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Oct 2, 2013

The Final Round Of Press Releases Regarding Last Weekend's Various Motorcycle Road Races

The start of the MotoGP race at Motorland Aragon. Photo courtesy of Bridgestone.
Young Caps Off Solid Season at Laguna Seca

MONTEREY, Calif. - The GEICO Motorcycle AMA Pro Road Racing season reached its exciting conclusion this past weekend as the AMA Pro GoPro Daytona SportBike teams returned to Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca to compete on the global stage alongside the eni FIM Superbike World Championship. Canada's Ben Young's steadfast progress this season earned him a 15th place finish in Sunday's race enabling him to secure 13th overall in the points.

After a 48-hour trip from his home in Thornbury Ontario, Canada, Young and the BYR team were setup and ready to take on the prestigious 2.238-mile natural road course that features the famous corkscrew.

Knowing that the correct gearing at this track was crucial for success the team tried a variety of gearing options during Friday's first practice session. Young ended up 20th fastest in the session.

"It was tough since we didn't make the first round at Laguna Seca back in July." said Young. "We were already way behind on our setup before we even got there."

Still hunting for the right setup on his #86 Yamaha R6, the BYR crew changed the front end to give Young more feel during the first qualifying session. The Canadian pilot ended up 18th fastest in a very tight field of 41 talented riders.

The second AMA Pro GoPro Daytona SportBike qualifying session of the weekend, originally scheduled for 3:15 pm, was delayed until 4:30 pm due to two restarts in Saturday's eni FIM Superbike World Championship feature race.

"We were still experimenting to find the right gearing but we weren't sure that we had it yet. The track was really slick with it being so hot all day so there weren't too many riders who improved on their lap times. I pretty much ran identical lap times as the day before." said Young

Young would find himself starting from 22nd on the grid for the final AMA Pro GoPro Daytona SportBike race of the season.

The amiable yet tenacious rider got a solid start and managed to get on the outside line going into corner one.

"I broke really late going into the first corner and I managed to make up some ground." said Young. "On the first lap there were a few riders ahead of me bumping and banging so at the corkscrew I managed to nip up the inside of three riders and made it through safely."

Hayden Gillim and Young briefly battled for position however his machine rebuilt onsite at New Jersey Motorsports Park just didn't have enough top-end speed to stick with Gillim.

Young battled downshifting issues on and off throughout the race and caused him to run wide into corner one allowing Sebastiao Ferreira and Bryce Prince to go by. Ferreira and Prince managed to put a few seconds between them and Young's #86 Yamaha R6.

With 5 laps to go Young started to catch Ferreira. Under heavy breaking he passed him on the last lap going up the hill into the corkscrew. Young would cross the start/finish line in 15th place matching his result from Laguna Seca last season.

“I knew it was going to be a challenge to get a top ten this weekend starting from twenty-second on the grid.” said Young. “We’d set a goal of fifteenth for today so I’m happy we were able to achieve that and finish the season 13th overall.

Much like the dramatic elevation changes at the Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca circuit Young’s season included a variety of highs and lows.

“He overcame a very challenging weekend at the last round at New Jersey Motosports Park to finish the season strong here at Laguna.“ said BYR Team Manager Scott Young. “He’s proven that with the right setup he can challenge for top ten results as he proved with his eighth place finish at this year’s Daytona 200.”

“On behalf of the entire BYR team I’d like to thank the GEICO Motorcycle AMA Pro Road Racing staff, CBS Sports Network, event organizers, the tracks and the dedicated corner workers for providing a safe and exciting series. To compete at this level takes support from so many amazing people and outstanding organizations.” said Young. “Encouraging family members, friends, fans and supportive sponsors make every season memorable and I can’t thank them enough.”

Ben Young and the BYR team would like to thank; Tim Hortons – Sudbury, Scotbuild Developments, Fogi Racing Development, Arai Helmets, AXO, GP Tech LLC, Hindle Exhaust Systems, DUA Motorsports Bodywork, KICK Energy Drink, K&N Filters, Performance Cycleworx, Thornbury Home Hardware, BCL Motorsports Pit Kit, Vortex Racing, Motul Oils, Bickle Racing Tire Warmers, GB Racing and The North American International Motorcycle SUPERSHOW, the fans and family.

To keep up-to-date on Ben Young throughout the year visit;, and on Twitter @bcyoung86.

