Jan 25, 2002
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Copyright 2002, Roadracing World Publishing, Inc.<BR><BR>By David Swarts<BR><BR>Jason DiSalvo's European racing ambitions are on hold. After spending the last two seasons racing grand prix bikes in various international and national championship series in Europe, 1999 AMA Road Racing Horizon award winner DiSalvo will be returning to the United States to campaign the entire 2002 AMA series in both the 250cc Grand Prix and Superstock classes.<BR><BR>DiSalvo, 17, will race an A-kitted 2001 Honda RS250 Grand Prix bike tuned by Oliver Hutchinson and a Suzuki GSX-R750 wrenched by Mike Earnhardt. Ian Emberton will serve as Crew Chief for the effort, which will race under the Team America Grand Prix Racing banner.<BR><BR>Speaking by phone from his home in Batavia, New York, Team America owner Jim DiSalvo said that the team also plans on competing in several rounds of the FIM 250cc World Championships, with Jason DiSalvo as a wild card entry. Then, after the end of the AMA season, the team will take young DiSalvo to Spain for four rounds of the new 600cc Spanish National Championship.<BR><BR>Jason DiSalvo completed a four-day test at Las Vegas Motor Speedway January 8-11, with Jeff Haney and Freddie Spencer. DiSalvo worked with Emberton for the first time at the Las Vegas test, and was able to cut four seconds from his best lap time on the ex-AMA infield road course, lapping in the 1:42s on his RS250.<BR><BR>Jason DiSalvo also got his first taste of riding a four-stroke road race bike during the test, (DiSalvo's first time on a four-stroke racebike of any kind since running a Rotax 600 dirt tracker years ago). DiSalvo, the 1999 WERA 125cc National Challenge Series Champion, rode a Honda CBR600F4i from Spencer's riding school program and a Formula USA-spec GSX-R750 supplied by Michael Cox of White Tip Racing, during the test. <BR><BR>Reached via cell phone, Jason DiSalvo said, "I know that racing against Rich Oliver and Chuck Sorensen on the 250s and Jimmy Moore and Chris Ulrich on the 750s is going to be tough, but I'm really looking forward to it. It's going to be really good, I think."<BR><BR>Team America has more tests scheduled before heading to Daytona for the start of the 2002 season.