors of full competition - maybe designed as a replica of the M I MotoGP bike. Suzuki is obviously ready to go with their all-conquering Endurance lind Superstock GSX-RJ 000, although as yet in the Supersport tune which runs in the British Championship the machine has proved to be neither reliable or that fast relative to ordinary customer Oucatis. The Aistare Corona Extra Suzuki team, rumored to have just signed a new three-year deal with their Mexican beer sponsor, now has a machine on which they can base their 2003 World Superblke season. quelling one of the worries that they would leave at the end of this season. Kawasaki is the main Japanese factory out of the party at the moment, with no suitable machine on their books until 2004, except the heavy and overly street-designed ZX-9R. The vague wording of the description of the restrictors has left many Items up for discussion, but the reason for their early inclusion, rather than a limitation of horsepower by more straightforward means of leaving engines in a 10111 state of tune, is to allow time for everyone to get used to the idea of restrictors, the way of making them work as intended, before the whole World Superbike world runs them in the 2004 championship. The first unsure aspect of the new initiative is simply the size of the restrictors, which give a very small cross-sectional area of 5.4cm square, whether the twin or bigger single restrictor is considered. (The rules have been, however, drawn up by the MSMA - the manufaclUrers themselves, in other words - although with no indication of what data the orifice size formula was based on.) The next big question is: Where will the restrictors be fitted? The intake system somewhere upstream of the airbox is the area discussed by the F1M, although every technical guru in the paddock had a different opinion of where they should be fitted, how they should be fitted, and how to cheat if they are upstream of the aclUal carburetor or injection throttie bodies. There is also some doubt as to whether or not the restrictors themselves will be supplied by the FlM or will be up to the teams themselves to fit and size to make sure they are the correct diameter. Or will the restrictors have to be circular or can they be elliptical, or something else? Circular is the best bet, as it makes the policing of the rules easier, using simple intemal micrometers. Claude Danis from the FIM said that the technical regulations were not complete yet and that the exact method of restriction has "yet to be decided by the technical experts, except for the size. The sizes are the same as the ones announced for four-cylinder machines at lmola last year [when the 2004 rules were revealed) and were proposed by the MSMA." More questions than answers then, but one thing is sure, the political will of the FJM, SBK Intemational, and the manufacturers has been to mllke the sensible decision to allow the bikes that the manufacturers actually sell in volume to be raced in a form that makes the present need to build a virtual GP bike that looks like a streetbike obsolete. How successfully they will aU achieve this has yet to be seen. Gordon RJtchle May 21, that their R1fR7 hybrid was no longer legaT'for AMA Formula Xtreme time. They will give me something and I AMA Pro Racing, meanwhile, has competition. They found out while they will ride it to the best of my abilities. I'd deducted 10 championship points from ken navicular bone in his left wrist. were in Road America for a test. The like to rub it in the noses of those who Jamie Hacking and fined his Team According to the release, Pastrana's Suzuki's Travis Pastrana and his bro- Xtreme bike was promptly parked and have been complaining. I will say that if Blimpie Yoshimura Suzuki team $2000 injury will not require surgery, though the Buckmaster concentrated his efforts on we don't end up winning the champi- for using a non-production rear wheel in teen sensation will be out until August. testing the R6 600cc Supersport onship because of this, anyone who the AMAfPro Honda Oils U.S. Super- " Although Travis is disappointed about machine. With just days remaining does win it will have to know they didn't sport race Sunday, May 20 at the being injured, this down time will give before the next round of the series, do it on their own merit. I've got confi- AMAfChevy Trucks U.S. Superbike him an opportunity to recover," said Buckmaster and his team were in a mad dence in the boys. My mechanic, John Championship event at Road Atlanta in scramble to produce a motorcycle that team Asher, is a very positive thinker. He Braselton, Georgia, according to an "Besides his wrist injury, he's still get- he could race at Pike's Peak on June 2. done. My bike may not be 100 percent said on May 23 from his home in Texas. c c keeps things simple and he gets the job "It's been a difficult one," Buckmaster at Pike·s. but it will be reliable and we ") really don't know where Graves and will keep getting points. ' Yamaha stand at the moment as far as building a bike for Pike's. I guess they have four days to get a bike out of the o factory and get it ready for me to race. As far as the Road America test. Buckmaster was pleased with his effort on the 600 - though he did suffer a crash manager Roger DeCoster. AMA Pro Racing press release. Hacking ting over sinus problems from earlier won the race using the wheel. The this year. The time off will give him the wheel, which was impounded after cus- chance to rebuild himself so he can tomary post-race inspection, proved to come back 100 percent." Pastrana is be lighter than an OEM stock wheel. The tentatively slated to return to action at updated top-10 Pro Honda Oils Super- the Spring Creek Motocross in Millville, sport points standings are as follows: 1. Minnesota, on August 18. It's very difficult that it's gone this way. ~ in tum one on the second day. "I've had Aaron Yates (142): 2. Jamie Hacking We started the season on a motorcycle trouble getting feedback from the front, ' (109): 3. Damon Buckmaster (106); 4. we thought was legal and now to be told Buckmaster said. "But we're getting Ben Spies (99): 5. Jason Pridmore (91); Abbott injured his knee while practicing that it isn't - thiS certainly wasn't what that better. Atlanta was our best result - 6. Mike Hale (90); 7. Tom Kipp (88): 8. on May 20. Abbott says he completely we expected." Buckmaster, however, Kawasaki Team Green's Destry we were a lot closer to the front, even Tommy Hayden (81): 9. Jake Zemke tore the ACL and partially tore the MeL remains Panglossian in all of this. "The though we ended up fourth. I crashed in (81): 10. Tony Meiring (80). in his knee and is scheduled to undergo d c Rl is a really good motorcycle," the turn one, but I was really putting it so Australian said. "It is good enough to these things happen. Luckily, I didn't American Suzuki issued a press release Abbott added that he will undergo anoth- run in that class, but we just need some hurt myself. " n • _ s on May 24 in regard to Team So Be er operation on June 25 to repair his 2 JUNE 5, 2002· cue I • surgery on June 7 to repair the knee.

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