170 Entries Ready to Usher in New AMA Pro Road Racing Era in Season-Opening Event at Daytona
NEWS February 26, 2009
AMA Pro Road Racing's four series have attracted a combined total of 170 entries, including the biggest field in four years and one of the largest in decades for the Daytona 200 by Honda. The race will be part of AMA Pro Road Racing's historic opening weekend with the first night running of the Daytona 200 under the lights, Friday, March 6. The advent of the new Daytona SportBike class will also bring the Daytona 200 action back to the full 3.55-mile legendary Daytona road course for the first time since 2004.
The AMA Pro American Superbike division shares the spotlight with the Daytona SportBikes at Daytona and attracted a strong entry of 41 motorcycles for its debut 2009 race. A 15-lap American Superbike sprint at 3:30 p.m. highlights the racing on Thursday, March 5, while the Daytona SportBike Daytona 200 starts at 8 p.m. Friday night for 57 laps under the lights.
With AMA Pro Road Racing's pair of premier classes accounting for 125 of the 170 entries, the starting field in each race will be full of past, present and future legends of AMA Pro Road Racing. Former Daytona 200 winners Jake Zemke (No. 1x Erion Racing Honda CBR600RR), Steve Rapp (No. 15 Black Hole Racing Aprilia RSV) and reigning race champion Chaz Davies (No. 57 Factory Aprilia/Millennium Technologies Team Aprilia RSV) will join record five-time winner Miguel Duhamel (No. 17 Team Suzuki/Blackfoot/Picotte Racing Suzuki GSX-R600) in looking for another Daytona 200 victory.
Top riders gunning for a first Daytona 200 win include factory Yamaha teammates Ben Bostrom (No. 1s Team Graves Yamaha YZF-R6) and Josh Hayes (No. 4 Team Graves Yamaha YZF-R6), who is looking to avenge 2008's heartbreak after what appeared to be a convincing victory was taken away when his motorcycle failed post-race inspection. Chris Peris (No. 10 Erion Racing Honda CBR600RR), Jamie Hacking (No. 88 Monster Energy/Attack Kawasaki Ninja ZX-6R), teammates Jason DiSalvo (No. 40 M4 Suzuki GSX-R600) and Martin Cardenas (No. 36 M4 Suzuki GSX-R600) and Yamaha's young standouts Josh Herrin (No. 8 Team Graves Yamaha YZF-R6) and 16-year-old Tommy Aquino (No. 6 Team Graves Yamaha YZF-R6) will also be among the dozens of riders with a legitimate shot at victory.
Proven 600cc racing bikes from Honda, Yamaha, Suzuki and Kawasaki anchor the Daytona 200 entry list but the new Daytona SportBike class is home to a diverse lineup of motorcycles. Rapp and Davies are joined in the Aprilia camp by Hooters Aprilia teammates Shane Narbonne (No. 12 Hooters Aprilia RSV) and Ryan Elleby (No. 21 Hooters Aprilia RSV), Ty Howard (No. 67 Ridesmart Motorcycle Schools Aprilia RSV), Scott Jensen (No. 76 Black Hole Racing Aprilia RSV) and Ben Thompson (No. 97 Factory Aprilia/Millennium Technologies Team Aprilia RSV).
Buell is also well represented with six 1125Rs entered for Danny Eslick (No. 9 Bruce Rossmeyer's Daytona Racing/RMR Buell 1125R), Shawn Higbee (No.11 Higbee-Racing.com Buell1125R), Bryan Bemisderfer (No. 98 HDFR Buell 1125R), Latus teammates Josh Bryan (No. 45 Latus Motor Racing Buell 1125R) and Alan Schmidt (No. 54 Latus Motor Racing Buell 1125R) and Michael Barnes (No. 34 GEICO Powersports/RMR Buell 1125R). Barnes is recovering from a third metacarpal fracture hand injury from an early February testing accident but is using this weekend's CCS event to assess his readiness for the Daytona 200.
A pair of Ducati 848s are entered for Calvin Martinez (No. 20 Wisconsin Racing Ducati 848) and Gene Burcham (No. 94 GBR Motors Ducati 848) as well as two Triumph Daytona 675s for Mark Crozier (No. 14 Crozier Motorsports Triumph Daytona 675) and second-generation rider Justin Filice (No. 30 Bud Light Lime/R & B Motorsports Triumph Daytona 675), son of AMA Pro Hall-of-Famer Jimmy Filice.
Flag-to-flag coverage of the Daytona 200 by Honda will air on SPEED Friday, March 6, at 8:30 p.m. ET.
American Superbike Stars
While the AMA Pro Daytona SportBike riders will shine in the Friday-night lights of the Daytona 200, the stars of AMA Pro American Superbike will take the spotlight on Thursday afternoon.
In addition to moonlighting in the 200 on their Yamaha Daytona SportBikes, Bostrom (No. 2 Yamaha Motor Corp. USA Yamaha R1) and Hayes (No. 4 Yamaha Motor Corp. USA Yamaha R1) will contest the full 2009 American Superbike season on Yamaha's latest R1 motorcycle. They will be among the American Superbike stars looking to kick off the year with a victory at Daytona and Bostrom and Hayes lead a seven-bike Yamaha American Superbike entry.
Another top threat is six-time defending Daytona American Superbike race winne
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