Thursday, March 26, 2009
PICKERINGTON, Ohio -- By a 285-to-140 vote, U.S. House members on March 25 approved a bill that closes more than 2 million acres of public land nationwide to off-highway motorcycles, all-terrain vehicles and all other motorized vehicles, the American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) reports.
Following congressional maneuvering that breathed new life into the measure after it was defeated just a couple weeks earlier, the lawmakers approved H.R. 146, known as the Revolutionary War and War of 1812 Battlefield Acquisition Grant Program. This bill was formerly known as S. 22, the Omnibus Public Land Management Act of 2009.
Congress' first attempt to pass this measure, S. 22, was defeated two weeks ago in the House. However, following that defeat, the Senate leadership brought H.R. 146 to the floor, inserted the language from S. 22, and passed the bill on March 19 by a vote of 77 to 20.
It then went to the House for the March 25 vote.
"The measure unreasonably bans motorized recreation on 2.1 million acres of public lands by inappropriately designating it as Wilderness," said AMA Vice President for Government Relations Ed Moreland. "This is a sad day not only for responsible motorized recreation but also for a democratic process that is supposed to welcome public input and the opportunity for congressional review.
"For example, House members never debated more than 70 of the bills included in this package before the vote," he said.
The measure, which now goes to President Obama to be signed into law, consists of a daunting collection of more than 160 pieces of legislation and more than 1,300 pages of text.
Under the bill, areas where motorized vehicles won't be allowed include parts of the Monogahela National Forest in West Virginia; Jefferson National Forest in Virginia; Mount Hood, Badlands, Spring Basin and Copper Salmon areas in Oregon; Sabinoso in New Mexico; Riverside County in California; and Washington County in Utah.
U.S. Rep. Rob Bishop (R-Utah) noted in a House floor speech on Feb. 9 that "there are recreation restrictions in this bill.
"These (the AMA and other responsible recreation) groups' members include millions of off-highway enthusiasts, vacationing families, and small businesses involved in the system. And what they have pleaded with us to do is, quoting from the letter that many groups signed, 'It is our sincere hope that this Congress will develop a thoughtful approach to managing our public lands more than simply eliminating public access and creating additional layers of bureaucracy. Continued reasonable access to public lands is vitally important for current and future generations.'
"So why the rush on this particular bill?" Bishop asked. "And who are the losers, other than Americans who enjoy recreating on public land?"
Moreland warned that these kinds of threats aren't going to end.
"This land grab is just the latest effort by the federal government to restrict recreational access to America's public lands," he said. "AMA members responded to our calls to action and helped us shape the debate of this legislation.
"Our voice must grow stronger if we are to head off these and other threats in the future, and I encourage all motorcyclists to sign up for AMA's legislative alerts," he said.
Through the AMA Government Relations Department's Action E-list, riders can be notified by e-mail when they can make a difference on important issues. To sign up, go to the AMA website at www.AmericanMotorcyclist.com, click on "Rights," then "Issues & Legislation," and then "Action E-list."
About the American Motorcyclist Association
Since 1924, the AMA has promoted and protected the motorcycling lifestyle. AMA members come from all walks of life and they navigate many different routes on their journey to the same destination: freedom on two wheels. As the world's largest motorcycle organization with nearly 300,000 members, the AMA advocates for motorcyclists' interests in the halls of local, state and federal government, the committees of international governing organizations and the court of public opinion. Through member clubs, promoters and partners, the AMA sanctions more motorsports competition events than any other organization in the world. Through its Motorcycle Hall of Fame Museum, the AMA preserves the heritage of motorcycling for future generations. For more information, visit www.AmericanMotorcyclist.com.
Friday, March 20, 2009
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MotoGP staple John "Hopper" Hopkins will be crossing over to the World Superbike Championship just in time for the April 3-5 Spanish round at Valencia aboard a Stiggy Honda CBR1000RR, sources say, bringing along his major personal sponsors such as Monster Energy, Alpinestars, Arai and Spy Optics.
Previously under contract with Kawasaki Heavy Industries in the MotoGP series, the Californian was released when Kawasaki announced a sudden program pullout due to financial woes. Dorna pressure later resulted in a semi-factory effort fielding only one green bike (piloted by ex-Ducati man, Italian Marco Melandri).
Hopper's new teammate, Leon Haslam, has already shown the promise of the Stiggy CBR with a strong finish at Philip Island, however having missed 2 rounds (thus 4 races and several major tests), don't expect Hopper's Grand Prix background nor even his AMA titles to carry him to the front of one of the deepest talent pools in WSBK history without difficulty.
Hopper will first test his new ride next week via Almeria, Spain.
WorldSBK.com Press Release
Honda and Yamaha are the long-term powers in World Supersport racing but Garry McCoy and Gianluca Nannelli from the Triumph Team ParkinGo Be1 Racing squad are all set to challenge for honours this season.
