|No. 45, Thursday June 1, 2000
From Honda: the company has announced a strategy to expand sales within
each of its three product lines: motorcycles, motor vehicles and power
equipment ? based on accelerated innovation in manufacturing, research
With annual sales reaching an all-time record of nearly 11 million
motorcycles, automobiles and power products in the most recent fiscal year,
Honda has announced a new sales target of 16 million units for the fiscal
year ending March 31 2004.
At a press conference held at the company's headquarters, Honda
CEO Hiroyuki Yoshino said, "Honda's goal is to be a company at the leading
edge that creates new values for our customers."
Honda has forecast motorcycle sales to reach seven million units,
an increase of 2.6 million units, automobile sales to reach three million
units, an increase of 500,000 units and power product sales to increase
by 50 per cent to six million units.
To achieve the targets, Honda will focus on growth segments
within each product line. It expects the biggest increase in motorcycle
sales will be achieved in Asia and other industrialised countries.
The firm also announced that it has a developed a new system
called Digital Manufacturing Circle (DMC). The information technology system
works as a global database network from design through to production engineering.
Honda hopes the new system will shorten new model development time and
reduce the number of costly prototype models needed to reach production
issue delivers both text and Acrobat PDF editions to all subscribers in
one hit. We've done this to simplify our admin and allow you the choice
of using the quick read, or the much nicer full-colour version with pics
and extra web links at your discretion. Unless we cop a major serve over
this, that's how it's going to stay.
trivia buffs: Loris Capirossi's first 500cc victory at Mugello last weekend
has produced the fifth winner in six rounds for the premier class. The
win also made Honda the first manufacturer to break MV Agusta's long standing
record for the most GP victories.
GP report: a crash in the Italian 500cc Grand Prix at Mugello cost Australia's
Garry McCoy a possible podium finish and has lost him two places in the
world championship he led early in the season.
However, fellow Aussie Anthony West gained a place in the 250cc
championship with a gutsy ride after two crashes during qualifying, concussion
and a brain scan, and starting 23rd on the grid.
"It's not so bad after everything that's happened here, but
I expect even more," the 18-year-old West, from Queensland's Gold Coast,
said of his seventh-place finish on a Shell Advance Honda which earned
him nine points and put him fifth in the 250cc standings.
McCoy, winner of the season-opening 500cc GP in South Africa,
has dropped to fifth in that series after six rounds - with 10 races to
go, culminating in the Qantas Australian GP at Victoria's Phillip Island
on October 29.
The 28-year-old Red Bull Yamaha rider from Sydney has 61 points
- 41 of which he scored in the first two races. He trails the joint leaders,
American Kenny Roberts and Spaniard Carlos Checa, who have 100, Japan's
Norick on 65, and Italian Loris Capirossi on 63.
Reigning world champion, Spaniard Alex Criville, remains two
points behind McCoy as he was one of many victims of the crash-strewn Mugello
Capirossi, a former 250cc and 125cc world champion, scored the
21st GP win of his career at Mugello - and his first 500cc victory since
Sydney's last Australian GP in 1996, when Criville cannoned into Australia's
Mick Doohan on the last lap.
At Mugello it was Capirossi's countrymen Max Biaggi and Valentino
Rossi who fell on the last lap, robbing Italy of a clean sweep of the podium.
Nonetheless, Capirossi's triumph was the first by an Italian in a 500cc
GP at Mugello, although it was Honda's eighth straight at the Tuscan circuit
- six of them having come from five-time world champion Doohan.
Capirossi also gave Honda a record 140th 500cc GP win, taking
it past Italian manufacturer MV Agusta.
"It was my best win," said Capirossi, who was disqualified at
Mugello last year for dangerous riding. "I had tears of anger that day,
but this time they are tears of joy. Biaggi had me a couple of times, but
I held on."
Biaggi, a superstar but with only one finish this year, said:
"I wanted to win so much, but I would've been happy enough with second.
It's a real shame, but it was a great race for the fans."
Checa took second place on a Yamaha for the fourth time this
season, while 36-year-old Ulsterman Jeremy McWilliams was third on an Aprilia,
becoming the first British rider to score a 500cc podium for seven years.
Roberts was the early leader on his Suzuki but had to settle
for sixth place after tyre problems, while Brazilian Alex Barros, who had
taken a surprise pole position on his Honda, tumbled out of the race.
McCoy started a lowly 13th but made his trademark charge mid-race
to be sixth at three-quarter distance, right behind McWilliams, when he
"I was closing on McWilliams, who finished on the podium, so
who knows?" McCoy said.
"I passed a few guys pretty quick and was on a consistent pace, which
I felt I could keep up until the finish, but it's all 'ifs and buts' -
and they don't count on the points table.
"The crash has cost me a couple of spots in the championship
but there are still 10 races to go, so it's better it happens now than
later in the season."
In the 250cc race West charged at the start and then worked
his way into the top 10 as many of his rivals crashed, including the Aprilia
favorites - 43-year-old Italian pole-setter Marcellino Lucchi and German
Japan's Shinya Nakano scored his third win of the season on
a Yamaha, giving him the 250cc championship lead with 112 points, while
his compatriot Daijiro Katoh now trails on 107 after finishing third at
Mugello on his Honda, behind Nakano's French teammate Olivier Jacque.
West is on 62 points, having displaced Waldmann from fifth in
Italian Roberto Locatelli, on an Aprilia, easily won his second
straight 125cc Italian GP and is now second in that series, four points
behind countryman and Honda rider Mirko Giansanti.
