Cycle News - Archive Issues - 2000's

Cycle News 2003 10 29

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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tw r C r"l U [ff)[j)!j@~ DU4D[J[][JtiK[) jjj(J(J@[? @&JJ'JfS@[J/J@ lJCiJcO 00 ~ fiJD@I51!l@[j[jf] ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Russe ll P e a r so n (Yam) clinc hed his ~ fi rst AMA N ati onal Hare & Ho und C ham- Yoshimura Suzuki's Ben Spies suffered severe burns, but no other serious injuries, when a rear tire failed at high speed just past the finish line at Daytona International Speedway during a Dunlop tire test on Monday, October 13, accord ing to Mary Spies, Ben's mother. • Accord ing to th e Yosh radar gu n, Spies was goin g 186 mp h when all of the air went out of the rear tir e about 200 yards past the finish line, The 19-year-old Form ula Xtreme champion took defensive act ion, accordin g to Mary Spies, who witnessed the acci dent from the pit wall, avoiding the wall and not tumbling, but sliding on his back and left shoulder, The result was second-deqree bums on his left shoulder and third-degree bum s on' his left buttocks, as well as severe tissue damage to his left elbow, "The skin basically caught on fire from the tarmac and leathers," Mary Spies said in a phone conversation from Daytona Beach. Doctor s at Halifax Medical Center did a batt ery of tests, including X-rays, blood work , and CT scans for organ damage. "T h ere' s not a bone broken; there's no o rga n da ma g e or swelling," Mary Spies said. "All the doctor wants to see if he's going to pickup an infection." If not, Yosh's Mit ch Leonard will drive Spies and his moth er in their motorhome back to Dallas where Ben was scheduled to see a plasti c surgeon on Friday . H "We're very blessed," Mary Spies said. "He's a lucky kid." Despite the horrific crash, Spies was resolute in quick ly returning, "T 'rn not fin ished, " he said. "I didn 't get started yet . I've got places to go on that bik e." Spies recently signed with the Yosh team through the 2006 season. Spies and Aaron Yates were testing development tires for Dunlop in advance of the annual December tire test. Because of concerns over heat -related issues during the prelim inary August test, Dunlop asked Suzuki and Honda to return to Florida for more work . Only Suzuki was availabl e. The test was scheduled for Saturday and Sunday, but rain on both days limited track time, forcing them to continue on Monday , , Spi es, who'd been turni ng laps in the 1:48 range, was on his fourth lap with the development tire when it let go at about 3:30 in the afternoon. "We were minutes away from it being over," Mary Spies said. When the tire blew, she said, "It was like rocket fire coming out. That' s what the noise was. Ben went saili ng off into turn one. He knew he was going to hit the wall." pion ship in com mand ing style by taking th e ov e rall wi n at t he 105 -mil e se ries finale in W innemu cca, N evada, on Oc to - M U be r 19 rider traded places w ith several n YZ450F. Condition s were dusty, and the lJ rl U othe rs befo re takin g ove r t he lead for good a few miles int o t he race, Pear so n held off Destry Abbott (Kaw) , Brian O . Brown ( Kaw) and David Pearson (Kaw) to take the vic tory and title. They also fi nish ed in t he sa me o rder in t he se ries . Taber Murphy wrappe d up th e Four-Stro ke t itle aga in w ith a Sixth-place fini sh , w hile Rob Zimmerman nailed down t he 25 0 c c t itl e wi t h an inj ury ind uced DN F. Kelly Yancey topped t he W om en ' s c lasse nd w il l ke ep he r nu mbe r-o ne pla te for at least ano ther yea r. O o O O O o o o o Josh Hayes ( Suz ) and Vincent Ha skovec (S uz) fin ish ed o ne -two o n t h e i r G S X -R 1OOOs a head o f Chu c k Grav e s (Y a m) a nd his Y Z F- R 1 in t he Toyota 200 at W illow Springs Racew ay in Rosamond, Califo rnia, on O ctob er 19, R ich O li ve r ( Ya m), w ho won th e Roadracing W o rld 250cc GP race earlier in t he day , fi ni s hed f o u rth - o ne la p be hind t he race lea ders on his TZ 250 , H ay e s re ce ived $ 50 ,0 00 f o r t he w in , wit h $30 ,00 0 go i n g t o H a s kove c . G raves earn ed $10 ,00 0 , o ~ o o '1 picked off one rider afte r anothe r. and , Blac kfoot Ho nda 's Damon Huffman , by the sta rt of th e last lap. I had mov ed int o t hi rd po siti on . I w a sn't pu shing my self at all and w as