Mar 9, 2009
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Chaz Davies (57).
Monster Energy Attack Kawasaki Riders Inside Top-10 at Daytona 200
Daytona Beach, Fla. Monster Energy Attack Kawasaki riders Jamie Hacking and Leandro Mercado put forth an incredible effort during the 67th annual Daytona 200 at Daytona International Speedway. Hacking finished just off the podium in fourth and 17-year-old Mercado rode to an impressive ninth-place finish after a 23rd place start in his debut.
Happy with the Finish
Hacking came into the race with expectations of doing well, and his finish certainly made him happy. With limited time on the all-new NinjaÂ® ZX™-6R, his finish just off the podium was a job well done.
"We've realistically only had a month to bring this whole thing together and I must say the team did a great job of putting me in the best position possible," said Hacking. "Every racer wants to win, but the finish we had was still great considering. We come out of here third in the championship points with (Ben) Bostrom not racing the class and I know we are only going to improve."
The Daytona 200 was Mercado's first professional AMA race and he did more than expected when he not only finished the endurance race, but also went from 23rd at the start to finish inside the top-10 in ninth.
"It ended up being a great race," said Mercado. "I am very happy to not only finish, but to be in the top-10. It was definitely a long race."
It has been a few years since Hacking had participated in the Daytona 200 endurance race. After an extended red flag, it seemed like it was going to be a long night.
"It's been a while since I last rode this race, and even though it's fun, I'm glad to have this race behind me."
Expectations for Leandro
Coming into the race, the team told Mercado that they just wanted to see him finish. There was not much pressure since he was a last minute replacement and wasn't anticipating he was going to compete in the Daytona 200.
"My first expectation was to finish the race," said Mercado. "Now that it's all over, I am pretty happy with the finish because I came into the top-10."
He may be young, but Mercado showed skills of a veteran Friday night. It's easy to get impatient during a long race and try to charge too early. Mercado held his composure and made the laps count when he needed them to.
"Leandro is definitely going to start getting recognized here in the paddock if he hasn't already," said Mike Preston, Kawasaki road race manager. "He is a great kid and I am looking forward to seeing how he's going to do the rest of the year."
The pit stop is nonstandard to the regular season of the AMA Pro Road Racing Series, but during the Daytona 200 it can make or break the race. The team has been known for their speedy pit stops and during the race, all pit stops were under 18 seconds.
"The team did a great job of making really clean pit stops," said Monster Energy Attack Kawasaki Manager Richard Stamboli. "We were fast and the riders were great reading their pit boards and it worked out really well."
For the first time in the history of the Daytona 200, the race was held under the lights of the speedway. Since the race is usually run during the afternoon, it brought a new perspective to the race with different conditions and factors.
Looking Toward California
Now that the first race is in the books, the team can look forward to the upcoming race at Auto Club Speedway.
"We need to keep working and moving forward," said Mercado. "The bike is great and I am really happy. I know we can keep getting better."
AMA Pro Road Racing Series
Daytona International Speedway- Daytona Beach, Fla.
March 6, 2009
1. Ben Bostrom, Malibu, Calif., Yamaha
2. Josh Herrin, Clovis Calif., Yamaha
3. Jason DiSalvo, Las Vegas, Nev., Suzuki
4. JAMIE HACKING, DENVER, N.C., MONSTER ENERGY ATTACK KAWASAKI
5. Shawn Higbee, Mukwonago, Wis., Buell
6. Chaz Davies, Carlsbad, Calif., Aprilla
7. Barret Long, , Miami, Fla., Ducati
8. Martin Cardenas, Miami, Fla., Suzuki
9. LEANDRO MERCADO, LODI, CALIF.., MONSTER ENERGY ATTACK KAWASAKI
10. Steve Rapp, Hawthorne, Calif., Aprilla
More, from a press release issued by American Suzuki:
Suzuki GSX-R1000: From Showroom to Daytona Race Win In Under Three Weeks!
