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Sep 27, 2010

Updated: More From The AMA Pro Road Racing Season Finale At Barber Motorsports Park

LTD Racing's Huntley Nash (75) leads eventual race winner J.D. Beach (73) and the rest of the AMA Pro SuperSport field during Sunday's rainy race at Barber Motorsports Park.
PUERTA THIRD IN BARBER FINALE, NASH LEADS BEFORE CRASH

Leeds, AL. LTD Racing's Tomas Puerta finished third in the season finale at Barber Motorsports Park on Sunday, battling the wet conditions for 17 laps. Teammate Huntley Nash crashed out of the race while leading at the halfway point. Top Gun Sam Nash took 11th place.

Puerta ended up just one point shy of the AMA Pro SuperSport National Championship, decided by a unique two-leg format at this race. Tomy, aware of the many crashes in the race, took a cautious approach through the middle portions of the event and made his charge at the end. He climbed up to third place from fifth and closed on second during the last lap, but could not find his way past in the final corner.

"I knew I had to be with up with Huntley and Joey (Pascarella) to be the champion but I saw them both crash. Austin DeHaven passed me and I knew I needed to beat him, but I had a battle with another rider that held me back. The last three laps, I was able to push hard and catch up to Austin but I couldn't pass him. The track was getting better and I pushed as hard as I could."

Puerta won pole at Laguna and earned six podiums during 2010. He was third in season's East Division points and showed remarkable consistency. He finished inside the top five in 10 of the 12 East Division races.

"It was a good year but I finished third or fourth a little too much," said the Colombian. "I want to thank the team and all of the sponsors for everything."

Huntley looked to have a second victory of the weekend nearly in his grasp as he led and was running a comfortable, quick pace until the middle part of the race. However, the Saturday winner hit a painted area on the track at over 100 miles an hour. Before he knew it, his race was over. He tried to remount but his bike had a broken handlebar.

"There's not much to say. I was riding my own race. I wanted to win and I hit a paint line and it threw me off. I am completely fine. I slid forever and it tore up my bike," said Nash, who rode a pink motorcycle this weekend as part of his campaign to raise awareness for breast cancer prevention.

Nash was a revelation in the 2010 season. He found a winning pace and took victories at Elkhart Lake, Laguna Seca, and Barber. Huntley earned second in East Division points and was a constant fixture at the front, earning 12 podium results in 2010.

"I am totally happy with the year," he said. "I turned my career around, from an underdog to a guy who runs up front every race. I'm happy with how I have done and yesterday's race was awesome. You can't be too upset with going home with a first-place trophy. I'd like to thank my dad, Gary Medley, Jason Parker and the rest of the crew. It's been a great year and we've come a long way and we couldn't have done it without our sponsors."

Sam Nash earned 11th in the downpour.

"It was pretty good and I felt better than yesterday," said Sam. "It was slick and I saw Huntley go down. I knew I had to keep it up on two wheels. It was a good vacation. I wanted a top ten to take back to the real world of law school until next March at Daytona. A special thanks to the crew and congrats go out to Huntley for winning on Saturday, too!"

LTD Racing Gary Medley said, "The conditions were brutal and the boys rode hard. Things didn't really go our way today, but that's racing. We had a good year with six wins and 24 podiums. All of the boys progressed this year and all are in a good spot in their careers."




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

CARDENAS AND M4 MONSTER ENERGY SUZUKI WIN CHAMPIONSHIP

Martin Cardenas and Team M4 Monster Energy Suzuki successfully completed their ultimate goal for the year on Sunday at Barber Motorsports Park, dramatically storming to a season finale double victory en route to the AMA Pro Daytona SportBike Championship.

Sunday's ride was yet another brilliant and clutch performance from Cardenas, who delivered despite the treacherous conditions and multiple obstacles thrown in his path. Martin broke free of his championship rivals in the early going but just as he took control of the lead nearly ten seconds in front of his primary title competitors, a red flag stopped the race and instantly erased his hard-earned advantage.

The Colombian was shuffled back to fifth in the order following the restart in what essentially became a nine-lap shootout for the crown, but he responded by skillfully slicing his way back to the front aboard his Suzuki GSX-R600. Martin reclaimed the lead late and held on to secure the title in the best possible fashion with yet another race victory.

