Nov 9, 2001
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Copyright 2001, Roadracing World Publishing, Inc.<BR><BR>By David Swarts<BR><BR>In a November 8 telephone call to Roadracing World, Arclight Suzuki Team Owner/Crew Chief Chuck Warren said that his team planned to test new 16.5-inch rear Metzeler/Pirelli slicks in January of 2002.<BR><BR>"We may do a little bit of dabbling in AMA Formula Xtreme in 2002," said Warren from his race shop in Lafayette, California. "But mainly we will do it because Metzeler/Pirelli North America has asked us to." Warren added that the testing would probably happen at Thunderhill Raceway in Willows, California where two-time Formula USA Sportbike Champion Lee Acree and veteran racer Dave Stanton can run the bumpier old section of the track along with the smoother new course at Thunderhill.<BR><BR>Jeff Johnston, Senior Product Manager at Metzeler/Pirelli North America, confirmed the testing plans, saying "We've been testing the 16.5-inch tire with Steve Martin (DFX Ducati) in Europe for the last couple of months – including the last couple of World Superbike races – and the results have been pretty good.<BR><BR>"Our goal is to stay on top of tire development worldwide. So we thought that we would do some testing here. Lee (Acree) is a good tire tester. Not only is he fast, but he can give good feedback. Not everyone can give good feedback. For instance, Doug Polen has a computer for a mind and can give you detailed feedback on a particular tire days after a test.<BR><BR>"I can't speak for Metzeler worldwide, but there is always the possibility that one day they will set aside some money and decide to go racing at the top level here in America with the AMA."<BR><BR>Metzeler/Pirelli is testing tires at Valencia in Spain this week with Martin, Martin's new DFX Ducati teammate Alessandro Antonello and a host of World Supersport and World Superstock racers.<BR>