Gillim claims first AMA Pro SuperSport title following epic battle with Dominguez

Sep 19, 2014

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Sept. 19, 2014) – Hayden Gillim emerged as AMA Pro SuperSport champion at the Kawasaki Devil’s Showdown at New Jersey Motorsports Park last weekend. Gillim, who had finished second in the points four straight years in his various AMA Pro attempts and three times in AMA Pro SuperSport, had his hands full with Dustin Dominguez, and the battle for the title in 2014 was a true showdown.

 

The racing was very close – typical of the AMA Pro SuperSport class. Gillim had a two-point lead coming into the event and left with the same margin after he and Dominguez split wins in the Garden State.

 

“The last three years I have finished short, and to finally to come out to battle for wins every weekend and battle with Dustin, Corey (Alexander) and Wyatt (Farris) and everybody is fantastic. I was finally able to get the No. 1 plate,” Gillim said.

 

The TOBC Racing pilot won on Saturday in a shortened wet race and set himself up for a scenario where he only needed to follow Dominguez and the Houston Superbikes entry on Sunday. Gillim gave it his best shot to shot at the win in the finale but his second was more than enough to take the crown.

 

On Saturday, Gillim got off to a solid start, trailing Mark Miller, Jr., on the Mar Del Racing machine. Dominguez was third early, but was cautious in the slightly damp conditions. The Oklahoman upped his pace and was the fastest man on the track as the contest approached the midpoint, but he needed to make up serious ground.

 

Gillim worked past Miller and pulled away. Dominguez made his way to second by lap eight. The conditions worsened throughout the race and as the leaders were working lap 10, the a red flag flew. Multiple riders, including several fighting inside the top ten, crashed as the rain picked up.

The race was called since the stoppage came after the halfway point. Gillim was the winner ahead of Dominguez and Miller.

“The first couple of laps felt really good,” said Gillim. “But (the rain) started getting thicker and thicker.”

On Sunday, polesitter Dominguez got away second behind Gillim and was able to run strong. Even though Gillim was much friskier than one might expect from a rider just needing to finish second, Dominguez was in a good position and put pressure on Gillim early.

Eventually Dominguez took the lead and seemed to have a little more than Gillim.

Unfortunately for Dominguez, no other rider could join the fray and Gillim stayed on two wheels. Dominguez won the 16-lapper but it was not enough and he ended up two points short in the title chase.

 

“This is probably the most depressing win I’ve ever had but it’s a win and that’s good. I was trying to push (Gillim) into making a mistake and he never did. He rode a great race. At the end I decided to pick it up a bit,” said Dominguez.

 

Gillim admitted the championship wasn’t the only thing on his mind.

 

“The strategy was to win. It always is,” said Gillim. “The first few laps, I was pushing as hard as I could. We were having a really good battle.”

 

Miller had a great weekend, earning third and fifth. The Maryland native has performed well in AMA Pro competition before, but led Race 1 extensively and was rewarded with his best weekend yet on the Mar Del Racing Yamaha.

 

“It was amazing to be on the podium with these guys, a dream come true,” said Miller.

 

Wyatt Farris also earned the podium the next day. Farris fought in the second group on Saturday on his way to fourth but upped his pace in the dry. Farris also finished a clear third in points in a season where he learned plenty.

 

Farris seemed to be involved in close battles all year, a great situation for the young Californian on the Celtic/HVMC Suzuki.

 

“It was kind of a crazy race, I didn’t spend too much time with the harder tire and by the time I came to grips with it, they had gotten away,” said Farris, who described his season as solid. “It’s good to finish the year on the box.”

 

The final championship picture emerged with the checkered flag on Sunday.

 

Reigning East champ Corey Alexander saw his season slip away late. A couple of tough rounds meant he was out of the title fight. The other Celtic/HVMC pilot won the first three races but was only 23rd and sixth in New Jersey. Alexander held off young ace Kaleb De Keyrel for fourth place by a single point.

 

De Keyrel and his De Keyrel Racing team rallied on Sunday to jump five spots to fourth place. The 17 year-old earned a podium in 2014 and made a big leap from his first year in class.

 

Jason Aguilar, another youngster, took sixth in the final points. The Tuned Industries pilot put together the solid season in his first year on the tour. Aguilar’s best moment was his third place at Road America.

 

Race Worx USA’s JC Camacho was solidly inside the top ten all year long and took seventh in points. The Texan earned seven top tens in 2014.

 

Three young riders filled the last spots in the point standings, with Cody Wyman (Harv’s Harley-Davidson) leading Excel Racing’s Conner Blevins and TOBC Racing’s Curtis Murray home.

 

Riders impressing in New Jersey included Justin Jones. The Showtime Inc., pilot was fifth on Saturday. Escalante Racing’s Richie Escalante, from Mexico, took sixth and seventh. Florida’s Tim Hunt earned another eighth place.

 

Gillim was a fitting champion in another exciting year for the class. Having given it a great shot in previous campaigns, Gillim’s conquest serves as a testament to perseverance and hard racing.

 

Source and Photo: AMA Pro Racing/Brian J. Nelson

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Hayes closes out 2014 AMA Pro Road Racing season with a victory

Sep 17, 2014

MILLVILLE, N.J. (Sept. 14, 2014) – The 2014 AMA Pro Road Racing season enjoyed a fitting conclusion today at New Jersey Motorsports Park as Monster Energy Graves Yamaha’s Josh Hayes claimed the final checkered flag with the front wheel of his R1 lofted in the air.

 

Hayes eventually broke free following a frenetic first half to claim the seventh victory of his dominant 2014 campaign with nearly five seconds in hand.

Earlier in the race, Hayes found himself battling with Yoshimura Suzuki Factor Racing teammates Roger Hayden and Martin Cardenas, along with his works Yamaha teammate, Cameron Beaubier. Meanwhile, an impressive Bernat Martinez on the Proto-Tech Spain Yamaha YZF-R1 and KTM/HMC’s Chris Fillmore watched closely in tow.

 

Saturday winner Hayden ran off track on lap 2 and immediately dropped to near the bottom of the top ten. Beaubier slipped past Cardenas into second that same lap but Hayes already had a two-and-a-half-second lead at that point.

 

However, the Mississippian’s early advantage evaporated in an instant, as he made a mistake of his own; Hayes ran off track and into the dirt in Turn 1 on lap 4 and drop to third behind the Colombian and Californian.

 

After quickly working back past Cardenas, Hayes found himself nearly two seconds behind his fleet rookie teammate and charged hard to make up the time.

 

After five laps of whittling away at the gap, Hayes dove back into the lead on lap 9 in Turn 1. A few laps later, Beaubier looked to return the favor. However, the young pilot couldn’t hold his line after storming back through into the lead and crashed out of the race.

 

At that point Hayes sailed off to claim his 48th career AMA Pro SuperBike victory. The win was Hayes’ ninth at New Jersey Motorsports Park, which doesn’t even count the two other occasions in which he took the checkered flag first but lost out in the final order due to a penalty.

 

“I was having so much fun other than that stupid off-road thing I did in Turn 1,” Hayes said. “Running down Cam was so hard but I was so enjoying myself and trying so hard. I really used up a lot of my energy trying to do that. We got up there and got to going back and forth. I was absolutely gutted to see Cam fall down. I really wanted to see a Yamaha 1-2.

 

“The race wasn’t as smooth as it looked, especially after halfway. I felt that I was a sinking ship. They were making little bits of time and there was really nothing I could do to stop taking on water. I had done a lot of damage to the rear tire, I think when I tried to catch Cameron, in the early part of the race and I was really struggling just to maintain. I was trying really hard to maintain what I was doing and I felt like I was losing ground. I don’t know if they were racing together, but finally with a couple laps to go it afforded me an extra second and I was able to relax a little bit and bring it home.”

 

Hayes reflected on the last six seasons in which he went from SuperBike dark horse to four-time champion.

