Sport: Two-Wheeler Experts

On a griddle-flat stretch of Florida coast just south of Daytona Beach one day last week, the air was split by the thunder of 111 motorcycles revving up at once. A white flag waved, and four ranks of cyclists in crash helmets and goggles blasted off along the rock-hard sand. Ahead lay 48 laps of speed work on a 4.2-mile course—and a chance at the National Motorcycle Championship.

Some 13,000 paying customers ranged along the course were soon getting their money's worth. Roaring up the beach straightaway on the first lap, the pack hit close to 115 m.p.h., slowed to 60 for...

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