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GEICO Motorcycle AMA Pro Road Racing to Wrap Up 2012 Season at NOLA Motorsports Park with the Triumph Big Kahuna New Orleans

NEWS October 3, 2012


GEICO Motorcycle AMA Pro Road Racing to Wrap Up 2012 Season at NOLA Motorsports Park with the Triumph Big Kahuna New Orleans

NEW ORLEANS, La. (October 3, 2012) – The 2012 GEICO Motorcycle AMA Pro Road Racing season concludes this weekend in New Orleans with the Triumph Big Kahuna New Orleans presented by Dunlop Tire and LeoVince. The series will conclude the season at a new track that the riders gave positive reviews after a test at the facility this summer. The finale, October 5-7, promises to be a thrilling conclusion to a hard fought season, one in which two champions have already been crowned but two more remain up for grabs.

This event, the third in the M1 PowerSports Triumph Big Kahuna Triple Crown, will have plenty of fun features for fans besides the racing. The weekend shifts into high gear on Thursday with the inaugural M1 PowerSports SuperKart Challenge, a team kart racing challenge that pits media, fans, military members and AMA Pro riders against one another in a winner-take-all battle at the country’s newest Motorsports facility.

Immediately following the SuperKart Challenge from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., fans are invited to join GEICO Motorcycle AMA Pro Road Racing teams and athletes at Mardi Gras World’s beautiful downtown showroom for a Bike Night Kickoff Party.

The 2.75-mile, 16-turn NOLA Motorsports Park track will see AMA Pro National Guard SuperBike, AMA Pro GoPro Daytona SportBike and AMA Pro Motorcycle-Superstore.com SuperSport featured in the standard doubleheader format, with races for each class going off on Saturday and Sunday afternoons, while the AMA Pro Vance & Hines XR1200 Series riders will take on the track in a winner-take-all final on Sunday afternoon.  

SPEED will air the National Guard SuperBike and GoPro Daytona SportBike races in a set of back-to-back broadcasts. Saturday’s race finals will begin at 2:00 p.m. ET/11:00 a.m. PT on Sunday, October 7 and Sunday’s races will be broadcast beginning at 12:00 midnight ET/9:00 p.m. PT late Sunday night. SPEED2 will stream the Motorcycle-Superstore.com SuperSport and Vance & Hines XR1200 Series races live, fans can watch by logging onto http://www.speed2.com. SPEED2 is a broadband service available to customers of Time Warner, Bright House Networks, Cablevision, DISH and Cox. For more information and instructions on gaining access to all of this season’s AMA Pro Motorcycle-Superstore.com SuperSport and AMA Pro Vance & Hines XR1200 Series races, please review the SPEED2 FAQ located at http://www.speed2.com/faq.

AMA Pro National Guard SuperBike

Josh Hayes (No. 1 Monster Energy Graves Yamaha R1) wrapped up the championship in Miami, so the third-time Champ returns to his home region as a conquering hero. Hayes, from Gulfport, Miss., has dominated the 2012 AMA Pro National Guard SuperBike season but saw his consecutive race win streak broken in Race 1 at Homestead-Miami Speedway last month. He responded by winning his 14th race of the year on Sunday. It has been a record-breaking season for Hayes, who has now claimed 30 National Guard SuperBike wins since 2009.

With the championship decided, Hayes can go for broke in New Orleans without concerns for managing a points lead. Yamaha’s leading man was also fastest at the NOLA test, laying down a time of 1:39.282.

Blake Young (No. 79 Yoshimua Suzuki GSX-R1000) has won three races this year and finished on the podium numerous times and has nearly 100 points on the third place man in the championship, but the Wisconsin native is disappointed not to have beaten Hayes more this season after winning more races than his rival in 2011. Young will have two more chances to top Hayes this year in New Orleans and will no doubt be pushing very hard; he was second quickest at the NOLA test.

Josh Herrin’s races in New Orleans are in doubt after the young rider injured himself in a training accident over the weekend. Herrin (No. 2 Monster Energy Graves Yamaha R1) hurt his shoulder and could miss the races, although there is no doubt he will want to ride to secure third place points for the year in his rookie SuperBike season.

