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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AMA Pro Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson Series Preview New Jersey Motorsports Park

Sep 12, 2013

MILLVILLE, N.J. (September 12, 2013) – Every session, every overtaking maneuver, and every hard-earned position at the checkered flag hold increased importance now that the 2013 AMA Pro Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson Series title fight is down to its final two races.

Following last month’s XR Showdown doubleheader opener at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the four-race shootout to determine this year’s champion is already halfway completed, but nothing is settled just yet.

This weekend at The New Jersey Lottery Devil’s Showdown the intense struggle for XR1200 supremacy and the $60,000 Showdown prize resumes at New Jersey Motorsports Park.

 

Steve Rapp (No. 5 Aerostar Global/Suburban Harley-Davison) carried a four-race win streak into the XR Showdown. However, that streak was snapped and he was twice defeated at Indy in a pair of thrilling contests that came down to final-lap drafting duels. While his 4-2 finishes may have felt like a minor disappointment considering his stellar mid-season form, the combined result was anything but a setback for his ultimate goal.

 

In fact, Rapp’s consistency, combined with the fact that the two wins went to international wild card entries not in XR Showdown contention, means the veteran pilot actually finds himself in a position of power in his quest to secure a first-career GEICO Motorcycle AMA Pro Road Racing championship. Despite missing out on victory for the first time since March, Rapp now boasts an eight-point advantage heading into NJMP.

 

Also working in Rapp’s favor is that that fact that the only other Showdown contender to have won a race this season, Tyler O’Hara (No. 29 Eco Fuel Saver/Scrubblade), crashed out early in Sunday’s contest at IMS. As a result, O’Hara finds himself with a steep hill to climb, as he’s been relegated to fifth in the title chase, some 20 points removed from Rapp and with precious little time to make up that ground on the steady and experienced Rapp.

 

While Rapp is undeniably in a good place at the moment, anything can happen at New Jersey Motorsports Park, as illustrated by last year’s Harley-Davidson stunner. Kyle Wyman came into NJMP with a commanding XR Showdown lead after an excellent performance in the ’12 Indy doubleheader. However, Wyman crashed hard on the final lap while running as part of a seven-man dogfight for the win in New Jersey and was effectively knocked out of the title fight as a result.

 

The win that day actually went to a rider outside the XR Showdown — home-track hero Shane Narbonne (No. 46 Mob Racing). Narbonne is very much in title contention this year, however, as he returns to the scene of his first-career GEICO Motorcycle AMA Pro Road Racing race victory ranked fourth in the championship fight and well positioned to make a serious move for this year’s crown.

 

Kyle’s brother, Travis Wyman (No. 24 Harv’s Harley-Davidson), is another rider to keep close tabs on. Wyman has increasingly shown the ability to match Rapp in terms of outright pace, pushing him for a close second at Mid-Ohio and then followed that up with a strong fifth and third at Indy. He is currently second in the XR Showdown standings, just eight points removed from title favorite Rapp.

 

Of course, you can never count out defending series king Michael Barnes (No. 1 Spyke’s Harley-Davidson). ‘Barney’ is now third, 15 points off Rapp, but successfully fought his way back from a deeper deficit last season to score his first AMA Pro title.

 

Positions five through ten are tightly packed following the Indy doubleheader. David Estok (No. 123 Thrashed Bike Racing) leads that group, but only eight points total separate Estok, Ben Carlson (No. 45 Suburban Harley-Davison), Nicholas Hansen (No. 97 H&S Distributors), Josh Chisum (No. 10 Eco Fuel Saver/Scrubblade), and Barrett Long (No. 2 Longevity Racing).

 

And as Narbonne showed last year at NJMP (and indeed, as Jeremy McWilliams and Hafizh Syahrin demonstrated last month in Indy), talented riders from outside the XR Showdown can still step forward and make their presences felt at the front on any given day, adding to the unpredictable nature of the AMA Pro Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson Series.

