Cycle News - Archive Issues - 2000's

Cycle News 2002 12 11

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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r o o c=::J C=JCJ (::=J CJ o American Suzuki's Dominic Izzi (Suz) took the highest honors at the 31 st running of the Winter Olympics at Gatorback Cycle Park in Florida. Izzi picked up six wins. a pair of seconds and two other top-five finishes over the course of the week to take home the Pro Circuit Platinum Pipe Award. Izzi's Suzuki teammate Broc Hepler was the top overall finisher in the Expert classes, which earned him the Dunlop Silver Tire Award, and .Iosh Lichtle (Suz) topped the Amateur division to win the Scott USA Golden Goggle Award. Honda's Mike Alessi went undefeated in the mini races to pick up the Fox Bronze Boot Award. iij[]!jJiij ~~O @D@@[l @!JD@fJL)fJL)@Dg [JJ@[jf][jlJ@j 8 o To quote Al Pacino's character, mafia don Michael Corleone, from the movie Godfather lU, "Just when I thought I was out, they pull me backinl" In what appears to be shaping up as a second round of battling over who has what rights to what, when and where in the sport of supercross, Paradama Productions, lAC., d/b/a AMA Pro Racing, announced on November 26 that it has filed a lawsuit in federal district court seeking an injunction agalnst Clear Channel Entertainment - Motor Sports. The complaint se.eks enforcement of the Supercross Sanctioning Agreement signed by AMA Pro Racing and Clear Channel Motorsports in March 2002, which stipulates that AMA Pro Racing maintains the exclusive right to sanction Clear Channel's events included in the AMA Supercross Series, according to AMA Pro Racing. The controversy surfaced earlier In the day when the AMA (not to be confused with AMA Pro Racing, the independent subsidiary that handles AMA-brand professional-level racing) issued a press release on November 25, announcing that it has been threatened with expulsion from the Federation intemationale de Motocyclisme (FIM), the worldWide motorcycle sanctioning body based in Geneva, Switzerland, by Francesco Zerbi, president qf the F1M. According to the AMA, Zerbi's threat to expel the AMA, which is the sole U.S. affiliate of the FIM, was contained in a November 20, 2002, letter to AMA president Robert Rasor. The letter was Zerbi's response to AMA Pro Racing's objection to the FIM's efforts to unilaterally Impose its. authority, rules and sanction On the 16-event 2003 AMA Supercross Series, according to the AMA. The release went on to state that the AMA and AMA Pro Racing have sanctioned Supercross since 1974, and, under the terms of a contract with Clear Channel Motorsports, the primary promoting organization for AMA Supercross, AMA Pro Racing has the exclusive rights to sanction and to manage the series. Neither the AMA nor the FIM is party to that contract, the AMA says. The FIM, however, notified AMA Pro Racing that it must conduct those events according to FIM rules and under the direction of an FIM official. AMA Pro Racing's objection to the FIM's demands resulted in Zerbi's expulsion threat. "The AMA has been a ioyal, supportive member of the FlM for over 30 years and has always placed the interests of motorcycle sport among our highest priorities. We intend to continue in our role as the national federation representing American motorcyclists to the FIM," said AMA president Rasor in the release. "If the FlM management persists in this extreme and unjustified approach, we'll vigorously fight those efforts to expel the AMA from the FIM. "The AMA agrees with AMA Pro Racing's position that the FIM lacks the authority to hijack AMA Supercross for its own interests," Rasor continued, "and we'll stand behind AMA Pro Racing's efforts to use all necessary means to protect AMA Supercross, the worid's premier supercross series, from unwarranted interference." FollOWing the AMA's press release was another reiease from Paradama Productions, Inc., d/b/a AMA Pro Racing, which announced that Paradama has filed a lawsuit in federal district court, seeking an injunction against Clear Channel Motorsports. The complaint seeks enforcement of the supercross sanctioning agreement signed by AMA Pro Racing and Clear Channel Motorsports in March 2002, which stipulates that AMA Pro Racing maintains the exclusive right to sanction Clear Channel's events included in the AMA Super- o o o o Yoshimura Suzuki has announced that it will "go big" in 2003, arming itself with Suzuki GSX·R 1 OOOs for the AMA/Chevy Trucks U.S. Superbike Championship. Mat Mladin, Aaron Yates. and Ben Spies will shake down the 1000s at the annual December Dunlop Daytona tire test next week, in advance of the March running of the Daytona 200. All three will race in the 200, with Spies then moving to the Formula Xtreme class for the rest of the '--' year. "Under the newly adjusted class f) regulations, it is clearly beneficial to race the 1000cc machine vs. the allowed o C r 800cc," Yoshimura Suzuki team manager Don Sakakura said. "The deciding factor was the increase in minimum ;:=; U " J n u weight for the class to 370 pounds. By adding an additional 15 pounds to the machine, we've offset the benefits of the allowed overbore. We feel with the 1000cc engine configuration allowances, we can prepare a competitive Superbike." Sakakura confirmed that Yates will defend his Pro HonaaO~uper sport title with Spies also running the entire season on a GSX-R600. o c Team USA won the fourth annual Michelin Race of Champions Nations Cup in Gran Canaria in the 8 Canary Islands, on December 1 - with the team being spearheaded by World Superbike Champion Colin Edwards. Edwards teamed with NASCAR's Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson to best the Italian trio of Marco Melandri, Fabrizio Giovanardi and Renato Travaglia by a I ) score of three wins to two. An ecstatic Jimmie Johnson said afterward in a ,.-, Michelin press release: "Admittedly, thiS is a big surprise, but it feels great. We came here wanting to win and to have L' some fun, and we had both. It's a truly awesome feeling." Four-time NASCAR Champion Jeff Gordon paid tribute to the dominance of Edwards in the Honda CBR954-powered ROC Cars - with the Texan's winning every race: "He was the key player for us. Having been here a couple of years ago. he had the experience that helped make a difference. He was just so smooth." .....) 