On The Track And In The Paddock, It Was A Blue Bayou At NOLA Motorsports Park In New Orleans This Past Weekend
NEWS October 7, 2012
Photo by Brian J Nelson
Courtesy of Yamaha-Motor USA:
New Orleans, LA (October 12, 2012) – For Yamaha Motor Corporation, U.S.A., there was something old(er), something new, something borrowed, and everything blue this past weekend at NOLA Motorsports Park in New Orleans during the final round of the GEICO Motorcycle AMA Pro Road Racing season. Yamaha’s rich racing heritage was proudly on display at NOLA, which added even more fun and excitement to the festive atmosphere at the track located just southwest of The Big Easy.
As part of the Historic Moto Gran Prix organization, several historic Yamaha racing machines were on display in the NOLA paddock, including the infamous #6 Graves Yamaha YZF-R1/R7 Formula Xtreme machine of Damon Buckmaster. Former Yamaha team riders Jamie James, Thomas Stevens, and Scott Russell turned some fast laps on some of the machines that made them champions. In addition, Mary Hass caused a few double takes among the fans. Mary and her husband Ray not only own Bucky’s big blue R1/R7 Formula Xtreme machine, but Mary also owns an autographed set of the Aussie’s leathers. So, along with Jamie, Thomas, and Scott, it also looked like Bucky was back in the States and laying down some hot laps.
They don’t call Jamie James the “Ragin’ Cajun” for nothing, and he lived up to his nickname in a big way at NOLA. Jamie, who is originally from Metairie, a suburb of New Orleans, brought his krewe of “Bayou Boys,” and cooked up some local delicacies for the paddock. Riders, crewmembers, and fans in attendance got to chow down on authentic jambalaya, crawfish etouffé, gumbo, and other traditional New Orleans fare.
Everyone agreed that Jamie’s talents as a chef definitely equal his considerable racing prowess on a motorcycle. And, just to make sure the fans knew Jamie was still fast on a motorcycle, he jumped on a modern version of his signature #2 SuperBike--Josh Herrin’s #2 Monster Energy/Graves/Yamaha YZF-R1--and cut some fast laps out on the NOLA road course.
During the weekend, Dr. Laney Chouest, who is the owner of NOLA Motorsports Park, threw down the gauntlet. He challenged Mr. Daytona himself, Scott Russell, to a drag race. Being the Champ that he is, Scott wanted the fastest bike in the paddock. So, he borrowed a 2012 Monster Energy/Graves/Yamaha R1 SuperBike and went up against Dr. Chouest and his 2011 Porsche 911 Turbo S. And, even though Scott admitted that he’s a lot more skilled at riding a SuperBike on a road course than launching one straight down a drag strip, he donned his white-and-red Speed TV-logoed leathers and trademark “Screaming Chief” helmet, climbed aboard the R1, and promptly smoked Chouest in his Porsche, rocketing the R1 across the finish line first.
With three-time reigning AMA Pro National Guard SuperBike Champion and Monster Energy/Graves/Yamaha rider Josh Hayes winning both SuperBike races at NOLA, Yamaha Extended Service/Graves/Yamaha phenom Cameron Beaubier being named “The Big Kahuna” in the AMA Pro GoPro Daytona SportBike class, Y.E.S./Graves/Yamaha young gun Garrett Gerloff winning Sunday’s AMA Pro Motorcycle-SuperStore.com SuperSport race, and Yamaha hero Scott Russell winning the impromptu drag race, there was a lot more than just “something” blue represented on the winners’ podium in New Orleans.
All in all, for Yamaha and its riders and fans, it was a terrific way to wrap up the AMA Pro Road Racing season. For more news, results, and other team info, be sure to check out Yamaha’s Facebook page.
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