Cycle News - Archive Issues - 2000's

Cycle News 2002 08 28

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 CJ o o o .- \. - - -""!. _ --_ ~ - __ --. - --- , ' _ ---- J Defending BOOcc National Champion Walter "Tiger" Strank Jr. (Yam) edged 540 and BOOcc points leader Dave Watson (Hon) by .006 of a second to win the Poags Hole National Hillclimb in Dansville, New York, on August lB. Phil Libhart (H-DJ finished third. Libhart (Tri) won the 540cc class to close on points leader Watson, who finished seventh. Greg Williams (Kaw) took the runner-up spot in the 540cc class (Kaw) with Anthony DeHart (Hon) finishing third. o o It now appears almost certain that Colin Edwards, the 2000 World Superbike Champion and a longtime Castrol Honda rider, will be a Ducati rider in 2003. After having dallied with the idea on previous occasions, it looks as though the Texan has finally taken the plunge to join the most successful World Superbike manufacturer in history - Ducati. Edwards has agreed to ride for the ltalilln manufacturer after five seasons as the number-one man in the Castrol Honda World Superbike team. The 28-year-old. the only man who can still catch current championship leader Troy Bayliss (currently on a Ducatl), has been reported to have signed a letter of intent to ride for the full-factory team just after the Suzuka 8-Hour race, which he won in conjunction with MotoOP star Daijiro Katoh. Although the move will likely see him on the World Superbike team, there is also a chance that Edwards could end up on the Ducatl MotoGP team jf a big-name MotoGP star isn't signed (like Max Biaggl), ac:cordlng to sources close to the team. More likely, though, is Edwards completing the Ducatl World Superblke rider lineup for 2003, joining Hodgson on the all-new fuD-factory 999 rllCe bikes, plus Chris Walker and James Toseland on this year's full fac· tory 998 F02s. A Honda representative refused to comment on the stoIy, lII'Id Ducati oflkials were not avalJable for comment at presstime - thus keeping the news of Edwards' move very unoIIIc:iaJ. Always frustrated by his lack of opportunity to race in MotoGP, Edwards has many motivations for leaving the largest manufacturer in the world. The wrong nlltiona1ity to be allowed to rllCe in MotoOP, even after winning consecutive Suzuka 8-Hour races, Edwards may see Duc:ati as a way into that class in the near future, even if he has to walt for Bayliss to do his proposed two-yetlJ' stint in MotoOP on the new four-cylinder Ducati. He commented from his home in Texas: "That's one thing that kind of annoys me about all this. Don't get me wrong, because Honda has paid weD to keep me where I'm at but I reaDy would Uke to have an opportunity [to go MotoOPI and I think I'm the next guy in line. But everybody thinks they are the next guy in line. It doesn't really matter what dues you payor how many 8-Hours you win for them, if you don't have the right passport you o o o o o Little-known fact: When Nicky Hayn on August lB, the victory marked the first for Honda since Bubba Shobert won the famed n twice in 1987. Since 1987, the (est of those victories (most of which were by Chris Carr) have been won on Rotaxbased equipment. den won the Peoria o o o o o c o o o o o School of Champions, the Rick Johnson Motocross School, will hold three sessions in September in Lake Elsinore, California. The first of those will be held on September 6, followed by a special four-stroke school on September 20. Johnson and co-instructor Mercedes Gonzalez will then retum to Lake Elsinore on September 26 before traveling to Cedar Raceway in Utah, October 2-3, for a two-day camp. For more information, call 949/713-6051. Two-time AMAlEA Sports Supercross Champion, and three-time AMAlChevy Trucks U.S. Motocross Champion Ricky Carmichael is the latest to sign on to AMA Pro Racing's official merchandise program. Carmichael joins a growing list of AMA racing superstars who have reached an agreement with AMA Pro Racing's new merchandising partner, Wateree Sports Group, that allows fans to purchase their gear at AMA events and online. "The signing of Ricky Carmichael is tremendously exciting for us, and for all motorcycle racing fans," said Jeff Reeves, vice president of Wateree Sports Group. "Having Ricky on board, as well as Nicky Hayden, means the current AMA Motocross, Supercross and Superbike Champions are both participating in our program." -I am very excited to launch my own line of official AMA Pro Racing gear," said Carmichael. "It will be great to see all·the fans out there supporting me and supporting motorcycle racing in general by wearing official gear with my name and number on it." Race fans can find the new line of official AMA Pro Racing products at multiple distribution points, including all AMA U.S. Motocross and U.S. Superbike events, as well as several top AMA U.S. Flat Track Championship rounds. At the races, products will be for sale under the roof of Wateree's newly created, lB-wheel interactive merchandise tractor-trailer. Products can also be purchased online via, and B o o o o o o o o o o o o o ~ o o o American Honda has announced its participation in an unprecedented adven- 2 AUGUST 28, 2002' cue I • ture called American Frontiers: A Public Lands Journey. The project is a joint effort by the Public Lands Interpretive Association (PLlAJ, with the backing of the Federal Government and the National Geographic Society, to increase nationai understanding and appreciation for America's public lands legacy and the wide range of benefits public lands proVide, according to Honda. "We are proud that we could take part in this event as the official vehicle supplier," said Ray Blank, Vice PreSident of American Honda's Motorcycle Division. "Educating Americans about our public lands and how we can enjoy them responsibly is important to all of us here at American Honda." The two teams started the Journey on July 31 - one starting on the US/Canadian border and the other from the US/Mexican border - and will travel until they meet in northern Utah on National Public Lands Day, September 28. Jointly, over an eight-week period, each team will traverse more than 1300 miles through some of the most spectacular lands of the west. Participants will be utiliZing Honda vehicles exclusively based on the regulations for that specific route. On routes designated for offhighway vehicles, the trekkers will be using Honda ATVs and Honda motorcycles. On backcountry roads, the all-new Honda Pilot and all-new Honda CR-V will be the vehicles of choice. Honda fourstroke marine engines, along with Honda's new 4-stroke personal watercraft, the AquaTrax, will see duty on Lake Powell and other waterways where appropriate. Honda generators will contribute by running all computers and other electronic devices along the route. In non-motorized areas, trekkers will be n • _ s may as well piss off. It's all sponsors. When you've got sponsors from Spain and Italy all paying the bills, an American doesnit have a shot." The lack of decisiveness on the behalf of Honda with regard to Its racing plans for 2003 and beyond, even at this stage. is another uncertainty Edwards has had to mull over in recent weeks. "That's cIeftnlteIy a factor," confirmed Edwards. • Are they going to be there? Are they going to have money? Are they not going to have money? It's kind of a crapshoot to sit on your ass and walt for them, so I have to look at aD the options that are avallable. There are still a couple of lh8lgs to be wai

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