Round 1 AMA Pro American Superbike Series
Daytona Beach, Florida
Daytona International Speedway
March 4-5 2009
In an amazing display of hard work, technical skill and sheer willpower, Team Rockstar Makita Suzuki were able to complete the difficult task of taking production street bikes straight from the dealership floor to race winning machines in less than three weeks time.
Faced with the challenge of preparing brand new GSX-R1000's for the season opening round of the new AMA Pro American Superbike Series, Team Rockstar Makita Suzuki worked overtime to set up and prepare the racing machines for team riders Mat Mladin, Tommy Hayden and Blake Young.
All three Rockstar Makita Suzuki riders delivered with Mladin taking pole position and winning the first race of year, Hayden posted a solid podium finish and newcomer Blake Young carded an impressive fifth place finish. Even more amazing the seasoned Rockstar Makita Suzuki team was able to finish in front of teams that had the luxury of longer preparation time for their own racing machines.
Aki Goto American Suzuki Sports Promotion Manager
"This is an amazing victory for everyone at Rockstar Makita Suzuki, especially considering the long negotiation period with the DMG group, the increasingly difficult economic situation, and the minimal preparation time trying to get ready for this exciting race weekend."
"Thanks to Mat Mladin, Tommy Hayden and Blake Young for their exceptional riding effort today. I also want to give special thanks to the entire Rockstar Makita Suzuki team for all their hard work in preparing these race-winning GSX-R1000's in such a short amount of time."
Team Rockstar Makita Suzuki will race next at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California on March 20-22, 2009.
More, from a press release issued by Factory Aprilia Millennium Technologies Team:
The Factory Aprilia Millennium Technologies Team Finishes Top Ten in the Daytona 200!
Daytona Beach, FL The Factory Aprilia Millennium Technologies team finished in the top ten at the historic Daytona 200. Even more incredible is that this is the first event for the Aprilia squad. During the race, Chaz Davies turned the fastest lap of the entire event on a motorcycle that had less than less than 50 practice laps on it and finished sixth on the track. Despite some bad luck, Ben Thompson made up 27 positions in the race and finished 22nd.
The KWS Motorsports team went to Daytona with a whole new program to figure out. This was a new bike, in a new class, with a new set of rules, and one new rider Chaz Davies. Most of the crew was new as well.
In qualifying Thompson was only able to turn a handful of laps due to some minor problems. This left the young Alaskan rider to start the race from the 49th position. Davies was able to stay out for the entire twenty minute session and was able to turn a lap of 1:50.750 to qualify in the 14th position. This was a mixed blessing at the time because the team did not make the Superpole competition to decide the top ten qualifiers, but it did mean the team had more time to get caught up.
The new night time format of the Daytona 200 created an electric atmosphere before the start of the race and the LeoVince sponsored Aprilia team was confident despite all the uncertainties going into the longest race of the season. During the Friday afternoon warm up session both riders had found chassis settings that allowed them to lap faster and the team had practiced the pit stops for hours. Once the race started both Thompson and Davies started working their way to the front. The team decided to use a single pit crew for both riders so the stops had to be staggered. During the pit stops the team was able to give Davies and Thompson an advantage with super speedy stops. These fast pit stops where possible because of special equipment built by Millennium Technologies, Pit Bull, and Britt Lynn.
The race was going according to plan and both riders where working their way to the front with each lap until the pace car came out for a lighting failure in the chicane. Davies and Thompson had just pitted so the team elected to stay out. Unfortunately the race went from full course caution to a red flag situation when two riders fell down in the chicane.
The last segment of the race was a ten-lap sprint to the finish. When the race restarted, Chaz was able to get a great start and moved immediately into the top ten. Thompson also moved up on the start but was hit by another rider and ran off in the horseshoe. Fortunately Thompson was able to reenter the race, but had lost some positions at a critical time. Three laps from the end Chaz was able to turn the fastest lap of the entire event with a time of 1:48.947 and passed Dane Westby at the line for sixth place on the race track. Thompson worked his back to twenty-third position after his off track incident.
