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Sep 26, 2013

The Final Round Of Previews Of This Coming Weekend's AMA Pro Season Finale At Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca

GEICO Motorcycle AMA Pro GoPro Daytona SportBike racer Dane Westby (5). Photo by Brian J. Nelson, courtesy of GEICO Motorcycle Road Racing.
Westby looks to finish SuperBike season with podium finish at Laguna Seca

MONTEREY, Calif. (Sept. 26) - It's not often in the GEICO Motorcycle AMA Pro Road Racing Series that riders get a second crack at a track in a particular year, but that's the opportunity in front of Dane Westby and the GEICO Motorcycle Honda team as they race in the GoPro Daytona SportBike season finale this weekend at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.

"It's nice to get back there," Westby said. "It's definitely interesting to have a second go at Laguna; it's unusual but it's really nice."

In his first time at Laguna, he finished seventh during the Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix back in July. With the improvements the team has made over the last few months, Westby is counting on a better result during Sunday's race at the FIM World SuperBike Championship Monterey Round.

"We've been working our way up the ladder, and I think we've got something for them this weekend," Westby said. "The Honda historically does pretty well there. We'll just have to see what happens. The track has a good flow, except for the last corner, which slows you down.

"I've got to take it all the way down to first gear and pick a different line than some of the other bikes that are able to make it through that section in second gear. When I'm racing in a pack, I've got to make sure I get into that area right. It's a fun course, for sure."

There is still an outside chance Westby can finish the season in the top five in the standings. He's 10 points behind Jake Lewis and James Rispoli with the one race left on the schedule.

Westby said Sunday's race may require patience and strategy in the early going because of historically cool weather paired with an early start time.

"I've had a couple of issues in the past where I haven't gotten the tires warmed up and crashed out on the first lap," Westby said. "You've got keep your composure and not be too anxious on the throttle when all those guys are around the first lap because the track can deceive you.

"That's going to be a big thing in my arsenal. Some guys might crash themselves out, and I've got to be aware and take advantage of the situation."

Practice for the GoPro Daytona SportBikes gets under way at 9:20 a.m. PDT on Friday from Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. The first qualifier will be at 3:25 p.m. on Friday and the second at 3:15 p.m. Saturday. The season finale rolls off at 9:30 a.m. on Sunday.




More, from a press release issued by BP Racing:

BP Racing’s CJ Weaver to Race DSB At Final round of Ama Road racing series

BP Racings AMA Supersport West participant Charles “CJ” Weaver was invited to move up to the Daytona Sport Bike class to race the final race of the season at Mazda Laguna Seca Raceway during the World Super Bike Race Weekend.

The really special part of the weekend will be CJ will be running #53 in honor of injured 4 Time AFM Formula Pacific Champion and former AMA pro Dave Stanton who was injured while racing at Thunderhill this past May. CJ had contacted Dave and asked him if it was ok with him to run his number for this special race to honor him. Dave said“It would be great if CJ ran his old number 53, and that he is honored that he would consider running it and can’t wait to cheer him on.”

“I wanted to help but didn’t know what I could do. So it came to me and I thought of running Dave’s number hoping to get attention so others may donate to help out with his medical bills. Dave was one of the first guys I remember coming and talking with me my first year of road racing at AFM when I was on the Ninja 250. He always had kind words and great advice for me these last 4 years. Dave has to be one of the nicest guys I have ever met. So I am going to donate a portion of my winnings with the hope that others will donate to him as well.” CJ said.
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After hearing the news that CJ was going to run Dave’s number Tyler Schuldt from Shoei Helmets approached BP Racing’s Team owner Mike Hammett and suggested that Shoei provide a New Silver X12 helmet that CJ will wear for the race will raffle off at Dave’s fundraiser that is being held on November 18, 2013.

Details on where to get your raffle tickets will be posted on CVRF (www.Centralvalleyridersforum.com).

Look for a future article about CJ and his quest for helping Dave in Next Moto Champion Magazine.If you are unavailable to attend the fund raiser and would just like to donate to help Dave’s medical costs go to www.stanton53support.com




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

MONTEREY, Calif. (September 26, 2013) - The 2013 AMA Pro Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson Series will conclude this weekend at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca as the $60,000 XR Showdown will be decided and the category's new champion will be crowned.

This event marks the first time the big, muscular Harley-Davidson XR1200s have tackled the dramatic elevation changes and blind corners of the fabled circuit. It could prove to be a perfect storm as the Harley-Davidson Series and Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca both tend to reward smooth-yet-aggressive riding and bold overtaking maneuvers.

