Cycle News - Archive Issues - 2000's

Cycle News 2002 11 27

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 J- - •• - -- , _ _ ,t. __ •• -- .. ~, _ KTM's Jeremy McGrath had a mixed weekend at the Pian eta Supercross in Pesaro,. Italy, November 16-17, McGrath won the first night's final after finishing with 1-2 results in the heat races. McGrath said afterward that he felt the night went very well. On Sunday afternoon, though, McGrath won the opening heat of the day but later collided with Kyle Lewis over a jump and was knocked out in the resulting crash, While McGrath was taken to a local hospital for observation, fellow American Travis Preston, of the Amsoil Honda team, who had finished third at the Bercy Supercross last weekend. went on to win the Italian event with 3- 1 results. Preston finished third in Saturday night's final behind McGrath and Damon Huffman. and he made the most of McGrath's noninclusion in the Sunday final, taking the win and the overall. In second place was Huffman with 2-3 scores. while veteran Steve Lamson was third with 5-4 finishes. Lewis. who looked sharp on Sunday. failed to score Saturday. which dropped him back to eighth overall. o ~ o AMA Superbike National Champion Nicky Hayden today took his first step in MotoGP racing when he tested the Honda RC211V at the Twin Ring Motegi circuit in Japan on November 13. Hayden completed just 50 laps of the circuit as he acquainted himself with the characteristics of the World Championship-winning fIVe-cylinder 990cc four-stroke. Weather at the 2.97-mile circuit was half-wet in the morning because of overnight rain as Hayden took to the track but tumed out to be fine after lunch. At the end of the day Hayden said in a Honda press release: "I'm impressed how fast it is. but the power is still real smooth. It's like wheelieing everywhere. Acceleration is so hard. but really smooth. In the moming it was a little bit difficult. as the machine. tires. carbon discs. the track. everything was new, the track was half-wet. and I haven't been riding since the final round of AMA Superbike in August. When I hit the brake for the first time. I was kind of surprised how it doesn't work when it's cold! In the aftemoon session, I started feeling more comfortable, after I had finishild more than 20 laps in the moming and also after I changed the position a little bit. The bike is much smaller than the Superbike and feels different. but I like it! I really enjoyed riding. But you know, I'm still kind of leaming the track and also the bike. so I'm not real comfortable yet." The new development project leader of the RC211V. Shogo Kanaumi said: "The purpose of this test is not to make fast lap times. but basically to let Nicky get used to the new machine. make basic adjustments for him. and correct his own request about the set-up. The track conditions were not so good in the moming. but it got better. and we tried many things and completed everything that we planned to do. The machine, the track. tires. carbon brake, everything was totally new for Nicky. and considering that. we realized his adaptability and machine control ability once again. I'm really looking forward to his success dUring next season. " Team MOriwaki Honda also tested at Motegi. bnnging their prototype MD211VF. RC211V's V-five powered MotoGP machine to the track for initial shakedown testing. Ridden by Masao Okuno, the machine completed a full day of data recording laps. o J J o o o o o o o o Josh Demuth (Yam) added two more main-event victories to his season tally on Friday night. November 15, in AMA Speedstick National Arenacross Series action in Worcester. Massachusetts. taking both the 125 and 250cc mains. He followed that up with a pair of secondplace finishes on Saturday to extend his points lead to 28 over his teammate Tommy Hofmaster (Yam). who recorded the 125cc main-event win on Saturday night. Darcy Lange (Kaw) won Saturday's 250cc main and now sits third in points, another six points behind Hofmaster. Amsoil/Chaparral Honda," the release said. "Featuring two-time AMA Motocross Champion and 2002 THO U.S. Open winner Mike laRocco. 2002 Western Regional 125cc Supercross Champion Travis Preston. Michael Byrne and Chris Gosselaar racing in the 125/250 Supercross and 125/250 Motocross series for 2003, it is sure to be an exciting season!" c c o o o o o o o o o o o U o o o o o o o n In a press release issued on November 14. American Suzuki Motor Corporation announced the lineups for its 2003 oft-road/motocross racing teams. After capturing the Grand National Cross Country (GNCC) Championship as well as a second consecutive World Off-Road Championship Series (WORCS) title in 2002, Suzuki is carrying plenty of winning momentum into 2003. "The 2003 racing season is going to be a great one for Suzuki," said Mel Harris. vice president of ASMC's motorcycle/ ATV division. "Never before has Suzuki combined such an impressive group of retuming champions with such a promising roster of up-and-coming riders. The potential for Suzuki off-road racing in 2003 is enormous." Contesting AMA 250 Supercross next year will be Team SoBe Suzuki. with beverage-maker SoBe retuming as title sponsor again in 2003. Team SoBe Suzuki will consist of former AMA 125cc Supercross and 125cc AMA/Chevy Trucks National Outdoor Motocross Champion Travis Pastrana, former 125 and 250cc World Champion Sebastien Tortelli and former AMA 125cc