Roger Hayden (No. 54 National Guard Suzuki GSXR-1000) won in Miami for National Guard Jordan Suzuki, marking a significant triumph for a rider who has been trying for years to break onto the SuperBike winner’s list. Hayden’s Saturday win was the first for the Michael Jordan Motorsports team in 2012. The former AMA Pro champ will no doubt be looking to capitalize on his momentum in Louisiana. The Kentuckian joined Hayes and Young as the only riders able to break the 1:40 barrier at the test here earlier this year.

One rider looking to put the bookend on a solid season is Team Amsoil/Hero’s Geoff May. Riding the trick American-made EBR, May (No.99 Amsoil/Hero EBR 1190RS) is fifth in points and led in tough conditions in Miami. The Georgia-native earned a podium finish in Sonoma and will no doubt be looking to repeat that feat in New Orleans. A new father, May has confirmed that he will return to the EBR squad next season.

It has been a season of ups and downs for Ben Bostrom. Bostrom (No. 23 Jordan Suzuki GSX-R1000) has ridden hard this year, but the results haven’t always gone his way. He’s earned the podium at each of the last two events, however, and the former series champ has shown signs of breaking through.

Foremost Insurance/Pegram Racing’s Larry Pegram is just two points behind Bostrom in the standings. Pegram will no doubt be trying to take the spot from his longtime rival in New Orleans. Pegram (No. 72 Foremost Insurance/Pegram Racing BMW S1000RR) is the top BMW-mounted rider in the series and has scored points in every contest this year.

Danny Eslick scored second place in the Saturday race at Homestead, providing EBR 1190RS’s best finish yet in AMA Pro National Guard SuperBike. The EBR team has three podiums this season, with the Oklahoman -- and two-time AMA Pro GoPro Daytona SportBike champ -- Eslick (No. 69 Team Hero EBR1190RS) earning two of them on the American-made SuperBike.

Another rider with momentum is Steve Rapp of the Attack Performance team. Rapp charged through the field in Sunday’s difficult conditions at Homestead-Miami Speedway to earn second place. It was a high point in a season that has seen Rapp (No.15 Attack Performance Kawasaki ZX10) race in AMA Pro National Guard SuperBike as well as compete as a wild card in the American MotoGP rounds on a machine built by Attack Performance.

Chris Clark has put in a solid season in his first year with his team. Clark (No. 6 Yoshimura Suzuki GSX-R1000) has seen his lap times improve as the young rider continues to learn the ropes on the large bore machines. He was ill at the last two races, missing both Homestead finals due to a lung infection he developed while battling bronchitis in New Jersey. Clark hopes to compete in Louisiana.

The Triumph Big Kahuna New Orleans presented by Dunlop Tire and LeoVince will take place this weekend, October 5-7, 2012. The AMA Pro National Guard SuperBike class will take to the track for their first practice session on Friday, October 5 at 11:00 a.m. and will be featured in a set of 18-lap sprint races on Saturday, October 6 at 3:15 p.m. and Sunday, October 6 at 3:30 p.m. local time. GEICO Motorcycle AMA Pro Road Racing’s National Guard SuperBike and GoPro Daytona SportBike divisions will be featured on SPEED in a set of back-to-back broadcasts, scheduled to begin at 2:00 p.m. ET/11:00 a.m. PT on Sunday, October 7 and 12:00 midnight ET/9:00 p.m. PT late Sunday night.

AMA Pro National Guard SuperBike Point Standings (After Round 10): 1. Josh Hayes (Gulfport, MS) - 517; 2. Blake Young (Waunakee, WI) - 401; 3. Josh Herrin (Glendale, CA) - 307; 4. Roger Hayden (Owensboro, KY) - 293; 5. Geoff May (Gainesville, GA) - 259; 6. Ben Bostrom (Malibu, CA) – 240; 7. Larry Pegram (Hebron, OH) - 238; 8. Danny Eslick (Broken Arrow, OK) - 212; 9. Steve Rapp (Hawthorne, CA) – 191 10. Chris Clark (Las Vegas, NV) – 167.

