Sunday, April 30, 2006

Turkish Grand Prix, Istanbul Park

Race Day, Sunday April 30 2006

DIFFICULT DAY FOR DUCATI MEN
Ducati Team riders Loris Capirossi and Sete Gibernau endured a challenging race at Istanbul Park this afternoon, finishing sixth and 11th. The result was much less than the team had expected after some promising performances in practice and qualifying. Gibernau had particularly high hopes after placing third in yesterday's wet qualifier and leading this morning's dry warm-up. And he looked in superb form in the early stages of the race, leading from the first turn until the end of lap 11, when tyre concerns began to push him down the order.
 Capirossi, who went into the race leading the World Championship, also had every reason to expect another fine result after qualifying fourth and placing third in morning warm-up. He battled hard throughout, ending the first lap in seventh, then slipping to eighth before fighting back to sixth on the final lap. Capirossi goes into round four in China in two weeks holding second overall, just one point behind Nicky Hayden. The race, run in cool but dry conditions was won by Italian Marco Melandri

LORIS CAPIROSSI, finished 6th, 2nd in World Championship
"I can't say I'm happy with sixth, that's not where we should be. This weekend we were pretty good in the wet but we didn't have enough time to prepare for a dry race, so it didn't go as we had expected. Anyway, we are just one point off the World Championship lead and we scored some useful points for what is a very long and difficult championship. We did well to take home what we could, plus we were also the first Bridgestone team at the finish. We knew this track might be difficult, so we came here with many tyres but we preferred not to risk new tyres for the race, choosing what we thought would be best. Now we go to China, which will be another difficult track, so we will keep working like crazy. We started the season in the best way and now we have to maintain that focus and keep doing our best."

SETE GIBERNAU, finished 11th, 10th in World Championship
"There's not much to say really apart from that we had a rear-tyre problem. I couldn't do anything about it. The bike was working okay and I was feeling comfortable in the lead, but from lap four I started to feel some vibration from the rear. I was thinking about coming into the pits to change the tyre but I decided to keep going. It's a pity, I was feeling confident."

LIVIO SUPPO, Ducati MotoGP project manager
"That wasn't a great day for us. For sure, we got much less than we expected after practice and morning warm-up. We certainly suffered from having no dry track time yesterday because we couldn't do any long runs with race tyres, but that was the same for everyone, of course. We knew that we had to keep our feet on the ground after our great results at Jerez and Qatar and we knew this would be a difficult track for us. We must keep our positive attitude, and at least it was great to see Sete lead for ten laps and Loris fight like a lion to gain the 6th position. We know Bridgestone is working hard, as well as all our technical sponsors, first among them Shell Advance. With their support better days will come soon".

Spies Sets New Pole Record

Ben Spies set a new lap record in qualifying for the Fontana AMA Superbike double-header in California this weekend.

The Yoshimura GSX-R1000-mounted Texan fended off team mate Mat Mladin throughout this afternoon's 40-minute qualifier with a best lap of 1:23.374, which toppled Mladin's 2005 record of 1:23.612.

Said Spies, who was suffering a severe head cold: "It's kind of crazy that we broke the track record because it feels like this is a pretty tight track and everything's happening so slow.

"Yesterday I wouldn't have been able to do that and would have been unable to ride. I made a big change overnight and hopefully we'll keep going, because we're definitely not 100%."

Third Yoshimura team rider Aaron Yates put his GSX-R1000 on the second row one place ahead of Ducati Austin's Ben Bostrom.

Friday Superbike Qualifying:

1. Ben Spies (Yoshimura Suzuki) 1:23.374
2. Mat Mladin (Yoshimura Suzuki) 1:23.613
3. Jake Zemke (Honda) 1:23.957
4. Neil Hodgson (Ducati) 1:24.432
5. Aaron Yates (Yoshimura Suzuki) 1: 24.481
6. Ben Bostrom (Ducati) 1:24.514
7. Miguel Duhamel (Honda) 1:25.212
8. Tommy Hayden (Kawasaki) 1:25.362
9. Jake Holden (Suzuki) 1:25.706
10. Larry Pegram (Honda) 1:26.009


Wednesday, April 26, 2006

BOSTROM AND HODGSON LOOK TO IMPROVE FORTUNES AT FONTANA

Fontana (California) 26 April 2006: California Speedway in Fontana, California is the site of this weekend's AMA Superbike race for Parts Unlimited Ducati's Ben Bostrom and Neil Hodgson. Just one week after the last round at Barber Motorsports Park, the duo hope to put their Ducati 999 Superbikes on the podium during this third race meeting of the year.

Hodgson gave a courageous performance at Fontana last season that will go down as one of the most memorable in the 2003 World Superbike champion's career. Despite an illness that brought his fitness to race into question, Neil showed his mettle as he battled for the win on Saturday, finishing a close third after leading on the last lap. He followed that up with fifth place on Sunday even though his illness forced him into the medical center immediately after the race.

"Fontana is a better track for us than Barber, that's for sure. I had a good race last year. We had a shot at a win and we still were on the podium after I made a slight mistake," said the Englishman. "I guess you could call it the closest thing I have to being a 'home race', because I live in the Los Angeles area when I am here in the States. It's no secret we were disappointed with how things went at Barber but that just makes us more determined to do well at Fontana."

Ben Bostrom was quick at a California Speedway test earlier this year, setting the second fastest lap. He feels the key this weekend is getting a good start to the weekend. "Fontana is not a circuit where you could ride a million laps and think 'Wow, what a great racetrack', but I think we'll be more competitive there. We made progress all weekend at Barber. We just really struggled in the beginning. Even during the red flag on Sunday, we made some changes and improved the bike. Hopefully, I'll be feeling better with my sinus problem and we can get a good start because I want to be winning races."

Qualifying begins on Friday, with 28-lap Superbike races on Saturday and Sunday.

The Circuit: California Speedway 2.36 miles (3.7 kilometers), 21 turns. Oval with permanent road course, with up to 14 degrees of banking in some turns.

Standings (after three races): 1. Ben Spies, Suzuki 107 2. Mat Mladin, Suzuki 99 3. Miguel Duhamel, Honda 88 4. Neil Hodgson, Parts Unlimited Ducati 78 5. Aaron Yates, Suzuki 76 5. Tommy Hayden, Kawasaki 76 7. Ben Bostrom, Parts Unlimited Ducati 71 8. Jason Pridmore, Suzuki 64 9. Jake Zemke, Honda 52 9. Larry Pegram, Honda

Speed TV race listings

Amp'd Mobile AMA Supercross Lites Series, Texas Stadium, Irving, Texas – Saturday, April 29, 6 p.m. (SPEED)

Amp'd Mobile AMA Supercross Series, Qwest Field, Seattle, Wash., Sunday, April 30, 12:30 p.m. (CBS)

AMA Superbike Championship presented by Parts Unlimited (Race 1), California Speedway, Fontana, Calif., Sunday, April 30, 5 p.m. (SPEED)

AMA Superbike Championship presented by Parts Unlimited (Race 2), California Speedway, Fontana, Calif., Sunday, April 30, 6 p.m. (SPEED)

Amp'd Mobile AMA Supercross Lites Series, Texas Stadium, Irving, Texas – Tuesday, May 2, 12 p.m. (SPEED)

Pro Honda Oils Supersport Championship presented by Shoei, California Speedway, Fontana, Calif., Tuesday, May 2, 1 p.m. (SPEED)

AMA Superbike Championship presented by Parts Unlimited (Race 1), California Speedway, Fontana, Calif., Tuesday, May 2, 3 p.m. (SPEED)

AMA Superbike Championship presented by Parts Unlimited (Race 2), California Speedway, Fontana, Calif., Tuesday, May 2, 4 p.m. (SPEED)

Lockhart-Phillips USA Formula Extreme Series, California Speedway, Fontana, Calif., Tuesday, May 2, 5 p.m. (SPEED)

Amp'd Mobile AMA Supercross Lites Series, Texas Stadium, Irving, Texas – Tuesday, May 2, 11 p.m. (SPEED)

Amp'd Mobile AMA Supercross, Reliant Stadium, Houston, Texas – Wednesday, May 3, 2 p.m. (SPEED)

Amp'd Mobile AMA Supercross Series, Texas Stadium, Irving, Texas – Wednesday, May 3, 3 p.m. (SPEED)


All Times Eastern. All times subject to change.  Check local listings.

POINTS LEADER HAYDEN TO MISS CALIFORNIA SPEEDWAY SUPERSPORT RACE

PICKERINGTON, Ohio (April 26, 2006) -- Pro Honda Oils Supersport Championship presented by Shoei leader Roger Lee Hayden will miss this weekend's race at California Speedway following a high-speed crash at Barber Motorsports Park this past Sunday, which left the Kawasaki rider with a badly broken right leg. With Hayden out, perhaps until June, Yamaha's Jamie Hacking becomes the de facto series leader in this, round three of the 11-race series, which takes place on Sunday, April 30 in Fontana, Calif.

Roger Lee Hayden was heir apparent to the Supersport throne after finishing runner-up to his older brother Tommy for two straight years. He'd won at Daytona in March and again last Sunday in Birmingham, Ala., to build an early eight-point lead over Hacking. Now it appears Hayden may have to wait yet another year for the highly coveted Supersport title. It's a disappointing blow to the youngest Hayden brother.

Hacking was sorry to hear of Hayden's misfortune. He knows exactly how badly Hayden feels. Last year Hacking led the Repsol Superstock Series when he was involved in a bicycle accident and was forced to miss the rest of the season.

Hacking is trying to win back the AMA Supersport title he owned in 2003. The Carolinian looked strong in his return from last year's injuries with a pair of second-place finishes. Now he comes to California Speedway, a track where he's won the Supersport race twice before.

"I've had some good races in Fontana," Hacking said. "It's a track that suits my style and Yamaha always give me a great bike that works well there. Even though I've won there before it's not going to be easy that's for sure. There are some fast up-and-coming riders in the class and I'm going to have to be on top of my game if I want to get another win."

The rider who is clearly making a breakthrough in the class this year is M4 EMGO Suzuki's Geoff May. May scored his first career podium last week in Alabama and brings a new mind-set to California Speedway this weekend.