 

“It’s pretty amazing,” he said. “I still try to take it in. I went from to underdog to overdog it seems like overnight. I’m so lucky to have found not just a team but a family. They take care of me and I try to take care of them. The motivation for things like yesterday and today are how hard they work and wanting to do my part. Leadership starts from the top down. I want them to know that every time I get on the motorcycle I’m going to give it everything I have and I feel it ensures they’ll do the same for me. It helps us lift each other when we’re both struggling at different times. In five years you can believe there’s ups and downs and hard times and good times. I think it helps us do all those things. I’ve been lucky to work with a team so long and have so much success.”

 

Hayden, who came into the weekend with a separated shoulder, clawed his way back up through the field to close in on Cardenas. The two went back-and-forth on the race’s final laps with Hayden ultimately getting the better of the melee to claim second. The result, combined with Beaubier’s misfortunate, allowed the Suzuki rider to steal the runner-up spot in the championship as well.

 

“The race started off pretty well but I made a little mistake,” Hayden explained. “Josh is really good at getting away in the beginning. I tried to hang with him in the first couple laps and made a mistake and just ran off the track. But I fought all the way back up to second. I’ve got to thank all my guys for all they’ve done for me all year. We finished the year strong, which is exactly what we wanted to do, so this is for them.”

 

Cardenas claimed his fourth podium result of the season with his Sunday third.

 

“It was a difficult race because this track is very physical,” Cardenas said. “I wanted to finish a little bit higher on the podium but today this was the maximum I could get. I’m happy for the team to finish on the box, which is always good for me and for the team.”

 

Fillmore suffered another DNF while Martinez held off ADR Motorsports, Sic, Motul Fly’s David Anthony for fourth by a scant 0.019 seconds at the flag. That impossibly small distance was also the difference between fourth and fifth in the 2014 championship for Anthony as he lost out to today’s seventh-place finisher, Yoshimura Suzuki Factory Racing’s Chris Clark by a single point in the final tally.

 

A five-rider pack grouped up mid-distance in the race for sixth through 10th. Sixth ultimately went to the 2014 Canadian Superbike champ, 22-year-old Jodie Christie on the Honda Canada/Accelerated Technologies CBR1000RR.

 

He was followed by Clark, Sunday podium man Larry Pegram on the Foremost Insurance Pegram Racing EBR 1190RS, GEICO Motorcycle Racing Honda’s Chris Ulrich, and TOBC Racing II’s Taylor Knapp.

 

AMA Pro GoPro Daytona SportBike

 

2014 AMA Pro GoPro Daytona SportBike champion Jake Gagne closed it out in style on Sunday, running away with the season finale. Gagne won his third contest of the year, topping Yamaha Extended Service/Monster Energy/Graves/Yamaha’s Garrett Gerloff and yesterday’s winner, Dane Westby of Yamalube/Westby Racing.

 

Jake Lewis (Meen Motorsports) earned fourth and was a factor in the battle for second much of the race.

 

Gagne got a clean start and led the whole way. He managed his gap well, dropping into the mid-1:23 second range when the pack threatened to make inroads on his lead.  After clinching the title on Saturday, Gagne was clearly on a mission to win the finale.

 

“A few laps in, I saw they were coming from my pit board,” said Gagne. “I was either going to crash out or win it. I wanted to go for it. I started inching away from there.”

 

At the flag, Gagne lead by 2.562 seconds.

 

Lewis and Westby looked poised to fight for second to the flag, but Gerloff snuck through and held the spot during the final two laps. The Yamaha factory pilot eased a slight gap and Westby and Lewis battled for the final spot on the box.

 

Westby set the quick lap of the race after starting poorly from pole.

 

JD Beach (Yamaha Extended Service/Monster Energy/Graves/Yamaha) earned another top five to close out the season.

 

AMA Pro SuperSport

 

Houston Superbikes’ Dustin Dominguez won a tight 16-lap race in AMA Pro SuperSport over TOBC Racing’s Hayden Gillim, but Gillim won the championship by two points anyway after winning on Saturday.

 

Wyatt Farris of Celtic Racing/HVMC earned third to end his year with a podium result.

 

Dominguez shadowed Gillim in the early going, then took control at the midpoint as the duo hit traffic. Unfortunately for the Dominguez, winning was not enough. He needed other riders to join the battle for the lead and relegate Gillim to at least third in the race standings. That never happened as Dominguez and Gillim finished ten seconds in front of the pack led by Farris.

 

“This is probably the most depressing win I’ve ever had but it’s a win and that’s good,” said Dominguez. “Hayden got a good start and I chased him down and tried to pressure him. I thought if we went at it, someone might catch up.”

Gillim made a late run and nearly won the race, finishing just 0.041 seconds back. After finishing second in his championship four straight years, Gillim finally took the No. 1 plate.

 

“I’d rather fight my hardest and crash away the championship than give away a race. That’s how I’d rather have it. The strategy was to win. It always is,” said Gillim. “The first few laps, I was pushing as hard as I could. We were having a really good battle. It’s insane the support I have gotten and I can’t thank everyone enough.”

 

Farris topped Kaleb De Keyrel (De Keyrel Racing) for third as well as fast local rider Mark Miller Jr., of Mar Del Racing. Miller was a little more than 1.5 seconds from repeating his Saturday podium result.

 

AMA Pro Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson Series

 

It didn’t come without a fair amount of drama and grit, but Ruthless Racing/Trev Deeley Motorcycles’ Danny Eslick ultimately came through to win the 2014 AMA Pro Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson Series title.

 

Eslick came into the weekend needing just a seventh place or better to assure himself the crown, but a major crash in this morning’s qualifying session put his participation in doubt.

 

His team rebuilt the motorcycle in time for Eslick to hurriedly take the grid from the back row, from where the beaten and bruised Oklahoman battled his way forward.

 

He crossed the line in sixth at the checkered flag to become the Series’ first two-time champion.

“I ran off the track and wadded it up in the wet grass this morning and pretty much destroyed that motorcycle,” Eslick said. “The Trev Deeley/Ruthless Racing team busted their butts from the time I crashed the motorcycle until the moments before the race. We were pretty close to not making it.

 

“I’ve ridden it three seasons now and that’s the first time I’ve crashed it. It’s bound to happen and the way these guys are riding – they’re riding incredibly. The level that this Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson Series has risen to is unbelievable. I used to be able to play around and sandbag a little bit and still have a shot at it, but now you really have to be on your game and work on your set up. Hats off to everybody out there.”

Eslick’s run was far from the only entertainment the day’s contest provided. Up front, a five-rider dice took shape for the win. However, title hopeful Suburban Motors Harley-Davidson’s Ben Carlson was effectively dropped from contention for the win when he was assessed a penalty for anticipating the start. Likewise, NJMP master Shane Narbonne of the Six-Four Motors squad ran off track, costing him precious time and a place in the lead pack.

And Josh Chisum Racing/Bartel’s Harley-Davidson’s Tyler O’Hara just lost touch, leaving Suburban Motors Harley-Davidson’s Steve Rapp and KWR/Millennium Technologies’ Kyle Wyman to decide the race.

Wyman slashed into the lead as the two hit slower riders and made the most of the opportunity to drop Rapp and close out the year with a win. Rapp took second, followed by O’Hara, Narbonne, Carlson and Eslick.

 

“I tried to put my head down from the beginning,” Wyman said. “I got the holeshot from the second row and did my best to push as hard as I could for a whole lap. But Steve came flying by on the front straightaway, and from that point I knew the race was going to be a little different than I wanted it to be. It turned into a pack and I sat there through the middle part of the race. It was getting crazy up front and I just wanted to make sure I didn’t get caught up in any of that.

 

“I basically put myself in the right place at the right time at the end. I made a push to the front and I got the lead just as we hit the lappers. The lappers are going to be either way – they’re going to hold you up or give you a big gap. They gave me a gap and I put my head down the last two laps and it worked out great. I’m so happy to get another win this year.”

 

Source and Photo: AMA Pro Racing/Brian J. Nelson

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Four for Four: Josh Hayes claims another AMA Pro SuperBike title at New Jersey as Roger Hayden wins the race

Sep 14, 2014

MILLVILLE, N.J. (Sept. 13, 2014) – Monster Energy Graves Yamaha’s Josh Hayes added to his legend today at the Kawasaki Devil’s Showdown, securing his fourth AMA Pro SuperBike Championship in five seasons at New Jersey Motorsports Park while Yoshimura Suzuki Factory Racing’s Roger Hayden was awarded his first win of the season.