Supercross Champion Stephane Roncada. According to SoBe Suzuki Team Manager Roger DeCoster. Roncada will participate in the first five 250 Supercross events. He may move to the 125cc class. however, if DeCoster feels that Roncada can tum in a stronger performance there. In supercross' 125cc class, Suzuki will be represented by retuming riders Danny Smith. Bran. den Jesseman and Sean Hamblin. Jesseman shined in the 2002 National Outdoors, finishing second overall and Loris Capirossi and Troy Bayliss completed the first day of testing of the Ducati Desmosedici on November 18 at the Jerez de la Frontera circuit in Spain, the venue for round three of the 2003 MotoGP World Championship. It was the first time that the Bologna manufacturer has tested at the Jerez track in Andalusia, according to Ducati. After Valencia testing two weeks ago. today was the second time out for Italian Capirossi. who had the opportunity to test his new bike on a track he knows and likes, whereas it was the first time that Australian Bayliss had ever seen the track. In ideal conditions. the Ducati Corse squad continued its scheduled workload. testing several components aimed at developing chassis setup. Capirossi and Bayliss lapped with the 'four-pulse' configuration of the Desmosedici power-unit. while the pair also planned on testing the 'twin-pulse' version of the Italian V-four engine later in the test. Both riders put in a significant number of laps - 50 for Capirossi and 60 for Bayliss, according to Ducati. Chaparral Motorsports announced on November 15 that it has linked up with Mike LaRocco's Amsoil Honda supercross/motocross team for 2003. "Racing, competition and the endeavor for excellence has always been a part of the drive that has made Chaparral Motorsports the success that it is today. Racing is in our hearts; therefore we take great pride in announcing Team 8 o o 2 NOVEMBER 27, 2002' a U a I • n • _ s beating out Chad Reed. Hamblin. too, was a contender in the outdoors after joining SoBe Suzuki midseason. He was a regular top-10 finisher and carded a podium spot by season's end. Complementing thiS winning trio is new Suzuki rider and French phenom Matthieu Lalloz. The Suzuki'-supported team is almost all new for 2003. The lone retuming rider. Andrew Short, will campaign 125cc supercross with new teammates Ryan Morais and David Pingree in the West Region. while Daryl Hurley and Bobby Kiniry will compete in the East Region. Also receiving factory Suzuki support in 2003 is the ECC Suzuki 125cc Supercross team. With all new riders, the team will be made up of former 125cc National Outdoor Motocross Champion Steve Lamson, former 125 West Region Supercross Champion Shae Bentley and former factory rider Shane Bess in the West Region, and Tyler Evans and Jeft Gibson in the East Region. Team FMF Suzuki Oft-Road remains intact for 2003. with 2002 GNCC Champion Rodney Smith. 2002 WORCS Champion Mike Kiedrowski and Steve Hatch all returning for another go. The Suzuki-supported Arenacross team will consist of five-time Arenacross Champion Buddy Antunez and 2002 AMA Horizon Award winner Evan Laughridge, both campaigning the 125 and 250cc classes for 2003. Honda's Chuck Miller gave us an official update on the status of the injured Nathan Ramsey and the fate of his temporarly vacated ride. on November 13. Early reports were that Ramsey would be replaced by AMA Four-Stroke National rider Paul Carpenter, but Miller remained guarded as to what exactly will take place. "As far as Paul [Carpenterl. absolutely no decision has been made on who may ride the machine [Ramsey's CRF450Rl for the first few supercross events." Miller said. "We have a few options; we are considering some that may surprise you. Paul is one of those surprises. He is a great young talent. coming off an incredible season in the AMA Four-Stroke Series. He is going to fill in on some preplan ned testing we already had going while Nathan heals. But no plans for supercross yet." Miller added that Ramsey will have a check up later thiS week, and doctors will then have a better idea as to just how long Ramsey will be off the bike. Once this is determined. Honda will make a decision as to who, if anyone. will stand in for Ramsey. Due to raceway scheduling. the annual Carlsbad Christmas Grand Prix at Carlsbad ~aceway in Carlsbad. California. has been changed. The date for the Christmas GP has been moved forward to Sunday, December 1. In a release. CRA apologized for any inconveniences that the date change might have had on anyone's scheduling for the remainder of the year and hopes to see a great turnout at Carlsbad Raceway as eRA finishes off its 2002 season. HM Plant Ducati's new signing Chris Walker has had a further operation on his injured left leg and ankle. The Nottingham-based rider had been convalescing after a Supermoto accident at Mettet in Belgium last month when he was advised by his doctor to go under the surgeon's knife for a second time, according to a release from his team. "When I had the crash. the medical team in Belgium suggested that I should have what was a relatively simple operation so that I couldl travel home in relative comfort." said l Walker. "They pinned my ankle and inserted a plate with two screws into my leg. It felt comfortable. but I deCided to see my regular doctor for a second opinion when I retumed home. Unfortunately.

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