Cycle News - Archive Issues - 2000's

Cycle News 2002 11 20

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 o o o o Destry Abbott (Kaw) proved he has recovered from his various injuries by winning the November 10 headline Harvey Mushman 100 at the Elsinore Grand Prix in Lake Elsinore, California. Shane Watts (KTM) was second. with Scott Sheak (Hon) completing the podium. Brent Harden (KTM) and Ryan Hughes (KTM) were fourth and fifth, respectively. 8 c Ty Davis (Vam) won the World Off-. Road Championship Series (WORCS) season finale at Honey Lake MX Park in Milford, California, on November 10. Davis won the event by a large margin over Kurt Caselli (KTM) and Mike Kiedrowski (Suz). Kiedrowski, however, wrapped up the championship for the second year in a row with 10 points to spare over Davis. Caselli's runner-up finish secured third for him in the championship. o o o o c 8 o Josh Demuth (Vam) won three of the four AMA National Arenacross Series main events held at the Pepsi Arena in Albany, New Vork, November 8-10. Demuth won the 125cc main events on Friday and Saturday night, and he also won the 250cc main event on Saturday night. Pedro Gonzalez (Suz) won the 250cc main event on Friday night. o o o o Matt Hines (Suz) won the Pro Stock Bike class at the NHRA/PowerAde season-finale Automobile Club of Southern California World Finals at Pomona Raceway in Pomona, California, on November 10. Hines qualified number one and mowed through the field after championship contenders Angelle Savoie and Craig Treble both went out early. In the final. Hines downed Geno Scali (Kaw). 8 o 8 o Craig Pickett won the main event when round one of the Professional Indoor Motorcycle Ice Race Series opened up at Flint, Michigan's IMA Arena on November 9. Pickett and runner-up Pat Buchanan were just two of five riders left on the front row after five red-light starts filled up the penalty line. Eight-time Indoor Professional Motorcycle Ice Race Series Champion Chuck Springsteen was third when the checkered flag flew. o o o o o o o David Watson, champion of both the 800cc and 540cc classes of the AMA U.S. Hillclimb Championship presented by Pace American Trailers, has been nominated for the 2002 AMA Pro Racing Speed Channel Athlete of the Year Award. Watson, 24, of Ludlow, Massachusetts, had an exciting 2002 hillclimb season, narrowly winning the 840cc Championship by a single point over good friend and rival Tiger Strank, and he also took home the title in the 540cc class. Watson rode Hondas in both championships. "This is awesome," said Watson, an eight-year pro who also was a double winner of both the 540 and BOOcc classes in 2000. "Earning this nomination is almost as o J o o o o o o o 2 NOVEMBER 20, 2002' DUD §@I§!l&Jfl@]~ @D@[jiJ~ @[jiJ u!JD@ @@(ili@@ f1D[jiJ@ On Friday, November 8, Aprilia made official what was reported here weeks ago - that Colin Edwards would ride a factory Aprilia Cube in next year's MotoGP World Championship. The Italian company also announced that the Texan will be joined by Noriyuki Haga, the man who rode the lone factory Aprilia in this year's World Superbike Championship. Edwards got his fIrst look at the Aprilia RS-Cube that he'lf be racing in 2003 during his visit to the Valencia Grand Prix in Spain. Given the numerous opportunities he had, including a very strong late bid from Honda, the question was: Why Aprilia? "There are a few things that interest me with Aprilia, and that is they're winners - they've always been winners: Edwards said during an interview in the Repsol Honda hospitality tent. "Okay, maybe not in the GP1 class, no. But they've tasted it many, many a time. You have the mindset to win: you never lose that. That's what appeals to me. These guys want to win - they know how to win. Second off, I think next year they're going to focus a lot more on the GPl, and kind of everything else might fall to the side. There's a few things that make it real appealing." Negotiations with Honda stumbled on the issue of Bridgestone tires. Edwards has been a Michelin runner for years and didn't want to try to establish a relationship with a new tire company. Edwards said he logged over 20,000 kilometers, about 12,400 miles, at racing speed on his Castro! Honda SP-2 last year, many of them on the Michelin test track. "I just went and saw the bike and heard it the first time today," he said. "Sounds great. Where they might be at is they don't know. Is it tires, is it bike, is it motor, is it chassis? Because they're not on the same tires as everybody else. Once they get on the s<\me tires as everybody else, then you can start weeding out what the probiems are. It just takes time. The bike's not that far off at the moment. Once you put some Michelins on there, it's not going to be that far good as winning the championships. Hillclimbing doesn't get the kind of recognition that the other series do, so it's really special to be put in the same category as the other AMA champs." The winner of the Athlete of the Vear Award will be presented a commemorative Rolex watch. According to a press release from OMS Ltd., Team Universal Studios/Honda's Nate Ramsey suffered a broken femur on November 6 while practicing for the upcoming AMA Supercross season. Ramsey broke his left femur and immediately underwent surgery to repair the break. A day after the inaugural MotoGP season ended, Honda was back at it, with Spaniard Sete Gibernau and Italian Max Biaggi taking part in their first test of the Honda RC211 Vs that they'll race next year at the Ricardo Tormo Circuit in Valencia, Spain. "It's been really exciting. Just jumping on this bike you can tell that it has been winning, and it is definitely a bike that works well in many different areas," said Gibernau, who will ride for the Telefonica