Faced with treacherous wet conditions, what seemed like a relatively simple task for a rider of Hayes’ caliber – third or better to clinch the crown – became significantly more complicated.

 

However, rather than go the conservative route, Hayes waged an intense duel for victory with Hayden.

 

The slick conditions caught several riders out. Hayden’s teammate, Martin Cardenas, crashed from the lead on lap 7 of 23. Proto-Tech Spain’s Bernat Martinez challenged for first himself before the Spaniard crashed out of contention as well on lap 10. Newly-crowned Canadian Superbike champion Jodie Christie crashed out of third on his Honda Canada/Accelerated Technologies CBR1000RR on the race’s second lap. And Hayes’ teammate and title rival, Cameron Beaubier, fell in the opening laps while running in the top five, leaving just Hayes and Hayden to decide the victor.

 

The two lapped their way through the field, ultimately putting every rider not on the podium a lap down as they challenged each other’s skill and bravery.

 

The two traded the top spot multiple times on the final laps. Hayden, who came into the race dinged up after injuring his shoulder in a testing crash, looked to hold the advantage with just a single corner to go. However, a single mistake was all Hayes needed and the Mississippian pounced. Hayes blasted past Hayden, who spun up the rear while trying to get on the power, just feet ahead of the checkered flag.

 

However, Hayes was later hit with a penalty for passing under yellow during their shootout, dropping him to second in the final results and elevating Hayden to first.

 

Hayes is just the second rider in AMA Pro SuperBike history to earn four titles, joining seven-time champ Mat Mladin in that accomplishment. Throughout the season Hayes demonstrated his superiority in multiple conditions and will be reunited with the No. 1 plate.

 

“I had so much fun riding today,” the champ said. “We don’t get to go splish-splashing that often. Roger was riding so good, I was throwing everything I had at him. Unfortunately he spun up on the front straight away. I was able to get the R1 hooked up and across the line. I’m really proud of my team. Four championships in six years ain’t so bad.

 

“I feel so lucky that I’m 39 years old and have a place that I call home. These guys are so good to me. If I’m riding motorcycles and winning races I’m a pretty happy guy. All the other things that come along with that are bonuses. I’m excited that I can be a four-time AMA SuperBike Champion and I will do everything in my power to continue that.”

 

Race winner Hayden said,

Hayden was happy with the race and the show he and Hayes put on.

 

“It’s not really the way I’d like to win them but I do remember at that point in the race the waving yellow when he came by me in Turn 1,” Hayden said. “I rode hard enough and good enough to win so I feel good for me and team. We didn’t want to let Yamaha sweep the whole series this year so we’re excited about that. Hopefully we’ll get one without any controversy tomorrow.”

 

Foremost Insurance Pegram Racing’s Larry Pegram was the last rider on the lead lap and that was good enough to earn him third on the day.

 

“I don’t think I’ve ever went that slow and got third in my life,” Pegram joked. “Once I got up to third and I was running a fairly good pace, they showed me plus-20 and my guys were telling me to slow down, but I couldn’t go any slower! That was one of the most treacherous rain races I’ve ever ridden. There just wasn’t any grip. It was a good day for us. When the rain came, I knew we could be competitive.”

 

Vicious Cycle Racing’s Sean Dwyer came home in fourth while Beaubier remounted and worked his way back up to fifth.

 

Mobibuff/Irnie Racing’s Macel Irnie finished sixth on his BMW S1000RR, followed by Yoshimura Suzuki’s Chris Clark, Team AMSOIL Hero EBR’s Cory West and GEICO Motorcycle Racing Honda’s Chris Ulrich.

 

TOBC Racing II’s Taylor Knapp rounded out the top ten.

 

With the championship in the books, Hayes will be free to let it rip on Sunday in the 2014 season finale.

 

AMA Pro GoPro Daytona SportBike

 

Dane Westby won his third AMA Pro GoPro Daytona SportBike race of the year on Saturday. The Yamalube/Westby Racing pilot outlasted his rivals and the weather to take the victory after he’d earned his first career pole earlier in the day. Jake Gagne finished second and clinched the championship for the RoadRace Factory/Red Bull team, taking the checkers in front of Jake Zemke.

 

Westby zipped to the lead in the restarted race and motored away, even as the rain increased during the 16 laps.

 

“I am ecstatic … over the moon,” said Westby after his third win of the year. “I knew that Jake was going to be big competition. It was pretty hairy. The rear end came around on me two corners from the end of the race. It was extremely treacherous. Someone was saying I have won more races in Daytona SportBike than anyone else in the class this year, so that was interesting. I am really looking forward to getting one more chance at things tomorrow.”

 

Westby’s third win of the year is more than any other rider in the class.

 

Gagne earned the title when he finished second and rival Jake Lewis retired from the race with electrical problems. Gagne charged up through the field and held second after passing Zemke.

 

“It’s incredible and the last thing I thought was to have this thing wrapped up today. I saw (Lewis) wasn’t on the grid. The race was tough,” said Gagne, “and the year was great. It was my third year on the team and they are the hardest working group of guys I have seen. I don’t really know what to say … I am ready to get on with it and race again tomorrow.”

 

Zemke, on the GEICO Motorcycle Racing entry, earned his first podium of the year.

 

Yamaha Extended Service/Monster Energy/Graves/Yamaha’s Garrett Gerloff and Danny Eslick of Riders Discount Racing Triumph earned top fives in some of the most challenging race conditions in recent memory.

 

Only nine riders finished the event as heavy attrition made the 16 laps seem longer – at least for Westby and Gagne.

 

AMA Pro SuperSport

 

TOBC Racing’s Hayden Gillim won Saturday’s shortened AMA Pro SuperSport race and increased his points lead to seven with one race to go. Gillim took a bold approach to the difficult conditions at the beginning of the race, taking the holeshot over fast local ace Mar Del Racing’s Mark Miller, Jr. and the polesitter, HSBK’s Dustin Dominguez.

 

Gillim did relent the first position for a time, but the points leader rallied to take back the lead before the rain increased and the race was stopped after a crash.

 

“I wasn’t worried about the weather too much. I was worried about the gap back to Dustin,” said Gillim. “The red flag was out and it must have been pretty bad. I know tomorrow is going to be hard because Dustin is so quick and this being a wet race, it didn’t help our dry setup t all. We’re going to be fighting as hard as we can for these precious points.”

 

Dominguez took second place on the day, having run down Miller before the stoppage as he continued to build his pace after what the Oklahoman described as a too-cautious start.

 

Gillim and Dominguez will settle their championship battle with tomorrow’s finale.

 

Wyatt Farris was classified fourth even though he had fallen on his Celtic Racing/HVMC-backed Suzuki as did several members of the group fighting for those positions. Justin Jones (Showtime Inc.) and Richie Escalante (Escalante Racing) also fought for the position.

 

AMA Pro Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson Series

 

With no rain expected tomorrow, only three riders chose to take part in Saturday’s provisional qualifying session. Jupiter Cycle Racing’s Jon Foy earned provisional pole, followed by the Chili Pepper Racing duo of Hayden Schultz and Shelina Moreda.

 

 

AMA Pro SuperBike Race 1: Top 5 Finishers

1.       Roger Hayden (Yoshimura Suzuki Factory Racing/Suzuki)

2.       Josh Hayes (Monster Energy Graves Yamaha/ Yamaha)

3.       Larry Pegram (Foremost Insurance/ Pegram Racing/ EBR)

4.       Sean Dwyer (Vicious Cycle Racing/ Suzuki)

5.       Cameron Beaubier (Monster Energy Graves Yamaha/ Yamaha)

 

AMA Pro GoPro Daytona SportBike Race 1: Top 5 Finishers

1.       Dane Westby (Yamalube Westby Racing/ Yamaha)

2.       Jake Gagne (RoadRace Factory/Red Bull/ Yamaha)

3.       Jake Zemke (GEICO Motorcycle Racing/ Honda)

4.       Garrett Gerloff (Yamaha Extended Service/Monster Energy Graves/ Yamaha)

5.       Danny Eslick (Riders Discount Triumph/ Triumph Daytona)

 

AMA Pro SuperSport Race 1: Top 5 Finishers

1.       Hayden Gillim (TOBC Racing/ Suzuki)

2.       Dustin Dominguez (Houston Superbikes/ Yamaha)

3.       Mark Miller Jr. (Mar Del Auto Wholesalers/ Yamaha)

4.       Wyatt Farris (Celtic/HVMC Racing/ Suzuki)

5.       Justin Jones (Showtime Inc./ Suzuki)

 

 

Source and Photo: AMA Pro Racing/Brian J. Nelson

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Jun 9, 2014

ELKHART LAKE, Wis. (June 9, 2014) – KWR/Millennium Technologies’ Kyle Wyman was a man on a mission at the Subway SuperBike Doubleheader.

