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Sep 6, 2010

More From The AMA Pro Road Races At New Jersey Motorsports Park

Brett McCormick (23).

National Guard Jordan Suzuki's Jake Zemke remains third in the championship points standings

MILLVILLE, NJ Michael Jordan Motorsports (MJM) maintains a strong third place in the championship points race after completing round nine of the 2010 AMA Pro National Guard American Superbike Championship held at New Jersey Motorsports Park in Millville, NJ this weekend. National Guard Jordan Suzuki's Jake Zemke scored sixth place finishes on both Saturday and Sunday. Brett McCormick, riding for the injured Aaron Yates, raced to seventh place on Saturday, finishing in fifth on Sunday.

On Saturday, after qualifying fifth, National Guard Jordan Suzuki's Zemke had a great start and shot into third place by the first turn. Zemke pulled into second by lap three and was able to maintain that position for several laps before falling back and finishing sixth. On Sunday, Zemke was fourth after the first lap and was able to work his way up to second until a red flag halted the event. A strong restart put Zemke in third for a number of laps before he eventually fell off to another sixth place finish. Zemke sits solidly in third in the championship points race with a 21-point lead over fourth place heading into the final round of the season at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, AL.

"Yesterday we lost grip with the front, but we lost it really early," Zemke said. "We lost it after five laps, where today we made it twelve before the problems came back. We're definitely making progress in the right direction. At least we can run a pace that can keep us up front. Now we just have to figure out how to get the bike to stay in that zone; then we'll be okay. I feel a lot better than I did the last few races for sure. At least now we have a direction for the bike; the bike's working well. We need to make it work longer. If we can do that, we'll be good and can hopefully finish off the last round strong."

On Saturday, Michael Jordan Motorsports' McCormick started in seventh but lost a couple of positions by the second lap. McCormick was able to work his way back up to seventh by lap ten, which is where he stayed until he crashed on the final lap and brought out the red flag. Scoring went back to the last lap, which gave McCormick a seventh place finish. On Sunday, McCormick again started in seventh but this time was able to slowly work his way toward the front and scored a solid fifth place finish. McCormick sits ninth in the championship points race with one more round to go.

"Today was a lot different than yesterday," said McCormick. "Yesterday I messed up the start and I kind of knew it. Going into today's race, I just wanted to play it a little more mellow off the start and not make any mistakes mentally. I knew I had the bike that could do the pace and was charging as hard as I could but just couldn't quite get there and settled for my fifth. I'm definitely really happy. That's the closest I've been to the leaders so far this season. Today I was 7.7 to the leaders; the closest before today was 25, so that's a solid finish. Barber is next and I've been there a couple of times on full-on race bikes, up to speed, so we'll give them a shot there."

Look for the 2010 Michael Jordan Motorsports team at their final event of the season at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, AL on September 24-26, 2010.


Legendary NBA star Michael Jordan formed Michael Jordan Motorsports (MJM) in 2004 as a result of his passion for motorcycle racing. His mission is to bring a new level of excellence and style to the motorcycle racing industry.

For more information on MJM, please visit, and

Michael Jordan Motorsports is proud to partner with: Jordan Brand (a division of Nike), National Guard, American Suzuki, Upper Deck, Hanes, Gatorade, Bazzaz, MMI - Motorcycle Mechanics Institute, Vortex Racing Components, Gemini Racing, K-Tech Suspension-Orient Express Racing, Maxima Racing Oils, K & N Air Filters, Dainese Leathers, AGV Helmets, Ancra Tie-downs, Chicken Hawk Racing Tire Warmers, Armour Bodies, DID Chains, Factory Pro Dyno, Roclun International, STAR Motorcycle School, Motion Pro Tools, Zero Gravity Windscreens, with transportation provided by Eastside Trucking.

More, from a press release issued by AMA Pro Racing:

MILLVILLE, N.J. (September 5, 2010) - Sunday's action at the New Jersey Motorsports Park had a little something for everyone. In AMA Pro SuperSport, James Rispoli took his first AMA Pro Road Racing win after a thrilling battle with Tomas Puerta. In the AMA Pro Vance & Hines XR1200 Series, Jake Holden was able to post his first victory in the class while in Daytona SportBike, Danny Eslick made a dramatic last lap pass to take his third win of the season and maintain his slim points lead with two races remaining. In the AMA Pro National Guard SuperBike series, Josh Hayes remained unbeaten at the 2.2 mile New Jersey Motorsports Park racing complex, beating his championship rival Tommy Hayden to extend his points lead to 22 points with two rounds remaining.