"It's great to get my first podium in Supersport," said May, a former AMA Rookie of the Year. "Now that I've accomplished that I need to keep improving and see if I can take it to the next level."

May nipped Attack Kawasaki's Ben Attard at the line last week in Alabama. Attard is hoping to return the favor this Sunday so he can continue to move up from his current sixth-place position in the standings.

A good battle is developing between veteran Damon Buckmaster and relative newcomer to the class Danny Eslick. The two are tied for fourth in the standings. "Bucky" is teammate to his fellow Australian Attard and is in his eighth season of competing in the AMA series. Buckmaster is a former Australian Supersport champ. Eslick is a former flat track racer who continues to show steady progress racing for the Matsushima Performance Suzuki team.

Michael Barnes came back in Alabama in spite of riding with an injured knee he had surgery on after Daytona. The longtime veteran turned in a solid seventh-place performance on his M4 EMGO Suzuki at Barber Motorsports Park last week and hopes to continue to climb in the rankings after Fontana.

A new face to watch for at California Speedway is Ryan Elleby. Elleby is an up-and-coming rider from Georgia riding under the Leo Vince/Pegram Racing Honda banner. He comes to California Speedway as the top ranked Honda Supersport rider having scored an impressive eighth at Barber, just behind Barnes. As Elleby gains in confidence he could become a bigger factor in the series as the season progresses.

The Pro Honda Oils Supersport race presented by Shoei is part of California Speedway's Suzuki Superbike Challenge that runs April 28-30. For ticket info call 1-800-944-RACE or visit www.californiaspeedway.com

The Fontana Supersport final will be televised nationally on SPEED at 1 p.m. EST Tuesday, May 2

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Hotbodies Racing Mat Mladin Motorsports Suzuki's Craggill in 10th Overall after Barber Superstock Race

BIRMINGHAM, Ala., (April 25, 2006) - Hotbodies Racing Mat Mladin Motorsports
Suzuki rider Marty Craggill held up against the sweltering Alabama heat as
well as his competitors to finish 13th in round two of AMA Superstock at
Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Ala., on Sunday afternoon.

With just a short amount of time on the 2.3-mile, 16-turn track on Friday
and with Saturday's morning practice interrupted by rain, Craggill carded a
third-row grid position in Saturday afternoon's qualifying session.

'I'm really disappointed in how I rode today' said the Australian.  'But we
haven't had a lot of track time this weekend.  The GSX-R1000 is good and we'
re going to make a few small changes before the race, but mostly I feel like
I haven't ridden as well as I could have.'

In Sunday's 17-lap race, Craggill charged hard on his Hotbodies Racing Mat
Mladin Motorsports Suzuki GSX-R1000 and gave it his all.  In spite of the
humidity and heat, Craggill rode an aggressive yet consistent race.

'The heat was definitely part of the problem,' admitted Craggill.  'But we
also changed the bike a fair bit looking for a good set-up and I think we
may have made a mistake.  So I'm just looking at this race as a learning
experience and taking that with me into California Speedway next weekend.'

Team owner and reigning AMA Superbike Champion Mat Mladin, was sympathetic
and supportive of his rider and friend.  'He definitely seemed to struggle a
bit, but that's racing,' said Mladin.  'I have faith in Marty and his crew
that they'll put something together for Fontana.'

Hotbodies Racing Mat Mladin Motorsports Suzuki's next AMA Repsol Superstock
race will be at California Speedway in Fontana, Calif., April 28 - 30, 2006.

Marty Craggill, Hotbodies Racing Mat Mladin Motorsports Suzuki, #16
13th Place - AMA Superstock
10th Place - Overall

Team Hotbodies Racing Riders Fly Forward at Barber

Team Hotbodies Racing Riders Fly Forward at Barber

#13 Cory West, 2004 AMA Superbike Rookie of the Year, finished 16th in Race
One of the AMA Superbike class at Barber Motorsports Park, climbing from his
qualifying position of 22nd on the grid. West also moved up a number of
positions in Superstock, advancing from 19th on the grid to 12th by race's
end. West said, "Barber is a weird place because the camber is different in
every turn. There are many lines for riders choose. The Superbike race went
well, I improved my times and moved forward. In Superstock I was in a battle
all race long with Marty Craggill after getting a great start. That felt
good knowing he had qualified so much higher than me. My quick shifter broke
after about the fourth lap. I never knew how much I relied on it until then.
I'm tenth in Superbike points but I'll only be doing some of those races
from now on and I'll concentrate on Superstock."

#87 Taylor Knapp qualified on the fourth row in 14th-place for the Formula
Xtreme race on his Suzuki GSX-R600, and 29th in Superbike on his GSX-R1000.
Knapp ran great races finishing 12th in FX and 22nd and 19th in the two
Superbike events, improving on his qualifying positions in every race. Knapp
said, "This is my first year on a Superbike so I'm still getting used to it.
I ran a Pirelli DOT on the front and a Pirelli slick on the back. That
worked well and the tires were there for the entire race. In the second race
we had set the pressures wrong so during the red flag we put on a new set at
the proper settings and that made all the difference. The 1000 is fun to
ride. In FX I was down on power because we still have the stock header on
the bike. I'm looking forward to the next race when I have more power. The
tires were great in FX too. My plan is to be in the top ten from now on."

#29 Barrett Long, in his second year of the AMA Superbike series, qualified
his Yamaha YZF-R6 in 28th for Supersport, finishing the race in 23rd. Long
and crew worked all weekend to sort out his R-6 for the difficult conditions
at Barber, eventually finding more speed during the race to move up five
positions. Long said, "Barber is a peculiar track with all of its long
carousels. I won the USGPRU 250 race here in 2004 so I'm not sure why I
wasn't faster this weekend. I guess I prefer tracks with longer straights
and tighter turns, something where the rider is more of an element to
cutting fast laps, rather than the bike being such a big part of it."

#220 Garret Carter, a 17 year old from Detroit, Michigan, was competing in
his first AMA event ever at Barber. Carter qualified 29th in Formula Xtreme
and 24th in Supersport. Carter was faster each time he was on track
finishing 17th in Supersport and 24th in FX, after pulling off during the
race. Carter said, "I used to race 125s and there's no comparing them and a
600. My Yamaha R6 is so much faster it's amazing. I was learning something
on every lap. In the FX race I had to pull in because gas was coming out of
my overflow. I rejoined the race and caught back up to where I had qualified
because I was running so much faster. The Supersport race went as planned
and I moved up seven places. Doing the AMA series is crazy. I didn't know it
was going to be this intense. It's a totally different world from what I've
raced in before. I'm having a great time being a part of Team Hotbodies
Racing."

Team Hotbodies Racing is sponsored by Hotbodies Racing, Motul Lubricants,
GPR Stabilizers, LeoVince Exhaust Systems, Vortex Sprockets, Regina Chains,
Power Stands, VP Racing Fuels and Suzuka Tire Warmers.

Hotbodies Racing specializes in manufacturing performance parts for
performance bikes. Hotbodies Racing is the design leader in Undertails,
Undertail Exhausts, Windscreens, Flush-Mount Signals, Huggers and full-race
Bodywork. Hotbodies Racing supports the sport with sponsorship and its own
in-house race team, and encourages dealer inquiries. For more information
visit: www.hotbodiesracing.com.

AMA SUPERMOTO ON OLN AGAIN IN 2006

PICKERINGTON, Ohio (April 25, 2006) -- AMA Pro Racing has announced that the 2006 AMA Supermoto Championship presented by Parts Unlimited will be nationally televised for the fourth consecutive year on OLN. Chet Burks Productions will handle production duties with cameras on hand at every round of the series.

The AMA Supermoto Championship begins this weekend at California Speedway in Fontana, Calif., and is set to finish in November in Long Beach, Calif. AMA Supermoto combines elements of Supercross, Motocross, Flat Track and Road Racing on purpose built tracks that feature both dirt, jumps and high speed pavement sections. Top AMA racers from around the globe including 2005 Supermoto Champion Jurgen Kunzel, Jeff Ward, Doug Henry and Travis Pastrana compete to determine who is the best all-around motorcycle racer.

"We are pleased to continue our relationship with OLN," said John Farris, AMA Pro Racing Vice President of Commercial Development. "OLN is growing along with the series and AMA Supermoto provides some of the best racing action to be found in motorsports. This television package will offer great exposure for our sponsors and the teams participating in the championship."

OLN has shown a strong commitment to providing top-notch motorsports action to its broadcast lineup. In addition to the AMA Supermoto Championship the network is also the television home to the AMA Toyota Motocross Championship presented by FMF. 

"We are fortunate to have riders such as Jeff Ward, Doug Henry and Travis Pastrana participating in AMA Supermoto," continued Farris. "Those riders give real star power to our shows and we want to make stars out of the other top riders in the series as well. AMA Supermoto, with its sliding action, major jumps and racing on unique tracks brings a lot of visual impact to the shows. The series continues to grow in prestige with riders from around the world participating and we're happy to be part of that growth."

Red Bull KTM's Jurgen Kunzel will try to defend his championship in 2006, but is expected to face tough competition from 2005 champ Jeff Ward as well as riders such as Doug Henry and Mark Burkhart.

OLN is offering to email show reminders to keep fans up to date on AMA Supermoto broadcast times. Go to www.olntv.com to sign up for the service.

SPIES READY TO LEAD AMA SUPERBIKE CHAMPIONSHIP

Young Texan leads Suzuki teammate Mladin coming into Fontana

PICKERINGTON, Ohio (April 25, 2006) -- Ben Spies leads the AMA Superbike Championship presented by Parts Unlimited as the series makes its way west to California Speedway in Fontana, for the Suzuki Superbike Challenge on April 28-30. 

Spies is coming off the best race weekend of his young career. He swept the doubleheader round at Barber Motorsports Park, giving him newfound confidence coming into California Speedway this weekend, a track he calls one of his favorites.

"I don't know what it is, but it seems like I've always been upfront at California Speedway," said Spies, who briefly led the AMA Superbike Championship in his first full season last year after winning race one in last year's doubleheader in Fontana. "I grew up a lot on the same style tracks in Texas. It's got a lot of hard breaking and a lot of fast chicanes where you have to muscle the bikes through it. I'm a taller, bigger guy, but I'm definitely not the biggest guy in the class. For some reason when it comes to muscling the bike through fast stuff, someone in front of me is usually slowing me down."

