Cycle News - Archive Issues - 2000's

Cycle News 2002 11 06

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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8 o '-I" _t I _ ; . I-- I . o o Angelle Savoie (Suz) and her Mohegan Sun Racing team hit the jackpot during .final eliminations of the AC Delco Las Vegas Nationals on October 27, taking home both the national event win and the 2002 NHRA PowerAde Pro Stock Motorcycle Championship by defeating rivals Craig Treble (Suz) and Matt Hines (Suz) in the semi-finals and final, respectively. "This champi. onship will be very special for the entire Sta~ Racing team because of everything we've gone through this year both on and off the racetrack: Savoie said. "It has probably been one of toughest seasons that we've been through, so even though it's hard to compare thiS year's to the other two, we feel like we really had to fight to get this one." Savoie's title was actually won when she defeated Treble, her closest pursuer in the points, when Treble red-lighted in the semi-finals, in essence, handing over the championship. Savoie then cut a .408 reaction time and ran her qUickest pass of the day at 7.247 seconds/183.99 mph to beat Hines, whose 7.218-second pass at 190.65 mph was not enough to overcome Savoie's starting-line advantage in the final. Scott Russell is hellbent on returning to racing in 2003, and he'd like to start his comeb8ck by winning the Daytona 200 in March, Badly injured in a startline melee in the 200 on March 11, 200I, Russell is planning to return to racing with the Mitch Hansen-owned HMC Ducati team next season • and he doesn't care if that comeback is in the AMA Superbike Series or the World Superbike Championship. "' love to race," Russell said from his Georgian home this mom· ing. "I've made a great recovery and I'm definitely trying to put something together to race next year. We're just trying to find enough sponsorship for the team." So how badly does this guy want to return to racing? "I've told Mitch that if the money isn't there, don't woriy about it," Russell said. "I've made enough money. I just want to race. That Ducati is such a good bike, I think I can do some good things with it." Russell has been riding dirt bikes daily. And he's even training something he never really took to in earnest during his successful AMA, World Superbike and Grand Prix racing career. "I know J can still win," Russell said, "it's just a matter of putting the package together. Physically, I'm 90 percent ri9ht now, but' can get to 100 percent. I ride pain-free now and it's unbelievable. Usually, when you get back on a road racer after a layoff, your legs are sore. I wasn't sore one day when we went and tested. I'm still young at heart and age isn't a factor. Age doesn't even come into play at this point. I was a better rider than these guys before without even training. Right now, I'm training for Daytona more so than ever before. I'll show everybody that I've still got it. My goal right now is to come back and win Daytona." What helped Russell's confidence was two recent test sessions· one at the Pannonia-ring in Hungary and the other at Mugello in Italy. fu Hungary, Russell equaled the lap record held by Andy Meklau, who was also present at the test. ", did that on the second day after sitting at home for two years," Russell said. At Mugello, Russell lapped at 1:57.3 - off his pole-position-setting time of 1:56.4 from 1994 on the factory KawasakL But he did so without the best tires, without a suspension man... "We had standard Dunlops and just a computer guy for two days," Russell said, "It was just like the old days - a few guys and a 8 o Q c 8 8 o Russell Pearson (Yam) scored the overall win at the final round of the AMA National Championship Hare & Hound 'Series in Lucerne Valley, California, October 27. Ty Davis (Yam) finished second and clinched the 2002 title, Third place went to Chuck Woodford (Kaw), followed by Destry Abbott (Kaw) and Andy Grider (Hon), A couple of years ago, as a member of Yamaha of Troy, Costa Rican Ernesto Fonseca got to debut the Yamaha YZ250F at a Japanese National Motocross round, Now riding for Team Honda, Fonseca returned to Japan October 26-27 to debut the new Honda CRF250R four-stroke at the final Japan,ese National MX round at the Sportland facility in Sugo, The race was also noteworthy for Yamaha's debut of an aluminum·framed YZ250 two-stroke. After qualifying on Saturday, Fonseca today won the first 125cc moto, with Aus· tralian Chad Reed taking second (only about a second back) on Yamaha's newversion YZ250F. The two had been nose-to-tail for nearly the entire moto. Reed won moto two for the overall, leading comfortably the entire way. Fonseca was second about 30 seconds back, Ricky Carmichael is the first nominee for the 2002 AMA Pro Racing Speed Channel Pro Athlete of the Year. The award is given to the rider considered to have the most outstanding season in all disciplines of AMA Pro Racing, The AMA. Pro Racing Speed Channel Athlete of the Year not only carries the prestige of being the highest honor given to an AMA Professional racer, but thiS year the winner will also receive a commemorative Rolex watch. The presentation of the AMA Pro Racing Speed Channel Athlete of the Year will be made at the AMA Pro Racing Awards Banquet on Saturday evening, November 23, at the Venetian Resort Hotel Las Vegas - home of the