Monday, February 22, 2010

Stu's Shots Previews the Daytona Superbike Doubleheader for 2010

----AMA Pro Road Racing 2010 Season Preview--AMA American Superbike--------
With one solid year under their belt, the DMG folks have been making wholesale changes throughout the off season to help circumvent some of the mis-givings that were established in their running of AMA Pro Racing during the 2009 season. With the addition of another superbike round at Daytona, as well as increased purses for the Daytona SportBike class and the American Superbike class at the world's center of racing, 2010 is starting off a little smoother then what 2009 ended. And with 29 entries for the Superbike class as of this writing, things are looking up for the new season.
Of course, after the safety oversights, the pace carbike travesties and the singling out of riders for all sorts of violations, 2010 has no other way to go but UP after a very rough 2009 season. Coupled with the poor economy from the last 24-30 months, the fall out in the ranks of teams and riders, as well as spectators, AMA Pro Road Racing has taken quite a hit. With several other announcements over the course of the last 7-8 weeks in terms of personnel changes, race director changes, and general management, the DMG home office at least appears to be trying to make amends for their wicked ways of trying to run a professional road racing series from the '09 season. We can only hope and pray that the olive branches that have been falling from the sky in Daytona and Pickerington are on the level and that AMA Pro Racing is serious about righting the proverbial ship, so to speak.
We here at Stu's Shots applaud the rapid changes and personnel movement that has been carrying forth out of the DMG offices. However, being cautious for sake of being burned, we are anxious to see how things will pan out as far as trying to get the fans back and the public sentiment geared toward the new way of doing business-again-with AMA Pro Racing. We can only hope that the damage from the iceberg isn't enough to sink the Titanic series of AMA Road Racing, and look forward to seeing how things go for the upcoming season.
In anticipation of the first Daytona practice session to roll out in less then nine days on Wednesday, March 3rd, we want to showcase this week some of the riders that are expected to compete in American Superbike and Daytona SportBike not only for the 2010 season, but that are officially pre-entered for the Daytona round. We're going to start today with the American Superbike class, and later in the week we will move to the Daytona SportBike class.
So here goes our look at the new 2010 year. We're going to profile a few of the current 29 riders entered for the American Superbike class for the upcoming round:
Ben Bostrom #155-1998 AMA Superbike Champion, '08 AMA SuperSport Champion, '09 Daytona 200 Champion

Ben has been around AMA Road Racing now for over a decade and a half, having ridden in the U.S. for Team Honda, the Parts Unlimited Ducati team, as well as Team Graves Yamaha Motorsports. For 2010, Ben will be aboard a Team Graves Yamaha Factory-prepped YZF-R1 riding for Pat Clark Motorsports. With outside-the-industry sponsorship from the Palms Casino & Resort and Las Vegas Speedway, the formula for this team is looking good. South African's Robbie Petersen has been hired as team crew chief-you may remember him from the Formula F-USA days riding for The King, Kenny Roberts on an ex-Rainey 500 GP machine. And with BBoz acting as mentor and rider coach for team mate Chris Clark, this team is looking into the future as well. With Ben's experience, personality, and out-going demeanor, this freshman team should be a force in the America Superbike class right out of the gate.
The shot of Ben above was taken at Road America during the '06 event in turn 14 during practice for the weekend double-header. Ben is on the Parts Unlimited Ducati 999R he rode that year as a team mate to Neil Hodgson.
Tommy Hayden #22-2004 and 2005 AMA 600 SuperSport Champion

Tommy Hayden has been around motorcycle racing since he all but dropped out of the womb. With brothers Nicky and Roger Lee, the Hayden family and family name is synonomous with going fast and winning races and championships. Tommy will return to the #22 Team Rockstar Makita Yoshimura Suzuki team in which he has been a part of since the '07 season, and again will be riding the '09-model GSX-R1000 in the American Superbike class. With team mate Blake Young as the 'junior' member of the team, this will be Tommy's year to really shine with Mat Mladin having retired after his 7th Superbike Championship at the end of the '09 season. Tommy won the AMA 600 SuperSport Championship while riding for Team Kawasaki in '04 and '05, and is still seeking his maiden win the the liter American Superbike class. This could be his year as long as he can stay injury-free.
The shot of Tommy Gun from above is also from Road America. This is in turn 7 while running in race 1 of the weekend of the Superbike class during the June 2006 event. Tommy is shown on the Team Kawasaki ZX-10R factory machine.
Aaron Yates #23-(formerly #20 and shown as #1 in this pic)--'96 AMA 750 SuperSport Champion, '02 AMA 600 SuperSport Champion, '05 and '08 AMA SuperStock Champion