The 24-year-old entered Round 2 of the AMA Pro Road Racing season at Road America this past weekend still stewing from the disappointment of his finish in the Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson Series season opener at Daytona International Speedway.

Back in March, it appeared Wyman had earned his third Daytona Harley-Davidson victory and had done so in thrilling fashion. However, he was later disqualified when it was determined his XR1200 had non-compliant and improperly modified engine components.

That setback only fueled Wyman’s fire and he was determined to put himself back on top of the box when the season resumed in Elkhart Lake, Wis.The field was stacked with gifted and hungry riders, but he simply would not be denied.

Wyman kept himself positioned near the front of the pack and braved an attempted slingshot pass from an opponent when he chose to lead up the hill the final time in the sprint to the checkered flag. It was a strategy that had worked in his favor in his 2012 victory at the track, and it did so again on Sunday – by a meager 0.033-second margin.

 

“I was seeing red, basically,” said Wyman. “I had a lot of time to think about Daytona. So far I’m two-for-two on crossing the line first, so I’ll take that. … I’m really happy to have redeemed myself in that fashion. … I’m just really happy to get up here for Millennium Technologies at their home race, and to redeem myself from Daytona, and get maximum points.”

 

On his tactics, Wyman said he was thinking back to his last victory in Wisconsin.

 

“That’s how I did it in 2012,” said Wyman. “I led out of the last corner to the line. I feel the last segment is one of my strong points. That was kind of the plan from the get-go, as long as I could keep myself toward the front.

 

“I saw Tyler (O’Hara) coming so I didn’t know how things were going to shake out because you can easily get shuffled to fourth like nothing. The strategy was to lead so if I just consciously passed whoever was in front of me and tried to go as fast as I could and stay in front of everybody, the strategy didn’t have to change on the last lap. It was just, go.”

 

O’Hara was coming, indeed.  The 2014 title leader looked to have been erased from contention for a victory on lap four. He was hot in pursuit of the 2013 race and series champion, Suburban Motors’ Steve Rapp, when his race was upended.

 

Early-leader Rapp had the back half of the circuit absolutely dialed, allowing him to consistently open up a substantial gap in that section. However, the chasing pack would gobble his advantage back up by working together in the draft down the home straight and in the run down into Turn 5.

 

On lap four, Ruthless Racing’s Danny Eslick decided it was time to take away Rapp’s open air, diving into the lead entering Turn 1. Rapp lost the front and hit the deck moments later while surrounded by the remainder of the lead pack.

 

Besides Rapp, Josh Chisum Racing/Bartels Harley-Davidson’s O’Hara got the worst of the incident as he was forced to take evasive action to avoid hitting the downed champ.

 

This turn of events left Wyman, Eslick, and Rapp’s teammate, Ben Carlson, all alone up front with O’Hara nearly four seconds back.

 

However, O’Hara took advantage of the titanic battle for the lead and ran the lead group back down, setting up a four-man melee on the race’s final lap. O’Hara moved into a podium position but was ultimately shuffled back to fourth, his hard work not rewarded with a change the final points tally.

 

Eslick finished a close runner-up, missing out on the win by just fractions of a second. It was an impressive effort nonetheless, as the Oklahoman missed Saturday qualifying following a hard fall in the day’s GoPro Daytona SportBike race. He qualified just tenth-best in the cold morning session but blasted his way to the front of the pack, and very nearly the win.

 

“Man, I had it set up there at the end to draft (by) him at the line, but I think (I hit) the limiter like three times on that last shift,” Eslick said. “That’s all it takes; everybody’s bikes are pretty evenly matched so you mess up that one little bit, miss a shift by just that much and you’re going to lose out.

 

“The race was a lot of fun. It’s not been the best weekend for me here. Daytona was awesome but here we’ve hit the ground, destroyed a bike, cost the team a whole bunch of money, and beat myself up. So it was nice to get out there and have a little bit of fun and get on the podium.”

 

Carlson actually led across the line to take the white flag first. However, he was dropped back to fourth momentarily as the leaders fought for position. The Wisconsin native managed to move back into third by the lap’s conclusion to secure his second consecutive home-race podium.

 

The third place finisher later admitted he knew O’Hara was on the charge.

 

“I knew he was coming,” said Carlson. “I looked back once coming into (Turn) 5 and saw he was coming. Our pace, because we were going back and forth and passing, I kind of figured he’d catch us. So, yeah, I knew he was there. And actually, he got ahead of me but Kyle took him wide going into Canada Corner. Good race. I had fun.”

 

Daytona runner-up Gage McAllister on the Folsom Harley-Davidson entry edged Thunder Roads Magazine’s Ryan Kerr and Chili Pepper Racing’s Hayden Schultz for fifth. As a result, McCallister still sits second in the points, seven behind O’Hara and one up on Eslick.

 

Level 10/Peter Brady Racing’s Eric Stump, third Suburban entry Nick Hansen and O’Hara’s teammate, Josh Chisum, completed the top ten.

 

Next Race

 

Round 3 of the 2014 AMA Pro Road Racing season, the Triumph SuperBike Classic, will take place at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Ala., June 21-22.

Source: AMA Pro Racing

Photography: AMA Pro Racing/Brian J. Nelson

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AMA Pro GoPro Daytona SportBike recap: Road America

Jun 5, 2014

ELKHART LAKE, Wis. (June 5, 2014) – The 2014 AMA Pro GoPro Daytona SportBike races at Road America will be remembered as a big step in the career of Jake Gagne.

The Californian had won a race and a pole before in the class and finished second in points last year, but this past weekend, the former Red Bull Rookies Cup champion dominated like never before.

 

Gagne, 21, won the pole at both races at Elkhart Lake and did so at a blistering pace.

 

“It was a perfect weekend and I’m really stoked,” said Gagne. “To come out of here with pole and two wins, I couldn’t ask for anything better for the whole RoadRace Factory/Red Bull crew. They have been working hard since Daytona.”

 

The former youth motocrosser who first raced on pavement in 2008, enjoyed a strong 2013, but his AMA Pro GoPro Daytona SportBike campaign was overshadowed by the dominance of champion Cameron Beaubier. Gagne also enjoyed some solid performances in Europe before coming stateside for AMA Pro, so the paddock knew he was a contender. The twists and turns at Road America seemed to play into Gagne’s strengths.

 

Three riders bettered Beaubier’s qualifying mark from last year and Gagne, who qualified second in 2013, shaved nearly two seconds off his previous best lap in this year’s sessions. The RoadRace Factory/Red Bull pilot’s mark of 2:18.647 topped Yamaha Extended Service/Monster Energy/Graves/Yamaha’s Garrett Gerloff by two tenths. Yamalube/Westby Racing’s Dane Westby joined them on the front row, lurking just under a second behind Gagne on the time charts.

 

Race 1 saw Gagne get the holeshot ahead of Gerloff and Castrol/Triumph/Sportbike Track Time’s Jason DiSalvo.  Gagne built a strong lead, and by the time the first circuit was completed, was free to run clear laps.

 

However, his advantage disappeared with a red flag that waved while he worked lap 10 due to Joe Roberts’ crash on his M4 Motorcycle Road Racing Honda. Roberts suffered a hand injury and was unable to race Sunday. Essentially, Gagne would have to win the race twice.