Guggenheim Museum's "Art of the Motorcycle" exhibit, "It's an honor to be nominated for the Athlete of the Year," Carmichael said. "I won the award last year, and it gives you quite a feeling of accomplishment. I never believed it was possible for a rider to go undefeated during the entire motocross season, and I consider myself extremely fortunate to be the first rider to accomplish that. It was certainly a team effort, and I want to thank every· one involved in helping to put me in a position to have such a successful year. o J J o ~ n Buster Roberts, the patriarch of the racing Roberts family, died on Sunday, October 27, at Memorial Hospital in Modesto, California. Roberts was 82 years old. Buster Roberts is the father l..J of three-time World Champion Kenny Roberts and the grandfather of 2000 ~ World Champion Kenny Roberts Jr, and AMA 600cc and Formula Xtreme Champion Kurtis Roberts. "I was the last one to see him, about an hour before he passed away," Kurtis Roberts said on Monday, October 28, "He didn't seem that bad on the outSide, but I think he was tired," Buster Roberts had been diagnosed with lung cancer just last 2 NOVEMBER 6, 2002' cue Paul Carruthers to week. "It was fast," Kurtis Roberts said. "On Saturday night, he got a staph infection." Cycle News will prOVide memorial information when it becomes available. o o o ~ motorcycle. I know I can go faster. I wasn't pushing too hard and every time I went out I felt better and better. I know now that the doubts are erased." Sitting at home didn't make Russell happy. "At first it bothered me, then it didn't," Russell said. "' was a retired racer and I didn't care. But I was just doing nothing and I thought, 'This ain't it.' There's really nothing else I care about doing, really, You know what I can do and I just want to go do it. Mitch (Hansen) is a great guy and I want to help him. He just wants to go race ond that's what I want to do. Right now, we're not sure if it's going to be AMA Superbike or World Superbike. It doesn't matter to me - I just want to go race. J've had two years off and I'm ready to get back." • _ Two weeks after their last session, Ducati factory riders Troy Bayliss and Neil Hodgson, together with tester n _ _ lIS Vittoriano Guareschi, were again hard at work developing the two Ducati bikes that will take part in next year's MotoGP and World Superbike Championships. according to a release issued by Ducati. The rest of the release is as follows: After a series of 'shakedown' tests at Mugello during the summer, Ducati Corse's development program continued yesterday and today [October 2223], for the first time away from Italy, at the Valencia track in Spain. The Ricardo Tormo Circuit is ideal for track development not only due to the favorable climatic conditions in this period, but also due to the fact that it is the regular venue for rounds of both championships, thus offering considerable assistance to team engineers. Bayliss spent two more days getting to grips with the new Ducati Desmosedici prototype, with which the Australian rider will tackle his first MotoGP season next year. Troy concentrated mainly on settings, front tires and bike setup. and the 34 laps yesterday (due to gusty wind conditions) and 84 today allowed the 2001 Superbike Champion to dial in to the greater power and carbon brakes of the Desmosedici. "We've done a really good job these past two days' declared Troy. "The conditions of the trac·k weren't so good but today in particular we got a lot of work done. We've made a lot more progress since Mugello and )' m feeling better every time I step on the bike. There are a lot more things to do. but we're getting there." Meanwhile, Guareschi. who focussed on component testing, in particular different cooling solutions and new Shell Advance lubricants, specifically studied for high- , rewing engines, also completed a 30-lap' 'non-stop' race simulation with the sec.' ond Desmosedici. Neil Hodgson, on hi~ second time out with the 999 Superbike, continued his leaming curve with a com: pletely new bike. The 999 has beerY slightly modified since the previous outing at Mugello to improve overall com·" fort for the British rider, who now feeli more at ease with the setup, the sus." pension and the Michelin tires, After yesterday's 57 laps and today's 86, Hodgson commented: "Today in particu-" lar I did a lot of laps to get a better feeling with the bike and it's good to see that we are going in the right direction; the bike is getting easier to ride ana everything I asked for after Mugello toimprove my position on'the bike has been done." The Ducati Corse testing program will be continuing Virtually nonstop in the next few weeks, with the next test slated for November 6-7 at Valencia. Before the next Ducati test, the Desmosedicl will make its first appearance In public during the weekend of the GP Marlboro de la Comunitat Valenciana, the final round of this year's MotoGP Championship. Troy Bayliss will make several demo laps duro ing the morning of Sunday. November 3 before the start of the 125cc Grand Prix. Ducati Corse announced on October 25 that Spanish rider Ruben Xaus will line up alongside Neil Hodgson in the factory team to take part in the 2003 World Superbike Championship with the brandnew Ducati 999 Testastretta, The rest of the release is as follows: Paolo Ciabatti,

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