Ducati to Test at a Safer Sears Point

Brent Avis
by Brent Avis
Ducati will send a four-rider contingent toSears Point Raceway for a two-day test session, February 12-13, in preparationfor the AMA Superbike Challenge, featuring the U.S. Chevy Trucks SuperbikeChampionship in May.

HMC Ducati will be represented by Bay Area native Steve Rapp and Scott Russell,while the Competition Accessories Ducati Racing Team will send Larry Pegram andJohn Kocinski...


Last year's scene was not as much of a track frenzy as the fans had hoped for. At least we all got to stand around and watch the water seep from the ground, though. So that was fun. Rapp, a native of Lafayette in the East Bay and a graduate of Acalanes HighSchool, placed seventh in the U.S. Chevy Trucks Superbike Championship in 2000and is still seeking his first Superbike victory. Russell, meanwhile, is afive-time winner of the prestigious Daytona 200 who hails from Georgia.

Kocinski won the 250 Grand Prix World title in 1990 and was also the 1997 WorldSuperbike champion. He placed eighth in 2000 for Superbikes. Pegram was 13thof the Superbikes last year.

Construction is currently under way at Sears Point Raceway increasingrider safety for the AMA Superbike Challenge, May 4-6. Riders will seeincreased run-off at turns 1, 2, 3, 3a, 4, 6 and 7 as a result of thefacility's $35 million Modernization Plan. The two-year plan, which began inSeptember (2000), will transform the facility into one of the premiermotorsports and entertainment venues in the world.

The increased run-off continues Sears PointRaceway's commitment to ridersafety. In the 1999 off-season, Turn 11 was shortened by two-tenths of a mile,giving riders nearly 300 feet of run-off room and eliminating the chicane atTurn 12. Increased run-off was also made available at Turn 5 with more than 100feet, as compared with 20 feet prior.

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Brent Avis
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