McCoy had a fantastic ride from 20th place on lap 1 of the recent Losail race to an eventual ninth, consistently lapping inside the leading riders' average pace of 2'03.
Had McCoy not been involved in a first lap melee he could well have challenged for a podium finish, rather than leading a three rider group home in seventh place, 9.5 seconds from the win. Nannelli had an even more interrupted Losail race and finished 19th, losing ten seconds and five places on the final lap.
Said McCoy after his Losail experience, "I'm very satisfied with today's race but not with the result. I finished the race at only nine seconds from the winner and I know I could have fought for the podium if I hadn't been hit at the first corner. We're getting better and better and I'm confident that very soon we'll have great results. After today's result I'm sure we're going to score a podium in the near future."
Thursday, March 19, 2009
Sunday, March 1, 2009
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Noriyuki Haga (Ducati Xerox) took his 1098R to the win in his first race for the factory Ducati squad in the opening round of the Hannspree FIM Superbike World Championship at Phillip Island, Australia. The Japanese rider got the better of German Max Neukirchner (Suzuki Alstare) on the final lap to score his 34th win. The second race saw a sensational maiden triumph for WSB rookie Ben Spies from Texas, who took his Yamaha R1 to the win over Haga. The Australian Round of the championship was watched by a record 69,300 spectators, 6% up on last year's figure.
The first race, declared ‘wet', was held on a totally dry track, and all riders opted for slicks but a few drops of rain did fall in the final stages. The potential of the K9 Suzuki GSX-R was confirmed with third place for Yukio Kagayama, who finished ahead of Michel Fabrizio on the second Ducati Xerox machine. Spies, who started from pole, ended up on the gravel at the second turn, but returned to the track to finish just outside the points in sixteenth. Max Biaggi, second on the grid with the brand-new Aprilia RSV4 machine, finished in eleventh place. The other rookie manufacturer BMW, also had a positive debut after Troy Corser recovered from the fifth row to finish eighth, the Australian setting fastest lap of the race.
Noriyuki Haga (Ducati Xerox) : "One thing that I have is great experience because in 2005 I was in 16th and won a race, so now everybody knows it doesn't matter where the start position is, we don't need qualifying! I'm very happy for the win, I have just switched to Ducati, I already had four crashes with the bike, but our team did a great job. In the last two laps it started to rain a bit then on the last lap Max passed me but I put big pressure on him thinking where to pass him. He made a mistake and I won."
Max Neukirchner (Suzuki Alstare) : "On the last lap I made a little mistake and that probably cost me the win. The last five laps Nori was in front and I could see that he had a bit better traction on the last corner but I caught him on the last lap and I said ‘I win, I win' but it was too much and I had a small slide and that was it."
Yukio Kagayama (Suzuki Alstare) : "I'm happy to get the podium, my last one was in 2007! Both for Max and me our starting positions were not so good, and too many riders caught me in the early laps. But I did a steady ride to third."
Race 1 : 1. Haga N. (JPN) Ducati 1098R 34'22.631 (170,677 kph); 2. Neukirchner M. (GER) Suzuki GSX-R 1000 K9 0.032; 3. Kagayama Y. (JPN) Suzuki GSX-R 1000 K9 5.347; 4. Fabrizio M. (ITA) Ducati 1098R 6.587; 5. Rea J. (GBR) Honda CBR1000RR 8.491; 6. Haslam L. (GBR) Honda CBR1000RR 8.523; 7. Laconi R. (FRA) Ducati 1098 RS 09 8.766; 8. Corser T. (AUS) BMW S1000 RR 11.589; 9. Smrz J. (CZE) Ducati 1098R 11.721; 10 Sykes T. (GBR) Yamaha YZF R1 11.761; 11. Biaggi M. (ITA) Aprilia RSV4 12.609; 12. Checa C. (ESP) Honda CBR1000RR 19.096; 13. Rolfo R. (ITA) Honda CBR1000RR 24.149; 14. Hill T. (GBR) Honda CBR1000RR 27.416; 15.Nakano S. (JPN) Aprilia RSV4 28.173; 16. Spies B.(USA) Yamaha YZF R1 28.235
The second encounter was all about Haga vs Spies as the Yamaha rider unleashed the R1's potential. The duel went on until a few laps from the end when the Texan pulled out a slight advantage and powered to the flag. The runner-up slot put Haga, who turns 34 tomorrow, into the lead of the championship on 45 points. Britain's Leon Haslam (Stiggy Racing Honda) had a great race for the final podium place, beating the two Ducatis of Règis Laconi (DFX) and Fabrizio to the line. The group also included Biaggi, who ran third for much of the race; on the final lap however the Italian slid off into the gravel, recovering to finish fifteenth. However Aprilia, on their return to SBK after six years, are already looking a competitive force.