Chaz Davies "The weekend was fairly difficult trying to get the bike sorted in the limited time was had. Rocky Stargel and Jimmy Le did a fantastic job though. They took a huge gamble before the race with the set-up and it worked. The bike handled awesome and being able to turn the fastest lap of the race is very encouraging for the future. I would like to thank Aprilia for all of the support the bike is excellent and I am very much looking forward to rest of the season."
Ben Thompson "Twenty-second is definitely not the finishing position we were looking for, but we made a lot of progress with the Aprilia RSV1000R and I am very excited about going to Fontana to apply what we learned in the normal sprint racing environment we are used to. The team did a fantastic job and I need to thank Michael Godin and Rick Bretl for all their hard work. The pit stops were awesome!"
Kevin Hunt (Team Owner) "We are very happy. We had a lot of new challenges to overcome this weekend and to come away with a top ten finish and the fastest lap of the event is very encouraging. I really want to thank Aprilia, Millennium Technologies, Motul, Pit Bull, and LeoVince for all of their help at the track. This is a team effort and our sponsors are an active part of the team. Thank you."
Rick Panettieri (Aprilia USA) "We are very pleased with the team's race results from Daytona. They did an excellent job of preparing the bikes and had some very fast pits stops during the race. Both riders showed great improvement during the week as they came to grips with the Aprilia. We are looking forward to the rest of the season as the riders and team continue to improve and become even faster."
The Factory Aprilia Millennium Technologies Team is proudly sponsored by:
Aprilia USA, Millennium Technologies, KWS Motorsports, Pit Bull, LeoVince Exhaust, Motion Pro, Bazzaz Performance, Sebimoto Bodywork, Yoyodyne, Slednecks, EK Chains, Motul, Performance Friction Brakes, Worldwide Bearing, K&N Filters, Zero Gravity Windscreens, Suzuka Tire Warmers, Stomp Grip, Hel Brake Lines, Spider Grips and ASV Inventions.
For Information: ~
More, from a press release issued by Team ESP/Venemotos Yamaha:
TEAM ESP/ VENEMOTOS YAMAHA DAYTONA WEEKEND SPOILED BY LADY LUCK
(Daytona Beach, FL)"” Team ESP/ Venemotos Yamaha strong early form in the weekend was intercepted by bad luck and hampered the team from getting the strong results they deserved. On Saturday, Josh Day qualified the ESP/ Venemotos Yamaha on the pole in the Supersport class. Day lead every session of practice and qualifying where he set a pole time that was over one and a half seconds clear of his nearest competitor. Unfortunately for Day, a first corner, first lap collision with another rider resulted in a crash and his Yamaha R6 was unable to restart. ESP/ Venemotos Yamaha's bad luck continued in the Daytona 200. Early front runner Pietri tangled with a lapped rider when entering turn one that resulted in Pietri going down hard. Although Pietri was able to remount and make it back to the pits, the long repair time took him out of contention for a top finish. Damian Cudlin's 200 started from the twenty fourth position on the grid after a qualifying strategy miscalculation hampered his ability to get a tow around the banking from any of the other top riders. Cudlin's charge through the field was halted by the red flag, and subsequent safety car laps. Even with the safety car interruptions, Cudlin was able to secure a solid top fifteen finish in his first AMA race. The entire ESP/ Venemotos team is ready for redemption at Fontana where Cudlin and Pietri will contest the Sportbike class. Josh Day will resume racing for the team at the Road Atlanta round of the Supersport class.
"I was really looking forward to the race, we lead every session and I was confident going into the race. Unfortunately, I didn't get the launch I needed to clear away from the field at the first turn and ended up coming together with another rider. It's hard to describe how disappointed I am right now, but we'll regroup and be ready for Road Atlanta. I really want to give the ESP/ Venemotos Yamaha team their first victory."