Movistar Gresini Honda team next year. "It is a very wellbalanced machine, and as a rider I am satisfied, and I feel confident for next year. With Telefonica Movistar, I believe we have chosen the best team and the best bike, and while we still have to get the motorcycle to suit me and my riding style, I feel that with a lot of hard work over the winter, we can be very competitive." Biaggi, who will ride for the Pramac Honda team, said: "Today was just my first taste of a new machine. It is a little bit different. but I am pleased with the decision I have taken. We tested the n • _ s I • off. The guys are ready. They're ready to win. That's what's appealing." To convince himself that he was doing the right thing, Edwards invited Adrian Gorst, his Castrol Konda crew chief, for a tour of the Aprilia race shop. "I brought Adrian with me to the factory, and he was my... he's pro Honda totally, he's been with them forever. And I brought him as my more or less... ifthere was going to be anybody to say no, to talk me out of it, it was going to be him. We have a great relationship. And we went there, and they showed us around the workshop, showed us everything, Took us out to dinner. I said, 'What do you think?' He said, 'You know, I hate to say it, but there's absolutely no reason I see why you shouldn't sign. These guys are ready. It's there. It's all new. It's all fresh. It's all there. It's waiting. It's waiting for somebody to ride it.''' Aprilia Racing will th ...s field an official team with two riders, effectively doubling the ccmpany's effort this year in the big class. The two official RS-Cubes will be entrusted to Edwards and Haga. Aprilia also announced that the bikes will use Michelin tires in '03. "The data and references we've collected this first year are comforting and show that the direction we're working in is right: said Jan Witteveen, chief of the Aprilia Racing Department. "So we've got to carry on developing every aspect of the project to take it to a higher level of competitiveness. This is why we've expanded the Four-Stroke division of the Racing Department, appointing a special workgroup dedicated to the MotoGP." The MotoGP sector of the Aprllia Racing Division will l>e headed by Gigi Dall'19na, who will supervise. the workgroup and will be in charge of the technical side of the project, according to Aprilia. The first in a long series of tests is slated to take place in Spain in a few weeks, Aprilia says. measurements of the bike, such as the handlebars, footpegs and levers, to see how I fit onto it. I was simply trying to understand the character of the machine on this track, and because we have just raced here it was comfortable for me. It will take time to get experience on this bike. Everything is very new to me, and I will have to get used to its different sensations. " With Biaggi's Pramac Honda team not haVing an official entry into next year's MotoGP World Championship, it came as no surprise that the team has done a deal with Sito Pons' Honda team - a team with an entry, but with no riders or sponsor for '03. According to a reiease issued by Pramac, the two parties have come to an agreement that guarantees Biaggi and a yet-to-benamed teammate will be in the 2003 series. Pramac, an Italian industrial giant run by the Campinoti family, competed in thiS year's MotoGP Championship with Tetsuya Harada, and has now signed a three-year .agreement with Biaggi. The West Honda Pons Team finished third in thiS year's team championship, and its technical staff, headed by technical director Antonio Cobas. has earned Widespread praise for its work with the RC211 V in the final phase of this season, according to the release. Biaggi will be assisted by Santi Mulero, the experienced chief mechanic who has worked with many top riders in the past. In the next few days, the name of the second rider and the team structure for 2003 will be announced. Ducati Corse's MotoGP program also tested last week, with Italian Loris Capirossi getting his first ride on the Ducati Desmosedici prototype at the Vaiencia Circuit in Spain. Capirossi was testing with his future teammate Troy Bayliss, who has already ridden the Desmosedici twice at Mugello and Valencia last month, and Vittoriano Guareschi. the factory test-rider for the MotoGP program. Capirossi, a Honda Pons-contracted rider until the end of the year, has received special dispensation from his former team to take part in the scheduled tests from now until the end of the year. Ducati Corse will respect Capirossi's current contract, and as a result his bike will run without any sponsor logos and with white fairings in these and forthcoming tests, according to Ducati. The 29-year-old italian, who is riding a four-stroke bike for the first time in his lengthy racing career, completed 56 laps of the 2.48-mile circuit and soon got used to the different engine-braking and acceleration characteristics of the bike. He mainly concentrated on front-end setup and his best time was 1:35.8, according to Ducati. Bayliss, meanwhile, completed 59 laps, focusing on comparative tests between the 16.5-inch front tire, which he has always used on the 998 Superbike, and the 17-inch one, currently used by all riders in MotoGP. The Australian's best time was 1:35.4. On the second day of the test, wind hampered things, and neither rider could improve their lap times. Ducati Corse Race technical director Corrado Cecchinelli commented after the first day: "We are really pleased with how things went today and in particular the way Troy and Loris worked together. Throughout the day. Troy, who has a lot of experience with four-stroke machines, and Loris, who has been around in 500 and MotoGP for a long time, exchanged

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