The day began under clear and sunny conditions with some wind and low humidity. First up was the Vance & Hines XR1200 series and in the absence of the undefeated Danny Eslick, RMR Bruce Rossmeyer Daytona Racing GEICO Powersports XR1200 rider Jake Holden took a dominant win over series newcomer P.J. Jacobson on the Celtic Racing XR1200 and Kyle Wyman on another of the RMR Bruce Rossmeyer Daytona Racing Harley-Davidson XR1200 motorcycles. Eslick, who is in the thick of the championship chase in the Daytona SportBike class, elected to focus exclusively on that series and missed his first XR1200 race of the year after winning the first three. Jake promptly took up Danny's position at the front and after a somewhat truncated start, Jake was able to run away and win for the first time in this new spec Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson exclusive class. Jacobson and Wyman had their own private battle for a while but P.J. was able to break away and consolidate his second place in his first attempt in the class.

In AMA Pro SuperSport, James Rispoli took his first AMA Pro Road Racing win after an event filled race that saw two of the four riders to lead the race crash out while leading! After yesterday's dominant victory, Joey Pascarella and his DNA Energy Drink Yamaha was the one to beat but at the start, Huntley Nash and his LTD Racing Yamaha teammate Tomas Puerta shot to the front to lead lap one from Joey in third, Eric Stump in fourth and Rispoli on his Suzuki. Puerta shot by Huntley to lead lap two but then Pascarella moved into the lead and it appeared he might repeat his winning performance from Saturday. But on lap eight, everything changed as Joey went down in turn nine, he was quickly back up and continued but his chances of victory were gone. Now it was Huntley Nash that looked set for another win.

Nash has taken two wins in SuperSport this year and he was looking set to add to his total. Behind him, James Rispoli was coming up fast from his eighth starting position. He was fifth on lap one, fourth by lap two, third by lap four and in second by lap five. Amazingly enough, on lap 12, Huntley Nash became the second leader of the race to go down and now James Rispoli was in front. He still had his hands full with Tomas Puerta and the two went back and fourth, Tomas actually led lap 17 of nineteen but it was Rispoli who took his first win, and he was excited and emotional at the same time, "This win means so much, I can't thank everyone enough, my crew, AMA Pro, so many people but I really want to dedicate this win to my Mother who passed away a couple of years ago," said James after the race.

Finishing third was Austin Dehaven on his Dehaven Racing Yamaha. Austin tried to race up to James and Tomas but just couldn't get close enough to join the battle up front and he took his second podium finish of the season after his second place finish at Laguna Seca in July.

Danny Eslick took his third win of the season after another typical epic AMA Pro Daytona SportBike Presented by AMSOIL race. From the start, there was a solid, ten motorcycle group battling tooth and nail for the lead. Lead by Eslick on his GEICO Powersports Suzuki, the pack consisted of Tommy Aquino on his Team Graves Yamaha, Cory West on his Vesrah Suzuki, Dane Westby, Project 1 Atlanta Yamaha; Bobby Fong, DNA Energy Drink Ducati; Steve Rapp, Team Latus Motors Ducati; Martin Cardenas on his M4 Monster Energy Suzuki, Chris Fillmore on his Vesrah Suzuki, Josh Herrin, Team Graves Yamaha and Paul Allison on the Chronic Motorsports Yamaha. The action was hectic as the tension started to mount.

The first to exit the stage was Steve Rapp, he had an unfortunate fall on lap 14 and ended up retiring his Ducati. Dane Westby had a big save the next lap and he was part of the now nine that were covered by less than one second. After his dramatic crash in yesterday's race, Tommy Aquino showed his courage and skill by not only running up front, but he lead a number of laps. On lap seventeen, Cory West, who had been right in the thick of things, running second for a number of laps, had a mechanical problem going into turn one on lap 17 and without impeding anyone else, he calmly drove his Vesrah Suzuki off the track, and parked his bike in the sand, ending his good day.

