Cycle News - Archive Issues - 2000's

Cycle News 2000 03 15

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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Shawn Giles (Suz) dominated the opening round of the 2000 Shell Advance Australian Superbike Championship. held at Oran Park near Sydney on March 5. A major disappointment was the nonappearance of new Mobil Honda signing Alex Gobert in the Superbike races. The official story from the team. which is awaiting delivery of the 2000-model CBR929s, was that teammate Adam Fergusson's bike had developed an electrical problem before the race and the team opted to give him Gobert's bike. Gobert had qualified ninth fastest. 3.41 seconds behind pole-sitter Fergusson. Gobert ended up fifth in the Supersport final. r -J heard from a lot of fans in the Midwest that they wanted an event in their area and now they will get one at this premier facility." The series schedule is as follows: March 2-5 - Daytona International. Speedway, Daytona Beach, Florida; April 28-30 - Willow Springs Raceway, Rosamond, California; May 19-21 - Road America, Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin; August 4-6 - Portland International Raceway, Portland. Oregon; August 25-27 Pocono International Raceway, Long Pond, Pennsylvania; October 6-7 - Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Las Vegas, Nevada; October 19-22 - Daytona International Speedway. Daytona Beach. Florida. Brad Hagseth (Yam) was a three-class winner at round 15 of the PACE Ultracross Series at Memorial Coliseum in . Portland, Oregon, March 3-4. Hagseth won the 125cc Pro main event on Friday, and both the 125 and 250cc Pro mains on Saturday. Ryan HuHman (Kaw) won Friday's 250cc main, The second round of open-to-all IRTA tests took the Grand Prix circus to Estoril, where high winds and a dusty surface led to a number of crashes at the new venue for the Portuguese GP. according to Cycle News GP correspondent Michael Scott. Kenny Roberts Jr. not only stayed wheels down, but again dominated the proceedings, his fastest time remaining inviolate even though he again stopped earlier than the others - after seeing Max Biaggi tumble in the wind on the morning of the final day. By the finish, however. his leading margin had been cut to just four hundredths of a second by the Italian Marlboro Yamaha star, At that point, an apparently stress·free Roberts was already playing a round of golf. and expreSSing confidence in the continued progress of the Suzuki. "Last year. we were still trying all sorts of different things with the bike. This year we know the direction we're taking: he said. That marked the end of the Suzuki tests· riders Roberts and Nobuatsu Aoki stayed on in Portugal to film a MoviStar commercial while the rest returned to Valencia. In Valencia Biaggi crashed again, running into soft sand while trying to regain the track after crossing a white line on only his first outing at the tortuous track. Although escaping serious injury, he suffered groin strain, ruling him out of these last IRTA tests, In his absence. his Marlboro teammate Carlos Checa dominated, himself the survivor of several tumbles at Jerez and Estoril. World Indoor Cup trials series update: The eighth· round of the World Indoor Cup Series took place in Madrid, Spain. March 3. and series leader Dougie Lampkin (Mon) scored the win. Marc Colomer (Mon) finished second, followed by Steve Colley (G-G) and Graham Jarvis (BuD. With two rounds left in the series, Lampkin holds a 10-point lead over Colo mer, 148-138. Colley is currently third with 120 points. PACE Motor Sports has announced that the Joliet. Illinois. round of the EA Sports Supercross Series will be shown on ABC Sports on April 29. ABC will air the race at 1 p.m. (Eastem), just prior to the airing of the NAPA Auto Parts 500 NASCAR race from the California Speedway in Fontana, California, This marks the third time in which ABC has televised the series, with Houston and Indy being televised last year on the network. PACE Motor Sports has added a round to its Formula USA-sanctioned Wrenc· National Road Racing Series, with the third of seven rounds now scheduled to take place_ at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin, May 19-21. "We had spoken with Road America early on about having an event." said Formula USA road racing director Bill Syfan. "As it turned out. an opportunity recently surfaced that matched 'the needs of our 2000 schedule. We have Nobuatsu Aoki is planning to do things differently in his third Suzuki season - one in which he needs to prove himself worthy of the ride. "Last year. I tried to change my style. to suit the bike.' the eldest Aoki brother said. "The result was my worst ever season in racing.' Injuryplagued and off the pace, he struggled to 13th