8 c ..J n '" I , L.' Two-time World Off-Road Championship o Series champ Mike Kiedrowski will o 2 DECEMBER 11, 2002' cue f!JCP I be taking a forced vacation after suffering a broken shoulder in a mountain biking accident. Kiedrowski was biking with a friend near his home in Acton, California, when he got pitched off the bike and landed hard on his shoulder. Kiedrowski underwent surgery on Friday. November 22. and will spend the next couple of months recuperating. Kiedrowski was planning to compete in A Day In The Dirt but was obViously unable to attend the November 30December 1 event. Kiedrowski explained the incident thiS way: "There was thiS jump. I usually go around it, but I thought this time, 'Why not? The racing season is over.' Man. I just got pitched over the bars. The surgery actually hurt worse than the original break." Kiedrowski said the time of the crash couldn't have been better. considering that the '02 racing season is over and that he's currently working on a mountain bike sponsorship deal with Giant n e _ s e cross Series, according to AMA Pro Racing. The lawsuit, flIeet in Columbus, Ohio, stems, in part, from Clear Channel Motol'SpOrls, allowJng the FIM to take over sanctioning and ruIes·enforcement (or Clear Channel's events Inclucted in the AMA Supercross Series, according to AMA Pro Racing. "Clear Channel Motorsports, along with the FIM, are attempting to combine the AMA Supercross Series with smaller events in Europe and create a new series under the FIM banner. Undoubtedly, this is not in the best interest of American racers, teams or supercross fans," said Scott Hollingsworth, CEO of AMA Pro Racing, in the release. "We will not stand by Idly while AMA Supercross is dismantled in this fashion. Outside meddling in AMA Supercross wHl only result in a weakened series as wdJ as confusion among all par· ties." Accor.ding to AMA Pro Racing, under the te(ll1S of the contract between AMA Pro Racing and Clear Channel Motorsports, AMA Pro Racing maintains the exclusive right to sanction all 15 Clear Channel Motorsports-promoted rounds of the 16-race AMA Supercross Series. Neither the AMA nor the FlM is a party to that contract. "Our agreement with Clear Channel is unambiguous in this regard," said HoUingsworth. "Clear Channel does not have the right to allow the FIM to sanction any event in the AMA Supercross Series or to commandeer the 28 years of AMA Supercross and rename it the FlM World Supercross GP. The FlM has repeatedly failed in its attempts to organize a world supercross championship and should not be able to create one this way. AMA Supercross will continue into the future and will maintain its standing as the world's leading supercross series. n FoJlowing the AMA release regarding its potential expuision by the F1M, Clear Channel Entertainment - Motor Sports officials initially declined to comment. But after AMA Pro Racing announced its lawsuit, Clear Channel Entertainment - Motor Sports released the follOWing statement on November 27. The statement was issued by Ken Hudgens, Clear Channel Entertainment's vice president of marketing. "Clear Channel Entertainment • Motor Sports is the promoter of the AMA Supercross Series and the THQ World Supercross GP Series of which the U.S. championship events are a part," Hudgens said. "AMA Pro Racing acknowledged and agreed to this 'series within a series' concept from the outset of our new contractual relationship with them last spring - in the contract itself, in our many discussions with them, and in their statements to the press. "AMA Pro Racing apparently now has a dispute with the FIM, the international sanctioning body of which it is an affiliate, over whether AMA recognizes FlM's ultimate authority over the conduct of motorcycle racing sanctioned by its affiliates when such events are part of a world championship. That is not Clear Channel Entertainment Motor Sports' dispute. and it will have no effect on the upcoming supercross season, which kicks off in Geneva, Switzerland on December 7, 2002." So the fighting between AMA Pro Racing and Clear Channel Entertalnment - Motor Sports has resumed, this time with the FIM being the proverbial "third man in." What impact its outcome could have on the future of supercross is now in the hands of lawyers and judges. As always, stay tuned to Cycle News and for the latest updates. Bicycles. Kiedrowski said he should be ready to go for the opening round of the GNCC Series, which gets underway in March. The first annual Team DH Fun Days. a Danny Hamel Memorial fundraiser, has been scheduled to be held at the Craz Horse Campground in Lake Havasu, Arizona, on December 14 and 15. Ther Former Team Plano Honda rider Casey Johnson has rejected a deal to race will be something for everyone, and all abilities and ages are welcome. Th the 2003 World Motocross Champi- organizers are asking that if anyone has an interest in donating prizes for the games, poker runs and team race to please give K.C. Bogue a call a onships, accordin9 to Cycle News European correspondent Geoff Meyer. The 26-year-old rider from California was offered a ride on the German-based Kurz/Casola Yamaha team. but Johnson turned down the offer to continue racing in America. "I want to race the nationals." Johnson said. "While I still don't 435/864-3432. The follOWing is a press release fro Dunlop: "Every year, Dunlop hosts an invitational tire test at the Dayton International Speedway in preparatio for the AMA national road racing seaso have a deal for next season in America, I don't think I want to race the Grand Prix series at thiS time. I've enjoyed racing in Europe thiS off-season. and I've learned opener. This year, the test takes plac from December 9-11, and the top AM some stuff. Maybe in a year or two I will teams will be there, many of them shak come back to Europe and do the Grand ing down their new 2003 racin Prix races." machines, including the new 1DOOc

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