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TRACKS: Honda, Kawasaki Send Full Teams for Two-Day Test at Sears Point Raceway

23 January 2001

Posted By Terry Callahan
Motorsports Editor, The Auto Channel
SONOMA, Calif.- American Honda and Team Kawasaki will come to Sears Point Raceway for a two-day test session, January 28-29, in preparation for the AMA Superbike Challenge, featuring the U.S. Chevy Trucks Superbike Championship, May 4-6.

Three-time AMA Superbike champion Doug Chandler will be joined by Eric Bostrom, who placed fourth in Superbike a year ago and second in the Pro Honda Oils 600 SuperSport class, for Team Kawasaki. Chandler is a native of Salinas, while Bostrom is from nearby Petaluma and attended Petaluma High School.

American Honda will be represented by Nicky Hayden, Miguel Duhamel and Kurtis Roberts. Hayden placed second in Superbike a year ago behind champion Mat Mladin of Yoshimura Suzuki. Duhamel has won the Superbike event at Sears Point Raceway three of the last five years, while Roberts will enter his first full season aboard a Superbike. Roberts, son of legendary Kenny Roberts, is a two-time Formula Xtreme champion and he also won the 600 SuperSport title in 2000 in a tiebreaker over Bostrom.

Two changes were made in the 1999 off-season at Sears Point Raceway, at Turns 5 and 11, designed to enhance rider safety. First, Turn 11 was shortened by two-tenths of a mile, giving riders nearly 300 feet of run-off room, as compared to less than 20 feet prior. The re-configured Turn 11 also eliminated the chicane at Turn 12, as riders will now come out of the turn and onto a near-straightaway at Turn 12. The second safety enhancement came at Turn 5, where there is now more than 100 feet of run-off room, as compared to 20 feet prior.

Riders were unable to navigate the modified course in 2000 under main-event conditions. The event was canceled because of weather.

Modifications that increase rider safety continue currently at Sears Point as riders will see even more increased runoff for 2001 at turns 1, 2, 3, 3a, 4, 6 and 7 as a result of the facility's $35 million Modernization Plan. The plan will transform the facility into one of the premier motorsports and entertainment venues in the world. The increased run-off will be ready by the AMA Superbike Challenge, May 4-6.

Text Provided By John Cardinale

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