AMA Pro GoPro Daytona SportBike
Martin Cardenas (No. 36 GEICO Suzuki GSX-R600) secured his second-career AMA Pro GoPro Daytona SportBike crown last time out at Homestead-Miami Speedway. As a result -- while there is still some championship jockeying to be done through the top ten -- the New Orleans season finale is primarily about pride.

Colombian Cardenas worked up a mammoth lead early in the season on the strength of six victories in the year's opening eight races. However, he's only won a single race since as he carefully managed his championship lead. While thrilled to have accomplished his goal for 2012, Cardenas has expressed some degree of frustration at now being able to let loose and push for victory in his typical, trademark fashion. With the title already taken care of, look for Cardenas to race at the maximum in pursuit of the checkered flags this weekend.

Dane Westby (No. 5 M4 Suzuki GSX-R600), meanwhile, may be looking over his shoulder just a bit. Currently ranked second in the points and aiming to secure a final runner-up ranking in the season's tally, Cameron Beaubier (No. 6 Y.E.S. Graves Yamaha YZF-R6) has been coming on fast. Westby has a fairly comfortable 22-point advantage for the position heading into NOLA Motorsports Park, but Beaubier's stunning form over the season's second half makes that padding feel somewhat less comfortable than it otherwise might. The youngster has been the revelation of 2012, powering to six victories in the last nine races. If Beaubier manages to double again this weekend, he'll steal the honor of claiming the most wins in the class this season away from Cardenas.

While Beaubier's championship challenge effectively ended early in the season when he was forced to sit on the sidelines following an off-track injury, his teammate, Tommy Hayden (No. 8 Y.E.S. Graves Yamaha YZF-R6), has been on the shelf more recently. The decorated ace is still on the mend after suffering a concussion and injuring his shoulder in a dramatic early-race crash at New Jersey Motorsports Park.

Jason DiSalvo (No. 40 Latus Motors Racing Triumph Daytona 675) would like to end an uneven season on a high note. After making a stirring charge to the podium in the season opener at Daytona and scoring a head-turning win in Sonoma, DiSalvo would like to go into the offseason by serving the paddock a reminder of the vast potential of both himself and his 675cc triple.

Outside of the usual suspects of Cardenas, Westby, and Beaubier, the most impressive GoPro Daytona SportBike rider over the campaign's season half might just be Bobby Fong (No. 50 Meen Motorsports Yamaha YZF-R6). After a year away from the sport, Fong is now back up to speed, harassing the established frontrunners on a regular basis while notching up three podium finishes in the most recent six races.

JD Beach (No. 95 RoadRace Factory/Red Bull Yamaha YZF-R6) and Jake Zemke (No. 98 Ducshop Ducati 848) may be on opposite ends of the spectrum in terms of career GEICO Motorcycle AMA Pro Road Racing experience, but they find themselves in virtually identical positions this weekend. Ranked seventh and eighth, respectively, and separated by just two points, both riders have a realistic shot of fighting their way into the 2012 class top-five with a particularly strong weekend in New Orleans.

Rounding out the top ten heading into the season finale are Joey Pascarella (No. 52 Riders Discount Vesrah Suzuki GSX-R600) and Cory West (No. 57 Riders Discount Vesrah Suzuki GSX-R600). Pascarella will look to bookend his 2012 season with another highlight to pair with his incredible DAYTONA 200® victory, while West will look to regain the form he regularly demonstrated in 2011 in order to build momentum with an eye on 2013.

The AMA Pro GoPro Daytona SportBike riders will take to the track for their first practice session on Friday, October 5 at 12:00 p.m. and will be featured in a set of 18-lap sprint races on Saturday, October 6 at 2:00 p.m. and Sunday, October 7 at 2:15 p.m. local time. GEICO Motorcycle AMA Pro Road Racing’s National Guard SuperBike and GoPro Daytona SportBike divisions will be featured on SPEED in a set of back-to-back broadcasts, scheduled to begin at 2:00 p.m. ET/11:00 a.m. PT on Sunday, October 7 and 12:00 midnight ET/9:00 p.m. PT late Sunday night.

