Cycle News

Cycle News 2013 Issue 49 December 10 2013

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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CN III ARCHIVES P96 BY LARRY LAWRENCE MULTI-BRAND SUPERSPORT THRILLER S upersport racing has always been about win on Sunday, sell on Monday. In 1994 sales of middleweight sportbikes were exploding and the manufacturers knew winning the Daytona 600cc Supersport race could make the difference of thousands of units being sold. The race was on and the escalation of technology of 600 sportbikes was at full tilt. Since the rules in Supersport racing were so tight the manufacturers were getting to the point where they were essentially putting race bikes on the showroom floor. Honda, Kawasaki and Yamaha all came loaded with new or seriously updated 600s in 1994. The middleweight battles were so serious in fact that Suzuki threw in the towel that season and decided to focus on the 750cc Supersport category. At Daytona in '94, the path to victory at Daytona seemed to be made somewhat easier without the winningest rider in the history of 600 Supersport, defending series champ Miguel DuHamel, who had been hired by Harley-Davidson to ride its new Superbike. Also gone from the class was Yoshimura Suzuki, since Suzuki discontinued its race-inspired GSX-R600. A closer look, however, revealed perhaps an even rockier road to earn the prestigious Daytona win. Yamaha was back into Supersport racing in a serious way with its new YZF600. And stepping up to bat for Yamaha was a pair of heavy-hitters in Vance & Hines riders Jamie James and Colin Edwards. James hadn't ridden a Supersport bike in three years, but was still expected to be a big factor in the race. He finished second to DuHamel in the race at Daytona in 1991. Replacing DuHamel on the Muzzy Kawasaki was another Canadian fast man Steve Crevier. As a new factory Kawasaki signee, Crevier was eager to show his worth to the team. Joining Crevier for Kawasaki was Tripp Nobles, seasoned by a year in the ultracompetitive World Superbike Championship. Smokin' Joe Honda's Mike Smith was considered a slight favorite, but he even had a challenge within in a young up-and-comer named Mike Hale. Hale had smoked everyone in the CCS races the weekend before and looked very capable of making the transition from flat track to road racing. Not to be overlooked was the deep field of privateers. Non-factory rider Jeff Farmer upset the factory entries in 1990; and riders like Gerald Rothman, Jr., Jon Cornwell, Jason Pridmore, Michael Barnes and Randy Renfrow all had very impressive racing resumes, and would be in contention for the win. Crevier topped the qualifiers; his time of 2:00.717 bettering Smith's 2:00.743. Crevier, a four-time Canadian Superbike Champion,

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