"This weekend was going great. We qualified fifteenth and were heading to the front. I was running in the top five when I came up on another rider going into turn one-- I was closing in on him so fast I don't think he knew I was there"”we tangled and I went down. The ESP/ Venemotos team did their best to get me back out there and I was back on track a couple of laps down. After our first AMA weekend working together, I am really looking forward to racing with ESP/ Venemotos Yamaha the rest of the year."
"What can I say? We didn't qualify that great but the ESP guys had me running in the top fifteen and we were still moving forward when the red flag came out. What happened after that I'm still not sure. I stayed in line behind the pace car, but guys were still passing under the yellow. I think the final results show me in thirteenth, but I know we should be better than that. I'm looking forward to Fontana where we can put the ESP/ Venemotos Yamaha up where we belong."
For Sponsorship inquiries contact Syndicate Motorsport Management, LLC:
(+1) 831 464 3458 or email: murph@SyndicateRR.com
Team ESP/ Venemotos Yamaha:
Evan Steel Performance is a small, personal, specialized shop located in Tucson, Arizona that deals with all aspects of motorcycle road racing. ESP bikes have had some of the highest trap speeds in their classes at AMA Nationals, as well as the highest top speed at start/finish at the 50th annual Macau Grand Prix. In 2008, ESP scored a very rare privateer podium at the VIR AMA National in the Superstock class with Chris Peris. ESP is open to any level of racing, from basic race prep to planning a season at the Nationals.
ESP can be reached at (520) 294 3050 or
More, from a press release issued by Tyler Odom Racing:
Odom Wins Professional Debut, Thanks Everyone Who Helped On the Road To Victory Lane at Daytona Speedway
Torrance, California - In his first race as a professional motorcycle racer, Tyler Odom won. The win fulfilled a lifelong dream that suddenly became a reality for the sixteen year old racer from Southern California.
It was a weekend of many firsts for young Tyler it was his first AMA Professional Road Race, it was his first time riding the banking at Daytona Speedway, it was his first race on the Erion Honda CBR 600RR, and most importantly, his first very big AMA Pro Racing win. In addition, the race was the first event of the 2009 AMA season, and the first race for the all new AMA Supersport class which features revised rules and eligibility requirements.
"Instead of talking about the race and all the various things that we had going on during our time in Daytona, I just want to thank everyone along the way who helped get me here full stop," said Tyler. "There is no way I could have done it without the help and support of a bunch of people, and I hope I can get everyone in without missing a name. Beginning with my parents, Donny and Deanna, and my mechanic and coach, Martin Conway and his little shop, which is called South Bay MotoGP. I also want to thank my Grandparents John and Karen Odom, Kevin Erion and Erion Honda, Pro Honda Oils and Chemicals and Alpinestars. Also, my dad could not do it without the support of his job, and all the guys at the Murray Company, who are also a big supporter of mine. I cannot forget Arai, Oakley, Clement Supports, Columbia Specialty, J.R. Smith, Azuza Pipe Bending, Milwaukee Valve, CRG levers, Sudco, Mid Cities Honda, Spider Grips, Zero Gravity Windscreens, Outlaw Racing Fuels and MAD Design Online," said Odom. "I also want to thank Bill Nation and Mike Freeburg from Pro Italia, as they were big supporters of mine as I was coming up, and helped me out a ton last season.
Odom went on to explain: "Without those people and companies, I would have never won my first race at Daytona. Also, while it was an amazing way to start the season, I don't want to get too excited about it. We have another race coming soon, and the other guys in my class are all really good, so its one step at a time, one day at a time. I am looking forward to getting my hands on some of that AMA Pro Racing purse money though!"
Immediately following the race weekend, Odom caught a flight home with his mother in order to continue his education at South High School in Torrance, California, where he attends the tenth grade.
Tyler Odom's next race will be round 2 of the AMA series, which takes place at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California on March 22.
For more information on Tyler Odom, please visit .