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Sonomafest 2002 preview

Motorcycle Madness invades Sonoma Valley with Cycle Gear Sonomafest 2002 Spanish motorcycles featured at this year's event SONOMA, Calif. - Motorcycle-mania will once again take over Sears Point Raceway and the Sonoma Valley as Sonomafest ...

Motorcycle Madness invades Sonoma Valley with Cycle Gear Sonomafest 2002
Spanish motorcycles featured at this year's event

SONOMA, Calif. - Motorcycle-mania will once again take over Sears Point Raceway and the Sonoma Valley as Sonomafest 2002 roars into the area for the seventh consecutive year, April 26-May 5.

This 10-day soiree will feature everything from group motorcycle rides through the scenic wine country, to the fastest pavement road-racers in country from the American Motorcyclist Association (AMA). Sonomafest was co-founded by Sears Point Raceway and Cycle World magazine.

Festivities will get under way the weekend of April 26-28 with the AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days West. This event will feature the best in vintage motorcycle racing on the 12-turn, 2.52-mile road course, with classic bikes spanning more than six decades. Classics including Harley-Davidson, Norton, Indian and Triumph will grace the circuit.

The feature for this year's VMD-West is the Spanish motorcycle, including machines from Bultaco, Gas-Gas, Sherco, Montesa, Ossa and Sanglas. Jim Pomeroy, the first American to win a FIM World Championship Motocross race, will serve as the event's Grand Marshal.

The racing will be sanctioned by the American Historic Racing Motorcycle Association (AHRMA), which is a 16-year-old organization with more than 5,000 members nationwide. Motorcycles will be grouped according to machine type and engine size, dating back to pre-1940.

One of the highlights of AMA VMD West the last three years has been the vintage motocross, which takes place in the mountains behind Turn 7 above the road course. A course is carved into the hillside and riders from all over the country battle to determine champions in their respective categories.

Sonomafest hits its pinnacle the second weekend (May 3-5) with the AMA Supercuts Superbike Challenge, presented by Honda of Milpitas, featuring the best motorcycle pavement riders in the country. Anthony Gobert (Yamaha) was the big winner in 2001, claiming both the Superbike and 600 Supersport titles, but he'll be tested by the likes of Mat Mladin (Suzuki), Nicky Hayden (Honda) and Miguel Duhamel (Honda).

Both weekends will feature a variety of activities designed for motorcycle enthusiasts including:


* Swap meets
* Demonstration rides by major manufacturers
* Cooking with fire by world-famous chef, "Biker Billy" Hufnagle
* Observed trials
* Vendor midway featuring the latest in motorcycle gear
* Cycle World magazine Vintage Rolling Concours

The festivities won't stop during the week as there will be plenty of activities to keep you busy April 29-May 2 during the Sonomafest Motorcycle Festival. Consider:


* Organized group rides through the Sonoma Valley
* All-women's group ride
* Kick-off parties at various Bay Area locations
* Motorcycle drag racing
* Manufacturer days at the track with rides/lunch around Sonoma County

One element of Sonomafest that will definitely return will be the 4th annual "Motorcycles and Movies Party" at Pyramid Brewery and Alehouse in Berkeley (901 Gilman St.) on Friday, May 3 to kick off the AMA Supercuts Superbike Challenge weekend. The event will feature a 35-mile escorted CHP ride from Sears Point to Pyramid. Once at Pyramid, there will be a barbecue followed by a screening of a motorcycle classic on Pyramid's gigantic movie screen in its parking lot. The event attracted more than 500 people last year and is sure to be even bigger in 2002.

Visit www.searspoint.com or www.cycleworld.com or call 800-870-RACE for updates on Sonomafest activities.

-spr-

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About this article
Series AMA , Other bike
Drivers Anthony Gobert , Nicky Hayden , Miguel Duhamel