|No. 43, Tuesday May 16, 2000
world champion Alex Criville's return to form, Honda has equalled MV Agusta's
record of 500cc GP victories at Le Mans last Sunday.
Race report: despite painful injuries Australia's Garry McCoy
narrowed the lead of the only two riders ahead of him in the 500cc motorcycle
world championship after what his team called "an awesome performance"
in the French Grand Prix.
And Aussie teenager Anthony West has led a GP for the first time -
in only his second season in the 250cc world championship.
Spain's reigning 500cc world champion Alex Criville scored his first
win of the season after a daring pass on Japan's Norick Abe on the final
lap of the 4.3-kilometre Bugatti course at France's famous Le Mans venue.
Criville also gave Honda its 139th 500cc victory, equalling the record
of the MV Agusta marque, while it also marked tyre maker Michelin's 250th
GP win in 500cc racing. "The bike is now ready and so am I," said Criville,
who had been under criticism for his early performances this season.
McCoy, heavily bruised and with a grazed left elbow from a crash during
Saturday's qualifying, finished an heroic fourth on his Red Bull Yamaha,
just 4.3 seconds behind Criville - with Abe's Yamaha and young Italian
star Valentino Rossi's Honda sandwiched between them.
Italy's flamboyant Max Biaggi, who had started from pole position, crashed
his Yamaha after four laps while American championship leader Kenny Roberts
led half the race on his Suzuki before dropping back because of a sprained
knee and rear tyre problem to finish sixth.
Spaniard Carlos Checa, the most consistent rider of the season
and second in the championship, finished seventh after choosing the wrong
McCoy earned 13 points from the race, Roberts 10 and Checa nine. They
now go to the sixth of the 16 rounds - the Italian GP at Mugello on May
28 - with the American on 90 points, the Spaniard 80 and the Australian
61, while Criville's victory has boosted his tally to 59. The season concludes
at the Qantas Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix at Victoria's Phillip Island
on October 27-29.
McCoy, winner at the season-opener in South Africa and third in Malaysia,
was exhausted after the French race, the tiny 28-year-old Sydneysider physically
shattered by the struggle of manhandling his Yamaha from ninth place early
in the race. He rode the final stages of the 28-lap event with a severe
cramp on the inside of his left leg, having put extra strain on his legs
to compensate for his injured arm.
Two hours after the race McCoy was still being treated by Red Bull Yamaha
team trainer Philippe Vidal. "I feel really sore and think it will be worse
tomorrow," McCoy said. "The muscles on the inside of my left leg cramped
up. I was trying make up for my left arm. Right on the end of my elbow
hurts a lot. I haven't had an X-ray but I might get one to check it out.
"I took it easy from the start as I wanted to preserve my tyres
and my body. Also, I had it in mind for the first five laps not to crash.
"I'm pretty happy to get fourth with these injuries, although
it is a little disappointing to think that I may have taken it a bit too
easy at the start.
"About halfway through the race I got some oil on my right boot
and it kept sliding off the rear brake. My tyres were consistent - after
five laps they stayed the same until the end.
"It was a good day just to get some points and I gained a few
on Roberts and Checa in the championship."
Red Bull Yamaha team manager Peter Clifford said it was "an awesome
performance by Garry considering his injuries. The crash in qualifying
didn't help and perhaps what he needed was a front-row start, which looked
possible in qualifying, and to be away with leaders," Clifford said. "He
was ninth and in a bunched group on the first lap but in the last third
of the race for many laps he was the fastest rider on the track."
Meanwhile, 18-year-old Gold Coast rider Anthony West led the 250cc GP
for two laps after the leaders, Japanese pair Daijiro Katoh and Tohru Ukawa,
ran off the track. West later dropped back as he struggled with the settings
of his Shell Advance Honda and finished a career equal-best fifth while
Ukawa, his teammate in the Australian-run team, fought back from seventh
place, 10 seconds off the lead, to a memorable victory.
"It was good leading, until everyone came by me!" West
said. "Unfortunately my bike set-up was nowhere near what I wanted. I couldn't
hold the right line with the front tyre and every time I tried to get on
the gas the rear would come around."
With 53 points, the young Queenslander retains sixth place in the 250cc
championship which is still led by Katoh - who recovered to finish sixth
at Le Mans - on 91 points, followed by Yamaha's Shinya Nakano (second in
France) on 87 and Ukawa on 77.
Japan's Youichi Ui won the 125cc GP in France on a Derbi bike from Italian
Mirko Giansanti and Spaniard Emilio Alzamora on Hondas - the reverse order
of the championship table, which Alzamora heads with 81 points to Giansanti's
76 and Ui's 70.
More info: <http://www.dorna.com/index.html>
superbikes, race 1: A tense last few laps was the net result of a close
two rider battle at the front of the first race with Pierfrancesco Chili
eventually losing out to Colin Edwards after 25 circuits of a hot and humid
Donington Park. The main local interest proved to come from INS Ducati
rider, Neil Hodgson, who overcame the threat of Yamaha 's Noriyuki Haga
to claim the final podium position, three seconds ahead at the flag. A
good day for the local riders saw Chris Walker (Suzuki) and James Haydon
(Ducati) in fifth and sixth, with the next best of the regulars being Akira
Yanagawa in seventh place. The return of Aaron Slight to competitive action
after missing the first three races of the season, delivered him a ninth
place finish. Colin Edwards' win means he has regained his lead in the
World Championship, and now heads up Noriyuki Haga by 119 points to 117.
2: A crash-strewn race appeared to give Frankie Chili a start to finish
win in the second World Superbike event of the day, only for the Italian
to surrender a three-second lead on the final lap due to a technical problem.