Spies said that California Speedway puts major physical demands on a rider. The ferocity of the fast transitions is such that Spies once bent his bike's handlebars from the torque he placed on them. While the 21-year-old Texan, who is in his sophomore season of AMA Superbike, has headed the championship before, this time it's different as he feels ready to be the leader.

"I have some confidence now," Spies said. "We have a really good setup. We were just testing in Fontana a couple weeks ago and the bike was working really good. So it's probably not going to be a jump out and win the thing, but I'm hoping just to battle both races and see what happens."

The rider Spies is likely to have to go through to win again at California Speedway is teammate Mat Mladin. The defending and six-time champ is ranked second in the series after suffering an uncharacteristic crash last weekend in Alabama. Mladin, 34, of Australia, has won five of the eight AMA Superbike races in Fontana. He actually doesn't sound terribly concerned that he's fallen eight points behind Spies. In fact, he sort of takes some pleasure knowing that someone else has the target on his back coming into this weekend's doubleheader. 

"Now he's (Spies) got the points lead, so now he has to sleep with it," Mladin said. "Now he knows what it's going to feel like.

"I made a mistake at Barber, simple as that. We got a little lucky with how things worked out (a late race re-start that worked to Mladin's advantage) and now we just have to do what I know myself and my team can do in Fontana. I've had to come from behind before, but this time it looks like it's going to be a fun challenge since some of the others have found some extra speed."

Spies and Mladin are the only former California Speedway Superbike winners in the field.

Former AMA Superbike champ Miguel Duhamel is third in the standings, having scored two podium finishes in the previous three rounds. Duhamel, the veteran of the series, thinks he has more wins left in him, but he says things have to be near perfect.

"Our Honda CBR1000RR is good," he says. "We've just got to get the setup. It's sensitive. We're still discovering a lot of stuff, how one click (with the suspension) makes a difference compared what we've used in the past. Racing in just one class creates more of a sense of urgency to do well since you don't have another class to fall back on if you have a bad weekend in superbike."

Perhaps the biggest surprise in the young season is the speed shown by Kawasaki's Tommy Hayden. Hayden, who started on the front row for the first time in his superbike career, had a podium finish in his grasp last weekend in Alabama, before he and Suzuki's Aaron Yates collided on the final lap. Kawasaki's ZX-10RR is proving to be solid entry in the factory team's return to the series for the first time in five years.

"I am really looking forward to it," Hayden said of this weekend's event. "We have spent quite a bit of time riding and testing there and I always like coming out to California Speedway. The team is making a lot of progress with the bike and I think we are probably ahead of where we thought we might be at this point."

The Suzuki Superbike Challenge twin bill will be nationally televised on SPEED. Saturday's Superbike race will be televised beginning at 5 p.m. EST on Sunday, April 30, followed by live coverage of Sunday's Superbike final at 6 p.m.

Fans will have the opportunity on Saturday to watch two major events at California Speedway. In addition to the first of the AMA Superbike doubleheader the opening round of the AMA Supermoto Championship will take place in the late afternoon on a specially built course in the track's infield.

For ticket info call 1-800-944-RACE or visit the website www.californiaspeedway.com

Team West/OneFastGirl Racing

April 20-23
Road America, WI
Round 1 – ASRA/CCS
 
  On Wednesday evening, after a couple of unfortunate events, Sam and I finally parked at the Road America gate.   The trip proved to be an exciting one this go around.  We not only fried a bearing on the travel trailer, but nearly lost my cat in the ghetto of South Chicago.  We did eventually get that bearing kit, and recover the cat that jumped out the window.  It was a 4 hour experience I will not forget soon enough!  *Just a note – There are no bearing trailer kits anywhere near the ghetto of South Chicago (ha ha ha).  
 
  Thursday was a day to get the R6 and the Ducati sorted out with gearing, and handling.  The R6 was great right off the line, so we concentrated mostly on the Ducati.  The Ducati seemed to have a stability problem under power, going straight.  We tried a few geometry changes, but ran out of sessions to figure it out.  The weather was beautiful, and I was feeling very confident (finally a track that I didn't have to learn from scratch!).
 
  Friday just seemed like it was going to be a great day for racing.   Even though we still had to figure out the stability issue on the Ducati, I felt great.  Because of the endurance race, I had a lot of time to think about the changes we had made to the Ducati since Daytona.  I came to the conclusion that it was an incorrect tire choice, so we mounted some new Michelin DOT's (instead of slicks), and corrected the geometry.  My first race was GTU on the R6, so I gridded up and concentrated on getting a rockin' start.  I think things went extremely well, and I felt very comfortable during the entire 25 minute race…comfortable enough to finish 10 th.  My last race of the day was Supertwins on the Ducati.  I was nervous about the changes, but optimistic that I had made the right decision.  I got a pretty good start, and fell into 3 rd place for most of the race.  The bike handled like a dream (my changes were successful)!  On the last lap Chris Knight squeaked by me, to put me into a 4th place finish (oh was I disappointed!).  The day went super well, and I am very happy with everything that happened.
 
  Saturday started off to be another gorgeous day.   We had two qualifying sessions, and two races to compete in…I was anxious to do well.  I qualified 7th in Thunderbike, and 10th in Sportbike.  Then it was time to race.  I gridded up for the first race of the day, Supertwins, eager to make up for Friday's 4th.  The flag dropped and I almost had the holeshot…Mark Junge slipped up the inside to take the lead.   I held second for a few laps, until Danny Bilansky passed me on the brakes.  I kept behind Danny, to take 3rd on the checkers.  Fortunately for me, when the results were posted Danny got disqualified for not having a transponder.   That put me in 2nd place; I guess I really made up for Friday!  I was now ready to go out for Middleweight Supersport, on the R6, and see what I could do.  I had to start in the back of the grid, and got a tangled up into turn one.  I really had to work hard for a better position, but wasn't able to make up enough ground.  I finished in 17 th place, but at least I finished the race.  It was a day of mixed feelings...happy with my 2nd, but glum about my 17th.  It was still an excellent day, though!
 
  Sunday started out with a rainy, cold morning, and I just wanted to stay in my warm bed.   My first race was Middleweight Supersport, and I was prepared to get a much better finish.  I gridded up, and zipped into turn one right behind Robert Jensen.  I let Robert make a hole into every corner, and just tagged behind him until Canada corner (turn 12).   That put me ahead of a ton of guys, and I was ready to stay in front of them.  Well, I was ready until the guy behind me came into turn one way to hot, and lowsided right into me.  I ended up getting sandwiched between my bike, and his, and surfed them into the gravel trap.  After a few moments of serious pain in my right knee, I got up a walked it off.  Man, was I livid!  Surprisingly, the bike had no broken parts (just a dented Leo Vince canister, ugh)!  Sam West, Chris Jensen, Chris Onwiler, Roger Krueger, and Alexa Krueger all got the bike torn apart and back together in record time.  My knee didn't seem that bad, so I went out for my last two races of the weekend.  They were back to back races, so I was glad I didn't have to wait around.   It was difficult getting my knee bent (with all the swelling), but my friend Guy wrapped it and told me it would be okay.  I had Thunderbike first, and launched into 5th place(from 7 th).  Unfortunately my knee wasn't happy about hard braking, Jeff Johnson and Brian Bemisderfer got around me into turn three.  I had to dice hard for 7th with Brian Lacy.  Luckily I had enough motor to hold him off, and take 7 th at the checkers.  My next (and final race) was Sportbike.  I was starting from 10th, and was hoping I could at least hold that position.  I did, for while, but my braking points were way too early.   I had a great race with Michael Arwood and Ryan Hall, but Hall got in front of me.  That put me in 13th place at the checkers.  I wasn't to upset about it, though.  My knee was throbbing and I just did what I could to keep a fair position on the track.
 
  Overall, this was our most successful weekend.  I was confident, comfortable and very aggressive.  Luckily my injury isn't that bad…I guess you could say the bark is worse than the bite (it looks gross).   I will be strong for our next round at BeaveRun (WERA North Central regional), and make sure that we continue getting satisfactory results!
 
  A special thank you goes out to Sam West, my Mum and Pop (Alexa and Roger Krueger), Chris Jensen, Guy and Chris (K-3) Onwiler for thrashing on the R6, and knowing I could still be competitive.  And to all of my friends that came to the track and helped out, you guys rock! 

I'm faster than your girlfriend, BRRAAAPP.
www.onefastgirl.com
www.myspace.com/onefastgirl
rhiannon@onefastgirl.com
Rhiannon Lucente #66/#166

You just might be a racer if....

You just might be a racer if...


  1. you know how to properly pronounce "Criville"

  2. you walk proper lines through the grocery store with the cart.

  3. you've ever had to explain the term "pucker factor". :D

  4. you've paid $5.00 a gallon for gas without complaining.

  5. your idea of a decent sort of house to buy is one with a basement and a big garage, a downhill driveway so you can bump-start your racebike, and a working toilet on the property somewhere.

  6. you bought a race bike before buying a house.

  7. you bought a race bike before buying furniture for the new house. you're looking for a bike transport vehicle and still haven't bought furniture!

  8. you hear "overcooked it" and think "off the track" instead of "Denny's".

  9. you sit on your race bike in the garage and make bike noises and shift and practice your throttle blipping/braking, while waiting for your motor to get back from the shop.

  10. you look at the purchase of tools as a long term investment.

  11. at least one of your children was conceived at a race track.

  12. your garage has more bikes than your house has bedrooms.

  13. you have enough spare parts to build another bike you have bike parts in your cubicle at work you registered for wedding gifts at Marietta Motorsports

  14. after your answer to "How was your weekend?" the next question is always: "And you do this for fun? Right?"

  15. you've ported your 2-stroke lawn mower, chain saw, or weed eater

  16. your reading material in your bathroom consists of a 1-888-FASTLAP catalog, and 400 bike magazines, none of which have centerfolds.

  17. some people only know you by your racing class & bike number your first date involves asking her to crew for you.

  18. you plan your wedding around the race schedule.

  19. you complain when cars in front of you on highway off-ramps don't stay on the line, causing your exit speed to drop.

  20. you tell a friend you need to clean up the head this weekend and they think you mean the toilet.

