Cycle News - Archive Issues - 2000's

Cycle News 2002 08 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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anada. meanwhile, has announced its otocross des Nations team. The squad. an aged by Paul Mares, will feature ean-Sebastien Roy, Blair Morgan nd Marco Dub6. All three will ride ondas. Li1 [?@G!J[fb@{][J@!fI@ @[JJ [ffJo!fI@ \!ll!J{][}D !10~~DD=-=-{]0-=-- we-time 250Cc motocross World Chamion Frederic Bolley has announced hat he will retire from motocross racing t the end of the current season. Bolley's areer as a professional rider is, howevr, by no means over as he intends to ake the switch to road racing. according o a release issued by Yamaha. The key otivation behind the young Frenchman's ecision to seek a new challenge has een the feeling that he does not get the arne enjoyment out of motocross racing s he used to, the release states. nvolved in off-road sport since 1983 and chieving his personal goals by winning wo World Championships in 1999 and 000, he has chosen to leave the sport at point where he is still competing at the ighest level. Bolley has scored five podims finishes out of the nine 250cc GPs eld thus far this year and is currently olding fourth place in the championship. "I have found it very hard to make the ecision to leave motocross. the last eeks it has been the only thing on my indo Motocross has been my life and he sport has brought me so much joy hat it is very difficult to stop. Especially ow that I have found such a great team o work with and a bike that suits me so ell. But most important for me is that I really enjoy what I do and I know for me his is the main factor to be able to be competitive at the highest level." Bolley. 28, is not hanging up his racing boots as he has found another dream to pursue: "For the last few years, my main hobby has been riding my Yamaha YZF-R1 on the track, and in 2000 I competed in the Bol d'Or 24 Hour on a Superstock 900 machine. My team led the race until we had to retire with a mechanical problem, and that's when I really got a taste for it and now I want to see if I can become a professional road racer." The path to a successful road racing career is still not clear for Bolley, though the ambition is apparent: "I really want to start a new adventure with Yamaha - I hope I can stay with the family. My goal for next year is to focus on Supersport 600 racing, but I would also like to do some Supermotard racing when my schedule allows, just for the fun of it. Much will also depend on what Yamaha' s goals and opinions are. " Ask anyone who raced the Suzuka 8 Hours back in the days when Eddie Lawson. Mick Doohan, Wayne Gardner, and Kevin Schwantz rode what the factory race bikes were like, and the invariable answer is: a four-stroke GP bike with lights, In some respects, that is not a tall tale: Honda once had an RVF750 weigh in on Suzuka's certified scales at 138 kilograms, or 304 pounds. In truth, the IT-Fl Suzuka endurance racers from 10 years ago were no match for 500cc factory GP bikes in terms of lap times. Though IT-Fl bikes were slower than SOOcc GP bikes, they were faster than any other race bike. Now that Grand Prix racing features four-stroke motorcycles, it was just a matter of time before someone fitted lights on a MotoGP racer. Not surprisingly, Honda was the first to do so, "This year is the 25th anniversary of Suzuka 8 Hours, so Suzuka Circuit asked Honda to prepare some special bike for Mick Doohan for the evening festival on Saturday night," said HRC spokesman Koji Sugita. "So we had to have lights. It's actually the real race bike Shinichi Ito rode at the Suzuka Grand Prix in April." Doohan rode the illuminated RC21 1V in Thursday late-aftemoon practice to familiarize himself with the machine, test the lights, and allow Honda to shoot promotional photographs. "Every time I ride it, it just seems to feel a little more evolved," remarked the five-time World Champion. "It's this year's race bike, and it feels like a race bike, whereas the last two I rode felt like that they were definitely in the development stage.' Doohan declined to critique or compare the RC21 t V, due to riding cautiously. "Everything impresses me at the moment, because I haven't ridden a bike for so long," he said. "It just feels like a race bike. It doesn't feel too dissimilar to the NSR that I was riding, which is probably what HRC will try to get the RCV to. Honda will design something that is familiar to what the riders are riding now. Even though the character of the engine is a little different - well, a lot different - the chassis and so on feels very similar to what the NSR did for me. But, then again, I'm going very slow. I don't think it is even correct for me to evaluate it at the moment until I start to go 10 or 15 seconds quicker. I'm not out there qualifying, we're out there doing a photo shoot. • "I'm going very slow," continued Doohan. "The last time I rode a bike - a bike - was at Motegi. I haven't been riding that much, and last year I had an operation just before I rode at Motegi. I rode the RC211V at Motegi last year in a demonstration at the Grand Prix with Freddie [Spencer]. He got the back-end out - and it scared the hell out of me!' Though the RC211V is a race bike, it also serves as a showcase of Honda's motorcycle technology. Appropriate, the lights fitted were not ordinary lights. "The headlight is special," explained Sugita. "To put a headlight on the RC21 IV, it should be something special. A normal headlight is too boring for RCV. Our R&D decided to use a headlight we have in development. It's called 'line beam' headlight. It is much more thinner than normal multi-reflector headlight, but it has the same performance. It has more reflectors inside. I'm not sure if it is going to be put on some street model some day, or not.' The tail lamps are red LEDs, as standard practice on the Honda factory 8 Hours race bikes. Also, at Doohan's request, a thumb brake lever was added to the left handlebar. "He is going to do some tricks on Saturday rught - wheelies and burnouts," said Sugita. "He needs it for that!