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Jan 25, 2001

St. John Leaves AMA Pro Thunder For WERA National Challenge Series

Racer Bill St. John has announced plans to concentrate on the WERA National Challenge Series instead of the AMA Pro Thunder Series in 2001. St. John finished fourth in the 1999 AMA Pro Thunder Championship and ninth in the 2000 Championship, and finished third in the Pro Thunder race at Mid-Ohio in 2000.

St. John will compete in the WERA Heavyweight Twins class on a BCM Ducati 748 and in the WERA Lightweight Twins class on a Cycle Specialties of Athens Ducati 750SS.

St. John said that his decision was influenced by new AMA rules limiting Pro Thunder bikes to 750cc and a 380-pound minimum weight, and by the news that the AMA plans to eliminate the Pro Thunder class from Pro Racing weekends entirely in the future.

"It seems to me that the fastest bikes in the class were already 750cc and were already 380 pounds," said St. John of the AMA Pro Thunder situation. "For the other guys, this is just going to make it harder for them to keep up. My bike was an 800 and was a little less than 380. The 748RS was already faster than we could be at 800cc. And the weight thing is bad because now you really have to have that bike (a Ducati 748RS)to compete. It's not like (Mark) Ledesma is going to be able to go in there with a lighter (SV650) bike to compete."