AMA Pro Motorcycle-Superstore.com SuperSport: 2012 Season-Opening DAYTONA 200 Week Preview
NEWS March 14, 2012
Photo by Brian J. Nelson
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (March 14, 2012) - The AMA Pro Motorcycle-Superstore.com SuperSport division of AMA Pro Road Racing has quickly gained the reputation of being a class with non-stop action, and the doubleheader scheduled for this weekend, March 15 - 17, as part of the season-opening DAYTONA® 200 Week event is sure to produce more of the same thrilling racing and at-the-line finishes that fans have grown accustomed to. With 53 pre-entered riders and post-entry opening up this week, this proving ground class will likely grid up the largest field of the weekend for each 10-lap race final around Daytona International Speedway's 3.51-mile traditional motorcycle course. Motorcycle-Superstore.com SuperSport Race 1 is set to grid up on Friday, March 16 at 3:00 p.m. and Race 2 is scheduled to go green on Saturday morning, March 17 at 10:00 a.m. local time.
Coming off of last season's AMA Pro Motorcycle-Superstore.com SuperSport National Championship, James Rispoli returns to Daytona on a Suzuki GSX-R600 freshly adorned with a No. 1 plate on the front and with backing from a new team, Celtic Racing/Orient Express Racing. Although Rispoli finished an uncharacteristic seventh in Race 1 at Daytona last year, the 20-year-old standout followed it up with a third place result in Race 2 and never finished off of the podium in the remainder of the series' nine races en route to his first AMA Pro Road Racing Championship.
The National Guard supports Rispoli's effort as well as those of another up-and-coming star in the Motorcycle-Superstore.com SuperSport ranks. Following a season that included a breakout win at Miller Motorsports Park and a third-place finish in the West Division points, Corey Alexander is back to pilot the No. 5 National Guard Suzuki GSX-R600.
Last year's pole position winner at the Daytona event, Miles Thornton, will compete aboard the No. 72 Markbilt Racing Yamaha YZF-R6 in 2012. Thornton's late-season charge resulted in season-best finishes of seventh place at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course and New Jersey Motorsports Park and the young Georgia-native will be looking to carry that momentum into the new season.
The newly-formed RoadRace Factory camp will field Hayden Gillim (No. 69 RoadRace Factory Yamaha YZF-R6) and Tomas Puerta (No. 12 RoadRace Factory Yamaha YZF-R6), the second and third-place finishers in the 2011 Motorcycle-Superstore.com SuperSport East Division Championship, respectively. Both Gillim and Puerta earned their first AMA Pro Road Racing victories in 2011, Gillim taking his first in Race 2 at Mid-Ohio and Puerta rocking the field with a thrilling race win in the opening race at Daytona.
The runner-up to Puerta in last year's exciting season-opener at Daytona was Colombian Stefano Mesa, who is entered in this year's event on the No. 37 Kneedraggers.com/Galfer Racing Yamaha YZF-R6.
Dustin Dominguez finished last season fourth in the Motorcycle-Superstore.com SuperSport East point standings with impressive stats that included a race win at Mid-Ohio aboard the No. 68 Latus Motors Racing Triumph Daytona 675. The Oklahoman will likely be a front-runner at Daytona, having turned in a pair of fifth-place finishes at the speedway road course in 2011.
Fourth-place finisher in the 2011 Motorcycle-Superstore.com SuperSport West point standings, Travis Ohge is a rider that is due for his prime, having turned in three Top 5s including two third-place finishes in his 10 starts last year. Ohge will pilot the No. 4 Meen Motorsports/Graves Motorsports Yamaha YZF-R6 in the season opener.
Motorcycle-Superstore.com SuperSport fans will be happy to know that two of AMA Pro Road Racing's history-making leading ladies, Elena Myers (No. 21SuzukiScoopFans Suzuki GSX-R600) and Shelina Moreda (No. 93 Gearzy/She'z Racing Yamaha YZF-R6), will be back on track and ready to battle with the boys in 2012. Myers claimed the record as the youngest female to win an AMA Pro Road Racing sprint race with her 2010 Infineon victory, and Moreda's entry in last year's AMA Pro Vance & Hines XR1200 Series debut at Indianapolis Motor Speedway made her the only female to have competed in a motorcycle event at the famed Brickyard.
Two of the three Wyman brothers are entered in this weekend's event with support from Harv's Harley-Davidson. Cody Wyman will ride the team's No. 3 Suzuki GSX-R600 and older brother Travis Wyman will compete aboard the No. 24 Suzuki GSX-R600. Despite making only four starts, Travis put his skills on display last season by earning his first AMA Pro Road Racing victory in Race 2 at Road America.
Motorcycle-Superstore.com SuperSport Young Gun rookies to watch for include Charles Weaver (No. 13 Racer13.com/Pacific Track Time Yamaha YZF-R6), Zach Herrin (No. 17 Graves Yamaha YZF-R6), Jake Lewis (No. 85 Riders Discount/Vesrah Suzuki GSX-R600) and Javelin Broderick (No. 814 DynoJet Research/Diablo Racing Yamaha YZF-R6), as well as relative Motorcycle-Superstore.com SuperSport newcomer Colter Dimick (No. 606 Gearzy Racing/ACESMotorcycles.com Yamaha YZF-R6).
Highlights of the AMA Pro Motorcycle-Superstore.com SuperSport and AMA Pro Vance & Hines XR1200 Series races from Daytona will be included in the AMA Pro National Guard SuperBike and AMA Pro GoPro Daytona SportBike SPEED broadcasts and also available live on SPEED2, an online-only racing network located at http://www.speed2.com featuring exclusive and same-day delay racing events, on-demand international motor sports content, as well as automotive and motorcycle enthusiast programming.
Friday's Vance & Hines XR1200 Series race and Motorcycle-Superstore.com SuperSport Race 1 can be viewed live on SPEED2 starting at 2:10 p.m. ET/11:10 a.m. PT, and before tuning to SPEED on Saturday, fans can log back into SPEED2 for a live online broadcast of the final SuperSport race, scheduled for 9:55 a.m. ET/ 6:55 a.m. PT.
AMA Pro Fan Walk sessions will take place on two occasions over the race weekend, during which fans will be able to circulate on pit lane to visit with their favorite riders and teams from AMA Pro National Guard SuperBike, AMA Pro GoPro Daytona SportBike, AMA Pro Motorcycle-Superstore.com SuperSport and the AMA Pro Vance & Hines XR1200 Series. There will be a host of additional fan-specific activities and events during the DAYTONA® 200 Week at Daytona International Speedway, including demo rides, vendor offerings at the Daytona Motorcycle Marketplace and live entertainment, games and bikini contests at Thunder Alley. Another experience not to miss is the seventh-annual "Spring Dash Around Daytona" - the chance to take two laps around Daytona International Speedway's 3.56-mile road course on Saturday, March 17 immediately after the DAYTONA® 200.
Live Timing & Scoring of all on-track sessions will be available at http://live.amaproracing.com/rr/. Between the races, stay connected with AMA Pro Road Racing at www.twitter.com/AMAProSBK and www.facebook.com/AMAProRoadRacing; keep up with Daytona International Speedway via Twitter (www.twitter.com/DISupdates) and Facebook (www.facebook.com/DaytonaInternationalSpeedway).
For tickets and additional event information, visit www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or call 1-800-PITSHOP. For information related to AMA Pro Road Racing, please visit www.amaproracing.com.