Cycle News - Archive Issues - 2000's

Cycle News 2002 10 16

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\X/ o EtD OIJ:lCB Former AMA Grand National number 42 Steve Morehead won the Open Amateur A main event aboard a Corbin Racing Suzuki TL1 000 dUring the Eddie Mulder's West Coast Vintage Dirt Track Series round at the Del Mar Fairgrounds on October 5. Travis Petton was second and Jimmy Abrams was third. Gordon Menzie won the Dinosaur class, finishing ahead of David Duvarney and Tom Hensley. Dick Slusher won the Senior class, with Marty Lewis and Bob Graves finishing second and third, respectively. David Atherton, father of AMA Grand National star Kevin Atherton, won the Classic 500 main. Jeff Apple was second, and Chris Apple was third. [JJ@@I!l@'l!l [fJ@(JffJO[Ji]~ !?[jf)~fij uo7]D@ ffJ7] @@D fi!iJffJ [l ~ o o Saddlemen Racing/National Cycle Supply's Kevin Atherton and Las Vegas Harley-Davidson/Roeder Harley-Davidson/KK Motorcycle Supply's Geo Roeder II thoroughly dominated their respective classes at the Formula USA season finale K&N F"dters Del Mar Mile on October 6, but Jones-backed Terry Poovey once again claimed the Drag Specialties Formula USA National Dirt Track Championship. Poovey, 44, of Euless, Texas, came into the final race at Del Mar with a 20-poiot cushion over J,R. &hnabel, and 30 points on Joe Kopp. He upped it to 22 points with a win In his heat race, and needed to finish ninth if Schnabel won the main event. During a tense main event in which Poovey ran as fat back as 15th while Schnabel ran third early, Poovey prevailed, coming home 12th while Schnabel finished fifth. Poovey beat Scbnabel by eight points, 276·268, to repeat as National Champion. "I'm happy to win it, especially after I had such a bad nigh~ on the short track the night before: Poovey said. "I had a great year, and I feel like I can stUl run with 'em if I can get good starts. Being a two-time champion Is great, and I like this Pormul.a USA program. Hopefully, in time, this series will really mean something big.' Atherton smoked the field in the 20-lap Pro Singles main to finish over 13 seconds ahead of the runner-up, Quality Checked Certified Pre-Owned Pord/Vor-backed Chris Carr on a dusty, rutty Del Mar Fairgrounds mUe track that once again had riders raising the same old safety issues, It was Atherton's first-career Formula USA win and his second National dirt track win of the season. Team Harley-Davidson's Rich King finished third aboard the factory Bueli Blast-powered Harley-Davidson 500R while still nursing his broken left shoulder, which he aggravated once again In the Super Singles & Twins Challenge event held just before the Pro Singles main. In that race, Roeder was the class of the field aboard his Skip Eaken.prepared Harley-Davidson XR750. The Ohioan sat on the ~ o o o 8 o Suzuki dominated the final World Endurance race of the season at Vallelunga in Spain on October 6, taking the first five places across the finish line. In the process, Suzuki claimed all the podium spots in the World Championship standings as well. The race was won by Zongshen 9 on a GSX-R 1000, helping the team to second place in the championship. In second place in the race was the Suzuki GSX-R 1OOO-mounted GMT94 team, securing third place in the overall standings. In third place and wrapping up the World Championship was Zongshen 2, again riding a GSXR1000. o o o o o o Ditto for Canada. FollOWing the cancellation of the Motocross of Nations in San Jacinto, California, which was to take place on September 28-29, and its rescheduling for Bellpuig, Spain, on October 19-20, the CMA has announced that the Canadian team will not participate. All three team members, JeanSebastien Roy, Blair Morgan, and Marco Dube, had previous contractual commitments for that weekend which must be honored, according to the CMA. With the very short notice of the relocation of the event, there is no time to select a new team, arrange motorcycles and accommodation and obtain the funding reqUired, a release from CMA says. "The CMA and the motocross community in Canada are very disappointed about the turn of events since we had the strongest teams assembled in many years and were looking forward to a high placing in the results. " World Superbike Champion Colin Ed'wards still doesn't know what his plans are for next season - at least he didn't know as of Monday, October 7. "There are a lot of rumors flying around," Edwards said thiS morning from his home in Conroe, Texas. "I'm just letting it sort out. Hopefully, I'll know something by mid-week." Ducati World Superbike? Pramac Honda in MotoGP? Yamaha in MotoGP? We'll have to wait to find out where Edwards ends up in 2003. B o o o o o The United States will not field a team in the rescheduled 2002 Motocross of Nations, which will take place in Bellpuig, Spain, on October 19-20, according to a release issued by the AMA. The international Olympic-style motocross event was originally announced for San Jacinto, Califomia, on September 28-29. It was canceled, however, when organizers appointed by the FIM encountered problems obtaining approval to use the newly built Competition Park venue, the release states. "It's unfortunate that we cannot field a team," said Scott Hollingsworth, AMA Pro Racing CEO, "but the time frame on the relocation was too tigbt. There are numerous schedule conflicts for our riders, and the costs associated with sending a team, support staff and equipment to Spain at such a late date was also a factor." Hollingsworth noted that the absence of a U.S. team is especially disappointing since the American squad withdrew from the 2001 event after the events of September 11. "The AMA is proud of its long involvement in the Motocross of Nations," Hollingsworth said, "and we look forward to rejoining this traditional event and the friendly rivalry among FIM federations in the future. " 8 ~ o Jake Johnson has been named the 2002 Ricky Graham AMA U.S. Flat Track Rookie of the Year, according to AMA Pro Racing. Johnson, 18, from Deptford, New Jersey, finished seventh in the final 2002 AMA/Progressive Insurance U.S. Fiat Track Championship points. He scored seven top-five finishes in the series and earned his first win at the Tunica (Mississippj) Indoor Short Track NationaL "I had a much better year than I expected," admitted Johnson, who rode for Moroney's HarleyDavidson. "I was just hoping to maybe crack the top-20, so to finish seventh in the series and to win a race in my rookie season was awesome." The rookie sensation was one of 13 riders to win an AMA Grand National this year, the highest number of winners in a single season since 1985 when AMA National road ~ o o o o 2 OCTOBER 16. 