AMA Pro SuperBike rolls into Road America for Round 2 of AMA Pro Road Racing
ELKHART LAKE, Wis. (May 27, 2014) - The 2014 AMA Pro Road Racing season resumes this weekend with the Subway SuperBike Doubleheader at Road America, in Elkhart Lake, Wis., and all eyes will be on 21-year-old AMA Pro SuperBike rookie Cameron Beaubier on the No. 2 Monster Energy Graves Yamaha YZF-R1.
Beaubier may be the new kid on the block, but he entered the season opener at Daytona International Speedway with high expectations. However, no one was quite sure how long it might take the reigning AMA Pro GoPro Daytona SportBike champion to get up to speed on a powerful and unforgiving 1000cc SuperBike.
It turns out it didn't take Beaubier long at all, as he finished third in his first premier-class race. Beaubier backed up his strong start by winning in just his second career SuperBike outing, cementing his debut weekend as one of the greatest in series history. As a result, the gifted Californian rolls into fast and flowing Road America with the points lead.
Road America was the scene of the Yamaha star's only SportBike defeat last season. Beaubier's weekend wasn't a complete disaster however; he did finish as the runner-up in the second half of the double header and he won the first race of the weekend.
Beaubier wasn't the only rider to race to an impressive start at Daytona. His championship lead is just a single point due to the strong showing from Roger Hayden on the No. 95 Yoshimura Suzuki Factory Racing GSX-R1000. Hayden wasted no time getting accustomed to the vaunted Yoshimura Suzuki squad.
Hayden missed victory by scant 0.025 and 0.090-second margins in Florida and will be hungry to strike back in Wisconsin and claim the championship lead for himself.
Yoshimura Suzuki will be expecting a big weekend from more than just Hayden. Last season, Colombian Martin Cardenas aboard the No. 36 Yoshimura Suzuki Factory Racing GSX-R1000 enjoyed one of the finest weekends of his entire 2013 campaign in Wisconsin, ringing up a pair of impressive second place finishes.
The third Yoshimura pilot, Chris Clark, of the No. 6 Yoshimura Suzuki Factory Racing GSX-R1000, registered arguably his career-best SuperBike weekend before this season in 2012 at Road America when he finished seventh and ninth. But Clark opened the season in superb fashion with a double fourth place finish at Daytona which left him third in the early season points race, trailing only Beaubier and Hayden.
Cardenas, meanwhile, has a bit of catching up to do despite finishing on the box in Race 2 at Daytona. A crash in the opening-leg had him walk away from the weekend tied in points with fifth-ranked Josh Hayes on No. 4 Monster Energy Graves Yamaha YZF-R1.
For the second consecutive year, AMA Pro SuperBike legend Hayes left the Daytona facing an uphill climb. For the third time in his last four races at DIS, the 39-year-old three-time series champion saw a potential victory go up in smoke due to mechanical issues.
However, he did minimize the impact of that disappointment with a spectacular performance in the opening-leg of the double header, taking the checkered flag first to score the 42nd victory of his decorated premier-class career.
The Mississippian will be looking to get his title challenge back on track this weekend and Wisconsin is a good place for him to do so. Hayes has reeled in maximum points in each of his two prior visits to Road America, as its varied corners tend to reward his all-around superiority.
Privateer David Anthony, pilot of the No. 25 ADR Motorsports/Sic/Motul Fly Racing Suzuki GSX-R1000, is slotted between the top three, Hayes and Cardenas. Anthony continued to show he can hang with the big boys, finishing in the top five both times out at Daytona, and he'll look to continue that trend at Elkhart Lake.
Chris Fillmore on No. 11 KTM/HMC Racing KTM RC8R finished just behind Anthony in both races in the Daytona opener. Fillmore has the ability to take the RC8R to its first-ever podium and would love to do so this weekend at KTM/HMC Racing team's home circuit.
Similarly motivated are Wisconsin-based EBR's leading men, Cory West on the No. 13 Team AMSOIL Hero EBR 1190RS and Larry Pegram aboard the No. 72 Foremost Insurance/Pegram Racing EBR 1190RS. West logged a pair of top tens in Daytona while Pegram, a one-time Road America SuperBike race-winner had a more difficult time in his first weekend on the 1190RS.
Taylor Knapp on the No. 44 TOBC Racing Suzuki GSX-R1000, Chris Ulrich on board the No. 18 GEICO Motorcycle Road Racing Honda CBR1000RR and rookie Stefano Mesa, the pilot of the No. 37 DMS Kawasaki ZX-10, all factored in the top ten at Daytona and have the potential to do the same again this weekend.
In addition to the twin 13-lap SuperBike races, this weekend will also see the introduction of a new qualifying procedure in which the top 12 battle it out shootout-style for grid position.
The AMA Pro SuperBike riders will kick off the Subway SuperBike Doubleheader on Friday, May 30 with their opening practice session at noon local time (1 p.m. EST).
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 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.
More, from a press release issued by Gieger Global Media:
Upward trending GEICO Motorcycle Honda riders excited for Road America
ELKHART LAKE, Wis. -- Fresh off their best outing of the 2014 road racing season, GEICO Motorcycle Honda riders Jake Zemke and Chris Ulrich arrive in Wisconsin for this weekend's Subway Superbike Doubleheader with high hopes of capitalizing on their newfound momentum.
Zemke finished fourth at Sunday's Arai Mountain Nationals near Salt Lake City, his best result in four starts this year on his 600cc SportBike, while team owner/rider Ulrich found the podium with a third-place finish in the 1,000cc Superbike category.
"It was a solid weekend for both of us and it definitely lifted everyone's spirits," the 38-year-old Zemke said. "We're all out here to win, bottom line, and in just our second year with these Hondas we're starting to see podium and near-podium finishes. It seems as though we're trending in the right direction."
Both veteran riders have competed at historic Road America numerous times in the past and mark the lengthy 14-turn, 4.0-mile layout through the Wisconsin countryside as one of their favorite racetracks in the country.
"It's the longest track on the circuit and it's plenty fast," Ulrich said. "It's an old-fashioned horsepower track in many regards, but at the same time there are some sections that certainly test your ability and precision.
"You've got to link Turns 5-9 together. If you hit 6 right, you get the first part of 'Hurry Downs' right. You get Turn 8 right, and you get the 'Carousel' right and that sets you up for a fast lap. Conversely, if you mess up in that linked section, your lap time is going to suffer. The same goes from 'Canada Corner' onto the front straightaway. You've got to link each one of those areas together."
Whether you pull off a perfect lap or find yourself dicing it up with several other riders, Zemke says the fans are always there in support.
"The people in that area of the country are awesome," Zemke said. "Everyone from those upper-middle states know this is their race and they are there in volume. We get a lot of Canadians coming down as well. It's a great atmosphere. You go around in the infield and there are people camped out everywhere. There are families and friends, and when fans walk come to the pits, there's just a relaxed feeling about the place.
"The track is almost European in design. I raced in Monza, Italy, many times and Road America reminds me a lot of that place because of the speed and flow of the track. It's a true road course. The modern racetracks, more and more, are going away from that, whereas Road America is a true, natural road course. There's nothing quite like it."
The action gets underway with practice and qualifying Friday. The first GoPro Daytona SportBike race begins at 2 p.m., Saturday, immediately followed by the first American SuperBike race at 3 p.m. The same race schedule will be followed Sunday.