 

The restart and resulting three-lap shootout made Gagne feel challenges from rivals who previously had seen their chances at a win slip away. Jake Lewis on the MotoSport.com/Meen Yamaha YZF-R6 jumped to the front, but Gagne was able to retake the lead and pull a bit of a gap to win it.

“The first part of the race we were just clicking off laps,” said Gagne on Saturday. “We were a little bummed when we heard it was going to be a three-lap dash after the red flag. I knew the guys would be back up there on me. Jake and Garrett both made some moves. Going into the last lap, I tried to get a clean, strong lap.”

 

On Sunday, Gagne continued his excellence. After the initial race was red-flagged early when Gerloff crashed, Gagne shook off Westby and JD Beach on his Yamaha Extended Service/Monster Energy/Graves/Yamaha to pull away to win by 12.209 seconds. Gagne did the “Superman” as he crossed the line the final time.

 

“We made some pretty significant changes for Sunday,” said Gagne. “I thought it improved the bike.”

 

Gagne finally made a mistake after the races were won. He dropped the bike turning around in the grass as he headed for victory circle.

 

“I jumped off the bike so it was pretty clean. It might have bent a clip-on. I think the guys are all right with it,” he laughed.

 

Beach had a great weekend, earning third and second in just his second weekend with the Factory Yamaha team. The dirt-tracker came up big to run in the podium positions. On Saturday, he seemed to get better as the race wore on. On Sunday, Beach fought an early battle with Gagne and challenged Westby late. He showed he isn’t content to let Gerloff position himself as team leader just yet.

 

“It feels good to get second here at Road America, but it would feel even better if I’d won,” said Beach on Sunday. “Jake rode a great race and pulled a pretty big gap on Dane and me. I’m glad to be on the podium. My team and I are improving with each race, so I’m really happy with our progress.”

 

Many of the top riders in the class saw a similar theme – one strong race, but another with struggles – in Wisconsin. Some class protagonists found themselves by the side of the track instead of in the action.

 

Gerloff had a wild weekend. The Texan had a big crash in qualifying that left his team scrambling to get his bike prepared for the race. Gerloff took the rebuilt machine to second in a gutsy ride.

 

“My Y.E.S. team had to totally rebuild the bike for me after my crash this morning, and they did a great job getting it race-ready in a very short amount of time,” he said after his performance on Saturday. “We weren’t able to get in any practice laps since the race followed right after qualifying, so I wasn’t sure what I had. The front-end felt a little different, so I had to adjust to the change and just concentrate on my lap times. The restart helped me because my team was able to adjust the front suspension and get me a little more comfortable. It was a big improvement, and I’m really happy to finish second, although I wish I’d won.”

 

On Sunday, an early crash netted Gerloff a trip in the ambulance, but he was cleared of a suspected concussion.

 

Westby had a similar event Saturday. The Oklahoman had made a push to second place on the final lap before he had a mechanical issue. It was tough to stomach after a Daytona crash thwarted another shot at the podium.

 

Westby was able to rebound to third on Sunday, charging after a so-so start to pass Beach before “calling off the dogs” when a few drops of the wet stuff began to fall.

 

“It is absolutely amazing and a huge weight off my shoulders,” said Westby after the weekend was in the books. “After pilot error at Daytona and a component conflict (Saturday) … when you put together a team like we have done, you obviously want to produce results. We were able to come through, and there is more coming in future races. Today, I felt the wisest decision was to stay on the podium and let the guys go when it started raining. I wish it had been a really good battle to the finish, but that’s how it goes. The team did a great job on the little Yamalube bike and I’m glad it paid off today. We have a really cool thing going and it was a super weekend with all the fans coming out to a great track.”

 

Danny Eslick had a similar one good, one bad tale to tell. Eslick had a scary crash early in Race 1, a rare occurrence for the Oklahoman.

 

“I’m a little bit beat up, banged up, bruised, but my pride’s probably hurt more than any of it,” said Eslick. “I think it was 2008 since I’ve last crashed out of a race. It’s a bit of a disappointment for me, that was a pretty good run I had going there.”

 

But, on Sunday, Eslick took a solid fourth on his Riders Discount Racing Triumph, unable to run with Beach and Westby but clear of the battle behind him.

 

“I was just trying to salvage the best finish I could and stay in line for the championship,” he said.

 

A similar fate met Jake Lewis. Lewis took full advantage of the red flag to lead briefly on the restart before eventually finishing fourth. That moved the fast teenager into a tie with Eslick in points. Sunday, however, saw him fall behind Gerloff’s crash. His team’s mad scramble to repair the damage got him back in the race but well behind the leaders. He moved up to 14th at the checkered flag, but it was an impossible task to earn much more for the Kentuckian.

 

DiSalvo rode in the lead pack on Saturday and earned a solid fifth, less than five seconds back. The New Yorker showed plenty of fight but couldn’t keep up the pace at the front. DiSalvo did not finish the race on Sunday, completing only nine laps.

 

RoadRace Factory/Red Bull’s Tomas Puerta showed impressive speed both days. The young Colombian fought in a tough pack inside the top ten both days, taking seventh on Saturday and his best AMA Pro GoPro Daytona SportBike result yet when the reigning AMA Pro SuperSport champ earned fifth on Sunday.

 

Blake Young took advantage of the late red flag Saturday to gain positions. The GN Gonzalez Racing pilot and local Wisconsin favorite earned sixth after charging through the field following the restart. Sunday, he was tenth.

 

Kyle Wyman was consistently good in Wisconsin, earning two eighth place results on his Kyle Wyman Racing Yamaha.

 

Steve Rapp on his D&D Cycles/Castrol/Triumph machine earned seventh on Sunday after issues on Saturday. For Rapp and other Triumph pilots, such as Castrol/Triumph/Apex Manufacturing’s Elena Myers and Latus Motors/Castrol/Triumph Racing’s Bobby Fong, the weekend seemed to give mixed results after early promise. Triumph swept the second row of the grid at Road America but missed out on the podium.

 

Team H35’s Benny Solis earned two top-tens as a result of his battling in the pack that included Puerta and Young. Sixth and ninth were his results. That netted Solis tenth in points heading into Barber Motorsports Park.

 

Jake Zemke and Tuned Racing’s Bryce Prince also earned top tens at Road America.

 

“Of all the guys I was around, I think my bike worked better in the corners,” said the veteran Zemke. “We’re just fighting an uphill battle and are unfortunately down a little bit. We’re maximizing the positives of the bike currently. We have half the puzzle figured out, so we just need the other half now.”

 

Gagne now leads the championship standings with an even 100 and holds a 22-point advantage over Eslick, who sits at 78. Eslick will try to close that gap later this month when AMA Pro GoPro Daytona SportBike heads to Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Ala., June 21 and 22. After the long straights and fast corners of Road America, Gagne and the rest of the field will face a much different challenge at another great circuit.

 

GoPro Daytona SportBike yearend point fund

  1.       Jake Gagne
  2.       Danny Eslick
  3.       Jake Lewis
  4.       Garrett Gerloff
  5.       JD Beach

Sunoco “Go the distance” award

Leader – JD Beach (706.5 miles)

 

Saddlemen Rookie of the Year award

Leader – Tomas Puerta

 

Next Race

Round 3 of the 2014 AMA Pro Road Racing season, the Triumph SuperBike Classic, will take place at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Ala., June 21-22.

 

Source & Photo: AMA Pro Racing/Brian J. Nelson

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On Any Sunday, The Next Chapter

May 20, 2014

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (May 20, 2014) – For many people involved in or familiar with the sport of motorcycle racing, the 1971 film “On Any Sunday” ignited passion across the globe as it became one of the most iconic Motorsports films ever produced.  On April 19, 2013, Red Bull Media House, in association with Freeride Entertainment, began production on its follow up called, “On Any Sunday, The Next Chapter” at the Red Bull Grand Prix of the Americas in Austin, Texas. This coming weekend, Director Dana Brown will film parts of the highly anticipated documentary at the Illinois State Fairgrounds in Springfield, Ill. when the AMA Pro Flat Track Grand National Championship riders take to the track during Round 3.

 

In 1971, director Bruce Brown’s “On Any Sunday” changed the way the world viewed motorcycle racing. Now, more than 40 years later, Bruce’s son, Dana Brown, is eager to give the same kind of insider look at motorcycle racing by sharing the heartfelt stories and passions of real-life riders.