More, from a press release issued by Yamaha Racing:

Herrin Scores Maiden AMA Title with the Yamaha YZF-R1

Monster Energy Graves Yamaha rider Josh Herrin took his first AMA Superbike Championship victory last Saturday, 29th September, with the Yamaha YZF-R1, Yamaha’s fourth consecutive AMA title. Herrin and teammate Josh Hayes have been locked in a season long battle for the title, both regular contenders to put their R1 machines on the top step of the premier US road racing class podium.

Herrin’s second place finish behind teammate Hayes last Saturday at the Laguna Seca circuit was enough to take the title. Hayes race win, his eighth of the season, guaranteed him second in the overall standings. Hayes can already claim three AMA titles with Yamaha on the R1. Pegram Racing Yamaha’s Larry Pegram came in third on the Laguna podium, giving the R1 a clean sweep of the AMA podium for the weekend.

Josh Herrin
2013 AMA Superbike Champion
"This has been a lifelong dream of mine and it's finally come true. I can't even explain the emotions right now. Coming around that last lap, I just filled up with tears. I could barely see where I was going. I've never felt that kind of emotion before. It's crazy the emotions you feel when you achieve something you've been waiting to do your whole life."

Herrin’s success in the Superbike class was echoed by Cameron Beaubier who took 12 wins through the season on his Yamaha YZF-R6 on his way to the 2013 AMA Daytona Sportbike Championship. Beaubier moves up to take Herrin’s place on the R1 for 2014.

Herrin now moves up to the world stage, joining the MotoGP Championship to ride in the Moto2 class for 2014.

The fourth consecutive AMA title continues the Yamaha YZF-R1’s success story; the class-leading superbike has enjoyed a wealth of victory laurels over the last five years. The wins include the 2009 World Superbike title, the 2009 World Endurance title, the 2009 and 2011 British Superbike Championship, the 2009 and 2012 All Japan Superbike Championship, the 2009 IDM German Superbike Championship and numerous other national road racing victories.

The R1 also claimed first and second position in its last official factory outing in the World Superbike Championship in 2011 at the hands of Marco Melandri and Eugene Laverty, finishing second overall in the standings.

2013 AMA Superbike Championship Final Standings (top three)
1. Josh Herrin (Yamaha) 345 points
2. Josh Hayes (Yamaha) 330 points
3. Martin Cardenas (Suzuki) 297 points

More, from a press release issued by Red Bull/RoadRace Factory:

Monterey California. One of the most picturesque and storied race venues on this beautiful blue marble. The last time we were here, we shared the spotlight with the MotoGP carnival. This time, it's the World Superbike Championship round and we are here to show our best in front of the world yet again! As a team, the expectations are high and the tensions higher. Our riders have been giving the factory boys a run for their money and keeping them honest all season. With Jake and JD sitting in P2 and P3 respectively for the majority of the season, it was coming down to this final round to solidify the points after Cameron Beaubier captured the championship in New Jersey.

Tomas Puerta was going to be making his Daytona Sportbike debut and this was his chance to show his future competitors what he was capable of, and he didn't disappoint! So there it is, the stage is set. Jake broken and battered going for second in points, JD sitting in fourth needing a miracle to regain third but prepared to fight for it, and Tomas poised to put the DSB class on notice. All we had to do, was turn them loose when the track went green...

Race Report
GoPro Daytona SportBike - A Second, A Third and a Star Burst

Coming into the Dry Lake we knew that the schedule was going to be different than previous rounds and that the track time was going to be even more limited. With the eyes of the world focused on our backyard for the second time this year, the team didn't hesitate, they rolled into the pits, unpacked and got to the business of racing. At stake was a second place in the championship, a fourth (possibly a third) and ensuring that the newest DSB rider was on a machine worthy of his talents.

Having recently raced at Laguna Seca, the two DSB machines of Jake and JD were mostly set up using the notes from the MotoGP Round while Tomas' updated SuperSport bike needed at least a session to get the kinks in the set-up worked out. Friday couldn't come soon enough for the anxious team and riders. Their first chance at the track would come in the usually foggy and treacherous mornings that made Monterey notorious However, this weekend the gods favored us and provided absolutely beautiful and fog free days! In lay man's terms, It's On!

