Cycle News - Archive Issues - 2000's

Cycle News 2002 12 04

Cycle News is a weekly magazine that covers all aspects of motorcycling including Supercross, Motocross and MotoGP as well as new motorcycles

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 66 of 67

30 YEARS AGO••. DECEMBER 12, 1972 Dave Aldana wheelied his Norton up a hill on the cover of Issue '48 during the LaughIn Trials in Orange, California. The muddy, mucky event featured the likes of Jody Nicholas, Bruce Brown, Malcolm Smith, Serge Bacou, Jim Hunter, and Bruce Flanders... Ake Jonsson won the Trans-AM finale in Irvine, California, in dominant fashion. He had won every event leading to the finale, and the last race was his most dorninant. He won all three motos and led all but one lap. Bengt Aberg was second overall, while the top American was Marty Tripes. The top American in the series, however. was Brad Lackey. Rex Staten won the 250cc Support class... Rick Goade announced that he would be splitting up his time between racing motorcycles and sprint cars in 1973. 20 YEARS AGO... DECEMBER 15, 1982 Yamaha's Rick Johnson graced the cover of Issue '48 after winning the CMC FourStroke National Championship. He was actually almost lapped in the first mota but recovered for third then won the second mota for the overall. Jimmy Ellis finished second, while Warren Reid, Ron Lechien lind Eric McKenna rounded out the top five... Junior Jackson, Larry Ward, Ronnie Tichenor and Brian Stanley took home gold medals at the 11 th annulli Florida Winter Olympics. Other winners included Kyle Lewis, Larry Pegram, Bobby Moore, Keith Bowen and Danny Stor· beck... Jimmy Button won the Pee Wee Amateur class at the fifth annual Bosch Classic in Phoenix, Arizona. Jesse James won the Y Zinger class ... Rick Jobnson (Yam) won the Tokyo Supercross over Broc Glover (Yam), David Bailey (Han), Jeff Ward (Kaw) and Ross Pederson (Suz). 10 YEARS AGO••• DECEMBER 9, 1992 We rode the new Suzuki GSX-R750 for ffCLE NEWS the cover of Issue #48. -r~ The new GSX-Rs, including the 1100, were newly watercooled and the 1100 ." was $8199, while the 750 cost $7299 ... Doug Polen (Due) won both races at the Columbus Games Mexico International, though he was pushed hllrd both times out by his Fast By Ferracci teammate Pascal Picotte. Davide Tardozzi (Due) and Giorgio Bontempi (Due) traded thirds ... We rode the new Cagiva V592 500cc GP machine and found it to be on par with most of the machinery of Japan ... Ron Watmore (Yam) was crowned Grand National Champion at the Police and Firemen Nationals in Perris, California. He won all 12 motos he entered... Carey Hart (Kaw) won the 125cc Intermediate class at Perris Raceway. while Larry Unkogle (Han) won the 250cc Intermediate event. Craig Decker (Kaw) won both the 125 and 250cc Pro classes. ~- '" - I T he engines were barely cool at the end of the Grand Prix season when they fired up again to start testing for next. Several of the bikes had different riders on them. Or, in the case of Alex Barros and his new Yamaha, off them. The nut from Brazil, who beat Valentino Rossi twice once he climbed on a Honda Vfive, went almost as fast on the Yamaha and then crashed it, later saying through clenched teeth: "The M 1 is just as good as the RCV." (It says here, in my new contract.) It's not unusual for one or two teams to wrap the season up with a test or two. It's unknown for all of them to do so, and it demonstrates a completely new level of urgency in GP. It follows the silliest silly season of all time. The who-goes-where drama lasted from midsummer, precipitated by Yamaha's dumping Max Biaggi. Ever since then, all but a handful of riders have been linked with just about every factory in the business. Barros, for instance, was marked down as a definite for Kawasaki. Until he signed for Yamaha instead, to take over Shinya Nakano's Gauloises bike. Loris Capirossi, Barros' West Honda teammate, also inked a letter of intent to Kawasaki before flitting to Ducati. Biaggi was linked with Ducati, then floating free ... until he signed for Pramac Honda, who solved the small problem of not having an entry by joining up with the ex-West Pons team - with a second rider to be announced. Yamaha, after the Nicky Hayden debacle (snatched back from under its nose by Honda), was also all over the shop before settling on 250cc World Champion Marco Melandri. Even some of the certainties turned out to be anything but. Garry McCoy and fast rookie John Hopkins both signed to stay at Red Bull Yamaha, with Moriwaki frames and V-five Honda power. Then the sponsor went the way of West, and McCoy was released from his contract, and Hopkins was well on the way. McCoy's destination is Kwacker, where he'll be dwarfed by the massive bodywork; Hopkins is taking over from Sete Gibernau at Suzuki, John Hopkins recently tested the Suzuki MotoGP entry for the first time after signing a contract with the team. All the teams are testing earlier than normal as the competition heats up for 2003. the Spaniard going along with sponsors Telefonica MoviStar to join Daijiro Kato on another Honda. By the time you read this, all of the above will have completed first tests. Whom haven't we mentioned yet? Oh yes - Colin Edwards and new Aprilia teammate Noriyuki Haga. Plus a few others not yet decided, like the second Kawasaki (maybe Andrew Pitt, possibly ex-Aprilia man Regis Laconi). And the Proton pair, Jeremy McWilliams and Nobuatsu Aoki, whose V -five four-stroke may, with luck, be ready for testing before the Unless you really believe the midseason statement of HRC boss Nakajima, who announced with one breath that they would field eight RCVs next year, then said: "It was not our original intention to dominate the series, but to develop it." The current interest from the factories is hugely encouraging for the end of this year. And what does it all mean? Just one thing. Grand Prix racing is getting more serious than ever in the recent past. And any lingering doubts about the short-term success of the switch whole MotoGP concept. The Ducatis that appeared at Valencia are beautiful and also somewhat fast. KTM will be in the' game by 2005, and possibly even 2004. Suzuki has promised a to four-strokes have been swept away in this hardest-ever post-season scramble. Either that, or the bikes are all such rubbish that they need a thorough reworking to make them halfway decent for next year. Actually, that's not far from the truth for all except the Honda V-five, although the end-of-the-season improvement from the rivals, espe- major upgrade to this year's first prototype; Yamaha will have six bikes on cially Yamaha, did unearth some weaknesses in the RCV, especially the rather primitive slipper clutch. The others just need to raise their game a little more (or, for the Aprilia, a lot more) to be challenging the tide of Hondas next season. place in the hierarchy of racing, to Sadly, Honda is also likely to make improvements, which we must being beaten. Better get out there testing, then, if hope won't open the gap again. they want to avoid that. the grid; the Kawasaki may have had a downbeat start, but its top speed suggests that the company has the basis for a competitive machine. And the influx of World Superbike riders - Troy Bayliss, Edwards and Haga - proves my much-derided but long-held conviction that World Superbike will now take its proper feed riders to the real World Championship. The only problem will be if Honda continues to dominate as it did in the first year, with the ultimate result that the other factories will lose interest in eN Baja 1000 In next week's Cycle News AMA Awards Banquet Belgian Supercross cue I .. n .. _ os • DECEMBER 4, 2002 67

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of Cycle News - Archive Issues - 2000's - Cycle News 2002 12 04