Championship contender Josh Herrin had worked his way to the front again after starting eleventh. He was ninth after one lap and by lap seventeen, he was right up front fighting for the lead. He then made a big move on lap twenty to take the lead and he looked like he was again going to rebound with another Sunday win. The third rider in the thick of the championship battle, Martin Cardenas also took a shot at the front on lap 21 in turn one but couldn't hold his line and was quickly re-passed after the ambitious move. On the same lap, Chris Fillmore went down in turn three. On the last lap, Bobby Fong and Dane Westby collided and fell but both were quickly back up and continued to finish sixth and seventh.

But it was up front where the real action was and Eslick totally committed himself to a pass on Herrin in turn nine and there was nothing Josh could do to hold Danny back. Eslick took the position with a clean but decisive pass and won by only 0.510 of a second. Cardenas was a fortunate third after the incident between Fong and Westby and the championship battle will now be settled at the final doubleheader race weekend at Barber Motorsports Park, September 24-26.

In the AMA Pro National Guard SuperBike race, Josh Hayes kept his perfect New Jersey Motorsports Park record intact with his second win of the weekend and his fourth at NJMP after his two race sweep in 2009. Hayes, who benefitted from a timely red flag at the very end of Saturday's race, took a more clear cut victory today and in a way, again benefitted from a red flag period, this time on lap five when Ben Bostrom crashed out on his Pat Clark Motorsports Yamaha.

Hayes said he was feeling a little rough and when the race was stopped, he regrouped and felt better after the restart. His championship rival, Tommy Hayden had two great starts on his Rockstar Makita Suzuki and led both race segments. After things settled down, it was a two horse show with Hayes taking over the lead on lap nine and he and Tommy rode away from the interesting third place battle between Jake Zemke and his National Guard Jordan Suzuki, Hayden's Rockstar Makita Suzuki teammate, Blake Young, M4 Monster Energy Suzuki rider John Hopkins and Brett McCormick on the second Jordan Suzuki.

Watched by owner Michael Jordan, Zemke held off Young and Hopkins and was in second in the early stages of the first segment of the race. By lap sixteen, both Blake Young and Hopkins passed Zemke and had their own private battle to the flag which Hopkins won by 0.015 of a second to take his first podium finish of the season.

Hopkins has had a long road back this year, being sidelined by a wrist injury that he finally corrected after one diagnosis indicated that he should retire form motorcycle racing. Fortunately for his team and the many fans in attendance today, Hopkins had another Doctor virtually rebuild his wrist and he is finally completely fit and showed it with his great race today. At the front, Hayden took the lead back from Hayes on lap 19 and although he was in front, he couldn't shake off Josh. On lap 21, Josh retook the lead but it was the same situation, Hayden was still right there, waiting to pounce.

On the final lap, with Josh still in front, Hayden took a shot at the lead in turn one but couldn't hold the line and Josh stayed in the lead. Twice more on the last lap, Hayden bravely dove into corners to try and wrest the lead from Josh but after the last attempt, Josh was able to take the win by 0.325 of a second for his seventh race victory of the year. Josh pushed his points lead to 22 points but with two races and sixty-three points to play for, the championship is far from over. Behind Hopkins and Young, Brett McCormick took fifth ahead of his teammate Zemke followed by Geoff May on his Erik Buell Racing Buell.

Privateer Taylor Knapp rode his RidersDiscount .com Suzuki to eighth and behind Taylor was Chris Ulrich on his M4 Monster Energy Suzuki. Chris had an accident early in Saturday's race and after a precautionary check up at the local hospital, Chris bravely returned to the track. With the help of his physical therapist, Chris raced in today's race and soldered on to a very worthy and courageous ninth place. Shane Narbonne rounded out the top ten on the Celtic Racing Suzuki.

The season finale at Barber Motorsports Park will be the title decider in both National Guard SuperBike and also Daytona SportBike. Check out the SPEED TV broadcasts of today's SuperBike and Daytona SportBike races tonight at 10:00 PM and 11:00 PM.

