Cycle News - Archive Issues - 2000's

Cycle News 2003 06 04

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[j) GiJ:)(B O\XI C o o o o o o o c o o Suzuki GSX-RI000 teams dominated the second round of the World Endurance Championship in Assen, HoIland, on May 25, taking all three podium finishes. The race was won by the Zongshen 2 Suzuki team of Igor Jerman and Bruno Bonhuil. the pair finishing just two seconds ahead of the Suzuki GB Phase One GSX-R 1000 of James Ellison and Jason Pridmore after 83 laps and 200 miles of the Dutch circuit. The Zongshen 1 team of Warwick Nowland and Stephane Mertens was third. Honda's Ten Kate World Supersport Championship team, meanwhile, finished fourth in the World o o o o o o Endurance round at Assen aboard a CBR600RR. Riders Karl Muggeridge and Dutchman Barry Veneman, the latter replacing the injured Chris Ver- meulen, took the lead from pole position in the race, but two lengthy pit stops relegated the Dutch team to an eventual fourth place in their debut in the series. Fred Andrews (Kaw) won round four o o o o o o o o o o o o o of the AMA Sports National Hare Scrambles Series in Elkton, Oregon, on May 25. Andrews led a parade of Kawasaki Team Green riders across the finish line. Second place went to Chuck Woodford, followed by David Pearson and Team Green's newest member Scott Sheak. Brian Garrahan (KTM) rounded out the top five overall. Jason McCormick (Hon), Paul Carpenter (Hon) and Mike Corder (Hon) were the top three finishers in round five of the AMA Westem 4-Stroke Nationals at the Albany Motorsports Park in !X1@w®ffft~9 !?@[}f][fbf0li!J@!JJ® flfffJ!JJ®~ fl@ fl!JD® WfffJ@!JJ "Right now it's got to be nervous," said Kenny Roberts, the proud owner of the Proton KR team just before his newest creation, the five-cylinder four-stroke, rolled bellowing onto the Le Mans circuit for the first time in the morning free practice session on Friday, May 23. With all of the previous running being done at an airport, "It's never seen a racetrack. ot By the end of the first session, the KR V-fives of Jeremy McWilliams and Nobuatsu Aokl, both of whom had one each, had acquitted themselves well. "I'm happy to see it actuaUy leans over. It's the first time it's ever leaned," Roberts said. "The biggest problem seems to be at the moment is, we have many dutch settings, and, of course, we knew that was going to be our first problem is to find the setting for the dutch." The machine was so new that he said, "We didn't'even know how much oU to put in it." That said, the only problem was that a lambda sensor leaned out one of the cylinders on McWilliams' bike. It was unlikely that a race bike had ever made its on-track debut in a GP practice session. But this machine, like much of what Roberts has done throughout his storied career, was unorthodox, going from design to metal in a very short time, then briefly stalled when not-unexpected engine gremlins struck. Those have since been worked out, and the five-cylinder motor has shown better reliability than on Easter Monday when Roberts became the first person to ride the bike. Roberts said he'd hoped to have the machine at the previous round at Jerez in Spain. When that didn't happen, "I said I wanted a bike here no matter what." When the first practice session began on a sunny Friday moming, Roberts' riders took to the track in formation for their first cautious laps on a racetrack. With no track time, the riders were instructed not to attempt a lap record. Roberts said the horsepower was limited by rpm. The riders were told not to exceed 12,500 rpm, good for 200 horsepower, in their maiden runs. Roberts said he'd revved it to 15,000 on One of the airport runs. The riders did two laps before briefly pulling in for adjustments, their two-strokes warmed up and ready to go. Which machine they'd complete the session on and which they'd qualify was undecided. "Whatever they want to do," team manager Chuck Aksland said. "I think they're looking forward to Monday (when they'd be testing at Le Mans]. It's the first time they've been around a comer. It's a tall order to expect them to race." Roberts said they never expected to race, though both rode the machines, along with their two-strokes, in wet practice on Saturday. On his trusty two-stroke KR-3, McWilliams was the fastest rider by nearly a second, over Valentino Rossi. He was hoping to do the same on the four-stroke but wasn't able to. "The four-stroke was pretty good in the wet," McWUliams said. "It surprised me as much as anybody else. It's so smooth and easy to ride. Of course, it's bigger and clumsier than the two-stroke, but the lap time is there, and I wasn't going anywhere near as hard as I could have, because I didn't want to risk damaging my only new bike. We really needed those laps to get a lot of data. It's a pretty good start for a bike that only