feelin g very co m- w ho spe nt the summer in Canada com - G n I U r>. U r"> I Li ,""'I I I U n peting in t he C anadian Nat ion a l M X fortable o n the bike and th e pace that I S er ies whe re he finis hed se co nd, tra ve le d t o Portu gal on the w e ek en d o f O ctober 11 and wo n the Lisbo n Sup er cross , Huff man came bac k fr om a sixthplace sta rt to tak e the w in in th e 250 cc main ove r Fren ch Yamaha ride r S e rg e G u i d e tty and Hon d a-m ounted Marc Rist o r i , Huff man wasn' t the only ride r w as riding at." N ot far into the final lap o f th e thre e - hou r rac e , t h i rd -p lac e d W atts tagged a hidden roc k on the edge of the track and was subsequently cata pulted over the handl ebar s o f his KTM 20 0EXC mach ine and d rive n hard into the grou nd on his left sho ulde r regio n. Aft e r regai ning his brea th and compo- Ame rica n there , Su zuki ride r s D avid su re , Watts was forced to re tire fro m t he race at th at point. " My sho ul der P i ng r e e and S t e v e Lamson a lso made the tr ip , Pingree ende d up fifth and Lamson l Oth . On th e same we eke nd in Eng la nd at the Sheffield Su p e rcro ss , Jeremy McGrath rode o ff wi th th e w in, fo llow ed by Kim Ash k e na zi . o '--J didn 't feel right ," W atts said. " Part of it didn 't feel like it sho uld have been w he re o o o o o n it wa s w hen I tr ied to move it. and it was also making so me crunching noises. " An examinati o n o n M o nday by a sho ulde r spec ialist revealed a separated shou lde r . A CT scan was also taken to try to con firm a possible fractured inferi or ri m of the gleniod (shou lder socket) . The sc an D u ri n g t h e f in al rou nd o f t he AMA Nat io nal Hare Scrambles Se ries , KTM' s Shane Wa tts suffere d yet an ot her unt im ely inj ury . A fter see mingly getting bac k o n trac k afte r a lo ng s t r ing o f inj ur ies , Wa tt s dis lo ca ted hi s sho ulde r and will ag a in be lai d up f o r a w hile . u re sul t s wo n 't be av aila ble f or ano t he r day. " This is a major bum mer!" Watt s add ed . "Obviou sly ev eryt hing was just "This isn' t the kind of re sult I wanted or rea lly start ing to co me back to get her for o expected fr om t his race ," Watts sa id , me . It' s hard to say w hen I'll be ab le to "The cou rse her e is kind of sk etc hy with th e hidden ro cks in t he un d e rg ro w t h , and the s lig ht ly du sty co nd it ions , so I race again , wh ethe r it's th is weeke nd at th e la st ro und of th e G rand N ati on al Cro ss C ountry Ch ampi o nshi p or so me decided befor e the race ju st to ride easy tod ay a nd no t t ak e a ny ri sk s . I was fo cu sing o n being 100 percent for th e f in ai GNCC Ch am pi on sh ip rac e next other stage . After havinq fought so hard to co me bac k over th e last tw o years from major injury to get back o n top of the po dium, thi s sho ulde r injury is goin g we ekend. I totally missed t he jum p off th e sta rt and t hu s t railed t he field int o th e fi rst t urn . Fro m th e re, I ju st slow ly to be a piece of ca ke to recover fr om . Ho w ev e r , i w ill be jellin g it ful ly hea l before I try to race again . " o o o o n o LJ 2 O C T O B ER 29 , 20 03' cue I e nevvs Because he had the presence of mind to avoid the wall , Spies turned his body and slid a long time , the friction melti ng the leathers to his skin : Speculatio n was that the arm and seat protectors were twisted out of the way while he slid. "Ben was literally burning in his leathers, they were sticking on," his m oth er said. "When I got to ' him [j ust after crew chief Tom Houseworth and team m anager Don Sakakura], he was pleading for us to get the leathers off his back." Spies was transported to the 'nearby hospital where his wounds were treated until 9:30 p.m. Plastic surgery began at about 2:35 a.m. and lasted for an hour. "O bviously, the first concern is with Ben, and at th is point we don't have enough inform ation to know what happened, but we're determined to get to the bott om of it," Dunlop's Jim Allen said, confirming it was one of a number of development tires Dunlop was testing. Allen visited Spies and, acco rding to Mary Spies, "fell apart at the hospital." The support she and Ben have gotten has been overwhelmin g. "Everyone was there to late last night," Mary Spies said. "Mr, Ito [of Suzuki] stayed for that , I couldn't ask for