Oct 4, 2012
© 2014, Roadracing World Publishing, Inc.
by David Swarts
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Chris Ulrich (left) gives reporter Alejandro de los Rios (right) some final tips before taking the GEICO Suzuki two-seat Superbike out Thursday at NOLA Motorsports Park. Photo by David Swarts/Roadracingworld.com.
AMA Pro Superbike racer Chris Ulrich used his GEICO Suzuki GSX-R1000 two-seat Superbike to give a local journalist and two VIP guests 150-mph rides around NOLA Motorsports Park Thursday afternoon.
"That was ridiculous. Wow!" said Alejandro de los Rios, a sports reporter for New Orleans' Gambit newspaper and a regular contributor to ESPN The Magazine and Wired.
Asked what stood out most to him about his ride, Rios said, "Definitely the athletic component. Knowing the way my body feels right now after a couple of laps and that he does that for a half-hour or more in a race. Wow! I'm soaked to the bone [with sweat]. To be able to maintain that level of concentration to do all that"¦I think I'm only able to grasp about 2% of everything he's doing out there. Then there's the aspect of trying to race other people and the stress that adds to it. That's impressive."
Ulrich also gave a ride to Tanya Boswell, the Managing Partner of Scott Boswell Enterprises, which operates Stella! and Stanley, two popular restaurants in New Orleans. Tanya Boswell is also an Apex Member of NOLA Motorsports Park, where she regularly drives her racing kart and her turbo-charged Porsche.
Following her ride around the 2.75-mile road course, Boswell was asked how riding on the back of Ulrich's Superbike at 150 mph compared with driving her Porsche around the track.
"Nothing compares," said Boswell. "That was totally different because you're in the open air and I feel like there's so much more to pay attention to when you're on the bike. Super cool. I loved it. It made me want to get a bike."
Ulrich also gave a ride to Bridget Cloud, an Account Executive with The Ehrhardt Group, the agency that represents NOLA Motorsports Park.
Ulrich and his team have offered rides on two-seat racebikes to local reporters to help promote AMA Pro Superbike events and motorcycle road racing in general for over 10 years, and Ulrich has given over 500 two-seat racebike rides since 2003.
Ulrich also gives rides on his two-seat racebike to selected donors to the Roadracing World Action Fund (~), a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization that promotes and helps fund deployment of soft barriers to help prevent rider injuries at racetracks.
The Roadracing World Action Fund has supplied 130 30-foot sections of Airfence brand soft barriers--with a replacement value of about $585,000 at current pricing--for deployment at AMA Pro Racing road race and dirt track events.