  21. you gladly pay $9 for a bottle of engine oil.

  22. you hate long distance driving, but gladly drive 800 miles to the race track.

  23. you save broken bike parts as "momentos".

  24. you've found your lawnmower runs pretty good on 108 octane gas

  25. you've got 3 immaculate race bikes always race ready, but your wife has to nag you for 2 months before you fix the headlight in her car. :

Monday, April 24, 2006

FIRST DOUBLE-HEADER WIN FOR SPIES

Yoshimura Suzuki's Ben Spies raced to his first-ever double-header victory at today's second AMA Superbike Championship race at Barber in Alabama to take the lead in the series after three rounds.

The GSX-R1000-mounted Texan fended off Miguel Duhamel (Honda) to win by 2.8 seconds as team-mate and reigning champion Mat Mladin crashed out on the fifth lap. Mladin rejoined the race in dead last in 29th position and carved through the field to 14th before the race was red flagged on lap 21 of 28.

Mladin, starting from the fourth row, quickly caught the leaders and when third Yoshimura rider Aaron Yates and Tommy Hayden fell, he moved into third place and the final rostrum position. Yates remounted to take a well-deserved fourth place ahead of Neil Hodgson (Ducati).

Said six-time AMA Champion Mladin: "We got lucky with the red flag for sure! To come from the fourth row and put it up here on the box, we're very, very happy."

Sunday Superbike Results:
1. Ben Spies (Yoshimura Suzuki)
2. Miguel Duhamel (Honda)
3. Mat Mladin (Yoshimura Suzuki)
4. Aaron Yates (Yoshimura Suzuki)
5. Neil Hodgson (Ducati)
6. Ben Bostrom (Ducati)
7. Tommy Hayden (Kawasaki)
8. Jacob Holden (Suzuki)
9. Larry Pegram (Honda)
10. Jason Pridmore (Suzuki)

SIMEON DOMINATES GSX-R CUP OPENER

Belgian Xavier Simeon rode a superbly controlled race at Valencia today to win the opening round of this year's Suzuki GSX-R European Cup.

He had dominated qualifying, taken pole position and today was totally in control throughout the 11-lap race. He was never headed throughout the race and took the chequered flag two-and-a-half seconds ahead of his nearest rival.  Second went to Austrian Rene Mahr ahead of Spanish 'wild card' Ismael Ortega, who was not eligible to score points, so third went to another Spaniard, Salvador Cabana, with German Phillip Hafeneger fourth ahead of Swiss rider Gregory Junod.

Xavier Simeon - 1st:

" I am so happy because this has been a perfect day and the weekend has also been perfect because I won the Superstock 600 European Championship race yesterday. After qualifying, I knew that I had a very good chance of winning the Suzuki GSX-R Cup race today and nobody was going to stop me. My bike worked perfectly today and I want to thank my team for giving me such a good bike and great support. Once I was in front, I just ran my own pace and kept an eye out for my nearest challengers. I was able to pull out a gap on the rest of the field and then I just rode as fast as I needed to for the victory."

GSXR-Cup Results: 1 Simeon, 2 Mahr, 3 Cabana, 4 Hafeneger, 5 Junod, 6 Castellani.

Championship Points: 1 Simeon 25, 2 Mahr 20, 3 Cabana 16, 4 Hafeneger 13, 5 Junod 11, 6 Castellani 10.

CORSER RACES TO DOUBLE PODIUM

Suzuki's World Superbike Champion Troy Corser raced his Alstare Suzuki Corona Extra GSX-R1000 to two second places at today's third-round World Superbike Championship race in Valencia, Spain.

He led Troy Bayliss (Ducati) for the best part of the two 23-lappers but had to give way to his fellow countryman in the closing stages both times. But team mate Yukio Kagayama had a weekend to forget: After his concussion yesterday and badly bruised right hand, he was far from fit but battled hard in the opening race for a well-deserved sixth place.

The second race was following a similar pattern until he lost the front going into the first hairpin and crashed out. Fortunately he didn't do any further damage to his right hand but hurt his right leg in the process.

Alstare Engineering Corona Extra rider Fabien Foret scored his first points of the season with a 15th in race one and a 13th in race two.

Troy Corser - Race 1: 2nd, Race 2: 2nd:

"I'm happy, but also frustrated today. Happy because I took two seconds and also because I know I couldn't have ridden any harder than I did. I tried my best, but I couldn't overtake Troy Bayliss after he had passed me in both races. That was kind of frustrating, but I could see his bike was working the tyres less than mine and in the end the difference between us was marginal.

"In race one I got a pretty good start and managed to pull out a bit of a gap, but in the later part of the race he caught me up when my tyres started to go. When he passed me I tried to get back at him, but he could run a bit faster than me and I just couldn't do it. 

"It was much of the same in the second race: I built up a pretty good lead but I got a false neutral going into the first hairpin and was lucky not to crash. That was enough for Troy to close the gap. I had to adjust the clutch slip during the race and although it was only a tiny problem, that and tyre wear prevented me from catching and passing him."

Yukio Kagayama - Race 1: 6th, Race 2: DNF:

"The weekend was not so good for me and maybe it's better that I forget it. The crash yesterday meant that my right hand was not strong and, because Valencia is a very physical circuit, I couldn't brake as hard as normal. Also it made changing direction much more difficult.

"In the first race, I had a good fight with a group of riders and I enjoyed this battle. I could only use one finger to brake, so I could not go in as deep and hard as normal. If I hadn't had the problem, I think I could've caught Haga and Abe ahead. In the second race I crashed at the hairpin, but I am not exactly sure why. I went into the turn, braked as usual and suddenly I was down without any warning. I was using a medium front tyre in race two - compared to a hard front in race one - so maybe that was part of the problem."

Fabien Foret - Race 1: 15th, Race 2: 13th:

"All in all, I'm pretty happy with the weekend because it has been a good experience - my first ever Superpole yesterday and then scoring some points today. In the first race, I made a good start and the first five or six laps were not so bad. But, I think the tyre choice was wrong and that together with a small suspension problem didn't allow me to lap as fast as I had expected.

"My start in race two was ok and I was in a good group – Toseland and Barros - and I enjoyed the battle and was happy because my lap times were consistent. This race weekend I feel I have made another step forward and gained a lot of experience. My next step is to qualify better and improve my finishing positions."

Race 1 Result: 1 Bayliss (Aus-Ducati), 2 Troy Corser (Aus-Alstare Suzuki Corona Extra), 3 Lanzi (I-Ducati), 4 Abe (J-Yamaha), 5 Haga (J-Yamaha), 6 Yukio Kagayama (J-Alstare Suzuki Corona Extra), 7 Xaus (E-Ducati), 8 Laconi (I-Kawasaki), 9 Toseland (GB-Honda), 10 Pitt (Aus-Yamaha). 15 Fabien Foret (F-Alstare Engineering Corona Extra) .

Race 2 Result: 1 Bayliss, 2 Troy Corser (Aus-Alstare Suzuki Corona Extra), 3 Lanzi, 4 Abe, 5 Haga, 6 Nieto (E-Kawasaki), 7 Walker (GB-Kawasaki), 8 Laconi, 9 Pitt, 10 Fabrizio (I-Honda), 13 Fabien Foret (F-Alstare Engineering Corona Extra). Yukio Kagayama (J-Alstare Suzuki Corona Extra) DNF.

World Championship Points (after 3 rounds): 1 Bayliss 125, 2 Troy Corser (Aus-Alstare Suzuki Corona Extra) 103, 3 Toseland 86, 4 Haga 64, 5 Barros 62, 6 Pitt 58, 7 Lanzi 47, 8 Abe 40, 9 Fabrizio 34, 10 Xaus 33. 13 Yukio Kagayama (J-Alstare Suzuki Corona Extra) 24 . 21 Fabien Foret (F-Alstare Engineering Corona Extra) 4.

SERT SUZUKI RACE TO 2ND FROM 49TH

Reigning World Endurance Champions Suzuki Castrol clawed back from a heavy crash in the first hour to finish runners-up at the Le Mans 24-hour second round in France that finished this afternoon.

The Suzuki Endurance Racing Team (SERT) of Keiichi Kitagawa, Mathieu Lagrive and Vincent Philippe were only two laps behind winners, National Motors Honda, after 817 laps of racing.

Kitagawa put the GSX-R1000 to the front early on, closely pursued by Suzuki Castrol's second team, but shortly after his first fuel stop he fell heavily, causing the safety car to be brought out which allowed the Suzuki 2 squad to take the lead.

Suzuki No.1 then began their long climb back through the field from 49th position as the front-running Yamaha Austria team fell behind and then retired from the race with cylinder head problems.

The order remained the same for much of Saturday with Suzuki No.2, Yamaha GMT94 and National Motos Honda filling the top three places until late into the night when GMT94 pitted with an electrical problem. This let the Honda through to second and Suzuki No.1 – who had now climbed to third – ahead of GMT94 and Kawasaki Bolliger.

The order of the race leaders remained static through the night, but dramas continued behind them: Kawasaki Diablo retired with a broken gearbox, Yamaha Phase One with a blown cylinder head gasket, and Suzuki Innodrom with a broken gearbox.

But with just four hours to go, any thoughts of a comfortable run to victory were dashed for Suzuki No.2; they pitted after a crash and eventually retired with machine damage. While Suzuki No.2 were in the pits trying to diagnose the problem, Gary McCoy crashed the GMT94 Yamaha heavily: He managed to limp the bike back to the pits but National Motos Honda took the lead and Suzuki Castrol No.1 moved to second place before GMT94 could rejoin the race.

Said Lagrive: "For me the race was not very easy. With my injured hand I could manage 20 laps ok, but 30 laps was very difficult. This morning I had no sensation in the left hand; it's not possible to ride the bike well with just one hand, but I stayed fast."

SERT Team Manager Dominique Meliand, added: "I didn't worry that the No.1 bike would have the same problem as the other Suzukis; on the No.72 it was a head gasket and for No.72 the problem was changing the forks. For the No.1 bike it was necessary to score the maximum points rather than just having outright speed and going for the win. For No.2 it was different, it was win or nothing."