Please visit for the series information. The full AMA Pro Road Racing SPEED schedule can be found at

AMA Pro Racing is the premier professional motorcycle racing organization in North America, operating a full schedule of events and championships for a variety of motorcycle disciplines. Learn more about AMA Pro Racing at

More, from a press release issued by LTD Racing:


Millville, New Jersey LTD Racing's Tomas Puerta earned a close second in Sunday's AMA Pro SuperSport race at New Jersey Motorsports Park. Puerta fought for the win and came up just 0.071 seconds short of victory as the Colombian fought valiantly for victory. Teammate Huntley Nash crashed out of the lead while pushing for another 2010 win. He was unhurt in the fall.

With today's race concluding the AMA Pro East Supersport season, Nash and Puerta earned second and third in the season's standings. The team totaled five 2010 victories and 21 podium results with the season finale shootout at Barber still to come.

Puerta put together his best race of 2010 and looked to be quicker in sections of the 2.2-mile circuit than winner James Rispoli, but Puerta couldn't find a way past his rival. The Colombian equaled his best result of the year with a second place.

"My bike was working really good today. It was a good battle with Rispoli for the win and we raced hard. I had a good start and I felt I really needed to make sure I finished on the podium in this race. It was a difficult race for me yesterday and I wanted to get a positive result. I tried to pass Rispoli in The Esses and in the last turn on the last lap, but I couldn't do it. I didn't want to try anything too risky. I am going to train hard for Barber and I want to be on top there."

Nash looked to be in prime position to win his third race of the year, but fell on lap 12. Nash led the first lap, then laps eight through 11. He held a narrow lead when he crashed and had turned his quickest laps of the weekend in the race.

Fortunately for Huntley, he had already sewn up his placing for second in East points.

"We used a hard front tire and so our strategy was to let the race develop and then build up speed. All was going to plan and I had worked up into the lead. The bike was working great but I got on the gas a little too early and I highsided," said Nash. "It's disappointing but we had a good year. Two wins and 11 podiums and second in East points "¦ I think we have come a long way this year. We're looking forward to training hard and getting ready for the Shootout at Barber."

"Tomas and Huntley both rode hard today," said LTD Racing's Gary Medley. "Tomas has led before but it was important for him to have another race where he was fighting for the win and to get a feel for what that is all about. Huntley was in a good position to get another victory but a little mistake caught him out. The boys learned a lot this weekend and we are looking forward to the race at Barber."

The AMA Pro season finale is set for September 24-26 at Barber Motorsports Park.

More, from a press release issued by Team M4 Monster Energy Suzuki:


Team M4 Monster Energy Suzuki followed up Martin Cardenas' inspiring Saturday victory at New Jersey Motorsports Park with two additional podium results on Sunday, including the first AMA Superbike podium of John Hopkins' career.

Cardenas' quest for the 2010 AMA Pro Daytona SportBike crown found him once again battling a deep pack for the win on Sunday. With ten riders contending in the lead group well into the contest, Cardenas bid his time in trademark fashion, regularly running in seventh and eighth position before making his customary late climb to the front.

The former Spanish Supersport champion struck in the opening turn of the penultimate lap, making a bold maneuver to leap from fourth to first place aboard his GSX-R600, but he was unable to hold his line after braking so deeply. Martin was shuffled back down to fifth but caught a break on the final lap when two of his competitors fell just ahead of him, allowing him to score his 11th podium finish of the '10 season.

With just the Barber Motorsports Park finale left in play, Cardenas is a close third in the title chase with 344 points, 12 removed from first and with the tiebreaker on his side.

After the race, Martin said, "I thought that I could pull the move off but I went in a little bit too deep and it wasn't possible. I lost my chance to win the race with that move because a couple guys came through and pushed me back a few more positions. Going into the last lap I was fifth, but fortunately for me a couple riders in front of me crashed into one another, which allowed me to finish third. It's an okay result; it would have been better to win, but it wasn't possible this time. I will try next time.

"My bike was working good again today just like yesterday. I'd like to thank the M4 Monster Energy Suzuki team for the great effort and we'll try again in the next race."

Meanwhile, Hopkins enjoyed a landmark achievement in the day's Superbike contest that symbolized his return to form following a long, arduous process overcoming nagging wrist issues.