Ben Spies (Yamaha World Superbike) : "The first race was not picture perfect for us. The second one was really tough, we had a couple of goes in the lead and tried to break but couldn't do it so I sat and watched Nori. We were strong in the first half but really slow in the back two corners and I couldn't stay with him, then when the tyres went off we just went to the front with four to go and I put my head down. WSB was rough but good in the end, the new R1 was great in the first weekend for the big-bang motor. It's such a new machine for the team, hopefully we can get more out of it but for sure it's a front-running bike. WSB is so tight, people don't understand how many fast riders there are here, and it was really great out there today."
Noriyuki Haga (Ducati Xerox) : "I did a nice start again and then during the race I really enjoyed fighting with Ben. It was hard to pull away from him but in the last five laps my tyres were finished and I couldn't push anymore and I just kept the second position. I think this weekend we did a good job except for qualifying and now I'm in the lead of the championship."
Leon Haslam (Stiggy Racing Honda) : "It's a big credit to the team, three months ago they were just building the bike. It's the first round and we're already on the podium. There's been a big effort and we've kind of repaid all that effort. There was a bit of argy-bargy with Fabrizio, I had a tyre mark from him from the first lap and later on in the race we had a bit of a tussle but that's what World Superbike is all about, it's a fantastic result."
Race 2 : 1. Spies B. (USA) Yamaha YZF R1 34'20.457 (170,857 kph); 2. Haga N. (JPN) Ducati 1098R 1.286; 3. Haslam L. (GBR) Honda CBR1000RR 4.213; 4. Laconi R. (FRA) Ducati 1098 RS 09 4.490; 5. Fabrizio M. (ITA) Ducati 1098R 6.045; 6. Neukirchner M. (GER) Suzuki GSX-R 1000 K9 9.947; 7. Smrz J. (CZE) Ducati 1098R 10.174; 8. Kagayama Y. (JPN) Suzuki GSX-R 1000 K9 12.100; 9. Rea J. (GBR) Honda CBR1000RR 12.742; 10. Sykes T. (GBR) Yamaha YZF R1 20.061; 11. Xaus R. (ESP) BMW S1000 RR 24.854; 12. Nakano S. (JPN) Aprilia RSV4 25.192; 13. Checa C. (ESP) Honda CBR1000RR 27.162; 14. Hill T. (GBR) Honda CBR1000RR 29.737; 15. Biaggi M. (ITA) Aprilia RSV4 30.036; 16. Rolfo R. (ITA) Honda CBR1000RR 38.458
Points (after 1 round of 14): 1. Haga (Ducati) 45; 2. Neukirchner (Suzuki) 30; 3. Haslam (Honda) 26; 4. Spies (Yamaha) 25; 5. Kagayama (Suzuki) 24; 6. Fabrizio (Ducati) 24; 7. Laconi (Ducati) 22; 8. Rea (Honda) 18; 9. Smrz (Ducati) 16; 10 Sykes (Yamaha) 12 etc. Manufacturers: 1. Ducati 45; 2. Yamaha 31; 3. Suzuki 30; 4. Honda 27; 5. Bmw 13; 6. Aprilia 9.
FIM Supersport World Championship
Kenan Sofuoglu (Hannspree Ten Kate Honda) won a superb opening World Supersport race in a three-way sprint to the line. The Turk, 2007 champion in the category, took the flag ahead of Australian riders Andrew Pitt (Hannspree Ten Kate Honda) and Anthony West (Stiggy Racing Honda). Honda, winners of the mid-range Supersport category for the last seven years, begin the new season with four CBR-RR machines in the top 4 places, with fourth going to Eugene Laverty (Parkalgar Honda) of Ireland. For 24 year-old Sofuoglu, the win is his eleventh in the series, while Honda celebrate their 63rd win out of 117 Supersport races. The Yamahas, which looked good in qualifying, finished fifth in the hands of Cal Crutchlow and seventh with Fabien Foret, who raced with a partially dislocated right shoulder following his crash on Saturday. Spain's Joan Lascorz made his debut for Kawasaki with an encouraging seventh place. The new Triumph 675 also had a positive start, with Gianluca Nannelli finishing tenth and Garry McCoy fourteenth.
Results : 1. Sofuoglu K. (TUR) Honda CBR600RR 33'42.156 (166,18 kph); 2. Pitt A. (AUS) Honda CBR600RR 0.060; 3. West A. (AUS) Honda CBR600RR 0.153; 4. Crutchlow C. (GBR)Yamaha YZF R6 1.097; 5 Laverty E. (IRL) Honda CBR600RR 1.098; 6. Aitchison M. (AUS) Honda CBR600RR 3.631; 7. Foret F. (FRA) Yamaha YZF R6 5.023; 8. Lascorz J. (ESP) Kawasaki ZX-6R 9.540.
Points (after 1 round of 14): 1. Sofuoglu (Honda) 25; 2. Pitt (Honda) 20; 3. West (Honda) 16; 4. Crutchlow (Yamaha) 13; 5. Laverty (Honda) 11; 6. Aitchison (Honda) 10; 7. Foret (Yamaha) 9; 8. Lascorz (Kawasaki)