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No. 49, Friday June 30, 2000
GSX-R750

   Suzuki recently launched its new GSX-R750 to Oz media recently, with Shawn Giles (pictured) assisting. The company pitches the bike as a 600-size product with 900 stomp, while the claimed 166 kilos dry and 144 horses suggest they might be on to something.

  In the meantime the company is busy preparing for launches of three major new road bikes later this year, including a GSX-R1000, GSX-R600 and 12 Bandit. The first two bikes will be very close visually to the 750, while the Bandit is expected to have a shorter wheelbase and a tad more power than the current model.

  Keep an eye on the web for the company’s new Australian site, which is expected to launch in the next week or so.

Australian rider Anthony Gobert recently lost his job when the Bimota superbike team folded. However there is a chance he could be riding in July 9’s British GP for the Roberts Modenas team. Apparently he’s been shortlisted alongside Kiwi Simon Crafar and Luca Cadalora.

During a recent visit to Australia, senior Honda engineer Isao Yamanaka confirmed the company has been working on a transverse V6 sportsbike of 750-1000cc capacity. Mr Yamanaka described riding the 750cc prototype as being very exciting, although the project is being held up by problems with cooling.

 In an interview that covered over two decades of motorcycle development, the gentleman covered a wide range of topics. We hope to have something more substantial up on our web in a week’s time.

Buell is suffering another recall, this time for a mounting eye onn the rear shock, which could crack. Check with your dealer.

Claudio Federici won his first ever 250MX GP at last weekend’s Slovenian event.

International sanctioning body the FIM recently announced a provisional calendar for the 2001 road race GP series:

April 4-Suzuka, Japan; April 22-Welkom, South Africa; May 6-Jerez, Spain; May 20-Le Mans, France; June 3-Mugello, Italy; June 17- Catalunya, Spain; June 30-Assen, Holland; July 15-Donington Park, UK; July 29-Sachsenring, Germany; August 26-Brno, Czech Republic; September 9-Estoril, Portugal; September 23-Valencia, Spain; October 7-Jacarepagua, Brazil; October 21-Motegi, Japan; October 28-Phillip Island, Australia; November 11-Sepang, Malaysia.

Highlights from last weekend’s Assen GP …

Australian teenager Anthony West led half the 250cc Dutch Grand Prix at the Assen circuit overnight, only losing the lead as the wet track dried.

  Charging from 22nd on the grid and regretting that rain did not continue, the 18-year-old Gold Coast rider ultimately finished fourth on his Honda as his Japanese teammate Tohru Ukawa took victory. It was West's best race in 24 starts in the motorcycle world championships since his debut last year - and he is now fifth in the series this season with 82 points.

  Fellow Australian racer Garry McCoy finished a disappointing 15th in the 500cc Grand Prix at Assen, won by Brazilian Alex Barros ahead of Spain's reigning world champion Alex Criville and Italian Loris Capirossi ? who rode the rain-interrupted race with two broken bones in his left hand from a crash in the morning warm- up.

  McCoy, who led the 500cc championship early in the season after winning the South African Grand Prix, lost another three places in the championship to be ninth now on 62 points.

  American Kenny Roberts Junior crashed at Assen but still leads the championship on 125 points.

  Former world motorcycle champion Michael Doohan said
Australian teenager Ant West had almost certainly cemented a long-term future in grand prix racing with his superb wet-weather ride in the 250cc.

  West led for nine of the 18 laps on a works Shell Advance Honda NSR250, before finishing a career-best fourth, just 10.981-secs behind his race-winning Japanese team-mate Tohru Ukawa,
and improving from sixth to fifth in the championship.

  Doohan, a five-times 500cc world champion who retired in 1999 and is now a Honda Racing Corporation General Manager, said 18-year-old West had shown considerably maturity on the rain-soaked Assen track by charging through the field after starting 22nd on the grid.

  "Ant rode extremely well and that performance will definitely help secure his future," said Doohan.

  "He showed he is as good, if not better, than anyone out there when conditions aren't perfect and I was impressed by his determination.

  "Racing in the rain is a great equaliser, and the guys with talent come through in that type of weather."

  "Ant is still young and not surprisingly he's struggled with bike
set-ups in dry conditions at some tracks, but the race at Assen proves that once he gets more experience he will be up the front in all conditions."

  More info: <http://www.motograndprix.com>

Spain superbikes last weekend…

Race 1: Troy Corser (Aprilia) took a strong win from Ben Bostrom after a short-lived tussle in the early laps. The Australian rider’s phenomenally consistent pace was too much for the WSB rookie and earned an 8.7 second lead.

Noriyuki Haga was a lonely third on his Yamaha, with Troy Bayliss in fourth.

  Colin Edwards was a subdued fifth on the works Honda twin, one place ahead of factory Kawasaki stand-in Peter Goddard, who is replacing the injured Gregorio Lavilla.

  Aaron Slight took eighth place after a tussle with Katsuaki Fujiwara, with Allessandro Antonello and Akira Yanagawa snatching the last of the top ten positions.

  Andreas Meklau’s 11th made up for the no score put in by team-mate Robert Ulm, who clashed with Bayliss seconds after the start and crashed in the middle of the pack. He walked away, but was taken to hospital for precautionary brain scans.

  Race 2: despite a strong front-running performance from Ben Bostrom in the early laps, Yamaha’s Noriyuki Haga overhauled the young American to take victory in race two at the circuit Ricardo Tormo in Valencia. A second runner-up place of the day was privateer Ducati rider’s eventual reward, with Troy Bayliss from the official Ducati squad in third after fighting through from sixth place on lap one.

  Colin Edwards, who maintained his championship lead despite missing out on both podiums at Valencia, took fourth in race two on his factory Honda.

  Troy Corser could not replicate his start to finish win in race one, settling for fifth after experiencing some niggling problems with his Aprilia. Peter Goddard took yet another sixth place in his return to the World Superbike paddock, heading up a warring group of six riders, which sorted itself into the order of Goddard (Kawasaki), Aaron Slight (Honda), Juan Borja (Ducati), Pierfrancesco Chili and Katsuaki Fujiwara (both Suzuki).

  In the Supersport World Championship Christian Kellner just pipped his team mate Jörg Teuchert to the line after a thrilling race, making it two wins on consecutive weekends for Kellner. Iain
Macpherson ran off the circuit on the last lap after shadowing the German pairing for half the race, regaining the track to finish sixth, with local man Pere Riba delighting the Spanish crowd with his first podium of the year on his Honda.

  Kellner’s win puts him second in the World Championship, behind Teuchert, as the Supersport Championship enters something of a holiday period, with the next race not scheduled until the
Brands Hatch meeting on August 6. (Australians - Pitt 8th, Muggeridge and Curtain retired.)

  World Superbike overall standings: Edwards 232, Corser 206, Haga 187, Chili 169, Bayliss 133, Yanagawa 130, Bostrom 124, Fujiwara 93, Slight 83, Lavilla 71.

  World Supersport standings: Teuchert, Kellner, Whitham, Casoli, Chambon (Muggeridge 8th, Pitt 10th).


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Article by Guy Allen

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