Hopkins got away with the front group at the start of the race but dropped all the way down to 13th after running off track. A red flag gave him a second chance to make his mark and John took full advantage. Picking off rider after rider until arriving in fourth place, the former MotoGP star made a successful last-lap assault on the podium to come home in third, his first-ever AMA Superbike podium result.

Hopkins remarked, "It was a really good race, but first and foremost, it's just really good to be back on a motorcycle. Three-and-a-half months ago three doctors, including one who has done most of my surgeries, told me I had to retire. But we kept searching and I found my new doctor, and he made a big operation -- a complete wrist reconstruction -- and we were 50/50 on it. Three and a half months later, here I am racing a motorcycle. It feels great."

Talking in detail about his race, John explained, "I made a mistake before the red flag. I lost the rear and ran off the track and I was back in 12th or 13th place. But the restart gave me another chance. From there I just had to make a lot of passes and come up through the field. I went in deep on the brakes in Turn 1 on the last lap to move into third and just rode defensively through the last lap, and here we are on the podium.

"I just have to say thanks to my mechanics and the whole team for putting this all together. I hope this is just the start of good things to come. It's been a long last couple years, but I sure had fun today. I hope we can continue that."

Chris Ulrich had a memorable outing as well. Uncertain if he'd even be able to compete on Sunday following Saturday's terrifying high-speed crash, Ulrich not only took to the track, he fought inside the Superbike top ten.

Extremely stiff and sore, Chris gritted his teeth and fought for eighth position, coming up a mere 0.114 seconds short of the spot at the flag. His ninth-place finish solidified his eighth-place championship ranking with just the season finale remaining on the calendar.

"I could have done without the red flag," Ulrich admitted. "I felt like I could have worked my way up but I stiffened up a little after the red flag. I was gaining a little on the front group but I was still looking for a new line through the last corner because I didn't need to be doing another 130mph tumble. I figured one out but it was a little bit too late to really take advantage.

"I had a good little fight for eighth, but it was a tough day. It hurts to bend. It hurts to tuck in. I was suffering pretty badly physically and I'm just happy to have made it through and have a bit of time to go home now and get some treatment and heal up.

Team M4 Monster Energy will be chasing championship glory at the 2010 AMA Pro Road Racing season finale at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, AL on September 24-26.

More, from a press release issued by The Elena Project:


Lucas Oil RMR Suzuki's Elena Myers gained valuable experience during an up-and-down weekend of AMA Pro SuperSport racing at New Jersey Motorsports Park.

Having already claimed the runner-up position in the West Region championship, Myers headed to NJMP to compete in the East Region finale to further her rapid progress as a professional racer.

Qualifying in 10th at 1:27.582 aboard her GSX-R600, Elena again proved to be an even stronger racer than qualifier in Saturday's final. Dicing up as high as fifth in Saturday's final while clocking lap times more than a half-second quicker than her qualifying best, she eventually earned eighth place.

Sunday's race went south early, however, as she was taken out by a fellow competitor just a couple of turns after the green light on the opening lap.

Commenting on her weekend, Myers said, "I went out with a good base set-up but we've been having issues with the rear pumping all weekend. Actually, it's a problem that has come up before and we've been trying really hard to fix it but we still haven't quite solved it yet.

"Final qualifying didn't go as well as I had hoped, but I felt like I was riding really good in the race other than a few little problems. However, today's race didn't go very well. I had the line and was committed to the turn and another ride came in and shoved me out of the way. I had it saved -- almost -- but it flipped over and I was stuck under the bike for like a minute. It didn't make a whole lot of sense to go back out after that."

The 2010 AMA Pro SuperSport season ends in a combined East/West winner-take-all shootout at Barber Motorsports Park on September 24-26 to determine the national champion. Elena is excited about the prospects of the high stakes weekend.

"I'm looking forward to the weekend for sure," she remarked. "It's an amazing opportunity. We're going to do a couple track days before the weekend there and we should have a good set-up for the race. I've got to get real strong over the next couple of weeks and just be prepared for a big weekend."

More, from a press release issued by Team Suzuki:


Team Suzuki's Santiago Villa continued his strong run of form as of late, notching up his fourth and fifth consecutive top-15 results at New Jersey Motorsports Park.

