AMA Championship Banquet
recognizes top amateur motorcycle and all-terrain vehicle racers
PICKERINGTON, Ohio -- The
country's best amateur motorcycle and all-terrain vehicle racers from the
track, trail, desert and everywhere in between were honored at the American
Motorcyclist Association Championship Banquet on Saturday, Jan. 18, at the Aladdin
Event & Conference Center in Columbus, Ohio. More than 700 competitors and
fans attended the banquet, which celebrated the 2013 racing season and
announced the recipients of several special awards.
AMA President & CEO Rob Dingman congratulated the AMA racers and their
families on a successful year and thanked them for their contributions to the
sport of motorcycling.
"Each of you is here tonight because you love competition," Dingman
said. "You have earned the right to be here because you have excelled in
your racing discipline, or you have made it possible for a family member or
friend to succeed thanks to your support. You, and the hundreds of thousands of
AMA racers who came before you, make this sport what it is today. Since 1924,
racers of all backgrounds and skill levels have competed in AMA-sanctioned
events and have contributed to the collective wisdom, passion and talent that
has shaped our sport."
Laurette Nicoll and Greg White emceed the banquet, which awarded national
championship trophies, placement medals and AMA No. 1 plates to competitors in
more than a dozen AMA-sanctioned disciplines. Special awards included AMA
Athlete of the Year honors.
The AMA's highest competitive honors, the AMA Athlete of the Year Awards,
recognize a rider from each of the two categories of national championship
competition: AMA National Championship Series and AMA Grand Championships.
The late Kurt Caselli, the overall champion of the 2013 AMA FMF/GPR Hare &
Hound National Championship Series, won the AMA National Championship Series
Athlete of the Year Award. The 2013 title was Caselli's third overall AMA Hare
& Hound National Championship. Caselli, who was poised to transition to
world motorcycle rally racing in 2014, passed away while competing in the Baja
1000 in November 2013.
"On behalf of myself and the family, we want to say thank you so much for
all the support we've been getting, and thank you so much for selecting Kurt
for the AMA National Championship Series Athlete of the Year," said Sarah
Jean White, Caselli's fiancée, who accepted the award on his behalf on a
recorded video message. "That is such a huge deal, and Kurt would be so
honored to accept this award."
Jeffery Lowery won the AMA Grand Championship Athlete of the Year Award.
Lowery, from Newark, Ohio, was the AMA Dirt Track Horizon Award Winner in 2013,
winning AMA national titles in the 251-500cc DTX class and the 450cc Modified
class at the AMA Dirt Track Grand Championships in Springfield, Ill.
"It's a true honor to represent dirt track," Lowery said. "It's
great to get the recognition for everything that we do and all the great racing
that goes on in dirt track motorcycle racing. There are so many great people
who have come through the sport of dirt track. Last night, I took a tour of the
AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame museum, and it is full of dirt track racing because
it is the history of motorcycle racing. It's just such a great thing to be
Hannah Hodges was the AMA Female Rider of the Year. Hodges, from DeLand, Fla.,
was the Girls Sr. (12-16) class champion at the AMA Amateur National Motocross
"This award is really cool," Hodges said. "AMA is really big,
with so many different disciplines. There's a bunch of competition, so to be a
part of it and win this award is really cool. I'm just happy to be a part of
it. I want to be the first girl to qualify for a men's AMA Pro Motocross
National some day."
Aiden Tijero was the AMA Racing Youth Rider of the Year. The Ripon, Calif.,
resident was the 65cc (10-11) Limited class champion at the 2013 AMA Red Bull
Amateur National Motocross Championships, Presented by Amsoil. Tijero also was
the 65cc World Champion at the 2013 FIM Jr. Motocross World Championships.
"This is one of the biggest awards you could get," Tijero said.
"I can look back at it when I'm older, like my dad's age, and I can say,
'I remember this so much like it was yesterday,' and that's how I want it to
be. I want to remember everything about this. I love this sport. It's my favorite
The AMA ATV Athlete of the Year Award was won by Brett Musick, the 2013 Pro-Am
champion in the AMA ATV Motocross National Championship Series. The Verdunille,
W.Va., resident finished on top of a highly competitive field to win the 2013
AMA Veteran/Senior Rider of the Year was Steve Ellis. Ellis, from Irvine,
Calif., was the Vintage Super Senior A and the Vintage 201-250cc A class
champion in the AMA Vintage Motocross National Championship Series.
The AMA also presented the AMA Sportsman of the Year award. This award
recognizes a racer, former racer or individual who has gone above and beyond to
transcend their role for the betterment of the sport of motorcycle competition.
The 2013 AMA Sportsman of the Year award was presented to longtime AMA
International Six Days Enduro Team organizer and volunteer Richard
"Gunny" Claypoole. Claypoole recently retired from what has been a
decades-long commitment to put the United States on top of the world's most
prestigious off-road team championship.
Sponsors who helped honor the 2013 AMA Champions at the banquet included
Traveline Travel, and a number of companies who generously donated raffle
prizes and other items for the champions: FMF, Motul, Matrix, Atlas, Bell
Helmets, Motion Pro, WPS/Fly Racing and Barnett.
Other special awards included:
AMA Media Award
Motocross Organizer of the Year
Feld Motor Sports
Off-Road Organizer of the Year
East Coast Enduro Association
Track Racing Organizer of the Year
American Sportbike Racing Association
ATV Organizer of the Year
Michael Coburn Racing
Recreational Road Riding Organizer of the Year
Laconia Motorcycle Week
Recreational Off-Road Organizer of the Year
Tri County MC
AMA Club of the Year
Polka Dots Michigan
About the American Motorcyclist
Founded in 1924, the AMA is a
not-for-profit member-based association whose mission is to promote the
motorcycle lifestyle and protect the future of motorcycling. As the world's
largest motorcycling rights and event sanctioning organization, the AMA
advocates for riders' interests at all levels of government and sanctions
thousands of competition and recreational events every year. The AMA also
provides money-saving discounts on products and services for its members.
Through the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame in Pickerington, Ohio, the AMA honors
the heroes and heritage of motorcycling. For more information, visit www.americanmotorcyclist.com.