Aaron 'Double A/Yikes' Yates is another rider, with multiple race wins and championships who seems to have been around AMA road racing for some time now. According to the AMA Rider Bio section, Aaron earned his first AMA Pro points in '93 at Daytona in the 750 SuperSport race. Having won 4 major championships since the '96 season, Aaron is still going strong, let alone fast. One of my vivid memories is of Double A winning both rounds of the Mid Ohio Superbike weekend in 2000 while riding for Team Yoshimura Suzuki. Always a crowd pleaser, Aaron will be returning for his fourth season with the Michael Jordan Motorsports, Jordan Brand, National Guard team. Also aboard '09-spec model GSX-R1000 Suzuki's, Aaron will be teamed with new teamster Jake Zemke for the 2010 year. And with Team Jordan's seventh full season this year in AMA Pro Racing, the pairing should prove to be the next step for Michael Jordan's team to win the big class championship after winning the '08 AMA SuperStock Championship together. And the man who knows how to broad slide it and spin it up through a corner should have a major say-so in the matter if things go his and the team's way.
Aaron is shown on his SuperStock-prepped Team Yoshimura Suzuki GSX-R1000 while qualifying for the Road America round in '06. This was shot just out of turn 8. Aaron as mentioned above was best known for wearing #20 in those days, except in cases where he had previously won a championship. Thusly the #1 plate on this bike--you can see he still has the #20 on the back of his leathers--as he had won the '05 AMA SuperStock Championship. Aaron will be wearing the #23 again this year, after the AMA/DMG folks made changes in how race numbers were assigned at the beginning of the 2009 season.
Larry Pegram #72-Four-Time AMA Superbike Winner

Having competed in AMA Road Racing and Flat Track since the late '80s, Larry 'The Worm' Pegram is another in a long list of veterans competing in the 2010 version of AMA American Superbike class. Riding for Team Yoshimura Suzuki, Fast By Ferracci Ducati and Erion Honda Racing over the years, Larry has a wealth of experience under his belt in the premier classes. Winning his first AMA Superbike round back in '99, Larry followed up--some 10 years later in '09--with three more liter bike class wins. Larry will be returning on his Team Foremost Insurance Pegram Racing Ducati 1098R again for the 2010 season, and should be another rider to throw his hat into the ring for class honors. With his long-standing relationship with Ducati, dating back to the AMA FX class in the '07 year, Larry knows the tracks and the system and knows when to pin it WFO. And while his schedule will allow, he will be campaigning a Ducati again on the AMA Flat Track scene with Lloyd Brothers Racing and having Joe Kopp, the 2000 AMA Flat Track Champion as his team mate. The Worm has a full plate for the 2010 season and should be running up front once the green flag drops on the season at Daytona on Thursday afternoon March 4th.
One of Larry rides as shown today above is on the Team Yoshimura Suzuki TL1000R twin. Suzuki campaigned a GSX-R750 four cylinder team in '98 along with a TL1000R twin-based team with Larry and team mate Steve Crevier, the multi-time Canadian Superbike Champion and '98 AMA 600 SuperSport Champion. This shot of Larry on the TL is during practice for the Road America round in '98. This was shot just as they came out of turn 8 right before crossing under the bridge into the carousel at Elkhart Lake.
Josh Hayes #4-'03 AMA SuperStock Champion, '06 & '07 AMA FX Champion

Josh started off racing in WERA racing in the early-mid '90s winning several championships before moving up/over to AMA Pro Road Racing in the late '90s. Riding for Erion Honda Racing, Attack Kawasaki, Valvoline Emgo Suzuki among others, Josh won the '03 AMA 750 SuperSport/SuperStock Championship for Attack Suzuki before adding a pair of AMA FX Championships in '06 and '07 while riding CBR600RR Hondas for Erion Racing. Finally getting his big chance at the Superbike class, Josh signed on with Team Graves Yamaha for the '09 season to contest the liter class aboard the team's well proven YZF-R1 Superbikes. It must have been in the water, as Josh won seven Superbike races and placed second in the standings behind eventual champ Mat Mladin. And he almost had the Daytona 200 in the bag on the Graves Yamaha YZF-R6 before crashing with less then five laps to go.
Returning for the 2010 season with Team Graves Yamaha, the team will be doing the work of the full factory reps for Yamaha this year. And with one VERY rewarding year under their belts together, Graves and Hayes could well be at the top of the box at the end of the year.
Josh is shown above, also at Road America during qualifying for the '06 AMA SuperStock race coming out of turn 8, while on the Erion Racing Honda CBR1000RR.
We hope you have enjoyed our preview round of the AMA American Superbike class for the upcoming 2010 season, and we hope you'll stay tuned for later in the week for our preview of the Daytona SportBike class as well. Thanks for coming by and we'll catch ya back here soon!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Keep it nice, but keep them coming!

---Please note---You can leave comments anonymously, but you can also leave them while logged into Google, Yahoo and other platforms.
We'd love to hear from you!

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.