 

” ‘On Any Sunday’ was a masterful film that captured the thrills and excitement of motorcycle riding back in the day and I can’t wait to see the modern day take when it comes out this Fall,” said Dan Johnsen, Director of AMA Pro Flat Track. “The movie is still a personal favorite of mine and I’m thrilled that Dana Brown has selected our series to be a part of the new documentary.”

This news adds even more excitement to an already action-packed planned weekend at the Illinois State Fairgrounds this weekend. The riders of AMA Pro Flat Track will take to the track for the legendary Springfield Mile on May 25, 2014. For tickets and more information regarding the event,please visit http://www.illinoismda.com/ or call 217-753-8866 or 888-468-1622.

“On Any Sunday, The Next Chapter” Official Teaser Link:

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How to Watch

FansChoice.tv will be the official home for live streaming coverage of AMA Pro Flat Track and AMA Pro Road Racing events in 2014. The site will also provide coverage of IMSA’s development and single-make series, and NASCAR’s touring and weekly series.

About AMA Pro Flat Track
AMA Pro Flat Track is a national motorcycle racing series in North America and is considered one of the oldest forms of motorcycle racing. Sanctioned by AMA Pro Racing, the Series is highly regarded as the most competitive form of dirt track racing in the world. The 2014 schedule consists of 16 rounds on the country’s finest flat track courses. For more information on AMA Pro Flat Track, please visit www.amaproracing.com/ft.

About On Any Sunday, The Next Chapter

In 1971, Bruce Brown’s “On Any Sunday” opened in theatres and wrote its place in motorcycle history. It also transcended the sport to reach a wide audience through a cast of engaging characters and variety of heartfelt stories. Now Red Bull Media House, in association with Freeride Entertainment have teamed up with Bruce Brown’s son and acclaimed filmmaker Dana Brown to continue this family tradition with “On Any Sunday, The Next Chapter”. A lot has happened in the past 40 years, but the passion for riding is timeless and continues today. More info at OnAnySundayFilm.com.

AMA Pro Racing is the premier professional motorcycle racing organization in North America, operating a full schedule of events and championships for a variety of motorcycle disciplines.  Learn more about AMA Pro Racing at www.amaproracing.com.
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AMA Pro Racing Announces Second Season of Roadracing World Young Gun Of The Year Award

Apr 29, 2014

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (April 29, 2014) – AMA Pro Road Racing and Roadracing World Publishing, Inc. have reached an agreement to name the 2014 Roadracing World AMA Pro Racing Young Gun Of The Year.

The Young Gun Of The Year Award is based on Roadracing World’s 18 consecutive years of recognizing the best young road racers in North America. The 2014 version of the annual feature recognized 32 riders – 12 of them AMA Pro riders – and was published in the April, 2014 print edition of Roadracing World magazine. One of those riders is likely to be named the 2014 Roadracing World AMA Pro Road Racing Young Gun Of The Year and receive a $2,500 cash award.

To be eligible for the award, riders must have been no older than 18 years old at the start of the 2014 AMA Pro Road Racing season. The award will go to the eligible rider with the most overall points in either the SuperSport or GoPro Daytona SportBike classes and a check will be presented during the 2014 AMA Pro Road Racing Awards Banquet.

 

“We’re happy to work with AMA Pro Racing to name the 2014 Roadracing World AMA Pro Racing Young Gun Of The Year,” said Roadracing World founder John Ulrich. “For almost two decades we have recognized the top up-and-coming road racers in the country in our annual Roadracing World Young Guns feature. Many of our Young Guns have gone on to great success with AMA Pro, and this is a great way to work with AMA Pro Racing to acknowledge their aspirations and accomplishments.”

 

AMA Pro Road Racing riders who will be eligible for the coveted award at the conclusion of 2014 include: Garret Gerloff, Ryan Matter, Jake Lewis, Mario Alvarez, Andre Ochs, Max Finders, Erick Sanchez, Mathew McAllister, Christian Crosslin, Hayden Schultz, Kaleb De Keyrel, Richie Escalante, Joe Roberts, Nick McFadden, Eziah Davis, Jason Aquilar, Tucker Lancaster, and Bodhi Edie.

 

Past Roadracing World Young Guns who have won AMA Pro road races include Corey Alexander, the late Tommy Aquino, J.D. BeachCameron BeaubierJosh DayJason DiSalvoDustin DominguezDanny EslickBobby FongJake Gagne, Nicky Hayden, Roger HaydenTommy HaydenJosh HerrinJake HoldenJohn HopkinsElena MyersShane NarbonneHuntley NashTyler OdomJoey PascarellaChris Peris,James Rispoli, Ben Spies, Chris Ulrich and Blake Young.

Next Up
AMA Pro Road Racing heads to Road America for Round 2 in Elkhart Lake, Wis. May 30-June 1, 2014. For tickets and more information regarding the Subway SuperBike Doubleheader, please visit http://www.roadamerica.com/buy-tickets/superbike-doubleheader-ama-pro-racing.html.

How to Watch
FansChoice.tv will be the official home for live streaming coverage of AMA Pro Road Racing and AMA Pro Flat Track events in 2014. The site will also provide coverage of IMSA’s development and single-make series, and NASCAR’s touring and weekly series.

About AMA Pro Road Racing
AMA Pro Road Racing is the premier motorcycle road racing series in North America and is universally regarded as one of the most competitive road racing organizations in the world. The series is comprised of four production-based classes: AMA Pro SuperBike, AMA Pro GoPro Daytona SportBike, AMA Pro SuperSport and the AMA Pro Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson Series. Learn more about AMA Pro Road Racing at www.amaproracing.com/rr/.

AMA Pro Racing is the premier professional motorcycle racing organization in North America, operating a full schedule of events and championships for a variety of motorcycle disciplines.  Learn more about AMA Pro Racing at www.amaproracing.com.
Photography: AMA Pro Racing/Brian J. Nelson
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Kid Rocks: Beaubier on Provisional Daytona Pole in First AMA Pro SuperBike Race

Mar 13, 2014

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (March 13, 2014) – If there was even a hint of skepticism concerning the ability of reigning AMA Pro GoPro Daytona SportBike champion Cameron Beaubier to smoothly transition to AMA Pro SuperBike competition, it was promptly erased on Thursday afternoon at Daytona International Speedway.

 

The highly-touted premier-class rookie not only demonstrated impressive speed in his first official day of action on the big bikes, he flat out set the pace.

 

Beaubier rocketed around the high banks aboard his Monster Energy/Graves/Yamaha YZF-R1 with a fast time of 1:38.079, securing the provisional pole for this weekend’s season-opening SuperBike doubleheader. The 21-year-old headed the charts for much of the session and even had an answer when his all-world teammate, Josh Hayes, moved into the lead with just a few minutes remaining in Thursday’s qualifying session.

 

Beaubier’s achievement is all the more impressive when you consider that three-time AMA Pro SuperBike king Hayes has a well-established history of one-sided SuperBike practice and qualifying ownership. Should the young Californian hang on tomorrow and retain pole, it will mark the first time the Mississippian has been knocked off the top spot on the grid in over a year.

 

Beaubier was a dominant force in Daytona SportBike racing in 2013, winning 12 of 13 races en route to the crown. He now appears set to make an immediate impact in the premier class.

 

“It was good,” Beaubier said in his typically understated fashion. “Toward the beginning, I just tried to go out and get a constant pace going on a new tire. I was able to do a ‘38.5. I came in and did just a little rear change. I got a couple more laps in and came right back in and threw a new tire on. I went out with the intention of throwing down a good lap — which I did toward the end — but it took me a while to get there.

 

“On the 600, you can put new tires on and just go and carry a bunch of roll-speed through corners and get off the corners good. But on a SuperBike it’s different. Once you slide it a little bit, it starts bucking you. I’m learning every time I get on the bike. I’m sure tomorrow I’ll feel a little bit more comfortable, but I’m sure those guys will be right there, too.”

 

Hayes was second, 0.243 seconds off Beaubier’s class-leading time.