 

For tickets to GEICO Motorcycle AMA Pro Road Racing’s Round 8 at New Jersey Motorsports Park on September 13-15, 2013, please visit http://store.njmp.com/store/category/9/69/AMA-SUPERBIKE/ or call 856-327-8000.

Source/Photography: AMA Pro Racing/Brian J. Nelson

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AMA Pro Flat Track Prepping for Basic Twins Races

Jul 17, 2013

AMA Pro Flat Track presented by J&P Cycles Community Prepping for Basic Twins Races set for August 31-September 1, 2013 at Springfield Mile

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (July 17, 2013) – Earlier this year, AMA Pro Racing announced the launch of a new class that will provide AMA Pro J&P Cycles Pro Singles riders with a transition to the Grand National Expert level. The new class, titled Basic Twins, already has a growing number of AMA Pro J&P Cycles Pro Singles riders committed to compete in the event which is scheduled to take place during the Springfield Mile doubleheader on August 31-Septemper 1, 2013.

 

The Basic Twins class has been designed specifically for Pro Singles riders that have the aspiration of one day competing at the Grand National Expert level. This stepping stone division will provide a way for the Pro Singles riders to get a feel for the powerful twin-cylinder motorcycles at the professional level without the added pressure of competing against the already proven Grand National Experts.

 

Darryl Baer, a chassis builder for several competitors at the Grand National Expert level, has been approached by multiple riders and teams in regards to building frames for their Basic Twins motorcycles.

“When the AMA Pro Racing press release came out announcing the arrival of the Basic Twins class, I immediately started receiving large amounts of phone calls from riders at the Pro Singles level requesting that I build their frames,” said Baer. “Aside from the racers themselves, there are multiple people that have called me – they don’t even know what rider they’re putting on them yet but they’re building the Basic Twins bikes and are excited about the new class.”

The Basic Twins class will also provide an opportunity for top-tier teams and sponsors to see firsthand how well the rising stars compete on twin-cylinder machinery. In order to promote the growth of the new class, Harley-Davidson has agreed to provide a $2,000 purse for the race weekend with $500 going to each of the winners.

 

“The Basic Twins class is going to be a breakthrough for our series, there’s no question about it,” said Dan Johnsen, Director of AMA Pro Flat Track. “There is so much talent at the Pro Singles level and I believe that once they get this opportunity, there’s going to be no stopping them. There are already several riders that have bikes currently being built and are getting excited for the race at Springfield. We plan on scheduling four to six Basic Twins races in 2014 with even more to follow in 2015. I know I speak on behalf of the entire AMA Pro Flat Track community when I say that we are excited about getting this series off the ground.”

A notable rider who has already committed to competing in the inaugural Basic Twins race at Springfield is Jason Isennock. The 26-year-old, who recently claimed victory at the Hagerstown Half-Mile, has a motorcycle being built for the Basic Twins race.

“I’m super excited about this and think AMA Pro Racing is making a good call,” said Isennock. “My (Basic Twins) bikes aren’t quite built yet for it but they’re on the way and we’ll have them running for the Springfield events. I think it’s a great idea for the Pro Singles to be able to get comfortable with the twin-cylinder motorcycles without competing against the Grand National Experts. I really think this is a great thing for the (J&P Cycles) Pro Singles.”

The Basic Twins races will take place on August 31, 2013 in Springfield, Illinois and again on September 1 for Round 10 and 11 of the AMA Pro Flat Track presented by J&P Cycles schedule.