Cardenas' championship season truly was a monster year as he claimed a full half of the available race wins with nine victories in 18 attempts to go along with thirteen podium finishes in all.

The new champion said, "I got a good start and just tried to gap the riders I was fighting for the championship. By lap 12 we had something like seven seconds or more and I felt like we had the championship wrapped up but then the red flag came out. I was a little bit worried because that meant another start and it equaled everybody out. I knew those two guys were going to be back up front fighting for it and it was going to be a battle.

"I lost some positions after the restart so I just tried to sit there and see what was happening. I made my move with two laps to go and just tried to put in two very good laps and maybe stretch a little bit of a gap."

"It feels awesome to win the championship and I'm very happy for the team. I'm very grateful for my guys because they've been working very hard. This is the best team that I've ever been with and they deserve the championship."

Team M4 Monster Energy Suzuki also got a brilliant performance from AMA Pro American Superbike pilot John Hopkins, who saved his best for last. On the heels of two consecutive third-place rides, the Californian registered a career-best AMA Superbike ride by claiming a runner-up finish in the 2010 season finale.

Running with DOT-spec tires on his GSX-R1000 in the drying conditions, Hopkins managed his tires effectively and pushed for victory throughout an exciting multi-rider scrap.

"We had a good race," Hopkins said. "We got off the start pretty good and I knew if I was going to make any kind of dash I had to make a run early because I was on the DOTs and everyone else on the front row was on slick tires. I went to the front and got into the lead and from there it was a brawl. I basically just had to conserve the tires until the end of the race and rode in defensive mode.

"It's a huge blessing. Like I've said before, four months ago I didn't have a wrist and now I'm racing again and racing at the front. I'm having more fun racing now than I've had in a lot of years. The M4 Monster Energy Suzuki has been awesome all year and it's been capable of winning races. Unfortunately, I wasn't on it much of the year but I'm glad we were able to show what it was capable of late in the season."

Hopkins' remarkable return to form following his mid-season wrist surgery allowed him to finish the season ranked in the top ten despite missing several rounds. He ended the year with 151 points, good enough for tenth overall.

Meanwhile, Chris Ulrich, who was forced to withdraw from the weekend due to injury, was also rewarded with an eighth-place season ranking at 188 points.

Team M4 Monster Energy Suzuki will be aiming to build upon their stunning success in 2011 with 2010 AMA Pro Daytona SportBike king Martin Cardenas already confirmed to return to the team next season.




More, from a press release issued by Acorn Woods Communications on behalf of Yoshimura Racing:

Yoshimura Victorious in SuperBike Finale Doubleheader

Leeds, AL September 27, 2010 Yoshimura's Tommy Hayden and Blake Young took their GSX-R1000s all the way to victory lane this weekend at the Barber Motorsports Park doubleheader, which hosted the 2010 AMA American SuperBike series finale. Hayden was victorious on Saturday, winning a heart-stopping race as he battled for points toward the championship. On Sunday, his teammate Blake Young took the win in a wet and wild showdown on the track.

Under sunny skies and high temperatures on Saturday, Tommy Hayden was looking for a win to narrow the 22-point gap between him and the series leader. Hayden got his first SuperBike win of his career early in 2010, and since then has continued his streak of successes aboard his Yoshimura-powered Suzuki. He qualified fourth for the doubleheader, and starting on the front row of the grid gave him the opportunity to get a good start and make it stick. "I was able to get a good jump and get a good track position," Tommy explained after the race. "From there I knew I just had to run a good, fast race."

The championship leader got ahead of Tommy, but he reeled him back in. "I just tried to put my head down and not let that gap get any bigger than it was," Hayden said. "Then I just chipped away at it and chipped away at it until I was right up on him." Tommy then rolled on the power of his Yoshimura machine and took over the lead. After trading back and forth with brave passes and tight race lines, the 21-lap race ended in an all-out drag race to the checkered flag. When Tommy pushed the throttle of his Suzuki, it delivered and he took the win by a margin of .052 seconds.