Jake Gagne was making the smart call, he decided from the onset, to ride cautiously and to see how his recently repaired collar bone and separated shoulder would hold up. He sat out the first practice session and continued on site rehab (Ice packs). JD and Tomas on the other hand set out to go fast and they certainly did. JD was among the top riders all session while Tomas was in the and out of the top 10 but was consistently the fastest of the recently promoted SuperSport riders. The following first qualifying session is what mattered most and would ultimately test Jake's shoulder for the first time.

Jake suited up and gingerly climbed aboard his R6. After an initial sighting lap, he put his head down and tested his repaired body. Not setting the world on fire, but certainly showing everyone he wasn't about to give up, he ended the session in P20. More importantly he had made 5 laps, qualified and showed that he could in fact ride. How far he could ride? That was another question. JD was on the gas all session and flogged his machine as if it was his dirt tracker. Rarely dipping outside the top 5 he ended the session in P3 right behind the factory riders and ahead of his main rival Jake Lewis. Perhaps the most impressive ride was Tomas. At one point he was up in the Top 5 but when the session was called, he was in P11. No other SuperSport rider could touch him.

The second qualifying session was scheduled for late on Saturday afternoon. This gave the team plenty of time to make the needed adjustments and for Jake to continue to exercise the new hardware. His plan was again to do a handful of laps and qualify to ensure a place on the gird. He did so. He completed 6 laps and when he called it a day, he was sitting in P16 for the race start. JD on the other hand was continuing to circulate with passion and aggression. His times improved, however so did those of some of his rivals. When the session was ended, JD was relegated to P5 on the grid. With his ability to make jack rabbit starts, this wasn't a major concern. His pace was consistent and he knew he had the pace to stay with the factory riders. He was set and determined for Sunday. Tomas, rode like a man possessed! On a machine that was not up to the full DSB Specs he made the best of the situation and rode to the max of his capabilities. He qualified in the 12th position but much like JD, he was consistently fast and knew that as the race wore on, he could make up positions.

Sunday's race was a grid a go. That means that the riders leave pit lane and do their sighting lap. When the come to the grid, their teams and umbrella girls would not be there waiting for them. They come to their starting positions and are immediately tossed into race mode. Visors down, revs up and flags waved... the 37 riders launched in unison. Some got off the line better than others. Most noticeably was JD, as expected, he jumped out front put everyone behind him. Jake also flew off the line. He found a void on the inside line and made up two rows of positions before turn one. Tomas also made a flying start and placed himself in the middle of what would be a good battle.

JD was riding the race of his season. He was doing everything in his abilities and even digging into this bag of tricks to keep Cameron, Jake Lewis and Garrett in check. A small bobble exiting the corkscrew while in pursuit of Cameron allowed Jake Lewis to come thorough and that moved JD into a battle for third with Garrett Gerloff. This would be the battle to watch for the remainder of the race. It was as close as it gets and at the line, JD was able to defend his position and grab the final podium position.

Behind the battle with JD and Garrett, Tomas Puerta was steadily moving up the ranks until he found himself without a partner to race against. He closed lap after lap on Dane Westby but ran out of laps. Tomas finished his first ever DSB race in eighth well ahead of many established DSB riders with complete DSB machinery. This race is an indication of what he'll bring to the class next year, he's a star on the rise! The last story to play out was Jake Gagne's. Was he going to be able to make race distance? Would he place high enough to secure 2nd or would he after a breakout season, be knocked down to third place? Would playing safe still lead to an incident that would damage his shoulder further? All questions were answered at the checkered flag. Jake rode a solid race, capitalizing on his brilliant start that placed him high enough in the order to secure his second place in the series points. He crossed the line in eleventh, managing to complete all 22 laps and bring his bike home safely.

It was truly an amazing display of teamwork and race-craft this past weekend. In the end, the tally is:

Jake Gagne - 2nd in Series Points
JD Beach - 4th in Series Points
Tomas Puerta - 1st in West Series and Overall SuperSport Points

Jake Gagne - 2nd in Series Points

Wins: 1
Podiums: 8
Overall Points: 254

"Through out the whole weekend, we knew it was gonna be rough. So my only goal this weekend was to secure 2nd in the championship and do that in as few laps as possible. I saved myself for the race, doing like 5 laps in Q1 and 6 in Q2 and gave it all I had in the race. It was definitely the hardest race I've ever had to do, it was really painful. But, you know I just put my head down and did what I had to do. I'm super stoked to finish 2nd in the championship and end the year strong. Yeah to end the year with a bunch of podiums and 2nd in the championship its awesome and the crew.. this whole team is just such an amazing effort. Every single person on this team is such a huge part, I'm just stoked to have spent the whole year with these guys and end it strong."

