INDIANAPOLIS (July 18) -- After a quick couple-day turnaround in California, GEICO Motorcycle Honda Superbike rider Chris Ulrich and the GEICO team traveled cross-country for the next race on the AMA Pro Road Racing Series, to be held at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, but made an extra stop at Indianapolis Motor Speedway for media rides to help promote the upcoming Red Bull Indianapolis Grand Prix, Aug. 8-10.
Since 2003 Ulrich and his team have given rides to various media members, celebrities, and select fans on the back of a two-seat race bike to help promote everything motorcycles, and Ulrich has given more than 770 bike rides to help educate those who participate.
"We've been using the GEICO two-seat Superbike program to promote motorcycle racing across the country," Ulrich said. "We've had opportunities to go to individual tracks for stand-alone media events to help promote upcoming events and get people excited about motorcycles and motorcycling.
"Before we got to Mid-Ohio, we stopped at Indianapolis Motor Speedway to promote their upcoming race in August. We had a great media turnout and wanted to ensure every one of them had a great time. It was an educational experience all the way around, and I think everyone really enjoyed themselves."
With a recorded fastest lap of 1:56.02 around the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway at an estimated top speed of 160 mph, the guest riders were definitely in for a treat unlike any other. Plus, since the track's repave, Ulrich and his 20 guests are on an elite list of those who have experienced the new surface on a Superbike.
"It was a great event with 20 very enthusiastic riders," Ulrich said. "One of the best parts about the media rides was we had some motorcycle enthusiasts in the group, but we also had first-time riders and passengers, people who had never been on a motorcycle before.
"The media rides also offered a unique opportunity to sample the new changes to the track that Indianapolis has made. They repaved a section and reshaped some corners. I was one of the first people in the world to ride on that circuit, and then I was able to share that experience with all the media members who were out there as well. It was really exciting for me and I really enjoyed the opportunity."
Media members who got to experience the rare ride were Chris Widlic, Brooke Martin, and Andi Hauser of WISH-TV; Indianapolis Star reporter Lesley Bailey; Dave Furst and Dave Franklin of WRTV-TV; 1070 AM "The Fan" on-air personality Tony Donohue; Jason Spells and Rich Nye of WTHR-TV; Nuvo magazine writer Nate Miller; Do317.com intern Justin Edwards; Pet Pals TV President of Sales and Marketing Tabatha Starcher; and James Rider of WKEF-TV and WRGT-TV out of Daytona, Ohio. Along with media, Indianapolis Motor Speedway employees Taylor Clauson, Chelsea Barras, Zach Hudon, Cassie Conklin, and Lee Anne Looney received rides, as did special guests Westfield Powersports General Manager Jesse Johnson and Circle Track Tickets' Mike Popovic.
Ulrich and the GEICO Honda team continue their trek Friday to Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course for the Buckeye Superbike Weekend presented by Dunlop, July 19-20.