"I'm really happy with how the race went," Tommy said afterward. "I wanted to win the race, and there's not much else I can do. Maybe I'll get lucky and end up with a championship, but if not, I want to go out trying." Tommy's win was his fifth of the season, which has been a breakout year for him. He chipped away at the point gap, narrowing it to 18 as he pulled into the winner's circle Saturday afternoon.

Tommy's teammate Blake Young started off the weekend right by earning the pole position on Saturday morning and the extra point that goes along with it. The race marked Young's third race after returning from an injury that sidelined him for three rounds of the series, and he wanted to leave his mark before taking the winter to prepare for 2011. With his optimal starting position, Young got on the power immediately and worked the Yoshimura-equipped GSX-R1000 to put pressure on the race leaders. Blake ended the day in fourth place, and though he was a bit disappointed, he vowed to really lay it on the line the next day.

Race conditions were completely different on Sunday than they were the previous day. With low clouds and intermittent heavy rain, the track was cool and wet, changing the racers' plan of attack. As the SuperBike class lined up to take off for their final race of the season, the precipitation stopped but water was still pooled on the track. After a sight lap to judge what tires would best suit their race effort, and a number of varying tire selections to be found on the starting grid. Blake Young and Tommy Hayden both decided on race slicks, hoping that as the race wore on the track would dry out and get tacky. It was a decision that paid off for Young especially, as he tore off the starting line and immediately asserted his power by taking the lead. Hayden came off the grid in fourth and he settled in there, watching the racers ahead of him to find the driest and fastest way around the track.

Young blazed a trail around the racetrack with his fast motorcycle and nerves of steel. Despite the water making all the race bikes hunt for traction on the track, Young kept his focus. He led all but two laps of the race, earning the point there, and powered his way to his third win of the season. Blake was dominant in the race, fearless when it came time to pass, and was fluidly fast. "We did our homework last night and made some improvements," Blake said after the race. "I've had more bad luck than good at this track, but the fastest way to come back from my injury here in June was to sit on the couch and watch races. It was hard to sit out for three months, but it made me want to race even more. This is what I love to do, and I really wanted to put my head down and get my team a win before the end of the season. My guys on the team are awesome, and I thank them very much for working hard for me!"

Hayden, meanwhile, held steady and finished the race in fourth place. His finish chopped the point gap between him and leader to 14, and despite not being able to secure the championship this year, Hayden is determined to use it as fuel for 2011. "I had a good year overall, and I tried hard," Hayden said. "It wasn't enough, but I'm going to take some time in the off season and work on some things and come back ready to go next year."

Overall, the Yoshimura power helped Hayden and Young to a total of eight victories this year and another 12 podium finishes. Both racers had breakout seasons and are looking to capitalize on their successes in the AMA American SuperBike series in 2011.




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

ELENA MYERS CLOSES SUCCESSFUL ROOKIE CAMPAIGN AT BARBER MOTORSPORTS PARK

Lucas Oil Roadracingworld.com RMR Suzuki's Elena Myers put the wraps on a season to remember this weekend at Barber Motorsports Park. Myers completed the year in her typical 'never-quit' style, pushing through whatever difficulties she was faced with and giving it her all despite some very trying conditions.

Qualifying her GSX-R600 racebike on the second row (seventh, 1:31.609) for the 'winner-take-all' AMA Pro SuperSport National Championship, Elena overcame illness to register another impressive top-five performance in Saturday's race. She won the battle for fifth place in one of the hottest races of the year.

Sunday's outing was considerably more trying as rainy conditions provided an extra level of difficulty, especially for the young riders in the SuperSport class, most of whom lack significant wet weather riding experience, Elena included.

Numerous riders crashed during the tricky affair, and Myers, who was steadily working her way up from outside the top ten, joined a number of high-profile rivals with a DNF of her own.

However, that result did not put a damper on Myers' historic 2010 season. In what was her debut professional campaign, Elena consistently impressed with her pace and racecraft, highlighted by a headline-grabbing victory at Infineon Raceway.

After Sunday's race, Elena said, "Overall I think I made quite a few improvements over the weekend. I put in on the second row in qualifying. Going into the race yesterday I had some really bad stomach issues and got really hydrated during the race, but I still kept fighting to the end and ended up fifth.