Provisional Top Ten Finishing Positions:
 
1: National Motos Honda - FRA - Honda CBR1000RR - Protat, Four, Ribalta - 817 laps
2: Suzuki Castrol - FRA - Suzuki GSX-R1000 - Philippe, Kitagawa, Lagrive - 815 laps
3: Yamaha GMT94 - FRA - Yamaha YZF-R1 - Gimbert, Checa, McCoy - 804 laps
4: Kawasaki Bolliger - SUI - Kawasaki ZX10R - Muff, Saiger, Morillon - 799 laps
5: Infini Team Suzuki - FRA - Suzuki GSX-R1000 - Michel, Tangre, Bocquiet - 793 laps (1st SPR)
6: Suzuki No Limits & RT - ITA - Suzuki GSX-R1000 - Ruozi, Monot, Jond - 789 laps
7: Kawasaki Maccio Racing - FRA - De Rosa, Fremy, Moisin - 788 laps (1st STK)
8: Suzuki Fagersjo-el.se - SWE - Suzuki GSX-R1000 - Hanson, Andersson, Carlberg - 787 laps
9: Suzuki Endurance Moto45 - FRA - Perrerau, Duprez, Briere - 786 laps
10: RMT21 Racing Honda - GER - Honda CBR1000RR - Mizera, Chevre, Steuer - +1.21.018

Information sourced from: www.worldendurance.com

HODGSON FOURTH IN AMA SUPERBIKE POINTS AFTER BIRMINGHAM

Leeds (Alabama) 23 April 2006: Parts Unlimited Ducati Team racers Neil Hodgson and Eric Bostrom finished fifth and sixth in the Sunday AMA Superbike contest from Birmingham, Alabama. Hodgson finished 4.511 seconds behind winner Ben Spies in the red-flagged 28-lap race, taking fifth in an eight-lap shootout and finishing in front of teammate and fellow Ducati 999 pilot Ben Bostrom.

Neil is now fourth in AMA Superbike points after three races. "It was really a frustrating weekend for us because we expect more than this. As riders, I can assure you Ben and I are riding really, really hard, but we just aren't seeing it in the lap times," said Hodgson. "We really don't have the answers right now. As for the restart, I decided to push things past the limit. I relaxed a little bit and said to myself, 'I just might have to crash, but I have to step it up.' In a weekend like this one, you don't think so much about the championship so much. I might as well just go past the limit, to ignore the warning signs. I did and I went a little quicker."

"I'm just glad we get to race next weekend at Fontana because at least we don't have to wait so long to get another shot at it. That track does suit our bike better and I had a good race there last year," he said.

Ben Bostrom was sixth, feeling better but still bothered by sinus problems. "Since I was sick and we were struggling anyway, we treated the weekend more like a test. We made big changes with every session. In the red flag, we made another change to the bike and found some more time and I was able to push a little harder. Neil and I ran together most of today and we were pretty evenly matched in most of the sections."

The Parts Unlimited Ducati Team will next race at California Speedway in Fontana, CA, April 28-30.

Results: 1. Ben Spies, Suzuki 2. Miguel Duhamel, Honda 3. Mat Mladin, Suzuki 4. Aaron Yates, Suzuki 5. Neil Hodgson, Parts Unlimited Ducati 6. Ben Bostrom, Parts Unlimited Ducati 7. Tommy Hayden, Kawasaki 8. Jacob Holden, Suzuki 9. Larry Pegram, Honda 10. Jason Pridmore, Suzuki

Standings (after three races): 1. Ben Spies, Suzuki 107 2. Mat Mladin, Suzuki 99 3. Miguel Duhamel, Honda 88 4. Neil Hodgson, Parts Unlimited Ducati 78 5. Aaron Yates, Suzuki 76 5. Tommy Hayden, Kawasaki 76 7. Ben Bostrom, Parts Unlimited Ducati 71 8. Jason Pridmore, Suzuki 64 9. Jake Zemke, Suzuki 52 10. Larry Pegram, Honda 52


2006 AMA SUPERMOTO CHAMPIONSHIP KICKS OFF AT CALIFORNIA SPEEDWAY

PICKERINGTON, Ohio (April 24, 2006) -- On April 29 the 2006 AMA Supermoto Championship presented by Parts Unlimited will take the green flag at California Speedway in Fontana. This is the fourth year of AMA Pro Racing's newest championship series and it promises to be the best yet.

Team Red Bull KTM HMC's Jurgen Kunzel will be back to defend his 2005 championship. Other pre-season favorites include Troy Lee Honda's Jeff Ward, the 2004 series champ, and Graves Yamaha teammates Doug Henry and Mark Burkhart.
Kunzel took last year's title in a dramatic down-to-the-wire final round in Reno. The German stole away the title after rival Ward crashed leaving the door open for Kunzel's surprising comeback. It was a breakthrough year in 2005 for Kunzel. After being one of the fastest Supermoto riders in the AMA championship since its inception, he finally earned his first victory in Nashville, Tenn. Then lady luck smiled on Kunzel again at Reno helping him win the title.

"I could not believe that I won the championship," Kunzel said after placing second in the final race at Reno last October. "I felt very bad for Jeff (Ward). He had a great season and it was a tough way for him to lose the championship. At the same time I'm overjoyed for my team. They put so much work into this. I've worked hard for three years to get to this point. I had so much bad luck in my racing career over here, perhaps I was due for a little good luck."

Ward, of Newport Beach, Calif., will turn 45 this season, but the former AMA Motocross and Supercross star still thinks he has what it takes to beat riders half his age.

"I'm looking forward to this season," said Ward, who, in spite of his age, is still one of the most aggressive riders in the series. "It should be good with Kunzel trying to hold on to the title and Doug Henry coming back healthy. And then you have guys like Mark Burkhart and my teammate Chris Fillmore coming on strong. I think the positive thing about racing at my age is my knowledge of how to quickly get a bike set up and knowing how and when to make my move in the races."

Doug Henry was the fastest rider in the championship early on last year winning three straight rounds before suffering injury. The Graves Yamaha rider is a veteran motocross champ like Ward and comes back in 2006 healthy and eager to get back in competition.

"I feel just about 100 percent and am looking for a good season," Henry said. "I'm really pumped about the new Yamaha YZF450. In stock form I went faster than I've ever gone on my practice track. My goal is to come out of Fontana with some good points. We have a break in the series after that race to correct any problems we might encounter in the first round, but hopefully we'll be competitive from the start."

While Supermoto's version of the "Big Three" is Kunzel, Ward and Henry, many people, including his fellow competitors, see Graves Yamaha's Mark Burkhart making it the "Fab Four" in 2006. Burkhart, who totally dominated AMA Supermoto Lites last year, shocked the established stars by moving up from Lites and dominating the main Supermoto class in the Reno Red Bull finale last year.

In addition to the two rounds of the premier AMA Supermoto class, fans at California Speedway will also get to see a round of the AMA Supermoto Unlimited and Supermoto Lites support classes.

Brandon Currie will try to keep the Supermoto Lites title in the Graves Yamaha camp. After riding a Kawasaki in '05 and finishing runner up to Burkhart last year, Currie now gets the opportunity to ride for a proven championship team. Currie is expected to be the rider to beat, but there are a host of others hoping to fill the void left in Burkhart's absence.

Old scores may be settled in the Supermoto Unlimited class this year. Last year's championship ended in a remarkable and controversial finish in the final round. Two title contenders Micky Dymond and Darryl Atkins came together on the last corner of the last lap. Atkins went down and with it his hopes of the title. Some called Dymond's pass an aggressive, but perfectly acceptable racing move, while others saw it as overly forceful. The two are slated to resume their rivalry at California Speedway. This year Atkins is expected to race the new Aprilia SXV550 twin-cylinder machine.

The opening AMA Supermoto Championship runs Saturday in conjunction with the Suzuki Superbike Challenge AMA Superbike Championship doubleheader. All the final Supermoto events will take place after the end of Saturday's road racing action, giving fans the opportunity to see two major championship events in a single day.

OLN will telecast the series. Look for updated information and a complete broadcast schedule to be released soon.

For ticket information call 1-800-944-RACE (7223) or visit www.californiaspeedway.co

ESTOK AND BILANSKY PUT BUELL ON ASRA THUNDERBIKE PODIUM

Buell XBRR Sets New ASRA Superbike Track Record at Road America 

ELKHART LAKE, Wis. (April 24, 2006) – Veatch Motorsports rider David Estok rode a Buell Firebolt XB12R to a second-place finish at the American Sport Bike Racing Association (ASRA) Thunderbike National at the Road America course on Sunday. Hal's Speed Shop rider Dan Bilansky was third, also on a Buell Firebolt XB12R. The race was won by Ed Key on a Suzuki, who also won several Championship Cup Series (CCS) support races during the weekend.

Estok, Bilansky and Deeley Harley-Davidson/Buell Canada rider Steve Crevier also used various ASRA and CCS races to test new components on the Buell XBRR developed since its competition debut at Daytona. Estok won the Solo Challenge class in the 250-kilometer ASRA Team Challenge race and crossed the finish line first ahead of the overall Team Challenge winner (solo entries are not included in the overall team results) aboard an XBRR. Crevier finished second in the Solo Challenge and charged from the back row of the 22-rider ASRA Superbike field to set a new class track record with a time of 2:22.763 (100.866 mph average) on his way to a fifth place finish aboard an XBRR.

Estok, the 2005 National Thunderbike series champion, took the pole and set a new ASRA Thunderbike track record in qualifying with a lap of 2:31.885 (94.809 mph average) on the four-mile Road America course with his Glen Veatch tuned Buell Firebolt XB12R. Bilansky qualified second with a lap of 2:33.156 (94.022 mph average).

Estok and Bilansky led at the start of the eight-lap Thunderbike National, and the two riders battled and swapped the lead four times in the first six laps. Key held back while the two Buell riders dueled, then caught and engaged Estok and Bilansky in turn one at the beginning of lap seven. Key passed Bilansky for second, and then got by Estok in turn five to take the lead. Bilansky spun his rear tire coming out of the Bend following the Carousel and left the course before regaining control and returning to the track, still in third place but out of contention for the lead. Key held off a determined Estok on the final lap to take the win.

"I was out there battling with Dan (Bilansky), and I think we were both surprised when Key suddenly caught us," said Estok. "It was a great race and he did an excellent job out there."