more hands-onfor Ben. There are lots of guys in the racing world who really like Ben. The plastic surgeon was tremendous; the emergency room doctor was great." ' Dean Kurtz, of the guest services department of the Speedway, had been to the 'hospital and had taken care of. her motorhome at the track . He'd also offered to find a driver with a commercia l ' license to get the motorhome back to Texas. " He had securityon call , and he was shuttl ing m e back and forth," she said. Spies was able to go hom e to Dallas on October 17, where he was scheduled to und ergo add it iona l tr eatment to cl ean up his wounds. Skin graft surgery was expected to be scheduled for Monday, October 29, or Tuesday, Oct ober 21, according to Mary Spies. "The do ctor didn 't seem co ncerned about th e swelli ng in his arm," Mary Spies said "He' s going to go in and clean him out like they did ,the first time. They're going to keep him in the hospital until the surgery ." Dr. Jeffrey Kenkel, vice chairm an of plastic surgery at University of Texas Southwestern, is treatin g Spies. Henny Ray Ab rams Tim Ferry w ill not ha ve to underg o surg ery as previously thoug ht to repair a severe ly inj ured thumb - suffe red whi le r idi n g f or T e a m USA in t he r ec e nt M o t o c r o s s d e s N ations in B e lg iu m. Ferry, w ho injured the thu mb in an acc ide nt o n the fourth lap of th e very fir st practice sess io n, was able to sol dier o n fo r the United States and race to a to pten finish - despite being in exc ruci ating pain and barely ab le t o ho ld on to th e ha ndleba rs of his YZ 4 50F, " The track wa s muddy , and I laid it out over a tab leto p , lo st the fro nt end w he n I landed , " exp lained Ferry . " I tw is ted it [th e thumb] back - fa r - and cou ld t e ll righ t away so me t hi ng was w ro ng . Th e e nd re su lt was that I co uld n' t ride the way I wanted to the whole weekend and rode in quite a bit of pain , wh ich wasn' t mu ch fun ," Hono red to be se lec te d to rep resent t he United St ates at t he des N at ions , Fer ry had focused so le ly on th e once-a-year race, co nt inuing his ou td oor N ati o nalsty le tr aining and choo sing to forgo t he move bac k to the YZ2 50 fo r some high ly impo rt ant t rack t ime fo r supe rc ross . " It wa s a sac rifice that I w as happy to make f o r ou r co untry ," s aid Fe r ry , " I a lso missed o ut o n a chan ce at a big ch unk o f m o ney at t he U .S , Open, but it' s so me thi ng I felt co mpe lled to do. Guys like us, incl uding R.C . and Ryn o , make pr etty goo d mon ey doi ng w hat we do . But the M otocross des Nat io ns happ en s only o nce a yea r, and goi ng to race for our co untry wa s very importa nt to me." Fer ry w ill be in a splint fo r two to t hree weeks, then it wi ll be de te rmined if he can get back on his bike , maki ng t he tran sit ion from th e four-stroke back to the two -st roke , In the m eant ime he 's be en st ay ing on top of his ca rdio tra ining , w o rking out w ith a local bicycle road racing club . Fo llowi ng th e new s th at she had bee n dro pped from the Harley-D avidso n fact ory dirt t rack team, J ennifer S n yde r issued the foll owin q statement to Cycle N e w s v ia te leph o ne on Wedne sday , Oct ober 15. " I ju st wanted to say th at I value the t hree years th at Harley-D avid so n has supported me, espec ially th eir co nti nued su ppo rt during and afte r my accident , " Snyder said . " I have not ye t made any plans fo r next year. I want to th ank everyo ne w ho has supported me . That mea ns a lot to me . " D aytona Bike Week 2004 w ill have a co mpletely new lo o k , wi th th e Daytona 200 by Arai on Saturday , M arch 6, and the D ayto na S upercro ss by Hond a running unde r t he light s on Friday night, Marc h 5 , A ls o mov ing are t he d i r t trac ks, with the AMA Pro gressive Insurance U .S . Flat Trac k Championsh ip seaso n-o pene r on Thursday night. M arch 4 , a n d t he AMA Ho tSho e Series on W ednesday night, M arch 3 , bot h at the D ay t o na B e ac h Munic ip a l Stadiu m . "We 're th rilled about the changes to the D ayt o na 200 W eek sc hed ule ," Sp eed way pr e sid ent Robin Brai g sa id . "We feel these improvement s to th e schedule w il l en ha nce ou r fans ' ex pe rie nces at o ur facility , M ovi ng t he Superc ro ss to

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