"I haven't ridden in the rain much at all. I was running in sixth or seventh in the race. It was tough out there and everybody was crashing and I ended up falling myself.

"My crew chief Scott Harwell did a fabulous job of getting my bike working great for the race and I can't thank him enough. I've been a challenge with the set-up all year and I feel excited to be ending the season with a bike I'm happy with."

Looking back on a memorable season, Elena summed it up by stating, "This season has been a great learning year. The win, I couldn't ask for anything better, especially at my home track of all places. I just want to thank everybody with Lucas Oil, John Ulrich, and Richie Morris for doing everything they did to make this year possible."




More, from a press release issued by Vesrah Suzuki:

VESRAH SUZUKI FINISHES UP THE 2010 AMA PRO RACING SEASON AT BARBER MOTORSPORTS PARK.

Vesrah Suzuki finished up the 2010 AMA Pro Racing series with top 10 finishes in all classes that the team competed in during the Superbike Classic at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham AL. Even with the difficult conditions due to the inclement weather on Sunday all of the team riders conquered the extra challenge and brought the team's Suzuki GSX-R race bikes across the finish line with top 10 finishes.

Travis Wyman was racing a 600 for the first time in the rain during Supersport Race 2 running for a podium position right until the end. Travis equalled his best finish of the year with a 4th place just off the podium.

In Daytona Sportbike Race 2 Chris Fillmore was able to get his best finish ever with a 5th place. Cory West followed Chris home in 6th place to wrap up his season. Both Cory and Chris finished in the top 10 in the season championship.

In the American Superbike Race 2 Jeff Wood adapted to the Vesrah Suzuki GSX-R 1000 in the drying conditions and brought home another top 10 finish.


Mark Junge Team Owner Vesrah Suzuki

"All of my riders brought home top 10 finishes today which is a great ending to the season. I have to thank Eric Dorn of EDR for coming out and taking care of the team's American Superbike. 2 riders in the top 10 in the 2010 Daytona Sportbike championship and podium finishes for the team in the first year running the AMA Pro Road Racing series shows that this team can be competitive in the top series in the US."


Travis Wyman Vesrah Suzuki #24

"I woke up Sunday morning to rain and I was pretty nervous going out in these conditions as not only was I still learning a new bike but it was my first 600 ride in the rain. I got up to speed and felt pretty comfortable going into the race. The race came and I got a good start and started picking up my pace passing bike after bike lap after lap. I felt really comfortable in the rain. Before I knew it I was fighting for a podium spot with nearly 10 laps to go. I tried to break away but found myself battling down to the last lap. I spun up coming out of the museum corner on the last lap and came home with 4th place. I am really happy with the opportunity that Mark and Vesrah provided me this weekend. Also I would like to thank my mechanic Darren for all his help to end my 2010 season strong."


Cory West Vesrah Suzuki #57

"This morning it was raining for the warm-up and we pretty much knew it would be that way for the race as well. I got up to speed quickly in the warm-up but I didn't want to risk another crash so I did not stay out long. The race was very stressful I know how crazy Daytona Sportbike can be and adding rain to that equation sounds like certain disaster. I just rode my own race and tried to be smooth and I was 7th before the red flag. The restart went well and I ran as high as 5th but I had a few very close calls and almost crashed because of the tricky conditions. The last few laps the track started to dry and the front rain tire was really chewed up so it made things very difficult. I ended up losing 5th to Chris but I am happy for him because it is his best finish. We ended up 6th overall in the championship and I really would have liked to be 5th but this has been a great season. I really want to thank my mechanics, Tony and Bruce, and the entire Vesrah Suzuki team."


Chris Fillmore Vesrah Suzuki #55

"I'm so happy to finish this rain race today and with my best finish of the year. I can't thank the Vesrah Suzuki team and my mechanics enough. I've really enjoyed my season with the entire Vesrah Suzuki squad."


Jeff Wood Vesrah Suzuki #75

"The weekend ended great! We came out with another top 10 only this was in rough conditions. The track was probably 60% wet at the start, so I was real cautious for the first few laps. After getting the feel of the 1000 on a semi-wet track, we were able to move forward throughout the race. I really want to thank the entire Vesrah team and my mechanics Leif and Eric, for a great weekend."

