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No. 44, Wednesday May 24, 2000

  Triumph launched its TT600 at the end of last week., It's the marque's first new four-cylinder bike in some time and pitched at the ultra-competitive 600 supersport market. The two-day event took in a day's road riding in Victoria's Gippsland district, plus another hooting around the Phillip Island GP circuit during an Australian Superbike School ride day.
First impressions are that the machine is more than competitive, working well as both a road and track mount. The machine is priced at $13,990 - with a post-GST price yet to be established.

In case you missed our e-mail during the last week, we are starting up a new service in the next couple od days, which is a garage sale page on our web site. There you can sell anything that's bike-related for free - it can be a whole bike, bits of one, books, accessories, clothing ... whatever. All you need to do is e-mail deleted with a brief ad that includes your return e-mail address and perhaps a contact phone number. Please remember to mention the district you live in: i.e. Sydney, Orange, Melbourne, Ipswich or similar.

We suspect we 'lost' a few people off last week's mailing list. So if you know of anyone who has mysteriously dropped off, suggest they get in touch at e-mail allmoto@netspace.net.au.

There is currently a fuss over where the 2001 USA GP will be held, after negotiations broke down between the Road America track owners and series co-ordinator Dorna. The latter has expressed determination to hold an event in that country.

Top world superbike contender Noriyuki Haga (Yamaha) has failed a second drug test. Ephedrine is the offending substance, which is found in various cold and weight-loss preparations. A penalty has yet to be decided.

The UK is having a national ride to work day on June 15 in aid of charity. Last year's event claimed 400,000 participants.

Superbikes, last Sunday at Monza: Colin Edwards, intent on delivering on his promise of the two wins he lost on the last corner last year had a similar trick pulled on him Frankie Chili in race 1, losing the two man battle for the lead by a mere 0.028 seconds. In front of his home crowd, Chili chased Edwards down in the closing laps, with both riders waiting until the final circuit before playing their high speed game of cat and mouse.

  Third was Fuchs Kawasaki's Akira Yanagawa who had a lonely race for the most part after some early scuffles with fourth placed Australian Troy Bayliss (guest-riding in place of the injured Carl Fogarty). Aaron Slight was a narrow fifth, with the second Kawasaki rider, Gregorio Lavilla in sixth. Chili's win makes it a full house of manufacturers on the winner's podium, all seven (Honda, Ducati, Yamaha, Kawasaki, Aprilia, Bimota and now
Suzuki) having won at least one race.

  Of more importance in the overall championship battle, Noriyuki Haga's mechanical breakdown has left Colin Edwards clear at the top of the table, 139 to 130, with Chili now only ten points behind Haga in third.

Race 2: Colin Edwards took his revenge on Pierfrancesco Chili in race two with a fine win, holding off his first race rival, Pierfrancesco Chili. "I did too much thinking and not enough riding in race one, so I just got my head down in the last two laps and kept the lead," said Edwards. The American becomes the first regular WSB rider to win a hat trick of races this season, with all seven of the manufacturers represented in the series taking at least one win in the ten races so far.

  Third was once more Akira Yanagawa, recovering from his pre-race injuries well, utilising his Kawasaki's high top speed to good effect. Fourth place in the race was Troy Bayliss, having a truly competitive weekend. Noriyuki Haga took fifth to help make up for his first race DNF, although he still lost more ground to Edwards. Aprilia's Troy Corser was an improved sixth, with Honda's Aaron Slight in seventh. Kawasaki factory rider, Gregorio Lavilla, broke his pelvis in the second race, crashing heavily at Ascari chicane while in sixth place.

  Edwards' win extends his lead over Noriyuki Haga still further, 164 to 141, while Frankie Chili is now one point behind Haga on 140.

Standings: EDWARDS 164, HAGA 141, CHILI 140, CORSER 95, YANAGAWA 79, LAVILLA 69, IZUTSU 50, BOSTROM 45, FUJIWARA 42, HODGSON 41, GOBERT 36, FOGARTY 36, SLIGHT 36
More info: <http://www.superbike.it>

600 Supersport: the WSS riders showed the crowd an exciting tight race at Monza, where Karl Muggeridge took an impressive third place. The young Australian from Tweed Heads got a very good start. He was always in the battle for a podium finish and challenged for the lead of the 16-lap race at one stage.
James Whitham extended his championship lead over title-holder Chambon in an event which saw the top seven finishers covered by a second.
Australian Andrew Pitt suffered a poor run, with his bike down on outright speed.
Championship standings after round four:  1. J. Whitham 78, 2. S. Chambon 64, 3. J. Teuchert  55, 4. P. Casoli 53, 5. C. Kellner 40, 6. M. Meregalli 32, 7. I. MacPherson 30, 8. K. Muggeridge 26, 9. C. Cogan 25, 10. A. Pitt 24.

Honda has released details of its 2001 off-road range, including updated CRs. Both the 125 and 250 are set up to accept alternative, front wheel sizes of 20 or 21-inch. Overseas there is also an XR650L, an air-cooled equivalent of the recently-launched liquid-cooled XR650R, but no mention of it coming here.

The Motorcycle Riders Association of Australia is running a series of maintenance and workshop nights out of its Melbourne base. Call (03) 9699 1811 for more info.




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Article by Guy Allen

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