Fourth place went to Nate Kern on a BMW. Appleton Buell/Hoban Brothers Racing rider Jeff Johnson was fifth on a Buell Firebolt, followed by Harley-Davidson/Buell of Frederick rider Bryan Bemisderfer, also on a Buell Firebolt. Ducati riders Rhiannon Lucente and Brian Lacy were seventh and eighth. Blue Springs H-D/Buell's Walt Sipp was ninth on a Buell Firebolt, and Hal's Speed Shop/Spyder Leatherworks.com rider Paul James rode a Buell Firebolt to tenth position. Twelve of the 24 ASRA Thunderbike entries were on Buell motorcycles.

Throughout the ASRA/CCS race weekend at Road America, expert and amateur Buell racers accounted for 6 class wins and 26 podium finishes. Friday highlights included a GT Lights class win and 7th overall finish in the ASRA Team Challenge by teammates James and John Fox aboard a Firebolt XB12R; a 1-2 finish in CCS Thunderbike by Bilansky and Johnson; and two class wins by Julian Soell in amatuer Lightweight Supersport and Lightweight Superbike. On Saturday, Johnson, Estok and Bilansky swept the CCS Thunderbike podium.

After two events, Kern leads the ASRA Thunderbike series with 58 points, followed by Bemisderfer with 49 points and Johnson with 44 points. The next race on the eight-round ASRA Thunderbike National schedule is May 28-29 at Summit Point Raceway in Summit Point, W.Va.

SUZUKI CASTROL 2ND ON LE MANS GRID

After dominating practice and first qualifying, World Endurance Champions and current series leaders Suzuki Castrol posted the second fastest time for tomorrow's 24-hour Le Mans World Endurance second round in France.

SERT rider Vincent Philippe set the early pace aboard the French squad's GSX-R1000 with the Suzuki Castrol number two team a close second until yesterday's night practice when they recorded provisional pole position.

The fastest team today was Yamaha GMT94 with a time of 1:38.174 ahead of Suzuki Castrol (1:38.354), Yamaha Austria (1:38.631) and Suzuki Castrol 2 (1:38.663).

A 45-minute warm up session starts at 10.30am local time tomorrow with the race at 12.30pm.

Qualifying Results:

1:  Yamaha GMT94 - FRA - Yamaha YZF-R1 - S.Gimbert - 1:38.174
2:  Suzuki Castrol Team - FRA - Suzuki GSX-R1000 - M.Lagrive - 1:38.354
3: Yamaha Austria - AUT - Yamaha YZF-R1 - G.Giabbani - 1:38.631
4: Suzuki Castrol Team - FRA - Suzuki GSX-R1000 - J. Da Costa - 1: 38.663
5: Team Kawasaki France - FRA - Kawasaki ZX10R - P.Piot - 1:39.430
6: Honda National Motos - FRA - Honda CBR1000RR - O.Four - 1:39.888
7: Kawasaki Maccio Racing - FRA - Kawasaki ZX10RR - F.Moisan - 1:40.930
8: Junior Team Suzuki LMS - FRA - Suzuki GSX-R1000 - T.Metro - 1:40.979
9: Yamaha Endurance Moto38 - FRA - Yamaha YZF-R1 - D.Bouan - 1:41.216
10: Yamaha Phase One Endurance - GBR - Yamaha YZF-R1 - W.Nowland - 1:41.249

Thursday, April 20, 2006

PARTS UNLIMITED DUCATI TEAM BACK IN ACTION AT BIRMINGHAM

Leeds (Alabama) 19 April 2006: Neil Hodgson and Ben Bostrom of the Parts Unlimited Ducati team return to AMA Superbike action this weekend at Barber Motorsports Park near Birmingham, Alabama. The second round of the series will see both riders pilot their Ducati 999 Superbikes as part of the 28-lap Superbike races on both Saturday and Sunday.

Bostrom said he is ready to race, having last ridden the Ducati Superbike at a test in Birmingham last month. "I'm looking forward to getting back on the bike. I've been off it for three weeks and it seems like forever," said Bostrom. "We're looking forward to improving our results from the test. We weren't able to go as quick as we would have liked then. I'm anxious to get some laps in, work with the team to maybe change some things with the setup, and just ride better. We have two races ahead of us and like I said, I just want to get back out there on the track."

Neil Hodgson also says he is also looking forward to the Alabama races. "Last year, we raced with some guys for a position on the podium but ended up fourth on Sunday," said Hodgson. "Birmingham is a nice track and the Ducati 999 is working well, but this circuit will always be a special challenge for us due to its nature. We know we are going to have to push to the limits to do as well as we'd like. We're up for the challenge, though, and are looking for good results in both races."

In addition to seeing the Parts Unlimited Ducati Team race Saturday and Sunday, Ducatisti will have an opportunity to check out the Finale of the Monster Challenge.

THE CIRCUIT: Barber Motorsport Park, 2.3 miles (3.70 kilometers), 16 turns with 80 feet of elevation changes.

AMA SUPERBIKE POINTS (after 1 round): 1. Mat Mladin, Suzuki 38 2. Ben Spies, Suzuki 32 3. Miguel Duhamel, Honda 29 4. Neil Hodgson, Parts Unlimited Ducati, 27 5. Tommy Hayden, Kawasaki 26. 6. Aaron Yates, Suzuki 25. 7. Ben Bostrom, Parts Unlimited Ducati, 24 8. Jake Zemke, Honda 23 9. Jake Pridmore, Suzuki 22 10. Jake Holden, Suzuki 21

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

AMA LOCKHART-PHILLIPS USA FORMULA XTREME TITLE WIDE OPEN

Graves Yamaha's Hacking heads up Repsol Superstock coming into Barber

PICKERINGTON, Ohio (April 19, 2006) -- The AMA Lockhart-Phillips USA Formula Xtreme Series has been the domain of factory Honda rider Miguel Duhamel over the last couple of years, but now that the two-time champ has moved on to concentrate on AMA Superbike it leaves the class wide open. Honda has dominated Formula Xtreme and hopes to keep that going with Erion Honda riders Josh Hayes and Aaron Gobert, but Yamaha has thrown its hat in the ring with a potent pair of riders in Jason DiSalvo and Eric Bostrom. This weekend, April 21-23, at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Ala. the battle for the championship gets back underway after an early season break.

Honda's Jake Zemke won the opening round of the series, the Daytona 200, last month, but Zemke, like his teammate Duhamel, is not contesting the rest of Formula Xtreme schedule. That leaves Erion Honda's Hayes as the de facto leader of the championship coming into this weekend's event.

Hayes is no stranger to Formula Xtreme or leading a championship series. The Gulfport, Miss., native has contested Formula Xtreme on and off since 1998. He knows how to win championships, having earned the AMA Superstock title in 2003. Hayes is rebuilding his life after losing his home to Hurricane Katrina last year. He sees his opportunity with Erion Honda in the Formula Xtreme Series as a new beginning. He also likes the idea of being somewhat of an underdog in the class.

"With Yamaha coming in with such a strong effort I think a lot of people sort of forgot that Honda is still in the class," Hayes said. "I'm very happy with the team and our bike and I think we have a very good chance of keeping the Formula Xtreme championship in the Honda camp. I think maybe we came in under the radar before the season started, but after our Daytona performance I know we are going to be sort of a target. It could be an interesting season-long battle for the championship. I see it as a great opportunity for me to win another AMA championship."

Hot on the heels of Hayes in the standings are the factory Yamaha riders of Jason DiSalvo and Eric Bostrom. Yamaha has been a leading manufacturer in Formula Xtreme in past seasons, but 2006 marks the return of the factory Yamaha team for the first time in three years. Yamaha sees Formula Xtreme as a perfect showcase for its redesigned R6 and putting DiSalvo and Bostrom in the class shows just how serious they are about winning its first Formula Xtreme title. DiSalvo is considered one of the top up-and-coming riders in America and Bostrom is a former champion of the class.

Barber's Formula Xtreme will mark the return of two-time Formula Xtreme champ Kurtis Roberts. Roberts tested at Barber with the M4 EMGO Suzuki squad as a possible temporary replacement for the injured Michael Barnes. Barnes is recovering from his Daytona knee injury quicker than expected and hopes to race at Barber. Roberts is going to race for the team in any case. The addition of Roberts to the mix will bring a depth of talent to the class not seen for several years.

In the Repsol Lubricants Superstock Series a healthy Jamie Hacking is a dangerous Jamie Hacking, so say some of his main competitors. After suffering injuries over the last few seasons Hacking is healthy and ready to go coming into the Barber Superstock race. Hacking earned a breakthrough victory in the Superstock final at Daytona International Speedway last month. It marked the first pro victory for Hacking at Daytona and was a major milestone in the Graves Yamaha rider's career.

The last time Hacking had a similar breakthrough was in 2003 when he finally won the Supersport race at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, Calif., a track that prior to that had been a nightmare for him. Hacking went on to win the Pro Honda Supersport title that year and he hopes the Daytona breakthrough is a precursor to another championship run.

"You can't get off to a better start than I had at Daytona," said Hacking, who also won the Barber Superstock race in 2004. "Hopefully I can stay healthy this season and make a strong run at the championship. The class is loaded with talent so it's going to be a battle, but I know my team is ready for the challenge."

Hacking's teammate Jason DiSalvo finished a very close second at Daytona and is hoping to even the score at Barber.

Defending Repsol Lubricants Superstock champion Aaron Yates injured his shoulder in pre-season testing and was a question mark on whether or not he was even going to be able to ride in the season opener last month. But instead of sitting out the race, Yates gritted his teeth and rode with the broken shoulder and it paid off richly with a solid third-place finish.

"That was important to get through Daytona and come out with some points," Yates said. "I guess I was a little surprised at how well I did there and now I'm not that far behind in the championship and I feel like I still have a good shot at defending the title."

Other riders high in the standings coming into Barber include M4 EMGO Suzuki's Geoff May, who is ranked fourth; Erion Honda's Josh Hayes; Attack Kawasaki's Damon Buckmaster and Roadracingworld.com Suzuki's Robertino Pietri, the Venezuelan who surprised a lot of people with his strong seventh-place showing at Daytona.