overall in last year's 500cc World Championship. in spite of an impressive fourth at Assen, overcoming both Max Biaggi and his own fresh injuries. Led by new team guru Warren Willing, and monitored by ever-improving data·logging equipment, Aoki tried to eliminate a riding habit that he had developed over a lifetime - dragging the rear brake, even with the throttle open. "Now I am going to go back. to riding in my own way,' he said. Aoki's second of only two seats in the Suzuki factory team is much coveted - especially since Kenny Roberts Jr. has shown a new dimension to the machine's potential. The ride is also the subject of much controversy in Spain. where new sponsors Telefonica MoviStar are under pressure to install a Spanish rider in their new team. Defending 500cc World Champion Alex Criville was flown back to Spain from Australia after a mystery collapse in the pits in the afternoon during the official Honda tests at Phillip Island. It wasn't a very good time at all for the Honda boys as Repsol Honda teammate Tadayuki Okada had already left after dizziness and double-vision problems. the result of an early testing crash in January. New Honda Europe rider Valentino Rossi was also hors d'combat after a highspeed tumble earlier in the week left him too beat up to continue. Lone survivor Sete Gibernau had to cut his final day short after crashing also at high speed. and banging his head, though only enough to cause short-lived fears of concussion. Criville had been fastest at all the tests so far, with Rossi pushing him hard. and Gibernau closing up - Okada's concussion problems have spoiled his overall performance, and put a question mark over his chances in the early part of the season. with persistent headaches and diZzy spells - symptoms that eventually put an end to Daryl Beattie's GP career. Criville's collapse saw the rider struggle for breath and even turn blue according to some accounts. in the boxes behind the Phillip Island pits. He was promptly treated by paramedics at the track, and flown to hospital. Most worryingly. this is reported to be the third such attack of violent "fainting fits' in the last six months. The first collapse was last year, on the eve of the ValenCia GP (he later crashed out of the race). the second was dUring his recuperative fitness training at the start of this year. when he collapsed at the gymnasium. Worried, Criville threatened not to ride unless doctors could find (and treatJ the cause of his problems. After" intensive tests' at Barcelona. however. doctors gave him a clean bill of health, Ruling out a mystery virus or residual injury, doctors concluded the fainting spells were merely the result of stress. It may be hard, however, for team and rider to draw much comfort from this conclusion - since the activity of racing in general and defending the 500cc World Championship in particular might be defined as highly stressful. The FIM will use the Triple Grand Prix formula exclUSively for the 2001 125/250/500cc World Motocross Series. This year's GP circuit already features five rounds that will host all three classes at one venue on the same day. The AMA has announced that its total membership rose above the 250,000 mark for the first time in the associations' 76-year history - up over g percent from a year ago, according to the AMA. TV time: The Daytona 200 by Arai will air on espn2 at 5:30 p.m. on Sunday, March 12, according to the AMA. In addition to the coverage of the 200. espn2 will air a show dedicated to qualifying for the Daytona 200 at noon on Saturday. March 11. A proposal has been put forward to the International Olympic Committee for the best trials riders in the world to demonstrate their craft at this year's Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia. The FIM would pay to get the riders and bikes to the games in hopes that it will be a popular enough attraction that it will be included as a medal sport in future Olympic Games. Castrol Honda's Aaron Slight will be out of racing action for at least six months. according to the latest medical opinions on the subject. The nature of his AVM brain problem and the steps taken to rectify it are such that there is a mandatory sixth-month suspenSion of Slight's racing license under present rules. Honda's first step was to give Stefano Perugini a try out on the spare RC51 at their recent Misano tests in Italy, The Italian former 250cc GP star had a respectable, if not quite dazzling, test placing fourth fastest with a time of 1:34.8. His performance was seen as solid by the team, but their true feelings have been demonstrated by the news that Simon Crafar will now test the machine at Valencia. Spain, March 7-9, ~(!J[:w[bCB[?--------- 2 MARCH 15, 2000' eye • • n.""s

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