No. 57, Wednesday August 30, 2000
Italjet Grifon on-line
Italjet has just shown the first pics of the production Grifon, a 900cc
naked bike built around Triumph’s older-generation 300-series triple-cylinder
powerplant. Details are scant, though we know the Triumph engine is comfortably
capable of producing 98 horses and the factory says the machine is now
Meanwhile the Australian end of the firm has launched the first
of a new generation of big-wheeled scooters, the Torpedo 150 4T. The four-stroke
scooter runs a 16-inch front wheel and 14-inch rear in place of the more
customary scooter 12-inch size. It has a stepless auto transmission and
retails for $5995 plus on-road costs.
is said to have prepared two new bikes for this month’s Munich Show: the
long-awaited GSX-R1000, plus a DR1000. The latter machine will feature
a TL1000 engine.
engineer Ian Drysdale has a new project underway - this time it’s a 990cc,
V-eight, four-stroke race bike intended to run in the prototype class for
the 2002 GP season.
Drysdale built a two-wheel-drive, two-wheel steer, prototype off-road
machine some ten years ago. More recently he has been working on a V-eight
His latest project is on the internet at http://www.22000rpm.com,
and visitors to the site are invited to become shareholders in the project.
is said to be working on a new naked bike, based on a 1200cc version of
its brilliant ZZ-R1100 powerplant and featuring strong styling influences
from the classic Z900.
Japanese magazine Auto-by has published a computer-generated guess at what
the 2002 model Honda Blackbird may look like, said to be due for release
late next year.
Current speculation pitches the engine capacity at 1300cc, with 180
horses and a top speed electronically limited to 300kmh. The machine is
said to have revised bodywork to gain some aerodynamic efficiency and to
be on a weight loss program to reduce its current 223 claimed dry figure.
An interim 2001 model is said to be ready for release, remaining
at 1100cc and featuring some minor changes.
Our thanks to the unofficial HRCAustralia newslist at http://www.egroups.com
for the tip.
from MotoGP: Two sons of famous riders chase the World 500cc title going
into round 12 of the 16 round MotoGP World Championships at Estoril in
Portugal on Sunday. Kenny Roberts, whose father Kenny Senior won three
500cc World titles, leads 21-year-old Italian Valentino Rossi, who father
Graziano was a grand prix winner, by 42 points with five rounds of the
title chase remaining. Both fathers will be at Estoril on Sunday to watch
their sons battle it out at the first-ever motorcycle grand prix to be
staged at the circuit which is situated west of Lisbon.
Rossi, riding the Nastro Azzurro Honda, moved into second place
in the championship after finishing second in the previous round, the Czech
Republic Grand Prix at Brno. It's his debut season in the 500cc class after
winning both 125 and 250cc World titles and he's secured one win and two
second places in the last three races. Roberts, riding the Telefonica Movistar
Suzuki, finished fourth at Brno in the race won by Italian Max Biaggi.
The American increased his championship lead, by four points, to 42 over
Rossi who moved into second place ahead of Spaniard Carlos Checa.
"I was fastest at the pre-season tests at Estoril and so I'm
hoping that will give us a good set-up for the race," said Roberts, who's
won three grands prix this season. "We're now racing at circuits that I
think will suit the Suzuki and so I'm looking to win at least two or three
of the remaining races."
Although most of the teams attended a pre-season test session
at Estoril it's almost a step into the unknown for the riders when they
set out on the modified 4.190km (2.603 miles) Autodromo Fernanda Pires
Da Silva circuit for the opening practice session on Friday morning. The
circuit is well known for Formula One car racing and testing but has staged
rounds of the World Superbike and Endurance Championships in the past.
There have been two Portuguese Motorcycle Grands Prix but both were staged
in Spain and both 500cc races were won by American Eddie Lawson, riding
the Yamaha. Jarama hosted the race in 1987 and Jerez in 1988.
Not only will these last five races decide the outcome of the
championship but also the fate of many of the riders next season. Australian
Garry McCoy celebrated agreeing a new two-year contract with the Gauloises
Red Bull Yamaha team by finishing third in Brno and is looking forward
to the last part of the season. After winning the opening round in South
Africa he struggled mid-season but is coming back to form which is great
news for spectators who enjoy his speedway sliding style. World champion
Alex Criville has disappointed in his battle to retain his crown with only
one grand prix victory to his credit. He re-signed for the YPF Repsol Honda
team for 2001 last week and will be looking to salvage something from this
season. His team-mate Spaniard Sete Gibernau, who finished sixth at Brno
and Tadayuki Okada may not be so lucky and lose their rides.
Carlos Checa may be third in the championship but his season
has hit a major crisis. After finishing second four times in the opening
six races his confidence has been shattered by a series of crashes and
he's slipping down the table. His Marlboro-Yamaha team-mate Biaggi is going
the opposite way after securing his first victory of the season at Brno
and more grand prix victories are scheduled for the former four-times World
Italian Loris Capirossi will be glad of the two week break after
collapsing following his fifth place in Brno. He was riding with a broken
bone in his right hand, sustained in a practice crash. Eight weeks earlier
he finished third in the Dutch Grand Prix after breaking a bone in his
left hand in the morning warm-up. His Emerson Honda Pons team-mate Alex
Barros will want to forget Brno after crashing in both the race and qualifying
. He's won two grands prix this season and will want a successful build-up
to his home Rio Grand Prix next month.
The 250cc World Championship is turning into a battle between
two team-mates who next year hope to be riding in the 500cc class. Just
seven points separate Frenchman Olivier Jacque and his Chesterfield Tech
3 Yamaha team-mate Shinya Nakano who won his fourth grand prix of the season
in Brno. Jacque finished third in the Czech Republic but it's consistency
that puts him at the head of the table. Not only has he won two grands
prix but has finished on the podium eight times and finished every race.
Realistically the only rider that can catch them is Tohru Ukawa who is
also being tipped to ride a 500 next season. Riding the Shell Advance Honda,
Ukawa has won two grands prix and finished second at Brno.
Daijiro Katoh is having a brilliant debut full season and lies
fourth in front of German veteran Ralf Waldmann and teenagers Australian
Anthony West and Italian Marco Melandri who has switched from number 13
to 35, seeking a change of luck.
Italian Roberto Locatelli scored a vital victory at Brno to close
to within five points of 125cc Championship-leader Youichi Ui. It promises
to be an equally close battle on Sunday between the Aprilia of Locatelli
and the Derbi of Ui who has already won five grands prix this year. Sharing
third place, 39-points adrift of the leader, are Honda riders world champion
Emilio Alzamora and Italian Mirko Giansanti.
Australian Andrew Caldecott won the two-wheel division in a time of 25-hrs
9-mins 41, secs, finishing 2-hrs 10-mins 2-secs clear of second-placed
American Casey McCoy on a Honda XR400, who was followed by South Australian
Tony Tervoert on a Husqvarna TE610E.
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