41-year-old Steve Rapp (No. 5 Aerostar Global/Suburban Harley-Davison) has accomplished a great deal during his long GEICO Motorcycle AMA Pro Road Racing career, which kicked off in the late '90s. The Californian has collected 12 AMA Pro race victories, spanning from H-D to 750 Supersport/Superstock to Formula Xtreme. He's been on the podium in the premier AMA Pro National Guard SuperBike class and even stood atop the podium triumphant in the 2007 DAYTONA 200.

However, one major goal has thus far eluded him -- a GEICO Motorcycle AMA Pro Road Racing title. Rapp has finished in the championship top five on seven separate occasions across five classes (750 Supersport/Superstock, Supersport, Formula Xtreme, AMA Pro GoPro Daytona SportBike, and AMA Pro Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson Series), including three stints as the championship runner-up.

Rapp now stands on the edge of attaining that career-topping accomplishment as he enters the season finale holding a massive 22-point advantage over second-ranked Travis Wyman (No. 24 Harv's Harley-Davidson) and a 27-point lead over third-ranked Tyler O'Hara (No. 29 Eco Fuel Saver/Scrubblade), the only other riders still mathematically alive for this year's championship.

Should Rapp finish 11th or better this weekend, he will win the title no matter what Wyman does, while 16th would be good enough in the event of a perfect weekend for O'Hara.

Rapp has been fleet and consistent pretty much all year long and indicated that he'll approach the Laguna Seca weekend like any other. He's racked up five wins on the year and could look to take the title in style with a sixth victory; considering his form this season, "playing it safe" may very well mean getting early separation and riding his own race out front.

Rapp only needs to avoid disaster -- in other words, finish this campaign in the opposite fashion in which he started it. Rapp scored zero points at the Daytona International Speedway season opener after encountering mechanical problems on the race's very first lap, proving that even Rapp isn't bulletproof and the championship hasn't been conceded just yet.

Whether or not he steals away a miracle championship, Wyman has taken a big step forward in 2013. The up-and-comer put his Harv's Harley-Davidson XR1200 on pole at Daytona and then finished in the top five at every subsequent race, including a pair of podiums.

For O'Hara, his season of vindication started perfectly, with a well-timed slash through the field to win at Daytona. However, a critical error at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, in which he crashed out of the race a day after taking an early advantage in the XR Showdown, means that short of a major upset this weekend, the Californian will still be seeking the ultimate prize he missed out on by a last-corner arm-bar in 2012.

Michael Barnes (No. 1 Spyke's Harley-Davidson) knows exactly what a long-awaited first-career championship would mean to Rapp as he was in the same position a year ago. 'Barney' battled his way through another trying campaign in 2013 in which he was forced to make yet another mid-season team swap. He will not retain his crown but again proved his resiliency with a series of strong efforts. He enters the season finale ranked fourth.

Shane Narbonne (No. 46 Designstar3.com/Empire Harley-Davidson) comes into Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in fifth, just three points removed from Barnes.

Rapp's teammate, Ben Carlson (No. 45 Suburban Harley-Davison), leads the tightly-packed order from sixth-through-tenth, followed closely by David Estok (No. 123 Thrashed Bike Racing), Nicholas Hansen (No. 97 H&S Distributors), Josh Chisum (No. 10 Eco Fuel Saver/Scrubblade), and Barrett Long (No. 2 Longevity Racing).

Of course, riders from outside the XR Showdown can still play a major role in Saturday's season finale, as evidenced by the winning rides taken earlier this season by Jeremy McWilliams and Hafizh Syahrin, not to mention the podium efforts of Eric Stump (No. 77 MOB Racing/Eyeball Moto) and Kyle Wyman (No. 33 Kyle Wyman Racing).

Stay connected with GEICO Motorcycle AMA Pro Road Racing on social media at twitter.com/AMAProSBK and www.facebook.com/AMAProRoadRacing.

About GEICO Motorcycle AMA Pro Road Racing

GEICO Motorcycle AMA Pro Road Racing is the premier motorcycle road racing series in North America and is universally regarded as one of the most competitive road racing organizations in the world. The 2013 schedule consists of nine rounds of competition on the country's finest road courses. The Series is comprised of four production-based classes: AMA Pro National Guard SuperBike, AMA Pro GoPro Daytona SportBike, AMA Pro Motorcycle-Superstore.com SuperSport and the AMA Pro Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson Series. Learn more about GEICO Motorcycle AMA Pro Road Racing at www.amaproracing.com/rr/.

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 www.amaproracing.com.
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