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James Rispoli   » rider bio

Birth date July 19, 1991
Birth place Londonderry, N.H.
Hometown Ormond Beach, FL
Height 5-7
Weight 145
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Rispoli: Feel'n Groovy'

NEWS July 29, 2009

Rispoli: Feel'n Groovy'

HAGERSTOWN, Md. (July 29, 2009) - If there ever was a track I didn't like, it is the rough and tumble half-mile and "moon-surfaced" clay-groove track in Hagerstown Maryland. This was only my third time on the track and first time on a 450 single. I have been here as an amateur during a AMA Sports Regional qualifier after a national and run during the day. I clearly remember it being a mess. Huge craters and chunks of track missing, and it was so dry that it looked like the Mojave desert or something you see in a National Geographic magazine. I was riding my C&J framer 80cc, hit a monster hole and went down hard. I wasn't the only one either....Then there was last year, which I'd rather forget about but can't because it was the worse race of my entire racing career. I rode the Aprilia 550 twin in the basic expert class and started going into turn one in third position and continued to loose one place per lap until I was a solidly in LAST place. So my memories of this place are not the best.

While some of these things were moving in and out of my mind, I knew I had better get my act together and make something happen. And that's what I did. My Weirbach racing bike was prepped and ready to rock. Rebuilt from a major transmission problem we had at Lima, luckily holding up until we could finish in third there, I felt pretty good we had solid equipment and I could run up front. Weather was a mess though, playing with us quite a bit with light rain here and there and at least one down-pour. The track crews worked tirelessly all day and night working to give us a surface to race on and the fans a race worth staying for.

The program needed to be shortened and that didn't give us a lot of time for changes during the shortened qualifying runs. I managed a 3rd fastest time the on the first run but thought I could change a gear and go even faster. We made the change but it didn't really help since everyone went faster and I only move 2/10ths faster. I ended up 18th overall; not a great place to start. I told the crew to go back to the original gearing and that I could make it work by banging the snot out of the little single. They did and went out for my heat race.

I had to start on the second row and chose a spot right behind Baker, knowing that if he got the hole shot I would be right up his behind going into turn one. I moved quickly to the front challenging Baker for the lead but we had a red flag. I think we had a total of three red flags. In the end I managed to poke it in under Baker going into turn three and won the shut-off contest as we both touched a little and rocked through the turn. I came off winning the heat and was happy.

We cleaned up the bike and made minor adjustments and waited for our final. In the final Baker, LaBelle and myself took charge and were off. LaBelle gave me fits for most of the race. It was the best I've seen Mike run and he was really challenging me causing me to lose contact with Baker and then have to pick it up again to close the gap. I felt I had what it took to take the win, but couldn't shake LaBelle long enough to get a run until there were two laps to go. I did what I could to get a drive and set up a pass on the last lap knowing I had better drive out of turn four. I got the drive I needed but came up a half bike short. Overall it was an awesome race, but you couldn't tell by my face for at least a little while. I was a bit pissed at myself for not getting the job done for all my supporters and sponsors but felt good that the fans ended up with a dynamite show.

As always I want to thank all my sponsors, friends and family for all their support. I am only 6 points out of the lead with some awesome racing coming up. I am also really proud that I have the most podiums of all the racers in the Pro-class with (5) total and (1) fourth. To everyone who supports me, I couldn't do it without you and your belief in me!

Till next time...do what I like to do GO FASTER...

James"the Rocket" Rispoli

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