JD Beach - 4th in Series Points

Podiums: 7
Overall Points: 217

"The race today was good. Laguna hasn't ever been my greatest track and to walk away with a 3rd is pretty great. We just had a really good race and to finish a year like this with a 3rd is really, it's a great way to finish it. Now we'll go back and see what we can put together in the off season to go for wins next year.

I want to thank Scotty and Danny (Anderson) for putting me on a fast bike all season and Danny (Walker) and the team for supporting me throughout the year."

Tomas Puerta - Overall SuperSport Series Champion

Wins: 3
Podiums: 7
Overall Points: 240

"Race was good. I knew it was going to be really tough weekend for us. First DSB race and we couldn't test anything between New Jersey and now because it was a really short time between races. So we pretty much just raced my SuperSport bike and I think that Scott and Jamie did a great job putting my bike together for this weekend. Qualifying didn't go as planned. I was a little bummed about that. But I knew I had to be consistent in the race. As soon as the light went off, I put my head down and got a really good start. I was running in the top 10 the whole race. I went 1 second faster than I did in qualifying and 2 seconds faster than I had ever gone around this track so that's pretty positive. I'm really excited to see what I can do next year on a full DSB bike!

Thank you to Jamie, my Dad, Danny, Mick and the whole team for this year. It's been the best year of racing in my life and I want to thank everyone for helping me this season. Thank you."

Wrap it Up - Danny Walker

"You know, what can I say? I'm super proud of my guys. Gagne came into this weekend with a big question mark and a chance to seal up second place in the championship. He needed to take it slow but not so slow as to lose ground in the points chase. He rode smart this whole weekend and preserved his strength for when he needed it most. The guy has more heart and character than most riders and his commitment is certainly never a question.

JD Beach, Wow! I mean the kid showed us all what he's made of this weekend. Coming off a painful save from New Jersey he was still pretty bruised but he knew what he needed to accomplish this weekend and he set out to make it happen. Right off the bat, he was flying around this track and never dropped out of the top 5. That's awesome considering he's not too found of the place and has historically struggled here. In the race he jumped out front and stayed there to grab 3rd in the race and secure 4th in the championship.

This weekend we had Tomas riding a slightly modified version of his SuperSport bike. We didn't have a whole lot of time to completely switch his bike to a DSB Spec, but that didn't stop Tomas. He was flying around the track and sure, he wanted to go faster than the bike was allowing, but he kept pushing and showed his talent. He was always the fastest of the SuperSport Riders that were running this weekend. To qualify 11th and finish 8th is incredible and we couldn't be more impressed with a debut like that. Next year, he's gonna be fun to watch.

Overall, this was a great weekend for us! We have some things we need to sort out in the off season, but we're confident that we'll be back stronger than ever for next year!"

More, from a press release issued by Bridgestone:

Aragon MotoGP™ debrief with Masao Azuma

Thursday 3 October 2013

Bridgestone slick compounds available: Front: Soft & Hard. Rear: Soft, Medium & Hard (Asymmetric)
Bridgestone wet tyre compounds available: Soft (Main) & Hard (Alternative)

Marc Marquez won his sixth race of the year at Motorland Aragon, the rookie taking another step to a maiden MotoGP™ title after winning ahead of the Yamaha Factory Racing duo of Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi who finished second and third respectively.

Conditions on Sunday were cool and dry, with track temperatures peaking at 34°C during the race. The mild temperatures saw the whole grid select softer rear slick options, while all but four riders selected the hard compound front slick for Sunday’s twenty-three lap contest. The pace at this year’s Aragon Grand Prix was the quickest at this venue since its introduction to the calendar in 2010, with new qualifying and race lap records being set and an overall race time seven seconds quicker than the previous record.

Q&A with Masao Azuma – Chief Engineer, Bridgestone Motorsport Tyre Development Department

Can you summarise how the Aragon Grand Prix went for Bridgestone?

“In summary I would say that it was a pretty good weekend for Bridgestone. We had few incidents over the weekend which is always positive and the pace was quicker than in previous years, with new records set in qualifying and the race, while the overall race time was the quickest ever at this circuit. Despite conditions on Saturday morning resulting in minimal running during FP3, the teams were able to find bike setups that got the most out of the tyres and as a result, both the qualifying sessions and the race were closely fought. The cooler weather precluded the use of the harder rear slick in the race, and over the race distance both front slick specifications offered strong, consistent performance.”