Vesrah Suzuki wants to thank all of their sponsors for their support for the 2010 season Vesrah, American Suzuki, Rockstar Energy Drink, Nielsen Enterprises Suzuki, Traxxion Dynamics Fork Components, Dainese Leathers, Boots and Gloves, Arai (Cory), Shoei (Chris), Graves Motorsports, Hotbodies Racing Bodywork, Sudco Int., Bazzaz, Factory Pro, Maxima Racing Oils, Vortex, DID Chain, Penske Racing Shocks, GPR Stabilizers, Trek Bicycles, GP Tech, Active & Road Rage Designs




More, from a press release issued by Team Suzuki News Service:

Rockstar Makita Suzuki made it a GSX-R1000 winning weekend in the AMA Superbike Championship as Blake Young finished the series on Sunday with a hard-earned and heart-pounding victory at a wet race track in Alabama.

The win marks Young's third victory of the season and he also qualified fastest for the weekend and earned Pole Position. Team mate Tommy Hayden, after a victory on Saturday, finished the wet race on Sunday in fourth, putting him second overall in the Championship standings.

Young was determined after his fourth-placed finish on Saturday to improve his results on Sunday. "I watched Saturday's race on my DVR this morning before the race," Young said. "Right then and there I decided that today I needed to ride really, really hard and show these guys what I'm made of."

A rainstorm haunted Barber Motorsports Park for most of the morning, and although the clouds started to roll out right before the start of the Superbike race, the track remained wet.

"Coming into the weekend, I was optimistic," Young said. "I've had more bad luck here than good, but we did our homework and the GSX-R1000 was the bike to be on today. I guess I had a little more Rockstar in my tank than everyone else did and I took the win."

Young took the lead in the race off his pole position and ended up leading all but two laps of the race. Another GSX-R1000 rider, John Hopkins, was battling Young for the first spot through most of the rain-soaked race, but Young kept his focus and finished 1.306 seconds ahead. "My guys on the Rockstar Makita Suzuki team are awesome and I thank them very much for working so hard for me. The best way I knew to thank them was to put my head down and get them a win before the end of the season."

Hayden started in fourth place off the grid, and by holding the race line and riding smartly, he put together a consistent race effort and finished in fourth. Hayden went into Sunday's race 18 points behind in the championship point's chase, and though the gap was insurmountable, he used his skill and the predictable power of his Suzuki in the wet 21-lap race to finish strongly.

Hayden ended the 2010 AMA American Superbike series in second place overall, just 14 points back from the leader and vows to use this experience to fuel his bid for the Championship in 2011.

Overall, the Rockstar Makita Suzuki duo of Hayden and Young won eight races in 2010 aboard their race-ready GSX-R1000s, the first wins of their Superbike careers, and earned 12 additional podium finishes.




More, from a press release issued by Harley-Davidson:

McWilliams Wins Wet AMA Pro Vance & Hines XR1200 Series Race at Barber

Eslick Crowned 2010 Series Champion

Milwaukee (Sept. 27, 2010) Jeremy McWilliams battled with fellow road racing veteran Michael Barnes in a rain-soaked 11-lap duel at Barber Motorsports Park September 26, to become the first rider to win races on a Harley-Davidson XR1200 motorcycle on two continents.

McWilliams, who won the 2010 Henderson XR1200 Trophy champion in the British Superbike Series riding for Warr's Harley-Davidson, made his AMA Pro Vance & Hines XR1200 Series debut at Barber riding for HOG Racing. He qualified third among the 11 riders entered in the event behind Celtic Racing's P.J. Jacobsen and Barnes (Jones Brothers/Eric Stump Racing).

McWilliams and Barnes battled nose to tail for the first 10 laps, with Jacobson a close third, until the final lap, when McWilliams broke free to lead Barnes across the start/finish line by a 2.747-second margin. Jacobsen finished third, followed by Robert Tinagero (RMR/Bruce Rossmeyer's Daytona Racing), Paul James (James Gang/Hoban Brothers Racing), Matthew Heidel (Shar-Tuff), and Paul Schwemmer (Brady-Schwemmer Racing). Harv's Harley-Davidson's Travis Wyman and Michael Corbino (RMR/Bruce Rossmeyer's Daytona Racing) crashed out on earlier laps, and Joe Rozynski (RMR/Bruce Rossmeyer's Daytona Racing; mechanical) and Jake Holden (RMR/Bruce Rossmeyer's Daytona Racing; illness) were unable to start the race.