 

Joining the Yamaha duo on the provisional front row is Yoshimura Suzuki Factory Racing’s Roger Hayden with teammate Martin Cardenas just one spot further down in fourth. The two are widely considered the biggest obstacles standing in the way of a fifth-consecutive Monster Energy/Graves/Yamaha SuperBike title, and they delivered on that promise today.

 

New Yosh runner Hayden stopped the clocks at 1:38.827, which was 0.748 seconds behind provisional pole. It was a promising opening day’s work for the Kentuckian, who is aiming to get his title campaign off to a quick start this weekend.

 

Colombian Cardenas, who won here last season, was a further six tenths back.

 

ADR Motorsports/Sic/Motul Fly Racing’s David Anthony was also in outstanding form. The privateer broke into the top five, leading a number of big names. The Australian posted a 1:40.148 to complete the day in fifth.

 

Chris Clark helped the Yoshimura Suzuki Factory Racing squad lock up a full half of the six slots available on the provisional front two rows with his sixth-place performance.

 

KTM/HMC Racing’s Chris Fillmore heads Row 3 overnight. He’s followed by Spaniard Bernat Martinez aboard the Proto-Tech Spain Yamaha R1 and M4 Motorcycle Road Racing Honda’s Chris Ulrich.

 

Team AMSOIL Hero’s Cory West completed the day’s top ten.

 

The grid for the weekend’s twin 15-lap SuperBike contests will be set following Friday morning’s second session. The season’s opening SuperBike race will follow later that day with a scheduled 4:00 p.m. EST start time.

 

2015 DAYTONA 200

 

While the 2014 AMA Pro Road Racing season only kicked off with its opening practice and qualifying sessions today, a bit of time was taken to look ahead to next year, when the AMA Pro SuperBikes will return to headline the DAYTONA 200. A number of key individuals, ranging from AMA Pro officials, team managers, and leading riders took to the stage on Thursday morning to reflect on the exciting opportunity.

Daytona International Speedway President Joie Chitwood III said, “If you think about our history, motorcycles really helped us get to where we are today. And if you look at what we do today, certainly, motorcycle racing is an important part of what Daytona International Speedway stands for. For us, the opportunity to talk about switching up the format for the 200 and bringing the big bikes back is exciting for us. We think it’s a great thing for our fans and our partners. We don’t want to rest on our laurels — we always want to think about what we can do to improve the racing on track and what we can do for our fans.”

 

AMA Pro Racing Chief Operating Officer Michael Gentry remarked, “Bringing the big bikes back is something our fans have been telling us they would like to see. And we just feel like from a series perspective, it’s going to solidify our sport and send a very positive message out to all of our fans and primary stakeholders about our commitment and being here at Daytona.”

 

Keith McCarty, Yamaha USA’s Motorsports Racing Division Manager, added, “I think there’s no argument that the DAYTONA 200 is the most prestigious race in the United States for roadracing and it’s really fitting that SuperBike — the most prestigious class for motorcycle racing here — is a part of that. Yamaha is no stranger to the DAYTONA 200. We applaud everybody who has worked to make this happen.”

AMA Pro GoPro Daytona SportBike

Opening practices for the 73rd DAYTONA 200 began on Thursday, with Garrett Gerloff logging the fastest times of the day. Gerloff wasn’t alone as seven riders were within a second of the Texan.

 

Yamaha Extended Service/Monster Energy/Graves/Yamaha pilot Gerloff said, “This morning was a little bit of a weird start to Daytona. I wasn’t really feeling great; I was a little tight and just riding around, trying to work my way into the session. I got P2, which was great. And coming into the second session, I was feeling really great. The bike was awesome. I got in six okay laps and did 1:51.5. I definitely don’t think that’s the fastest any of us can go. The track felt really good to me so I was expecting everyone to go a little bit faster. I got in six laps before my bike kind of slowed down and I had to come in. And with the one-bike rule, I couldn’t jump on a backup bike and go.”

 

Following Gerloff were some of the top names in AMA Pro GoPro Daytona SportBike. Jason DiSalvo (Castrol/Triumph/Sportbike Track Time) was second in the afternoon as the veteran and former DAYTONA 200 winner showed his strong form.

 

Motosport.com/Meen Yamaha’s Jake Lewis was third with a time of 1:51.568, ahead of RoadRace Factory/Red Bull’s Jake Gagne. Both young riders are looking to translate that speed into a spot on the new three-rider-per-row AMA Pro grids.

 

Two Oklahomans followed closely in fifth and sixth. Yamalube/Westby Racing’s Dane Westby topped Danny Eslick (Riders Discount Racing Triumph) as both riders were well within a second of Gerloff’s best.

 

Class rookie Tomas Puerta of RoadRace Factory/Red Bull, a former AMA Pro SuperSport race winner, was seventh.

 

Series veteran Blake Young returned to AMA Pro Racing with ninth on the GN Gonzales Racing Yamaha.

 

AMA Pro SuperSport

 

The class for up-and-coming racers saw some familiar names and some new arrivals in the top ten. Reigning East champ Corey Alexander set the quickest time on his Celtic/HVMC Racing Suzuki. Alexander’s mark of 1:53.331 led the way in the afternoon session held in clear weather.

 

Miles Thornton was second, having set his mark on the D&D Cycles/Castrol/Triumph. Thornton looks like a good bet to return to the AMA Pro SuperSport podium this far.

 

Jason Aguilar was a surprising third. He placed the Tuned Industries Yamaha in third.

 

The provisional second row consists of Mark Miller, Jr. (Mar Del Racing) Wyatt Farris (Celtic/HVMC Racing) and Armando Ferrer (RacersPrice.com).

 

Several contenders ended up missing time on Thursday, including Dustin Dominguez (Houston Superbikes) and Hayden Gillim (TOBC Racing).

 

AMA Pro Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson Series

 

While Suburban Motors Harley-Davidson’s Steve Rapp tried out his new No. 1 plate for the first time today, it actually turned out to be his teammate, Ben Carlson, who ranked first in Thursday’s AMA Pro Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson Series qualifying session.

 

The Wisconsin native led the way, claiming provisional pole for Friday’s seven-lap affair with a fast time of 2:05.046.

 

Daytona XR1200 master Kyle Wyman was next on the KWR/Millennium Technologies Harley-Davidson. Wyman is looking to make up for last year’s narrow defeat and earn a third victory in this race.

 

The man who edged him out last season, Tyler O’Hara (Josh Chisum Racing/Bartels’ Harley-Davdison) rounded out the provisional front row in third.

Defending champ Rapp, meanwhile was fifth on the day, one spot behind teenager Gage McAllister (Folsom Harley-Davidson). Ex-champs Danny Eslick (Ruthless Racing Harley-Davidson) and Michael Barnes (Arai/Taichi/Sidi/D.E.A.D. Cycles/Wheeler Racing Inc.) were ninth and 12th, respectively.

Source: AMA Pro Racing

Photography: AMA Pro Racing/Brian J. Nelson

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AMA Pro GoPro Daytona SportBike Riders Gear Up for DAYTONA 200

Mar 11, 2014

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (March 10, 2014) – The DAYTONA 200 at Daytona International Speedway remains the cornerstone of Daytona’s historic Bike Week festivities and will once again feature the stars of AMA Pro GoPro Daytona SportBike in a grueling 200-mile battle pitting man and machine as they take on the traditional 3.51-mile, 12-turn speedway road course. The 73rd running will provide another chance for one rider to claim victory and stamp their name in the record books alongside some of the biggest names in the history of the sport.

 

Combining elements of endurance racing, such as the fast-and-furious pit stops, with the all-out pace of sprint racing, the DAYTONA 200 is truly a unique event. This year’s 200-mile race will be an important one historically as it is set to end an era. After a decade of middleweight-class machines contesting America’s most famous motorcycle race, 2015 will see the return of AMA Pro SuperBike to the DAYTONA 200. The AMA Pro GoPro Daytona SportBikes have put on a great show on the High Banks, and the last race of the era will be a final chance for the class competitors to win the race on a middleweight machine.

 

With 2013 GoPro Daytona SportBike champion Cameron Beaubier graduating to SuperBike in 2014, the class seems more like a wide-open proposition this time around. The race at Daytona International Speedway is an excellent chance for class combatants to stamp their mark on the upcoming season.

