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Mar 6, 2013

Zemke To Replace Willis On Desmo Veloce Ducati In Daytona 200 (Updated)

AMA Pro Daytona SportBike Jake Zemke riding a Ducati 848EVO during the 2012 AMA Pro season. Photo by Brian J. Nelson/AMA Pro Racing.

Jake Zemke to fill in for injured Willis in the 2013 AMA Pro Racing GoPro Daytona Sportbike Championship Race in Daytona

Phoenix, AZ - Desmo Veloce ( is proud to announce plans for the 2013 AMA Pro GoPro Daytona Sportbike Championship Series that will commence at the Daytona Beach International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Florida, on March 14-16, 2013. Desmo Veloce, located in Phoenix, AZ, is a newly formed performance shop owned and operated by longtime AMA Ducati superbike technician Richard Boyd. The shop specializes in Ducati performance, as well as track day and full race bike preparation.

Desmo Veloce will be fielding Garrett Willis in the 2013 AMA Pro GoPro Daytona Sportbike Championship. However, an unfortunate testing accident last weekend at Chuckwalla Valley Raceway left Garrett injured and unable to ride in Daytona.

“We are proud to have Garrett on the team. We were looking at this year as a building year for Garrett on the Ducati and an opportunity to experience some new tracks. Garrett was following our outlined testing plan when he had an unfortunate crash that wasn’t his fault. We have decided it would not be wise to push the injury and race at Daytona. Now, we are going to concentrate on getting him fully healed, looking to the future instead of potentially fighting a nagging problem going forward,” said Boyd.

Additionally Boyd explained, “Once we were certain that Garrett wasn’t going to be able to race, Garrett and I decided that Jake Zemke was the obvious choice to ride the bike in Daytona. This is not the way we wanted to start the season, but Garrett's attitude has been very refreshing, and in a total professional way, he is driving the whole program forward.”

“It’s a bummer to get injured, especially this close to Daytona and it is definitely not how we wanted to start this year, but we are looking forward. I am hoping for a good recovery and excited to watch Jake do his thing”, said Willis.

“The last thing any rider wants to do is replace someone that has been hurt”, explained Zemke. "But we made a lot of progress with the Ducati last year and I think we have a really good chance to win at Daytona. I am happy to fill in for Garrett and I hope he heals quickly.”

Garrett Willis

Garrett Willis has been racing and winning since he was ten years old, earning championships in flat track, supermoto and road racing along the way. He has won numerous amateur championships and three national supermoto championships. In 2012 he raced a limited three race schedule in the AMA Pro Supersport class, garnering 3rd, 5th, and 8th place finishes. Excellent results in a talent deep field.

Jake Zemke

Jake Zemke is a household name to all AMA fans. A former dirt tracker, he made his AMA road racing debut in 1997 and has subsequently finished in the top 3 of the Championship 13 times, bringing him to the podium over 100 times during his professional career. In 2006 he won the Daytona 200, and finished third in the 2007 Superbike Championship. 2008 saw Jake crowned Formula Xtreme Champion while finishing second in the AMA Supersport championship. Last year, with Richard Boyd as his crew chief, he finished 7th in the AMA Pro GoPro Daytona Sportbike Championship.

The team would like to thank Desmo Veloce, John Williams & Son, Leo Vince, Galfer, Capit, Rizoma, Troy Lee Designs, TPL Racing, Ohlins, DID, AFAM, Dyno-Jet, DrippinWet, Next Moto Champion, Freightliner Manitoba and Dr. David Benkle for their support.

Inquiries are welcome from those wishing to become part of this unique effort. For more information, please contact Richard Boyd (480) 717-0444 or

More, from a press release issued by LeoVince USA:

LeoVince USA to Sponsor Team Desmo Veloce; Team will Field Zemke at Daytona 200

Richmond, Calif. - March 6, 2013 - Team Desmo Veloce will be running LeoVince exhausts after signing a sponsorship deal with LeoVince USA for the 2013 AMA Pro Road Racing season.

Team Desmo Veloce will field two riders: Canadian Champion Jordan Imrie will ride a Honda CBR600RR in SuperSport West, and Garrett Willis will be on board a Ducati 848 in Daytona SportBike. However, for the Daytona 200 next week, Jake Zemke will be filling in for Willis, who was injured in a crash during a pre-season test at Chuckwalla Valley Raceway.

Willis is a longtime LeoVince-sponsored rider, and he moved to pro racing after earning numerous WERA and AFM championships. The 22-year-old from Loomis, California, had a strong debut in 2009, finishing fifth in SuperSport West points with a best race result of second. Last year, Willis earned a third in SuperSport West and finished the season eighth in points.

Imrie, who lives in Winnipeg, Manitoba, rocketed to success after just two years in the Canadian roadracing circuit. In 2012, the 26-year-old earned the AMA Super Twins, AMA Supersport, and CCS Middle Weight Superbike championships. Along the way, he picked up the AMA Novice Rider of the Year title.

Zemke was a natural choice for Willis’ substitute in the Daytona 200. He rode for Desmo Veloce team owner Richard Boyd in 2012, finishing seventh in the Daytona SportBike championship. Zemke has earned over 100 podium finishes since his professional roadracing debut. He won the legendary Daytona 200 in 2006 and was the 2008 Formula Xtreme Champion.

“We’re excited about working with Desmo Veloce. They have the right combination of management, crew and talent to really showcase LeoVince exhaust systems, “ says LeoVince USA Executive Vice President Tim Calhoun. “We’re certainly disappointed that Garrett has to sit out the first race of the season, but we know that Jake will be the ideal substitute. Jake has found success with LeoVince-equipped bikes in the past, and we know he’ll do the same at Daytona.”

The LeoVince-equipped Team Desmo Veloce bikes will get their first taste of competition during the AMA Pro Road Racing season opener at Daytona International Speedway, March 14-16.

For more information about sponsored teams and Leo Vince products, visit the Leo Vince USA website at To keep up with the latest product and racing news from Leo Vince, be sure to like them on facebook at
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