2002' eye • e n e _ s pole for the 12-lap shootout, and he made the best of it by bolting into the lead and checking out immediately. Corbin Racing's Kenny Coolbeth tried to put up a fight on his Suzuki TL1000, but his superior straightaway speed was negated by Roeder's better-handling XR in the comers_ Coolbeth would eventually drop to fourth, behind Dallas Har1ey-Davidsol)'s Willie McCoy and Moroney's Harley-Davidson's Jake Johnson, who finished second and third. Roeder also put in a decent shOWing in the Pro Singles main event. Riding a Honda, he finished 11 tho In the previous night's Del Mar Short Track. American HOndafWhite Brothers' Nicky Hayden rode as flawless a race as he had anyWhere all season, grabbing the lead from his pole starting position and pulling clear of a battle between two of his White Brothers teammates, brother Tommy Hayden and AMA Grand National runner-up Johnny Murphree, to win the 20-lap main event. Hayden won the race by better than half a lap. It was his first-career Formula USA victory. "I'm glad that it went like that: Hayden said after pulling into vic· tory lane. "I didn't want to have to think about Du Quoin for the next couple of years. Today, when the sun was up, I didn't feel that comfortable, but then the sun went down, and the track just kind of came to me. We made some gearing changes, and in the main event I felt real good, smooth and comfortable. J Just put in the laps." Behind Hayden, Murphree snuck past Tommy Hayden after Tommy bobbled In the middle stages of the race, and he held on to finish second, with Tommy third. The battle for fifth was a three-rider affair with championship implications, as Moroney's-backed Jared Mees, Quality Checked Pre-Owned Certified Pord-backed Chris Carr and Team WE Racing/West Bend H-D's J.R. Schnabel mixed It up behind eventual fourth-place finisher Joe Kopp and his factory KTM. Carr wound up getting the spot after first Schnabel and then Mees nearly highsided off tum four. Mees held off Schnabel for the sixth spot. races were part of the Grand National schedule. Johnson plans on returning to the dirt track circuit next season and hopes to improve on his rookie season. "My best results came at short-track and clay half-mile races," explained Johnson. "I'd like to come back next season and be a little more consistent and continue to learn how to race on the miles, which I know takes some time. I'm also going to be putting in a lot of time cross-training in motocross this winter so that I can be ready for the n races." Johnson becomes the 32nd recipient of the AMA's Flat Track Rookie of the Year Award. Numerous AMA National Champions launched their careers after being named the top rookie including riders like Jay Springsteen, Scott Parker, Bubba Shobert, Doug Chandler, Chris Carr, Ben Bostrom and Nicky Hayden. Johnson is the first rookie to win an AMA Grand National race since Hayden accomplished the feat in 1999. Johnson will be presented his award at the November 23 AMA Pro Racing Awards Banquet at the Venetian Resort Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada. For more information on the banquet, cail AMA Pro Racing's Micheie Rossi at 614/856-1910, ext. 1342. Revelations, led by newly crowned World Superbike Champion Colin Edwards, have exposed how the Castrol Honda team relied on superstitions in the second half of this year's thrilling season. Edwards has admitted that. by chance, he had a beer on the eve of his Laguna Seca win in July. "From that moment on, I made sure I had a beer on the Saturday night of every round, and I've never been superstitious or had a beer the night before," admitted Edwards in a Castrol Honda press release. Other Castrol Honda team superstitions include: Tatia Weston marketing coordinator: "I bought a pair of shoes while I was at Laguna Seca, had them on for the Laguna races, and every race since I didn't dare wear anything else on race day." Neil Tuxworth team manager: "Since Laguna, I've used the same pen, even though it spills ink all over my hands. I don't know whether or not to throw it away now." Adrian Gorst - chief mechanic: "The cowboy hat I got for Laguna Seca has never left my head; I've had it on every day of every round since." Craig Burton· chassis mechanic: "At Laguna Seca, I watched the second race on the big screen in pit lane and Colin won. Since then, I've either watched in the Supersport garage next door or on the pit wail, but never in the Superbike garage." Simon Stubbs - mechanic: "I became obsessed with checking the tiny screws on the machine's screen. One came loose around Laguna Seca time and it's been praying on my mind ever since." Mark Lloyd - engine builder: "Since Laguna, I've become paranoid about Colin giving me a wink before he leaves pit lane for the races. I hold the front of the machine and won't let him go until I get the wink." Lindsay Pike - sponsorship coordinator: "I bought some starsand-stripes knickers at Laguna and have worn them every race day since." Chris Pike - data-logging technician: "At Laguna Seca, I stopped wishing Colin good luck. Every time I wished him good luck, he seemed to finish second." Chris Herr'ing - PR and marketing manager: "I made sure I received a text message wishing Colin good luck from my mate Gaz who owns the local Indian restaurant back home. He's not even superstitious. but he got wrapped up Colin's winning run." Edwards added: "It's

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