The Pro Honda Oils Supersport race is part of Barber Motorsports Park's Honda Superbike Classic that runs from April 21-23. The Barber Formula Xtreme final will be televised nationally on SPEED at 3 p.m. EST on Tuesday, April 25.

To obtain tickets for the Honda Superbike Classic call 800-240-2300 or visit the website www.barbermotorsports.com.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

AMA PRO RACING ON SPEED

AMA PRO RACING ON SPEED
APRIL 18-25, 2006
(All times Eastern)

Amp'd Mobile AMA Supercross Series, Ford Field, Detroit, Michigan – Tuesday, April 18, 2 p.m.

Amp'd Mobile AMA Supercross Series, Reliant Stadium, Houston, Texas – Tuesday, April 18, 3 p.m.

Amp'd Mobile AMA Supercross Lites, Reliant Stadium, Houston, Texas – Tuesday, April 18, 4 p.m.

Amp'd Mobile AMA Supercross Series, Reliant Stadium, Houston, Texas – Tuesday, April 18, 11 p.m.

AMA Superbike Championship presented by Parts Unlimited, Barber Motorsports Park, Birmingham, Alabama – (Superbike Race 1), Sunday, April 23, 4 p.m.

AMA Superbike Championship presented by Parts Unlimited, Barber Motorsports Park, Birmingham, Alabama – (Superbike Race 2), Sunday, April 23, 5 p.m.

Amp'd Mobile AMA Supercross Series, Texas Stadium, Irving Texas – Sunday, April 23, 6 p.m.

Lockhart- Phillips USA Formula Xtreme Series, Barber Motorsports Park, Birmingham, Alabama – Tuesday, April 25, 2 p.m.

Pro Honda Oils Supersport Championship presented by Shoei, Barber Motorsports Park, Birmingham, Alabama – Tuesday, April 25, 3 p.m.

Amp'd Mobile AMA Supercross Series, Texas Stadium, Irving Texas – Tuesday, April 25, 5 p.m.

Amp'd Mobile AMA Supercross Series, Texas Stadium, Irving Texas – Tuesday, April 25, 11 p.m.

All times subject to change.  Check local listings.

GREAT BATTLE SHAPING UP IN AMA SUPERSPORT CHAMPIONSHIP

PICKERINGTON, Ohio (April 18, 2006) -- Kawasaki has it and wants to keep it, while Yamaha and Suzuki both want it back. The prize these manufacturers all covet is the AMA Pro Honda Oils Supersport Championship presented by Shoei. One of the most hotly contested series in the history of AMA road racing, the Supersport series is once again shaping up to be another barnburner in 2006. Kawasaki's Roger Lee Hayden brings a four-point lead over Yamaha's Jamie Hacking coming into round two of the 11-race series at Barber Motorsports Park on Sunday, April 23. 

Hayden feels like it is his time to win the Supersport title. The youngest of the three racing Hayden brothers from Owensboro, Ky., has been runner-up in the series to his oldest brother Tommy for the last two years. This season Tommy is going to concentrate solely on the Superbike class leaving baby brother alone to fight off the horde of Yamaha and Suzuki riders trying to win back the championship. If Roger manages to win the series it would mean that all three Haydens brothers have won the title. Middle brother Nicky is racing for the factory Honda team in the Motorcycle Grand Prix World Championship.

After winning at Daytona last month Roger Lee said he feels like he's up to the task of finally earning his first AMA road racing title. He sees 2003 champ Jamie Hacking as his primary competition.

"I'm pretty happy that I came through Daytona with a good result," said Hayden, who is beginning his eighth year as a pro. "It's going to be a long year. This class is competitive. I know there's always some other guy that's going to be strong all year. I know Jamie [Hacking] is fast. He has been the last few years. He just got hurt a few times. I know he's capable of being up front every race."

Hacking's primary goal for 2006 is to stay healthy so he'll have the chance to win back the championship he won three years ago.

"It's going to be a tough battle all year," Hacking said of the Supersport championship. "We've been in this situation before, and hopefully we can have a trouble-free season. The last couple years for us have been pretty bad. So hopefully we can have a clean season and work on our bike some more in testing this next month, and get the thing dialed in just a little bit better. I'm looking forward to it. It's going to be a good season."
 Hacking and Hayden are both former Barber Supersport winners.

While the focus is primarily on the battle between Hayden and Hacking, Suzuki has a secret weapon in the class in the form of Ben Spies. Most have considered the young Texan to be a Supersport overachiever on the Suzuki, which has been just a slight click off the Kawasaki and Yamaha Supersport bikes in the last couple of seasons. This year however the new GSX-R600 seems to be closer if not equal to the other factory rigs and Spies hopes to do some damage in the class this season. 

Suzuki also has depth in the class. In addition to factory rider Spies there are a host of support riders who could contend for podiums throughout the season. Chief among them is former flat tracker Danny Eslick, who is coming on strong on the Matsushima Performance Suzuki, and M4 EMGO Suzuki's Geoff May. Eslick is fifth in the standings coming into Barber, May seventh, by virtue of their Daytona finishes. 

Suzuki is looking for its first victory in the Barber Supersport event.

Another team to watch for at Barber is Attack Performance Kawasaki with the Aussie pair of Damon Buckmaster and Ben Attard. Both are capable of winning on any given weekend.

Honda has no factory entry in Supersport this year, but is represented in the class by California speedster Jeffrey Tigert on his Pro Honda Oils backed team. Tigert is 12th in the standings coming into Barber.

The Pro Honda Oils Supersport race is part of Barber Motorsports Park's Honda Superbike Classic that runs from April 21-23. The Barber Supersport final will be televised nationally on SPEED at 3 p.m. EST Tuesday, April 25.

To obtain tickets for the Honda Superbike Classic call 800-240-2300 or visit the website www.barbermotorsports.com .

Monday, April 17, 2006

BYRNE INSPIRATIONAL ON RIZLA SUZUKI


Shane 'Shakey' Byrne took two inspirational and determined top-10 finishes on his Rizla Suzuki GSX-R1000 after starting well down the grid in both of today's races at the third round of the Bennetts British Superbike Championship at Thruxton.

In morning warm-up, Byrne missed the chequered flag and was penalised for riding too fast on a red flag lap by being moved back eight places from ninth to 17th on the grid. But he gritted his teeth and fought his way through to fourth before eventually ending up fifth after a race-long battle with Honda's Jonathan Rea.

On the sighting lap for the second race, he was forced into the pits to change to his spare bike after discovering a problem with the front wheel. He had to start the race from the final position on the grid before again showing his determination to finish eighth.

Starting from fifth on the grid, team mate James Haydon was taken out of race one at the first corner when Karl Harris's Honda skittled him. In the second race he crashed out on the opening lap unhurt.

Ducati's Gregorio Lavilla won both races.

Rizla Suzuki will attend an official British Superbike test on Friday at Oulton Park in Cheshire before returning to the same circuit for the fourth round of the Championship on Bank Holiday Monday, May 1st.

Shakey Byrne:

"I made a genuine mistake in morning warm-up and missed seeing the chequered flag. I kept going flat out for a few corners before I realised the session was over and ended up being penalised and put back on the grid by eight places. That fired me up and I gave it my all and fifth was a good result from that starting position.

"In the second race I had to start from dead last after a problem on my out lap and I put my head down and went for it again. I got up to eighth in the end and was wishing for more laps as I was stating to catch the riders in front of me.

"We made good progress with the Rizla Suzuki this weekend and I think I could have overtaken anything on the straights as it is a missile. It's just a shame I wasn't able to start from a decent grid position in either race as I am sure we had the pace to threaten the podium."

James Haydon:

"I am bitterly disappointed with both races. In the first race I got side-swiped by Karl's bike as he crashed in front of me. In the second race I lost the rear and ended up on the grass. Both crashes were on the first lap and my races were over before they started.

"Through practice and qualification we found good speed and chassis balance and I'll take those positives to our test later in the week and the next round at Oulton Park."

Robert Wicks - Team Manager:

"Shakey showed the real potential of Rizla Suzuki as he fought his way through the pack in both races. The GSX-R1000 is lightning fast and Shakey proved his class and determination to record two strong results. He showed how hungry he is for success and for the last four or five laps in the second race he was the fastest rider on the circuit bar none. His 'never-say-die' mentality was a hit with the huge crowd.

"James deserved better after showing such great form throughout practice and qualifying and he will come back stronger and more determined at Oulton Park.

"This has been another character-building weekend for the team, typified by all the hard work in the garage to rebuild James's bike in time for the second race.

"A big thank you to Murray Walker who joined the team to cheer on both Shakey and James – he's a real gent and bike enthusiast who we are proud to call a friend of Rizla Suzuki."

Race One Results: 1: Gregorio Lavilla (Ducati) 28:47270, 2: Leon Haslam (Ducati) +4.460, 3: Ryuichi Kiyonari (Honda) +12.742, 4: Jonathan Rea (Honda) +18.921, 5: Shane Byrne (Rizla Suzuki) +19.058, 6: Michael Rutter (Honda) +22.866, 7: Glen Richards (Honda) +30.839, 8: Tommy Hill (Yamaha) +30.974, 9: Dean Thomas (Kawasaki) +34.210, 10: Michael Laverty (Honda) +34.252. James Haydon (Rizla Suzuki) DNF.

Race Two Results: 1: Lavilla 27:58.085, 2: Haslam +6.337, 3: Karl Harris (Honda) +15.230, 4: Kiyonari +15.566, 5: Rea +21.323, 6: Thomas +25.437, 7: Rutter +30.305, 8: Shane Byrne (Rizla Suzuki) +34.977, 9: Hill +38.501, 10 Scott Smart (Suzuki) +42.610. James Haydon (Rizla Suzuki) DNF

Championship Standings (after three of 13 rounds): 1: Lavilla 132, 2: Haslam 96, 3: Kiyonari 87, 4: Harris 57, 5: Rea 54, 6: Shane Byrne (Rizla Suzuki) 45, 7=: Smart 44, 7=: Rutter 44, 9: Laverty 42, 10: Thomas 40, 16=: James Haydon (Rizla Suzuki) 15.

SUZUKI CASTROL LEAD WORLD ENDURANCE

Reigning World Endurance Champions Suzuki Castrol won the Assen 500km opening round of the FIM World Endurance Championship in Holland today after leading from the start.