"It was a totally fantastic weekend for the whole crew," McWilliams said. "Riding the XR1200 in an AMA round and taking the win was the icing on the cake after lifting the British Championship less than a month ago. Just two weeks back I thought I'd thrown any chance of competing here away when I smashed myself up a bit in Spain. The wet weather probably played to my favor as I didn't have to work so hard in those conditions. Had it been dry I guess it might have been a little tighter but I was confident either way."

With the close of the five-race 2010 Vance & Hines series, RMR/Bruce Rossmeyer's Daytona Racing's Danny Eslick, winner of the first three rounds, was crowned the series champion with 96 points, followed by Travis Wyman (88) and Jake Holden (67).

"It was cool to be a part of [the series]. I'm 100 percent for championships on American made bikes" said Eslick, who won the 2009 AMA Pro Daytona SportBike championship on a Buell motorcycle. "It was a lot of fun to ride, and hopefully we can put something together for next year."


Complete 2010 AMA Pro Vance & Hines Championship Points Standings:

1. Danny Eslick, 96 points
2. Travis Wyman, 88
3. Jake Holden, 67
4. Paul James, 62
5. P.J. Jacobsen, 54
6. Joe Rozynski, 50
7. Matthew Heidel, 44
8. Eric Stump, 37
9. Kyle Wyman, 36
10. Jeremy McWilliams, 31
11. John Ashmead, 27
12. Michael Corbino, 27
13. Shawn Higbee, 25
14. Michael Barnes, 25
15. Steve Atlas, 25
16. Shawn Conrad, 15
17. Robert Tinagero, 18
18. Paul Schwemmer, 14
19. Aaron Frank, 13
20. Mark Cernicky, 0


Company Background

Harley-Davidson Motor Company produces heavyweight custom, cruiser and touring motorcycles and offers a complete line of Harley-Davidson motorcycle parts, accessories, riding gear and apparel, and general merchandise. For more information, visit harley-davidson.com.




More, from a press release issued by Yamaha:

Hayes Wins AMA Superbike Championship

Aboard his Team Graves Yamaha YZF-R1, Josh Hayes claimed his first career AMA Superbike championship at BarberMotorsportsPark in Birmingham, Ala. on Sunday, Sept. 26. The championship is also the first for Yamaha in America's premier road-racing class since Thomas Stevens took the crown in 1991. Meanwhile Team Graves YZF-R6 mounted Josh Herrin finished third in the AMA Daytona SportBike championship, while Austin Dehaven won the AMA SuperSport title on his R6.

The Superbike title chase came right down to the final weekend of the season, with Hayes ahead in points but rival Tommy Hayden still able to take the championship if Hayes faltered. Thus, Hayes' mission for the weekend was the same as it has been all year long race to win, but this time with extra care. In the first race on Saturday afternoon, Hayes led the most laps and ultimately finished a secure second as his rival Tommy Hayden claimed the victory. The result set up a situation on Sunday where Hayes would win the title with an eighth-place or better finish, even if Hayden won.

Severe weather soaked the area on Sunday morning, and by race time a quarter of the circuit was still damp. Nonetheless Hayes settled into a great ride with the lead pack until Brett McCormick crashed, pushing Hayes off track and dropping him several seconds behind the group. From here though, Hayes rode to an easy seventh-place finish and a very sweet championship. "A huge thank you to Yamaha for bringing me onboard for my first Superbike ride," he said afterwards. "I am glad I was able to race well and bring home the R1's first AMA Superbike championship."

Yamaha road racing team manager Tom Halverson added, "This is probably the best team we've ever had, and the effort that everyone has made to win the championship is just incredible. From the machinists to the secretaries back at Yamaha, thank you. The race crew has really been amazing this year too. Josh has been a great rider, and it's easy to stand behind him because he puts in so much effort."