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Jan 7, 2013

GEICO Motorcycle Road Racing Team Switches To Honda With Rider Dane Westby

Dane Westby (5) leads Martin Cardenas (36) at Mid-Ohio, where Westby won an AMA Pro Daytona SportBike race in 2012. Photo by Brian J. Nelson, courtesy GEICO Motorcycle
The GEICO Motorcycle-backed team fielded by Chris Ulrich Racing, LLC will run Honda motorcycles in the 2013 and 2014 GEICO Motorcycle AMA Pro Road Racing Series. As always, Team Hammer, Inc. will provide technical and logistical support.

Dane Westby, who finished second in the 2012 AMA Pro Daytona SportBike Championship with one race win and nine podium appearances, will ride the GEICO Motorcycle-branded #5 Honda CBR600RR in 2013.

"I've watched Dane develop from his early years in WERA and through his transition into AMA Pro Racing," said Chris Ulrich. "He's come a long way and his progress accelerated once he got on Team Hammer-prepared racebikes. He has become a podium regular and a fan favorite and has earned his place on our GEICO Motorcycle-backed team.

"As for myself, I am excited that my team will race Honda motorcycles," continued Ulrich. "Racing a Honda is something every rider dreams of early in their career--and I can remember being excited to race a Honda RS125 as a kid.

"Honda is the elite of the motorcycle world and that is why we chose to race Honda's CBR line of motorcycles, and why we're proud to be bringing Honda motorcycles back into the paddock. It's great for our race team, increases the credibility of AMA Pro Racing and adds excitement for motorcycle road racing fans in the United States. This new adventure is going to be a big challenge, but I have confidence in Team Hammer's ability to build fast and reliable racebikes."

Team Hammer Crew Chief and General Manager Keith Perry said, "It's an exciting time for the team to race motorcycles from the world's preeminent motorcycle manufacturer, the company that is at the top of the motorcycle world. We realize that it is a big challenge but it's something everyone on the team is excited about.

"I started my first real job at a Honda shop in 1969, at age 14," said Perry. "I then went through all the Honda accreditation schools and became one the first 100 Registered Honda Mechanics in the country, so most of my early training was with Honda. My first road race was on a Honda CB750F in 1978 or 1979 and it's exciting to come full circle and go racing with Honda motorcycles again."

Westby, who replaces 2012 Daytona SportBike champion Martin Cardenas, is up for the challenge of becoming the team's premiere rider.

"I'm really honored to be riding the GEICO Motorcycle-sponsored Honda CBR600RR in 2013," said Westby. "My crew and I have been growing together and making things happen and now we've added to the mix with a new motorcycle brand. I have a garage full of Hondas and I learned to ride on a Honda. So I'm really proud to Ride Red and I'm really excited about the upcoming season."

"GEICO is proud to partner with Chris Ulrich Racing to support and interact with motorcycle enthusiasts throughout the United States," said Thomas Garner, GEICO Motorcycle Director. "Being involved with Team Hammer and AMA Pro Road Racing, gives us a great opportunity to connect with our customers on a personal level, and to promote our family of products. We have full confidence in Dane Westby and the team and are looking forward to another very exciting season in 2013."

About Chris Ulrich Racing, LLC: Chris Ulrich is a second-generation racer who worked with his family's team from an early age, running a pit signal board before he was old enough to race himself. He then progressed from racing mini bikes to winning AMA Pro races while also co-riding to multiple overall WERA National Endurance Championships, and founded Chris Ulrich Racing LLC. For 2012, Chris Ulrich Racing signed a multi-year title sponsorship deal with GEICO Motorcycle, and won the AMA Pro Daytona SportBike Championship with rider Martin Cardenas, with technical and logistical support from Team Hammer. The team is fielding Dane Westby on a Honda CBR600RR in the 2013 AMA Pro Daytona SportBike Championship, under the GEICO Motorcycle Road Racing banner. Chris himself will continue to race in AMA Pro Superbike.

About Team Hammer: In 2013, Team Hammer, Inc. is competing in its 33rd consecutive racing season, and is marking its seventh year of offering technical and logistical support through its Contract Services Department. Riders on Team Hammer-prepared racebikes have earned 54 AMA Pro National race wins; 133 AMA Pro National podium finishes; 5 AMA Pro Championships; 133 Overall National Endurance race wins; 13 National Endurance Championships and assorted other race wins and titles.
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