And in a clear sign of the Colombian's steady improvement, Villa left the weekend wanting much more after having demonstrated the pace to once again knock on the door of a top-ten finish.

Having qualified on the outside of the fourth row, Villa bettered his qualifying time of 1:27.056 in the races, and worked his way up to 12th place aboard his Suzuki GSX-R600 in Saturday's final. However, slowed by a front tire issue late, he eventually fell back to 15th. Sunday's race took a similar shape with Santiago eventually coming home 14th in the end.

Villa, who is 16th in the championship with 55 points, said, "My weekend was very good considering the lap times and the people I was fighting with. I was doing very good times and consistently running in the top 12 in the races, but in the last five laps of both races, my front tire just got destroyed. I went from doing '26s to doing '30s on the last couple of laps and guys I had passed came back by me. I'm happy with the times and I'm happy that I'm progressing and now trying to fight for the top ten, but I'm disappointed that at the end I couldn't deliver because of the tire."

Despite the minor disappointment of the weekend, Villa was upbeat concerning the big picture. "Martin (Cardenas) has been helping me a lot and I've been doing a lot of work to do better and it's really been paying off. I'm going really fast. I'm winning championships in the regionals and I'm finishing better in the AMA. My goal for next year is to be fighting for the top ten in the championship in the AMA."

Team manager Chris Ulrich has been impressed with Santiago's progression during the second half of the season. "He's been healthy lately and he's really starting to gel with his crew. It just looks like he's having a lot of fun and enjoying it and when you're having fun you're going to do well."

Meanwhile, Daniel Guevara finished the AMA Pro SuperSport East Region Championship ranked 10th with 102 points. Guevara fought his way up from his 13th slot on the grid to claim a strong seventh place in Saturday's 19-lapper.

Sunday's race didn't go to plan for the Florida-based Venezuelan, as he had a clash on the opening lap with a rival and then crashed out of the race less than two laps from the end.

Next up for Team Suzuki is the 2010 AMA Pro Road Racing season finale at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, AL on September 24-26.

Villa is looking forward to the opportunity. "I love the track. I'm very excited and we'll see how it goes."

More, from a press release issued by Autolite Rim Racing:

Autolite RIM Racing has mixed results in New Jersey

Following a very successful round 8 at VIR, Autolite RIM Racing had a difficult weekend during round 9 of the AMA Pro Daytona Sportbike held at New Jersey Motorsports Park. Both races involved crashes but Mike Morgan soldiered on in race 1 and finished a solid 21st after rejoining the race. Race 2 positioned Mike in a 5 bike battle for 12th and the race came to an end in a high speed 100 mph crash in the last turn but with 19 lap complete Mike still finished 19th.

Mike Morgan:
"We had some issues this weekend and it just didn't come together for us this time, but we'll go back to the shop and get everything organized for the next round. The Autolite RIM Racing crew had to work a little more this weekend and I have to thank them for their hard work. Race one was going well and a low speed crash took me out of another top 15 finish. The Vortex components did a great job protecting the bike and I was able to continue. If we would have gotten a red flag during the race I would have been right back in the hunt. The second race was going great and the pace was fast but comfortable. That crash was a real surprise and definitely one of the fastest I have had. The Shark helmet, Pilot leather, TCX boots, and Held gloves did an amazing job and all I walked away with some bumps. We have great sponsors and everything will be 100% by the last round at Barber in a couple of weeks. I look forward to a top 10 before the year is out and I will be giving it my all."

RIM Racing is sponsored by Autolite spark plugs, Fram oil filters, EBC brake pads, D.I.D chains, Kenwood, Motul oil, Race Tech suspension, Superior Body Works, Barnett clutches, TCX boots, Shark helmets, SRP Graphics, Vortex components, Zola acai drinks, Advanced Auto Parts, Bazzaz electronics, Pilot leathers, Hotbodies, Lockhart Phillips, Permatex, Yoshimura

Catch Autolite RIM Racing September 25-26 for the final round 10 of the AMA Pro Daytona Sportbike series.

For more on Autolite and RIM Racing's Mike Morgan please visit