arrived and ran on a circuit for the first time yesterday." Roberts' view was that the data from the wet session gained them three days. "We need all the time we can get because in seven or eight days we will be going to Italy for the next GP," he said. "We know we'll have to change the power band - it's too broad now - and we need more at the top end. But we haven't even had to take a motor out yet this weekend, and we're a lot further along than we expected." The next several races will be used as test sessions, Roberts said. "It's going to take another three months, I reckon, before this bike comes to the racetrack, comes out of the truck, starts and runs, and we're all very happy that it's going to do the Grand Prix. I'd say that's at least three months." Henny Ray Abrams Albany, Oregon, on May 25. McCormick took the win with his 2-1 moto tally, with up with a 4-2 score. Carpenter leads the series over McCormick, 200-187. The Motorcycle Hall of Fame Museum has announced 13 new mem- o bers for induction in the Motorcycle Hall of Fame, scheduled for Sunday, October 5. The class of 2003 includes three of 8 o today's most widely recognized racing stars, two of yesterday's legendary rac- ing champions, four passionate ambas- 200 movies and television programs; wins, three-time winner of AMA Pro Ath- Tom Heininger - co-founder of lete of the Year; Duke Pennell - five- States of America teams. LaPorte and Webco performance equipment compa- time AMA "Flagman of the Year," O'Mara are the first "double inductees," ny, promoter of motorcycling sport and Carpenter going 1-4 and Corder ending year period of domination by the United worked for nearly five decades as a race having been inducted on their individual business in 1950s, '60s and '70s, preSi- track official starter; Jay Springsteen performances in 2000 and now as part dent of Motorcycle Industry Council in - three-time AMA Grand National Cham- of these teams. 1972; Linton Kuchler - executive sec- pion with over 40 National Champi- retary of the AMA in the 1950s and onship flat track race wins; Fred 1960s, follOWing a stint with NASCAR. Toscani - the last Class A National Buell Motorcycle Company recently he was brought back to lead the AMA in Champion. won 9 AMA National titles announced the implementation of the mid-1 970s, helped launch the cre- from 1933 to 1938; Theresa Wallach "Operation ation of the American Motorcycle Her- - motorcycle adventurer and author who plished," a plan to extend warranty coverage to military personnel recently Harley-Davidson Motor Company and Mission Accom- sadors for the sport of motorcycling, two women who defined adventure rid- itage Foundation; Del Kuhn - 1950 founded AMA National Enduro Champion. three- Schools. Inc. and published a training deployed in support of operations in ing, one tireless race track official and time winner of the Greenhorn Enduro. manual of the same name, first vice Afghanistan and Iraq. "Everyone at one unforgettable team of winners. class A Enduro Pacific Coast Champi- president of Women's International Harley-DaVidson and Buell recognizes the sacrifice made by men and women o o o c o o o o They inductees are as follows: C.E. Altman - promoted the Houston Astrodome dirt track races that for many years were the kickoff for the AMA racing season, pioneer of AMA Supercross events including Houston Astrodome and Pontiac Silverdome; Debbie Easy Motorcycle Riding onship winner in 1948. '50. '51 and '52; Motorcycle Association; Bruce Wai- Jeremy McGrath - brought to AMA ters - Midwestern dealer and event pro- from the many nations involved in recent Supercross a previously unseen level of moter who was largely responsible for military efforts in the Middle East showmanship, seven AMA Supercross the success of the AMA Sanctioned region, - said Steve Phillips, vice preSi- Championships. two World Supercross Peoria IT; 1981 United States Tro- dent of quality. reliability and technical Championships. one AMA Motocross phee des Nations and Motocross service. "This program will acknowledge Championship; Scott Parker - nine- des Nations Team - Donnie Hansen, that effort by extending the warranty on Harley-Davidson and Buell motorcycles Evans - first woman to compete in FIM World Championship Trials event, top rider in Women's World Cup Trials com- time AMA Grand National Champion, all- Danny LaPorte, Johnny 0' Mara and time record 94 Grand National Champi- Chuck Sun: This team swept the 250cc owned by those who have served and onship race wins, including 55 AMA Trophee des Nations and the 500cc been unable to ride while they were on petition, motorcycle stunt rider in over National Mile wins. 35 AMA Half-Mile Motocross des Nations, beginning a 13- duty." The program will apply to owners 2 JUNE 4, 2003' .. U II: I e nevvs

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