Giansanti inherited his fourth second place of the season at Mugello
as San Marino's Manuel Poggiali and Italian Lucio Cecchinello collided
at close to 200kmh on the last bend.
Japan's Masao Azuma was third on a Honda while Spanish world
champion Emilio Alzamora's seventh place cost him the series lead.
The seventh round of the world championships is the Catalunya
GP in Barcelona, Spain, on June 11.
500cc standings: 1 ROBERTS, JR., Kenny 100 USA, 2 CHECA, Carlos
100 Spain, 3 ABE, Norick 65 Japan, 5 CAPIROSSI, Loris 63 Italy, 4 MCCOY,
Garry 61 Australia, 6 CRIVILLÉ, Alex 59 Spain, 6 AOKI, Nobuatsu
59 Japan, 8 BARROS, Alex 52 Brazil, 9 OKADA, Tadayuki 42 Japan, 10 ROSSI,
More info: <http://www.motograndprix.com>
GP rider Luca Cadalora tested the Roberts KR3 GP bike last Monday at the
Mugello circuit. "Kenny Roberts asked me if I could lap around on the new
motorcycle to help them towards a better development of the bike," explained
Cadalora after the test session. "This is the only 500 David (De
Gea) has ever ridden," team manager Chuck Aksland commented. "But Luca
has vast experience and he knows the team well. I'm confident he'll
be able to give us a lot of information that we can use to help David and
our own development."
Bayle and teammates Christian Lavieille and Arnaud Van Den Bossche won
the Estoril 8-hour endurance race last weekend, on a French-based Suzuki
GSX-R750. They now hold the championship lead with four races remaining.
The Guyot GMT Kawasaki team took second place (after a UK Suzuki team crashed
in the last hour) while the Phase One Suzuki team took third. The next
race is at Spa-Francorchamps.
MX GP (Foxhill) 125cc GP Results: Moto1: 1. Kenneth Gundersen (N) KTM;
2. James Dobb (GB) KTM; 3. Mike Brown (USA) Honda; 4. Steve Ramon (B) Kawasaki;
5. Grant Langston (SA) KTM. Moto 2: 1. Dobb; 2. Carl Nunn (GB) Yamaha;
3. Sandro Puzar (I) Yamaha; 4. Caps; 5. Cédric Melotte (B) KTM.
Standings after 6 GPs (12 motos):1. Brown, 167; 2. Langston,
166; 3. Dobb, 164; 4. Seguy, 120; 5. Caps, 108;6. Nunn, 102; 7. Gundersen,
97; 8. Parker, 95; 9. Thomas Traversini (I) Husqvarna, 86; 10. Puzar, 81.
The 250 and 500 events were cancelled due to rain while the
next round will be held at Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium next weekend, with
all classes running.
GP racer John Kocinski, now competing at home in the USA, has won a law
suit against Bell helmets. He claimed the company owed him 748,000 from
a sponsorship contract and was awarded 1.6 million by a Californian jury.
has just had its first 400cc MX bike come off the end of the production
line. The USA bicycle manufacturer, now getting into motorcycles, can be
visitied on the web at <http://www.cannondale.com>.
has redesigned its race website at <http://www.Yamaha-Racing.com>. Have
has announced a reshuffle at the top of the corporate tree. Current President
Osamu Suzuki is about to become chairman, while current Vice-President
Masao Toda will become President.
web site that you reckon the rest of us should be looking at? Drop the
Ed a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
are underway for the continuation of the motorcycle GP at Australia's Phillip
Island circuit. According to the Victorian Minister for Tourism, John Pandazopoulos,
the licence fee charged by Dorna and the cost of track hire are at issue.
The race is contracted up to (and including) 2001, while the current negotiations
are over the extension of the contract. The bike GP loses about $5 million
(compared to the Albert Park F1 car GP which loses around $3 million),
which is underwritten by the state government of Victoria as an investment
in tourism. We understand that, despite the "Threat to Phillip island GP"
story published in last Saturday's The Age newspaper (Melbourne), negotiations
are continuing and so far do not represent a threat to the future of the
we're on that subject, series organiser Dorna tells us that last weekend's
Mugello race pulled a TV audience of 6.36 million in Italy during the closing
laps, with an average of 5 million for the whole event.
Australia has released details of its annual owner rally, set for the first
weekend of November. See your local dealer for more info.
a little late with this, but the Motorcycle Riders Association has announced
that the Melbourne city council has finally dropped its campaign against
the very civilised idea of allowing motorcycles to park on footpaths so
long as they don't hinder pedestrian traffic. You can visit the organisation
on the web at <http://mraa.netsol.net.au>.
year's Munich motorcycle show is likely to reveal a prototype of MV Agusta's
superbike contender - or at least that's what the rumour mill says.
Motorcycle News has an edition out featuring the Suzuki Hayabusa and Kawasaki
ZX-12R run side-by-side. See it at your newsagent.
Michael Doohan has been inducted into the Moto GP Hall of Fame in recognition
of his exceptional motorcycle road racing career, highlighted by winning
five successive 500cc world championship titles.
Doohan, who was forced into retirement in 1999 because of injuries,
is the inaugural recipient of the honour.
He was presented with a plaque in honour of the award at the
Italian Grand Prix on Sunday at Mugello, which he attended as part of his
new position as Honda Racing Corporation's General Manager of Racing.
"I've been lucky enough to receive many awards over the years
and being recognised by motorcycling is extra special because it's from
the sport and people I'm involved with" said Doohan.
[Back Issues | Motorcycle
[Roadtests | Travels]
[Calendars | Garage