Cycle News - Archive Issues - 2000's

Cycle News 2003 04 30

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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According to a press release from Kawasaki. the company's first entry into the four-stroke motocross competition arena made its racing debut a successful one at the opening round of the All-Japan Motocross Championship last week. At the Meihan Sports Land venue in Nara. Japan. Kawasaki's Tetsuya Mizoguchi won both motos on the KX250F-SR. A second KX250F-SR. ridden by Kawasaki test rider Shinichi Inoue. finished sixth overall. The bike. the product of a joint effort between Kawasaki and Suzuki. will continue to be race tested throughout the All-Japan MX Championship Series. From what we understand. the bike' s chassis features mostly Kawasaki technology. while most of the motor work has been handled by Suzuki. The bikes will have slightly different cosmetics. Daijiro Kato, the former 250cc World Champion who was considered Japan's greatest hope to win a championship in the premier class, died on April 20 from the injuries suffered in the season-opening Japanese Grand Prix. He was 27. The Telefonica MoviStar Honda rider crashed in tum 130R, the entrance to the final chicane, on the third lap of the MotoGP race, suffering massive injuries to his head, neck and chest Kato had to be resuscitated on the s,pot then was flown by helicopter to Yokkaichi Central Hospital, where he remained in a coma and on a respirator, battling to survive in the intensive care unit since the accident, two weeks ago today. According to the official website of the MotoGP World Championships, he died at 00:42 Sunday morning, local time. He leaves behind a wife and two children, the second of which was bom just prior to the Japanese GP. "It was with a tremendous sense of grief that I leamed of the tragic passing away of Daijiro Kato," said Suguru Kanazawa • director, Honda Motor Co., Ltd., and president, Honda Racing. "He was one of Japan's representatives in the racing world and was recognized as one of the world's top riders. Kato secured the 250cc Class Championship in 2001 and last year moved to the MotoGP class where he held a world ranking of number seven. His performance provided all of his fans with a dream. My heartfelt prayers are with him. " hand had differing reactions. One was aware of Schwantz's extensive catalog of hand injuries suffered throughout his World Championship-winning career; the other wasn·t. "One doctor looked at the X-ray and said 'You got some broken metacarpals,'" Schwantz said. "The next doctor walked up. and he hadn't heard my story. He said 'Holy crap. look at what's wrong in there. The only good thing is the broken metacarpals ...' Paul Carpenter turned in a perfect 1-1 moto tally to win the Prairie City SVRA round of the AMA Four-Stroke National Motocross Series in Sacramento. California. on April 20. Carpenter's 1-1 topped the 3-2 effort of Spud Walters (Hon). with Rusty Holland (Hon) finishing third by virtue of his 2-4 tally. Carpenter leads the series point standings with 157 points. 17 more than Jason McCormick. who finished fourth at Prairie City. Walters is third in the point standings with 138 points. Dunlop TIres held a tire introduction at Glen Helen Raceway on April 16. Members of the media were invited to bring out their favorite motorcycle and test out the new Dunlop D756RR. a limited edition. race replica version of the successful 0756. Many of the fastest Dunlop-sponsored factory and near-factory pros were also on hand to test out the tires and get some much-valued practice time in on the National track just weeks before the National Opener at the facility on May 11. Among the riders and teams utilizing the track time were defending champ Ricky Carmichael. Honda teammate Nathan Ramsey. CRF450Rmounted Kevin Windham. and members of Team MotoXXX, Red Bull KTM, Boost MobilelYamaha/Troy Racing, Suzuki, and many more Dunlop-supported privateers. The track was in epic shape - with truckloads of sand added to the mix in preparation for the National - and temperatures were, well, perfect for motocross. Look for a complete report in next week's Cycle News. Shane Byrne (Duc) stormed to his first-ever double victory in the British Superbike Championship at Thruxton on April 20. topping Steve Hislop (Yam) and Michael Rutter (Duc) in the first race before coming back to beat Rutter and Glen Richards (Kaw) in the second race. Byrne leads the title chase over Rutter. 