Although one rider down after Mathieu Lagrive crashed and injured himself yesterday, the SERT GSX-R1000 had pulled a lap ahead by the half-way point of the four-hour event and team rider Vincent Philippe also set the fastest lap of the race with a time of 1:43.659.

Second place overall and a lap down went to Yamaha Austria, who was forced to pit early after wearing out their front tyre while pushing to catch the Suzuki. Third place was taken by Yamaha Phase One Endurance and fourth; Suzuki Fagersjo-el.se aboard their GSX-R1000.
 
The top Superstock class finisher was Suzuki Team Endurance Moto45 in ninth place overall and the leading Super Production class finisher was Yamaha Team Acropolis Zone Rouge 199 in 10th place.

The top seven finishing teams came from seven different nationalities; France, Austria, Great Britain, Sweden, Switzerland, Italy and Germany. The same seven teams represented four different manufacturers; Suzuki (1st and 4th), Yamaha (2nd, 3rd and 6th), Kawasaki (5th) and Honda (7th).

Said Philippe: "It's a pleasure to ride at Assen and for us there were no problems. It was an easy race for the team. I made a good start and tried to stay constant. I saw Yamaha Austria had a problem so I kept a good lap time but not too fast. I was thinking about Le Mans."

The next round of the championship is the Le Mans 24 Hour race which takes place next weekend, April 22nd/ 23rd.

1: Suzuki Castrol - FRA - Suzuki GSX-R1000 - Philippe, Kagayama - 110 laps.
2:
Yamaha Austria - AUT - Yamaha YZF-R1 - Jerman, Scarnato - 1 lap
3: Yamaha Phase One Endurance - GBR - Yamaha YZF-R1 - Nowland, Cudlin - 2 laps
4: Suzuki Fagersjo-el.se - SWE - Suzuki GSX-R1000 - Hanson, Andersson, Carlberg - 3 laps
5: Kawasaki Bolliger - SUI - Kawasaki ZX10R - Muff, Saiger, Morillon - 4 laps
6: Team X-One Yamaha - ITA - Yamaha YZF-R1 - Sanna, Demaneis, Tessari - +35.371 seconds
7: RMT21 Racing Honda - GER - Honda CBR1000RR - Mizera, Seidel - +1:05.900
8: Kawasaki Diablo 666 - GBR - Kawasaki ZX10R - Rohtlaan, Hutchins, Cudlin - 5 laps
9: Suzuki Team Endurance Moto45 - FRA - Suzuki GSX-R1000 - Bernon, Briere - +48.871 seconds
10: Yamaha Team Acropolis Zone Rouge - FRA - Yamaha YZF-R1 – vd Boreck, Pirot, Botton - 6 laps

Information courtesy of www.worldendurance.com
Photos: www.reygondeau.com

MLADIN LOOKS TO BUILD ON WINNING STREAK AT BARBER MOTORSPORTS PARK

PICKERINGTON, Ohio (April 17, 2006) -- Defending AMA Superbike Champion Mat Mladin comes to the Honda Superbike Classic doubleheader, at Barber Motorsports Park on April 21-23, looking to extend his three-race winning streak at the scenic Birmingham, Alabama circuit. Mladin leads the AMA Superbike Championship presented by Parts Unlimited point standings after coming out on top in a thrilling battle with Yoshimura Suzuki teammate Ben Spies in the series opener at Daytona International Speedway last month.

Mladin easily swept both legs of the Barber doubleheader last year after starting from the pole. It was perhaps the Australian's most dominating performance of his stellar 2005 season. If the memory of last year's performance weren't enough for his competitors, Mladin clocked the fastest lap time riding under the existing track record in testing at Barber a few weeks ago.

"We've been pretty strong at Barber," Mladin said understatedly. "It's always a good thing to come to a track that places a premium on a rider's skill and a properly set-up motorcycle versus some tracks where all you have to do is to be able to draft to stay in a race."

While Mladin might be the favorite to repeat his sweep at Barber this year, at least one rider came away from Daytona with newfound confidence that he could run with the champ and that is teammate Ben Spies. Spies ran dead even with Mladin at Daytona before Mladin pulled off a brilliant last-lap maneuver to put him in a position to draft past Spies before the finish line.

"No one likes to lose a race, but at least I came away from Daytona knowing that I can hang with Mat on the same bike," said Spies, who is second in the standings. "My bike worked really good in the infield at Daytona, so hopefully that's a sign for the rest of the season. Mat's definitely the man to beat and I'm doing everything I can to get up there and match his speed."

The third member of the Yoshimura Suzuki squad is Aaron Yates. Yates is very familiar with Barber Motorsports Park, having provided input on the design off the track. He's also a former winner of the race and is hoping to continue a strong return after suffering a pre-season testing crash and injuring his shoulder.

Honda has renewed hope of reestablishing its team as an AMA Superbike contender this season after a sub-par 2005. Direct help from HRC in Japan combined with the experience American Honda gained by building its own CBR1000RR race bike last year have made the superbikes ridden by Miguel Duhamel and Jake Zemke very competitive. Duhamel finished third in the Daytona Superbike race and at Barber he hopes to earn his first AMA Superbike victory since 2004. 

Ducati's Neil Hodgson comes into the Barber doubleheader ranked fourth in the standings. The British rider led early in the Sunday leg of last year's doubleheader. With a season of AMA experience under his belt Hodgson is expected to be a more consistent challenger this season. Hodgson's teammate Ben Bostrom joins Mladin and Duhamel as the only former AMA Superbike champions in the field.

Kawasaki fans will finally get to see their beloved factory green machines at Barber for the first time. Brothers Tommy and Roger Lee Hayden are continuing to perfect the factory Kawasaki ZX-10RRs. It will be interesting to see how the newest of the factory superbikes handle on the technical 2.26, 16-turn Barber circuit.

Jordan Suzuki's Jason Pridmore returns to Barber this year fully recovered from the serious injuries he suffered in a crash there last year. Pridmore and his teammates Jake Holden and Steve Rapp are expected to challenge the full-factory riders at Barber.

To obtain tickets for the Honda Superbike Classic call 800-240-2300 or visit the website www.barbermotorsports.com .

Saturday's Superbike race will be televised nationally on SPEED beginning at 4 p.m. EST on Sunday, April 23, followed by coverage of Sunday's Superbike final at 5 p.m.

Team West/OneFastGirl Racing's updates


Here is the second installment of Team West/OneFastGirl Racing's updates.  I have included some photographs provided by our newest sponsor, VHS Photography.  Thank you to everyone supporting us, and we hope to see you at the events soon!
Regards, Rhiannon Lucente
 
April 7-9
Talladega GP, AL
Round 2 - WERA National Challenge Series
 
  Sam West and I pulled into Talladega GP at 11AM on Thursday morning and got everything set up for the weekend.   I only had a half of a day to learn the track before qualifying, and only a few practice sessions on Saturday to dial everything in for the races.  It was a crunch, but we managed to complete the weekend with our heads high.
 
  Friday was my day to learn the track and try to get acclimated as quickly as possible to the course before qualifying.  It was much different from the last round at Jennings, if not trickier.   I spent my half day of practice gearing the machine, and then re-gearing it.  I had a problem with the bike wanting to highside me, but didn't have time to rectify it before qualifying.  It kept going full lock tank slapper on the exit of two, resulting in a wider line and poor drive out.  I made it through qualifying, and figured out how to make the bike more stable.  We did one more gearing change, and only minor adjustments to the suspension.   The day went smooth, even though I was disappointed in my qualifying position.
 
  Saturday was my 'day off'.  The night before, it stormed something fierce (including a tornado 16 miles away) and the track was soaked for morning practice.  I decided that it was safer to stay in bed, than chance it on the track for practice (and so did a lot of other people!).  Sam and I watched some of the endurance race, went over what I needed to work on for the races on Sunday, tweaked the gearing one more time, and put fresh tires on.  I figured out some things, and was anxious to apply them on the track in  Sunday morning practice.
 
  Sunday came all too quick.  I went out in practice and tried a few different lines and gears.  Things seemed to be going well, and then it was time to grid up for 600 Superstock.  I took my position and reminded myself that I was in the 2 nd wave, and to cool it until my flag dropped.  Not 3 seconds later I dumped the clutch and took off with the 1st wave (duh).  I momentarily dropped the throttle, but quickly picked it up into a wheelie barreling towards turn one.   I knew I had to haul around the track to not lose ground for my 'stop and go' penalty.  I didn't even wait for the meatball flag; I just pulled in, never put my feet down, and zipped back onto the track.   I ended up catching four back-markers, to finish right where I qualified…29th.  I was bummed about my start, but happy that I didn't come in last (or worse, crash).  The 600 Superbike race also had a few glitches.   I had hoped for a better start, but got tangled with a couple guys into turn two.  It only made things worse for me when I couldn't get the same drive as the superbikes, it seemed every exit someone would get around me.  I held my own as best as I could, and put in a respectable 16th place finish.
  Overall the weekend went great!  I am satisfied with the outcome of the weekend, even if I don't feel my finishes reflect what I wanted to accomplish.  I am looking forward to developing quickly on the R6, and getting much better finishing positions.  
  Our next round is an ASRA event at Road America.  I know that I will do extremely well in all of my classes, and even have a shot at a podium!   Thank you to everyone who is supporting Team West/OneFastGirl, and I know that we will all come out on top this season!
 
2006 Support
Sam West                                             ChickenHawk
Komodo Leathers                               Smith Optics
Spyder Leatherworks                          PowerMist
Cycle Dynamics                                  OGIO
Columbus BMW/Ducati                     Lithium Motorsports
Leo Vince Exhausts                            MBP Performance
EK Chains                                           Cyclecat
SBS Brake Pads                                  VHS Photography
Ohlins                                                  Mirror Images Photography
Beechwold Hardware
Arai Helmets
Vortex
Hotbodies
MSP Suzuki
Triple Nickel Motorcycle Supply
Yuasa Batteries
Michelin Tires
Motorex USA
KWS Motorsports
Honda Northwest
MotoCorse
 
I'm faster than your girlfriend, BRRAAAPP.
www.onefastgirl.com
rhiannon@onefastgirl.com
Rhiannon Lucente #66

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