Source:  AMA Pro Racing

Photo: AMA Pro Racing/Dave Hoenig

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Cameron Beaubier ganador de las 200 millas de Daytona

Mar 16, 2013

Daytona Beach, Florida. (Marz0 16, 2013) – Cameron Beaubier, de la escudería Y.E.S Graves,  ganó la edición número 72 de la DAYTONA 200, a bordo de su Yamaha YZF-R6. Desde las vueltas de calificación Beaubier se ubicoo en la posición privilegiada (pole position) en la parrilla de arranque. Durante la competencia mantuvo una amplia ventaja de 22 segundos sobre su coequipero Garrett Gerloff y  37 segundos sobre Bobby Fong que se ubicó en el tercer lugar. De esta forma Beaubier deja su huella marcada en la GEICO Motorcycle AMA Pro Road Racing, como muchos otros grandes campeones lo han hecho.

Beaubier se mostró agradecido para con su escudería, Yamaha Extended Service Monster Energy Graves, y comentó  al respecto: “me dieron dos excelentes sevicios de pits y yo conduje tan rápido como pude.”

Con esta importante triunfo al inicio de la temporada 2013, el piloto de 20 años de edad dejó un estándar muy alto en la GEICO Motorcycle AMA Pro Road Racing, pues a partir de la vuelta número 21 tomó la delantera y no la dejo hasta que alcanzó la bandera a cuadros en la vuelta número 57, con la cual completó las 200 millas de la carrera.

Por otra parte la joven Elena Myers a bordo de su Triumph se coló a la novena posición seguida de Melissa Paris  a bordo de su Honda.

Los resultados de las 200 millas de Daytona son los siguientes:

Posición Piloto
1 Cameron Beaubier
2 Garrett Gerloff
3 Bobby Fong
4 Jake Gagne
5 JD Beach
6 Steve Rapp
7 James Rispoli
8 Ben Young
9 Elena Myers
10 Melissa Paris
11 Barrett Long
12 Scott Ryan
13 Tristan Palmer
14 Anthony Fania
15 Fernando Amantini

(Fotografía: AMA Pro Racing/Brian J. Nelson)

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El novato Josh Herrin se lleva su primer triunfo de la AMA Pro National Guard SuperBike

Mar 16, 2013

DAYTONA BEACH, Florida (Marzo 15, 2013). La primera carrera de la temporada 2013 del Campeonato GEICO de Motociclismo Profesional de la Asociación Norteamericana de Motociclismo (AMA por sus siglas en inglés) estuvo llena de sorpresas.

Este viernes el Circuito Internacional de Daytona (Daytona International Speedway) fue el escenario en donde se desarrolló la batalla por el primer lugar; misma que tuvo sus momentos más emocionantes durante las primeras cinco vueltas, ya que Josh Hayes, de la escudería Monster Energy Graves Yamaha, perdió la primera posición ante su joven coequipero Josh Herrin, quien consiguió de esta manera la primera victoria de su carrera profesional en la contienda National Guard Superbike.

Para Hayes fue imposible alejarse de Herrin, quien lo persiguió durante toda la competencia a bordo de su R1; cabe mencionar que ambas motocicletas fueron prepara en iguales condiciones, lo cual favoreció la batalla por la primera posición.

Uno de los pocos contendientes que se esperaba pudiera hacer frente a Hayes es el piloto  Roger Hayden, de la escudería  National Guard Jordan Suzuki, no pudo conseguir esta hazaña porque en la primera vuelta, el oriundo de Kentuchy perdió el control de su motocicleta y quedó fuera de la contienda.

Alrededor de la quinta vuelta Josh Hayes redujo dramáticamente su velocidad, dejando así la primera posición a su compañero de escudería. Un problema en el clutch causado por la agresiva conducción durante el arranque de la competencia forzó a Hayes a abandonar la carrera.

A pesar de que Hayes se retiró, esta no le dio una fácil victoria al novato Herrin, quien tuvo que defenderse de  Cárdenas, quien fue poco a poco disminuyendo la ventaja de 2.5 segundos a bordo de su Suzuki desde la octava vuelta y hasta la vuelta número 15, cuando vieron la bandera a cuadros.

Esta primera contienda muestra lo reñido que será la campaña 2013.

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