 

One of the favorites to win this year’s DAYTONA 200 is Jake Gagne (No. 32 RoadRace Factory/Red Bull Yamaha YZF-R6). Gagne was the only rider to beat Beaubier last season — at Road America in a thrilling battle — and the Californian finished second in the final standings when the season came to a close at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. Gagne returns to the RoadRace Factory/Red Bull team, and a win in Daytona would be a good way to begin his third season with the team.

 

Beaubier’s teammate last year, Garrett Gerloff (No. 8 Yamaha Extended Service/Monster Energy/Graves/Yamaha YZF-R6) finished strong in 2013 and showed great improvement in battling with Beaubier in the later rounds. Gerloff just missed a few wins last year in what was essentially his rookie season.

 

JD Beach (No. 6 Yamaha Extended Service/Monster Energy/Graves/Yamaha YZF-R6), another class contender, will join Gerloff in a formidable lineup for the factory-backed Yamaha squad. Beach also finished strong and was signed to replace the graduating Beaubier.

 

Dane Westby (No. 00 Yamalube/Westby Racing Yamaha YZF-R6) decided to form his own team for 2014 and has put together an impressive program. Westby returns to Yamaha machinery after forays on Suzuki and Honda equipment. The former class number two in the points struggled some in 2013 but looks to return to the race-winning form he had the two previous years. In a class of young talent looking to blaze to the top and older veterans with the guile to get it done, Westby is a “tweener,” a rider with a lot of class experience but one with a sense of aggression.

 

Jake Zemke and Joe Roberts will race bikes prepped by Team Hammer in 2014. Class veteran Zemke (No. 98 GEICO Motorcycle Road Racing Honda CBR600RR) has experienced victory at Daytona before and has seen plenty of success while riding Hondas in the past. Roberts (No. 2 M4 GEICO Motorcycle Road Racing Honda CBR600RR) won all five races he contested in AMA Pro SuperSport last year. After experiencing success in Europe as well, all eyes are on Roberts to see how he progresses in 2014.

Jake Lewis (No. 85 Motorsport.com/Meen Yamaha YZF-R6) is another young rider with the potential to win the DAYTONA 200. Lewis, from the road racing hotbed of Kentucky, earned nine top-fives in his rookie GoPro Daytona SportBike season. For his second year in the class, he will remain with the same Meen crew that he became familiar with in 2013.

 

Former two-time class champion Danny Eslick (No. 69 Riders Discount Racing Triumph Daytona 675R) returns to GoPro Daytona SportBike after a few seasons in AMA Pro SuperBike. Eslick has previously won the class crown on Buell and Suzuki machinery and, this time, will attempt the feat on a Triumph. Despite his success in the class, Eslick has seen his share of disappointment at Daytona and has never won the DAYTONA 200. He’ll no doubt be looking to change that this go-around.

 

This year’s field has its share of former DAYTONA 200 winners. In addition to Zemke, the 2006 race winner, Steve Rapp (No. 15 D&D Cycles/Castrol/Triumph Daytona 675R) will attempt to add another marker to complement his 2007 win. Rapp, the reigning AMA Pro Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson Series champ, has experienced a late-career renaissance, and the versatile veteran is one of the many highlights of the 42-bike field for this year’s DAYTONA 200.

 

Joey Pascarella (No. 52 BP Racing Yamaha YZF-R6) put on a dominating performance in 2012 to win his DAYTONA 200 in one of the biggest upsets ever. After time on other brands, Pascarella will once again race a Yamaha this season.

 

Jason DiSalvo (No. 40 Castrol/Triumph/Sportbike Track Time Triumph Daytona 675R) won the race in 2011 and made another charge for a second win in 2012 before coming up just short. DiSalvo is always strong on the 3.51-mile circuit.

 

DiSalvo’s teammate in 2014 is Elena Myers (No. 21 Castrol/Triumph/Apex Manufacturing Triumph Daytona 675R). Myers and Melissa Paris (No. 13 MPH Racing Honda CBR600RR) have battled for top-finishing female racer in the DAYTONA 200 in recent seasons.

The 73rd running of the DAYTONA 200 will begin Saturday, March 15 at 1:00 p.m. EST.

Source:  www.amaproracing.com

Photo: AMA Pro Racing/Brian J. Nelson

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AMA Pro Racing Releases 2014 AMA Pro Road Racing Schedule

Jan 8, 2014

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (January 7, 2014) – AMA Pro Racing announced today the 2014 AMA Pro Road Racing schedule, featuring the full complement of classes at each stop on the circuit. The AMA Pro SuperBike, GoPro Daytona SportBike and AMA Pro SuperSport divisions will contest doubleheaders at each round in 2014, while the Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson Series will participate in one race final per weekend.

 

The 73rd annual DAYTONA 200 will kick off the season on March 13 – 15, 2014 at the legendary Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Fla.  America’s longest running endurance motorcycle race will be contested on Saturday afternoon as part of a traditional three-day event weekend that is expected to produce thrilling racing action by some of the finest riders in the sport today. Josh Herrin and Martin Cardenas split AMA Pro SuperBike victories at Daytona a year ago, as they both benefited from a Josh Hayes bike malfunction that resulted in the three-time SuperBike champ exiting both races early. In the 2013 running of the DAYTONA 200, Cameron Beaubierdominated as he won the historic race by a whopping 22.254 seconds.

 

Next up, the series will be heading back to Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wis. on the weekend of May 30 – June 1, 2014. Measuring in at just over four miles as the longest circuit on the schedule, the classic track is sure to size up the competition as summer begins to kick in across the nation. Last season, Hayes recorded a clean sweep, winning both SuperBike races at Road America in convincing fashion, and the Mississippian will look to repeat his performance in 2014.

 

Fans in the Southeast will be pleased to know that the series will be returning to Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Ala. on the weekend of June 21 – 22, 2014. The Barber event will be the first on the 2014 calendar planned with the recently announced two-day event schedule. As if the racing action isn’t enough, the historic venue is also home to the Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum which contains over 750 vintage and modern motorcycles for avid race fans to take in over the course of the weekend. It was another clean sweep for Hayes in Alabama last season, as he barely edged out archrival Roger Hayden by less than a half of a second in both contests.

 

Dating back to 1962, Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course has been a well-deserved mainstay on the American road racing scene, and the legendary asphalt has seen some of the most exciting road racing action in the country. The two-day event weekend set to be held on July 19 – 20, 2014 is sure to be one of the most action packed of the year. The series will be heading back to Lexington, Ohio for the 32nd consecutive time to take on the 2.4-mile, 15-turn natural terrain road course for another set of exciting shootouts. Hayes and Herrin split victories in AMA Pro SuperBike competition at Mid-Ohio in 2013 while Beaubier continued his dominant march with another set of wins on his way to capturing the 2013 GoPro Daytona SportBike championship.

 

Round 5 will take place at New Jersey Motorsports Park on the weekend of September 13 – 14, 2014, marking the sixth consecutive season that the series has made the trek to the Garden State. The 2.25-mile track in Millville, N.J. has been a battlefield for competitors since the gorgeous grounds were opened in 2009. The 2014 contest at NJMP has also been scheduled as a two-day event. Former Monster Energy Graves Yamaha teammates Hayes and Herrin found themselves in a neck-and-neck battle here last year and each of the elite riders recorded one victory in the second-to-last event of the 2013 season.

A sixth event may be added to the 2014 AMA Pro Road Racing schedule in the coming weeks. Additional details will be released upon confirmation of the event.

 

The 2014 AMA Pro Road Racing schedule is as follows:

  1. March 13 – 15 – Daytona International Speedway, Daytona Beach, Fla.
  2. May 30 – June 1 – Road America, Elkhart Lake, Wis.
  3. June 21 – 22 – Barber Motorsports Park, Birmingham, Ala.*
  4. July 19 – 20 – Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, Lexington, Ohio*
  5. September 13 – 14 – New Jersey Motorsports Park, Millville, N.J.*
* – These events will feature the two-day event schedule
Photo: AMA Pro Racing/Brian J. Nelson
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