AMA Pro GoPro Daytona SportBike Point Standings (After Round 10): 1. Martin Cardenas (Medellin, Colombia) - 415; 2. Dane Westby (Tulsa, OK) - 339; 3. Cameron Beaubier (Roseville, CA) - 317; 4. Tommy Hayden (Owensboro, KY) - 250; 5. Jason DiSalvo (Batavia, NY) - 225; 6. Bobby Fong (Stockton, CA) - 222; 7. JD Beach (Philpot, KY) - 215; 8. Jake Zemke (Paso Robles, CA) - 213; 9. Joey Pascarella (Vacaville, CA) - 189; 10. Cory West (Eureka Springs, AR) - 181.

AMA Pro Motorcycle-Superstore.com SuperSport
The AMA Pro Motorcycle-Superstore.com SuperSport races in New Orleans will determine three different tiles - the Motorcycle-Superstore.com SuperSport West and East division winners, and the overall Motorcycle-Superstore.com SuperSport Champion, will be crowned here this weekend. The races are a combined event, meaning riders in both divisions will score points. The National Champ will be the divisional rider with the highest point total at the end of the weekend.

James Rispoli (No. 1 Orient Express/Celtic Racing Suzuki GSX-R600) is knocking on the door of his second overall crown. Rispoli leads by 60 over Hayden Gillim (No. 69 RoadRace Factory/Red Bull Yamaha YZF-R6) and needs just three points to clinch the West crown. The New Yorker will likely clinch on Saturday, as he has a 50-point lead over closest East division rival Dustin Dominguez (No. 68 Latus Motors Racing Triumph 675R).

Third place Elena Myers (No. 21 Suzuki SportBikeTrackGear.com), Ryan Matter (No. 121 Gearzy Yamaha YZF-R6) and Tyler Linders (No. 48 Rotobox Yamaha YZF-R6) are all inside the top five in West points headed into the finale.

Things are much more certain in the East. Dominguez leads Jake Lewis (No. 85 Riders Discount Vesrah Suzuki GSX-R600) by eight points with the two races in New Orleans to go. Lewis led the way early, but Dominguez found more speed and consistency as the summer heated up. The East title would be a big accomplishment for either up-and-coming racer.

Stefan Mesa (No. 37 Kneedraggers.com Yamaha YZF-R6) has scored victory once this season and is third in points. He’s coming off a strong charge in Miami – second place on Saturday without the luxury of a face shield for several laps. Tomas Puerta (No. 12 RoadRace Factory/Red Bull Yamaha YZF-R6) earned the podium both times out in Miami. Corey Alexander (No. 5 National Guard Fairhills Group Celtic Racing GSX-R600) will miss the race after a training injury.

Saturday’s 15-lap final for the AMA Pro Motorcycle-Superstore.com SuperSport division will be the first race of the weekend, set to go green at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, October 6, followed by Race 2 on Sunday, October 7 at 1:15 p.m. Both races will be streamed live on SPEED2, for more information, please visit http://www.speed2.com/.

AMA Pro Motorcycle-Superstore.com SuperSport East Division Point Standings: 1. Dustin Dominguez (Newalla, OK) - 229; 2. Jake Lewis (Princeton, KY) - 221; 3. Stefano Mesa (Boca Raton, FL) - 212; 4. Tomas Puerta (Medellin, Colombia) - 192; 5. Corey Alexander (Carmel, NY) – 161.

AMA Pro Motorcycle-Superstore.com SuperSport West Division Point Standings: 1. James Rispoli (Attica, NY) - 279; 2. Hayden Gillim (Owensboro, KY) - 219; 3. Elena Myers (Discovery Bay, CA) - 169; 4. Ryan Matter (Rancho Cucamonga, CA) – 104; 5. Tyler Linders (Mission Viejo, CA) – 93.

AMA Pro Vance & Hines XR1200 Series
The AMA Pro Vance & Hines XR1200 Series championship comes down to one final shootout, and if the season-long lead-up to this weekend has provided any indication, the title will likely still be in question as a group of riders battle out of the final corner and make their last lunge to the checkered flag in 2012.