Overhauled by the local wild cards, Neil Hodgson (Ducati) and Chris Walker
(Suzuki) Chili pulled in to the side of the track after the final lap.
Hodgson's win was his first in World Superbike, and Walker's second was
his first trip to a WSB podium. It was also Ducati's first win of the season,
albeit from the UKSB GSE INS team. A crash suffered by Championship leader
Colin Edwards prevented him capitalising on the World Championship lead
he had won earlier in the day, and despite re-starting his machine, he
was forced to retire, yielding his lead to Noriyuki Haga who was fourth.
Troy Corser was another high-profile crasher who, just like Edwards, fell
at Redgate corner and was eventually forced into the pits. Aaron Slight
improved on even his excellent points scoring finish in race one to finish
7th in the follow-up. The championship itself, shaping up to be a race
between Edwards' Honda and Haga's Yamaha, now stands at Haga 130 points,
More info: <http://www.superbike.it>
works Kawasaki rider Andrew Pitt finished less than half-a-second from
a podium finish in today's third round of the World Supersport Championship
motorcycle series at Donington Park in Great Britain. Pitt, who is in his
first year in the championship, completed the 23-lap race in fourth position
on a Team Kawasaki ZX-6R, finishing just 0.315-secs behind German Jorg
Teuchert, who claimed the final place on the podium with third on an Alpha
Defending champion Stephane Chambon of France won the race on an Alstare
Corona Suzuki by 5.305-secs ahead of this year's series leader, Great Britain's
Jamie Whitham, on a Belgrada Yamaha. Teuchert clocked the fastest lap of
the race with 1-min 37.632-secs around the 4km circuit. Pitt qualified
eighth and was relegated to 12th in the first corner of the opening lap
when he was forced to slow to avoid contact with other riders around him.
The 24-year-old recovered and steadily improved his position as the race
wore on, closing on Teuchert toward the finish. In the final stages of
the race Pitt planned to attempt a passing move on Teuchert, but his chances
of a top-three podium finish evaporated when he misjudged the number of
laps remaining. Pitt thought there was an additional lap when the race
Pitt secured 13 points for his result at Donington Park, which boosted
his championship tally to 21. He improved from 14th to seventh position
overall in the championship. Whitham retained the lead in the championship
with 58 points, one clear of Chambon.
Three other Australian riders contested the round and were listed
as not finishing: Kevin Curtain, Nigel Arnold and Karl Muggeridge (who
also won pole).
WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS (after round 3): Whitham 58, Chambon
57, Teuchert 46, Kellner 29, Casoli 28, MacPherson 22, Pitt 21, Meregalli
19, Cogan 19, Lindholm 18
of the DOCV Ducati 996 SPS Raffle, drawn Saturday 13th May 2000 at 9:00pm.
Details of the winning tickets are: 1st prize ticket number 2671; 2nd prize
4751; 3rd prize 218; 4th prize 4841; 5th prize 6732. On behalf of the Ducati
Club, congratulations to the winning ticket holders and thanks to everyone
who entered the raffle. Surprisingly no Duke Club member, nor any friend
of a member won anything! (To me that sounds like an admirable but appalling
flaw in the organisation - Editor.)
an H-D media release: Harley-Davidson enthusiasts rumbling along the information
superhighway can now ride into The Genuine Harley-Davidson RoadStore, a
new e-commerce section of the www.harley-davidson.com web site, which opened
its e-doors on April 3. Across the continental US, riders can purchase
from a wide selection of Harley-Davidson MotorClothes and Genuine Motor
Accessories products. More than 2600 products are available for browsing,
and more than 1000 products are available for purchase online. Unlike traditional
e-commerce sites, which service customers with a centralised warehouse
system, the RoadStore customers are serviced by a network of actual Harley-Davidson
dealers. This offers RoadStore customers the option of purchasing products
to be shipped directly or held for pick-up from their selected dealer.
Suzuki's Mickael Pichon climbed the podium yet again on Sunday, winning
the Czech Republic Grand Prix overall with a second place and a win in
the two races. The French ace now moves 39 points clear of bitter rival
Fred Bolley, after recording his 6th race victory from ten starts this
season. Tyre choice proved to be crucial on the stony track set in a picturesque
Czech hillside. World Championship standings: 1 Pichon 182. 2 Bolley 143.
3 Beirer 107. 4 Coppins 93. 5 Federici 85. 6 Cooper 73.
MX moto results (Austria): RACE ONE 1. Marnicq Bervoets (Yam) 2. Andrea
Bartolini (Yam) 3. Peter Johansson (KTM), RACE TWO 1. Peter Johansson (KTM)
2. Andrea Bartolini (Yam) 3. Joel Smets (KTM).
MX moto results (Croatia): RACE ONE 1. Mike Brown (Hon) 2. Luigi Seguy
(Yam) 3. Jeff Dement (Hon), RACE TWO 1. Mike Brown (Hon) 2. Grant Langston
(KTM) 3. Luigi Seguy (Yam).
Chinese motorcycle business has contacted us looking for an Australian
distributor - in this case it's for bike security locks. See the website
and contact Cho Sung Ile at e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. They also make
rice cookers and mobile phones.
"These guys do bike hire and run tours from Sydney - and do a very
good job of both. I had a great time at the end of last year on a tour
to the Great Ocean Road and back," Gideon Lupton
"I am sending my little brother Glen's web page (the part that
is specifically bikes) so, if you want to, you can include it in
your bike oriented web-pages bit," says Reigan.
"He also did some photography for the recent Bultaco Rally Weekend
at Braidwood NSW and posted the pics at this site":
Don't forget the Anthony West website.
And Rob Milton's site for the Radio 2SSS Ride Rage bike show.
[Back Issues | Motorcycle
[Roadtests | Travels]
[Calendars | Garage