Parker Takes Hard Fought SuperSport Race

NEWS May 17, 2009


Parker Takes Hard Fought SuperSport Race

SONOMA, Calif. (May 17, 2009) -  Ricky Parker (No. 96 Graves Motorsports/ Hattiesburg Cycles Yamaha YZF-R6) and Leandro Mercado (No. 92 Monster Energy Attack Kawasaki Ninja ZX-6R) put on a heated battle that made the 99 degree temperature at the track seem mild as the two young riders ran nose to tail for the full 18 laps of the Sunday AMA Pro SuperSport presented by Shoei main event during this weekend's Kawasaki Superbike Showdown presented by Supercuts at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, California.  Parker took the hole-shot and was able to hold off the Argentinean's aggressive pass attempts for the duration of the race.
 
"It was pretty hot out there, but it was a fun race," said Parker, whose win comes in his second AMA Pro SuperSport showing.  "It's tough to stay in front of Leandro (Mercado).  Man, he is pretty fast out there.  I'm just glad we held on and won the race."
 
Mercado made several attempts in Turns 6, 7 and 9 throughout the race including an aggressive run at just about every turn on the track in the last lap, but just couldn't find a way to slip past Parker.
 
"It was a hard race," said Mercado, who was looking for a second career SuperSport win to accompany his Auto Club victory from earlier this year.  "I tried to make a pass on Ricky but I knew I couldn't do it so I settled back and just took second place.  I want to congratulate Ricky; he did a great job."
 
Third -place rider Russ Wikle (No. 5 RoadracingWorld.com Suzuki GSX-R600) ran alone in third for nearly the whole race as he was unable to join the battle for the lead while the battle behind for fourth allowed him to claim the final podium spot without a challenge.
 
"It was pretty fun and low pressure today because I only race for points in the (SuperSport) East Division," said Wikle.  "This was more for bragging rights than anything else.  I wanted to stay with Ricky and Leandro but they were tough."
 
The hard-earned fourth place finish was taken by Bryce Prince (No. 74 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-6R), who was followed to the line by fifth place Garrett Willis (No. 80 Mach 1 Motorsports Yamaha YZF-R6).
 
Parker's previous best finish was a tenth place at Road Atlanta and today's race saw another podium covered with three different manufacturers as Yamaha, Kawasaki and Suzuki were all represented in victory lane.
 
The next round for AMA Pro SuperSport presented by Shoei will be a combined East and West Division race during the Suzuki Superbike Doubleheader in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin at Road America June 5 - 7.
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