Just two points separate the top two in the XR Showdown with third only another six points back.

Michael Barnes (No. 34 KLR Group/Spyke's Harley-Davidson) made his move at his home race last time out, scoring a dramatic, last-lap victory at Homestead-Miami Speedway. The clutch win allowed 'Barney' to leapfrog from fourth in the standings to first with just the finale to be waged.

Tyler O'Hara (No. 29 Bartel's Harley-Davidson) is a close second. In fact, the title race between the two is so close the difference might as well be considered nonexistent; if either man wins this weekend's finale, he will be named the champion no matter where the other finishes or how the bonus points shake down.

Benjamin Carlson (No. 45 Suburban Harley-Davidson) has made a big push for the title since the opening of the XR Showdown at Indianapolis and is still in with a real shot heading into New Orleans. Eight points out of first, the former AMA Supermoto national champion need just a bit of help to secure the title. But in this unpredictable class, it wouldn't take too much of an upset for Carlson to sneak in and steal the crown away from Barnes and O'Hara.

Michael Corbino (No. 15 Rossiter's Harley-Davidson of Sarasota) is the final competitor who still has a mathematical possibility of walking away with the XR Showdown triumph although the odds are stacked heavily against him. The weekend may be more about consolidating fourth place for Corbino with Travis Wyman (No. 24 Harv's Harley-Davidson) breathing down his neck, only two points back.

Wyman raced to his first podium of the year at Homestead-Miami Speedway in the absence of his brother, Kyle Wyman (No. 33 KLR Group/Spyke's Harley-Davidson). Kyle was one of the class' stars all year long, matching O'Hara for most wins to date at four and leading the XR Showdown at one point before a pair of concussions put an early end to his promising campaign.

The AMA Pro Vance & Hines XR1200 Series riders take to the track for their 9-lap season finale on Sunday, October 7 at 12:30 p.m. local time. The race will be streamed live on SPEED2, for more information, please visit http://www.speed2.com/.

AMA Pro Vance & Hines XR1200 Series Point Standings (After Round 9): 1. Michael Barnes (Boca Raton, FL) - 1090; 2. Tyler OHara (Petaluma, CA) - 1088; 3. Benjamin Carlson (West Bend, WI) - 1082; 4. Michael Corbino (Sarasota, FL) - 1064; 5. Kyle Wyman (Macedon, NY) - 1062; 6. Travis Wyman (Macedon, NY) - 1062; 7. David Estok (Daytona Beach, FL) - 1049; 8. Josh Chisum (Bakersfield, CA) - 1042; 9. Gerry Signorelli (Colorado Springs, CO) - 1018; 10. Darren James (Deep Cove, Canada) - 1000.

AMA Pro Live Streaming Video Experience, Live Timing & Scoring and Social Media Channels
AMA Pro Live, the online streaming video experience launched earlier this season, will be broadcasting views from around the track this weekend. Tune in at http://www.amaprolive.com.

GEICO Motorcycle AMA Pro Road Racing Live Timing & Scoring presented by Cortech offers fans real-time access to results from on-track sessions at http://live.amaproracing.com/rr/. Between the races, stay connected with GEICO Motorcycle AMA Pro Road Racing at www.twitter.com/AMAProSBK and www.facebook.com/AMAProRoadRacing.

Event Features
In addition to the GEICO Motorcycle AMA Pro Road Racing action, there will be family-friendly entertainment located in every turn. Event promoter M1 PowerSports will be bringing motorcycle stunt rider Jason Britton, a variety of New Orleans culinary concoctions, a 4x4 Monster Ride Truck, the always-popular Big Kahuna Bikini Girls, a kid's corral full of fun for the Little Kahunas and dozens of vendors. Motorcycle parking is free and tickets start at just $20 for Friday admission.

Tickets for this fall's Big Kahuna New Orleans, scheduled for October 5-7, 2012 at NOLA Motorsports Park, can be purchased at http://www.m1powersports.com/big-kahuna-new-orleans/


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