Sep 26, 2013
© 2013, Roadracing World Publishing, Inc.
by David Swarts
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GEICO Motorcycle AMA Pro Superbike racer Chris Ulrich (third from right) with members of the local media Thursday at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. Photo by David Swarts, copyright Roadracing World Publishing, Inc.
AMA Pro racer Chris Ulrich introduced a group of local print, radio and television journalists to motorcycle road racing by giving them 120-mph rides around Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca Thursday on his GEICO Honda CBR1000RR two-seat Superbike.
“Exciting as hell, really fun,” said Dennis Taylor, a reporter with the Monterey Herald newspaper and a radio show host on 540 AM KRXA in Monterey, California. “I’ve written about this track for a long time and heard world-class racers talk about it a long time, so it was really neat for me to be able to go out there and experience it. I can’t wait to write this.”
“I don’t think you can put words to it. It’s out of this world,” said Brett Martin, anchor of the morning news broadcast on KION 46, a CBS affiliate. “The fact that these guys do this week-in and week-out and that they train to do it…it’s hard work. People may argue that racing is not a sport or they’re not true athletes, but that’s nuts. These guys are good.”
“It’s unlike anything I’ve ever done,” said Barry Brown, co-host of the "Barry & Karen in the Morning" show on 96.9 FM KWAV in Monterey. “I’ve never gone that kind of speed with that little of protection. I’m an avid bicyclist and I cycle 1000 miles a year, but not at this speed. It was just remarkable to see things flying by so fast, and he is so accomplished. Chris is such an accomplished rider.”
“It was amazing,” said Fidel Soto, Sports Director for KSMS-TV, the Univision affiliate in Monterey. “This is the first time I have been on a bike at this velocity. Now I can see how amazing these guys are because they can ride at such a high velocity with so much control.”
“I’ve ridden here before on my own motorcycle but not like that,” said Axel Binneboese, the host and producer of "Full Throttle Radio," a show on KRML 102.1 FM and 1410 AM in Monterey. “It made me respect these guys even more. I know we already respect them, but that was pretty cool stuff. To do that with me on the back, that’s like riding with a giant gorilla. Chris did a great job.”
“That was unreal. It was surreal,” said Domingo Rivera, a co-host of the "Morning Madhouse" radio show on KDON 102.5 FM in Monterey, Salina and Santa Cruz, California. “You’re going so fast. I heard we hit 122, 123 mph. We pulled a wheelie coming onto the straightaway. I could feel it lift. It was so intense and so fun. After the first and second turn I could hear his knee scrap [the pavement], and the adrenaline just started pumping. It was super cool.”
For over a decade, Ulrich and his team have offered rides on two-seat racebikes to reporters to help promote AMA Pro Superbike events and motorcycle road racing in general. Ulrich himself has given over 600 two-seat racebike rides since 2003.
Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca is hosting the season finale of the 2013 GEICO Motorcycle AMA Pro Road Racing Championships and a round of the eni FIM Superbike World Championship this weekend. For more information, go to .