99-72. International Speedway. which has promoted races at the Orange County Fairgrounds in Costa Mesa. California. since 1969, has announced that it will promote a second weekly speedway venue at the National Orange Show Events Center in San Bernardino. California. The weekly Friday night speedway races at NOS will begin with a special Fair event on May 23 and will include 13 dates. For more information. call 949/492-9933. With the AMA Red Bull Supermoto Championship not kicking off until July. Kevin Schwantz said he was going to make sure he was 100-percent healthy before testing his recently broken left hand. -They've got me in a small splint." Schwantz said from his home outside Houston. "It's three. maybe four weeks before I'm going to ride again. The first [SupermotoJ national isn't till Laguna [July 131. I'm bUilding a couple of new bikes. I could stand to run them before we go to race the nationals." Schwantz broke the metacarpals of the three middle fingers at the base of his left hand at the SITARS SuperIT race on April 6. Two doctors who recently looked at the 2 APRIL 30, 2003' cue I One noteworthy item that we will give you from the Dunlop tire intro at Glen Helen was that Red Bull KTM's Grant Langston was testing outdoor settings not only on his usual mount, the KTM 250 SX. but on a KTM 450 SX too. As of that afternoon. Langston hadn't deCided which he would race, as it was reportedly his first testing day. but he looked fast on each. He did have a bit of trouble on one occasion. though, as he stalled the big four-stroke three times just trying to get from the rig to the track. Once on the track, however, he looked as fast as you would expect from a former World Champion. e n _ vv s The opening round of the 2003 K&N Filters National Dirt Track Series, sanctioned by Formula USA. will feature a special four-lap sprint race that will reintroduce a long-lost concept in short track racing - the inverted (or staggered) start. "The Jim Sumner Memorial Dash For Cash will feature the fastest qualifier on each different brand of motorcycle lined up in an inverted start with the fastest at the rear and the slowest at the front - in a four-lap race in honor of my brother Jim, who died at the Springfield Mile last year," said Bert Sumner, promoter of the Dairyland Classic. "Jim and I grew up watching inverted starts every week at Santa Fe Speedway, and we were both saddened when the AMA stopped using it in the 1980s - right before we tumed pro ourselves. I didn't want to turn the entire event into a memorial for Jim - he wouldn't want that. But this Dash for Cash will look a lot like the old pro short track heat races - inverted start. and only four laps io get to the front - and I know Jim would be thrilled." Donations are being accepted to proVide the purse for the Dash for Cash and will be accepted up until the day of the event. Donors will be listed in all press releases concerning the Dash for Cash, have their donations listed on the event web site ( and in the souvenir program (if submitted prior to publication). and be mentioned at the event on June 7. "I was worried that perhaps the riders would hate the idea. but then I talked to Joe Kopp - the 2000 AMA GNC Champion and defending Dairyland Classic winner - and he said it was a great idea," Sumner said. The Dairyland Classic will take place Saturday. June 7, at the Sheboygan County Fairgrounds in Plymouth, Wisconsin. Potential donors are encouraged to contact Bert Sumner at 262-334-0543 or Lodi Cycle Bowl will be celebrating its 50th anniversary with a big bash at the fabled quarter mile on June 15. Promotions will include a full schedule of racing with 1954-era entry fees. $1 spectator admission and an old-timers reunion. For more information. check out L;;:,"-,,"-_ Harley-Davidson. Inc. announced record revenue and earnings for its first quarter ended March 30. 2003. Revenue for the quarter was $1 .1 billion compared with $927.8 million in the year-ago quarter. a 20.0-percent increase. First quarter diluted earnings per share (EPS) were 61 cents. a 56.4percent increase compared with last year's 39 cents. "We are pleased with our outstanding results for the first quarter of 2003. as we continue to execute our long-term Plan for Sustainable Growth." said Jeffrey L. Bleustein. chairman and chief executive officer of Harley-Davidson. Inc. "While the long winter experienced by much of our nation has delayed some retail sales. dealer confidence and other measures that we use to track Harley-Davidson motorcycle demand remain strong. With these indicators in mind and with construction of our new factory in York. Pennsylvania. proceeding to plan. we are raising our shipment target for 2003 from 289,000 to 290.000 Harley-Davidson motorcycles." The Motor Company's new target is a 10 percent increase over 2002. Speaking of Harley-Davidson, the Motor Company recently announced that Willie G. Davidson has been promoted to senior vice president and chief styling officer. In a related move, the company also announced Louie Netz has been promoted to vice president director of styling and will serve on the Company's Create Demand Circle (CDC) and Functional Leadership Group (FLG). "Willie G. Davidson's promotion recognizes his one-of-a-kind styling genius. the enduring importance of his design sense. and his leadership in creating and preserving the distinctive look of Harley-Davidson motorcycles," said Jeff Bleustein, chairman and chief executive officer. Davidson offered the follOWing tribute to Netz: "For nearly 30 years, Louie Netz has worked beside me to create the great motorcycles that we are all celebrating thiS year," said Davidson. "I have no plans of leaVing this special company, but it's time for Louie to be recognized for his contributions and to become a part of the senior decisionmaking group that will ensure our lega- < r J 5

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