The weather in previous years at Aragon has been quite varied, was it the same again this year and how did this affect Bridgestone’s preparation for the race?

“Yes, the weather can play its part at this circuit and we did have some overnight rain on Saturday which disrupted FP3. On Thursday, the day before the first practice sessions, track temperatures in the afternoon were around 50°C, while on Sunday afternoon, the track temperatures were some twenty degrees less, so this is a good example of how much things can change at this circuit. We planned for this potential for changeable weather through our front tyre allocation, by offering front slick options that were two steps apart in hardness. For example, at most races our front tyre compounds are one step apart in hardness such as soft and medium, or medium and hard, but for Aragon our two specifications were the soft and hard compound to ensure the widest operating temperature range.”

Only four riders selected the softer front slick for the race, although two of these riders were on the podium. What advantages does the soft front slick offer over the hard option?

“The soft compound front slick offers better grip on the very edge of the tyre, plus offers better warm-up performance than the hard compound front slick. Hence, it tends to be more popular in cooler weather. That said, even in the warmer afternoon temperatures we saw some riders, particularly from Yamaha, try the soft front slick in FP4 and during qualifying and from this it was evident that with the right bike setup, this option could provide very good performance in warmer temperatures. In the end only four riders selected the soft front slick for the race, but leading up to the race more riders were considering using this option due to the cooler temperatures on Sunday. Ultimately both front slick options performed well, the top two riders in the race used the soft option, while a new race lap record was set by Dani on the hard front slick. It was pleasing to see both options perform so well at such a technical circuit as Aragon.”

More, from a press release issued by Galfer USA:

Galfer USA Riders Battle at Laguna Seca in Season Finale

Oxnard, Calif. - Amid obstacles like running out of gas and broken collarbones, Galfer USA riders proved to be tougher than the odds during the AMA Pro Road Racing season finale at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. During the weekend of September 27-29, Galfer riders battled the competition and the complications to take podiums, points and awards.

KTM/HMC Racing riders Taylor Knapp and Chris Fillmore have been representing Galfer USA this season on their KTM RC8Rs. Knapp ended his season with sixth, marking his best finish all year.

Fillmore finished seventh, but he did so in dramatic fashion. Fillmore and Larry Pegram battled hard for third during the race, and Fillmore had the upper hand going into the last turn of the last lap. Unfortunately, he ran out of gas before reaching the checkered flag. Fillmore coasted, then jumped off his bike and pushed it across the line to get his seventh-place finish amid the encouraging cheers of the crowd.

Daytona SportBike
Galfer USA riders have been contenders in the Daytona SportBike class all year, and the season finale was no different. Jake Lewis finished second on the Meen Motorsports Racing Yamaha YZF-R6, matching his best finish of the year. In addition to a podium, Lewis also took home the Saddlemen Rookie of the Year Award, which is given to the Daytona SportBike rookie with the most championship points.

JD Beach finished third on his RoadRace Factory R6 after a race-long battle. Like Lewis, Beach went home with an award following Sunday’s AMA Pro Road Racing banquet: he was named the Next Moto Champion Rider of the Year.

Four other Galfer USA riders earned top tens at Laguna Seca. Jason DiSalvo was fifth on the Latus Motors Racing Triumph Daytona 675, Dane Westby was seventh on his GEICO Honda CBR600RR, Bobby Fong was ninth on the D&D Cycles Triumph and Fernando Amantini was tenth on the Team Amantini R6.

Jake Gagne finished 11th on his RoadRace Factory R6 in a desperate battle to hold onto second in the championship. Gagne competed despite having a broken collarbone and separated shoulder, and although he was in a great deal of pain, he held on to beat 26 other competitors to the checkered flag.

The Daytona SportBike field had extra Galfer USA riders thanks to some SuperSport competitors who entered the race. Newly-crowned SuperSport Overall and West champion Tomas Puerta was eighth on his RoadRace Factory R6, while Hayden Gillim finished 13th on a Meen Motorsports Racing R6.

Harley-Davidson Series
Michael Barnes closed out the Harley-Davidson Series season by finishing fifth on his Spyke’s Harley-Davidson XR1200. He took the fourth spot in the championship after earning six top-five finishes this year.

To learn more about Galfer performance brakes for racing, street and off-road applications, visit