· Wheelies and burnouts from all-business Mick Doohan? You must be joking, "Suzuka invited me out here, and they wanted Honda to put me on a motorcycle and do a couple of demonstrations. So they decided to make up a bit of a gimmick," winked Doohan. Tracy Hagen of the season on the all-new Yamaha Rl Superbike. The announcement comes at the end of a troubled time for Emmett. currently second in the series overall and trailing championship leader Steve Hislop by a mere 11 points. Emmett recently ran into troubles with his team and has decided to switch to the Yamaha squad, according to the release. Emmett will be aboard the Yamaha at the next round at Th ruxton , Andover, on August 11. Team Principal Rob McElnea said: "It is very unfortunate that Sean's current team is having difficulties. and we would never wish their situation on a healthy competitor. However. for us, the silver lining is that Sean will be able to race with Team Virgin Mobile Aiwa on our new R1 for the remainder of the season. We tested at Cadwell Park with Sean and instantly he felt at home on the R1... Team Virgin Mobile Aiwa Yamaha has announced that it has signed Sean Emmett to the team's 2002 British Superbike Series lineup. effective imme· diately. The London-based star joins the Appleyard Racing satellite team, run under the wing of Team Virgin Mobile Aiwa Yamaha boss Rob McElnea, and will be contesting the remaining five rounds Tony Uthe Tiger" Meiring has announced the launch of his first dedicat- ed line of merchandise. The factory Kawasaki Supersport rider has partnered with Wateree Sports Group in an effort to provide specially designed "Tiger" gear for fans. Jeff Reeves, vice president of Wateree Sports Group, commented on his company's latest partnership. "This is a great opportunity for Wateree Sports Group to work with one of the youngest stars in this sport. Tony has proven his ability on the track. We can now offer his new fans a great new product line to help build his exposure both on and off the track. We are excited to have Tony as part of our AMA Pro Racing merchandis,ng program." Starting with Eric Bostrom several months ago, Wateree has since signed several top U.S. road racing stars to merchandising deals. "I can't wait to work with these guys," Meiring said. "They've come out with some really good products and designs. and I've seen what they've done for Eric [Bostrom] and for Eric's fans. So I'm looking forward to hav- ing products that my fans can support me with too." Freedom Motorcycles Inc. has announced the acquisition of the registered Norton trademarks for North America pursuant to a license and acquisition agreement with Global Coin Inc.. of Vancouver. The company will create a subsidiary called Norton Motor Company that will re-introduce Norton as an American-manufactured motorcycle. The first production model, due for release in the fourth quarter of 2002, will be called the Freedom Cruiser by Norton. New Norton motorcycles are to feature a proprietary engine, according to the release issued by Freedom. "High-end, quality-built cruisers are a growing market segment and we plan to deliver the very best product at the very best price to a discerning clientele," said John Fiebelkorn, Norton Motor Company CEO. "That's why we're using our proprietary distinctive V-twin engine to power the initial models in order to add credibility and to enhance the identity of the new Norton motorcyc1es." In the near future, the company intends to offer models in the sportbike. sport cruiser, touring cruiser and chopper segments marketed under recognizable Norton names such as Commando, according to the company. Norton Motor Company will also offer a full line of parts. motor clothes and accessories. all of which will display the Norton brand and image. John Fiebelkorn stated. "We are extremely proud to be a part of this unique opportunity and fully intend to zine. by Vreeke & Associates as a staff art director. Vreeke & Associates is a full-service advertising and public relations firrr whose clients include American Honda and Dunlop Motorcycle Tires. BORN: Levi Andrew Wosick, to Honey Lake Motocross Park owners Larry and lise Wosick, on August 7, in Washoe, Nevada. APPOINTED: Fred Hassen, to the position of regional sales manager for Dunlop Motorcycle Tires. effective immediately. Hassen most recently served as product marketing manager for Perforrrance Tires. For more inforrration, call 716/639-5494. ........ .. . HIRED: Michael Monroe, forrrerly the art director at Dirt Rider Maga- .. .. "............ _ STOLEN: A modified 2002 Honda CRF450R (VIN# JH2PE05362M0001541, owned by Kevin Gorzny of Baja Designs, between 8 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. on August 5, in Murrieta, Califomia. The bike was featured in a project story and can be seen at . Call Contact 702/499-4582 or 760/560-2252 x120 or e·mail with any information. . Continued on page 6 cue •• n e _ so 'AUGUST 21,2002 3 o o o o o o c o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o 8 J J J J f "" J 8 o o o J ~

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