Tuesday, October 26, 2010

AMA Flat Track: 2010 AMA Pro Singles Year-End Review and Awards


AMA Pro Motorcycle Superstore.com Pro Singles podium celebrations are just getting started at the Gas City/I-69 Speedway stop of the tour back on June 19. AMA track announcer Scotty Duebler interviews 3rd place finisher Brian Tapp, rider of the #37C Honda CR450 backed by WKR/West Coast Hot Shoes. Tapp finished 24th in the 2010 AMA Flat Track Pro Singles Championship with 31 points, with Gas City being his best result on the year.
2010 AMA Pro Flat Track Motorcycle Superstores.com Pro Singles Champion Jeff Carver stands behind his event-and series-winning #24P YZ450 Yamaha, which is backed by Vans/Yamaha Motor Corp/GYTP/Carvers BBQ. Carver won five events, came home 2nd four times, and also carded two 3rd place finishes on the year to have the championship sealed before the season ending race in Arizona, where he finished 4th (his second of the year) and totaled 293 points to win the title over 2009 Pro Singles Champion Brad Baker, with 267 points.
James Rispoli can be seen talking with Carver after a fine 2nd place finish at Gas City, and 4th place in the Pro Singles Championship on the year with 160 points while riding the #71B Honda sponsored by Cycle Dynamics/ANT-Racing/Vadnais Machine. Rispoli also split time in the AMA Pro Road Racing Series running in the AMA SuperSport East Series where he finished 5th in the year end standings.


Rider intros are underway at the Springfield Mile round of the 2010 AMA Pro Motorcycle Superstore.com Pro Singles Series on September 5. Eventual event winner Michael Toon is being introduced to the the crowd by AMA track announcer Barry Boone as his #22L Honda sponsored by Price Truck Line/Kennedy Tires/Woody Kyle Racing is held at the ready for him.
Toon was victorious on the day, beating out #81C Zakk Palmer by .020 seconds with 2009 Pro Single Champ coming home 3rd on the day just .051 seconds back from Toon. Toon finished the year 9th in the Pro Singles Championship with 104 points.
Behind Toon is eventual 2010 AMA Pro Motorcycle Superstore.com Pro Singles Champion Jeff Carver alongside his #24P Van's Yamaha. Carver came home 5th at Springfield, just .335 seconds behind winner Toon. The Champ also had another 5th place finish on the year the night before on the Springfield Rodeo Arena Short Track. Carver was awarded his ceremonial #1 plate for winning the championship at the season ending banquet, and was also awarded National #23 from Kevin Atherton, which he will wear in the 2011 AMA Pro Flat Track Grand National Championship Series.
Rider #2oT is Mikey Labelle, alongside his Honda sponsored by WeirBach Racing/General Engineering/Barnett Clutches. Labelle finished 4th on the day at Springfield just .122 seconds back from winner Toon. He also won his first-ever AMA Pro Flat Track Pro Singles event at the season ending round in Prescott Valley, to finish the year 5th in the season ending standings with 139 points. He dedicated that win to rider Jesse Phibbs, who died the week before from injuries sustained at the Lucas Oil Indy Mile on August 28.
These Pro Singles events are serious business with multiple-bike battles and close racing at it's VERY best, doing a great job to highlight the up-and-comers into the great sport of AMA Flat Track Racing. You can tell from the time differences shown in the few shots I have posted and results shown that they are a pretty exciting affair, to say the least. AMA Flat Track has done a super job of using this series to showcase it's future in racing, and you always see the very best of racing with these young men wringing the heck out the 450s, especially on the mile tracks!


Lima Half Mile round podium celebrations are underway in the AMA Pro Motorcycle Superstore.com Pro Singles class as AMA track announcer Scotty Duebler reads off 2nd place finisher Chaz Springsteen's list of sponsors. Chaz, the nephew of 3-Time AMA Flat Track Grand National Champion Jay Springsteen, rode his #29J Monster Energy/Kawasaki/Werner & Springsteen-sponsored Kawasaki EX450 to his only podium of the year at Lima, and finished out the season 7th in the Pro Singles Championship with 130 points. He also scored two 4th place finishes in the May Arizona Mile and at the Minnesota Mile for the year.
Lima winner, and 2009 AMA Pro Flat Track Pro Singles Champion Brad Baker is all smiles behind his #1 Honda, backed by Rod Lake/Mike Velasco/Brothers Powersports. Baker also scored three other wins on the year (Arizona Mile in May, Calistoga on the half mile, and Springfield on the short track) to finish 2nd in the year end standings behind Carver, 293-267 points. Baker also carded two 2nd place finishes and five 3rd place finished on the year for a super year. As part of AMA Flat Track's ladder program, Baker was also able to run three Grand National events in the Twins Class at Lake Odessa, Calistoga and the season ender at the Yavapai Downs Mile. Look for Brad in 2011 in the bigs, too, possibly alongside Carver. Having raced together for the championship in the Pro Singles Series now for two years, these guys are pretty familiar with one another and should also put on a super show as 'rookies' in the AMA Flat Track Grand National Championship Series. 3rd place finisher at Lima was #20T Mikey Labelle, who is mostly obscured in this shot, but has been talked about in the previous shot rundowns.

With the 2010 AMA Pro Motorcycle Superstore.com Pro Singles Championship having been decided before the season ending round at Yavapai Downs, Jeffrey Carver, Jr. ended up winning the title over 2009 Pro Single Champion Brad Baker by a margin of 26 points, 293-267 in the final tally. Both of these fine young men will be moving up to the Expert GNC Class for the 2011 season, showing that the current ladder/growing system for the sport is working quite well in bringing new talent into the AMA Pro Flat Track Grand National Championship Series. Between these two hard chargers, they won 9 of 16 events on the schedule (Carver's 5 to Baker's 4) and accounted for 22 podium spots on the year as well.

The AMA Pro Singles Class was brought in new for the 2009 season, taking the place of the old Pro Expert Twins Class that preceded it. Needless to say this change has been instrumental in bringing AMA Flat Track fans some of the most exciting race action that AMA Flat Track has had to offer over the years, and even decades. The racing is as close as you can get, and some of the most exciting that each event has to offer. All entrants race DTX production-based 450s so it makes for some VERY close action and thrills.
Personally, one of THE best races of the year was watching eventual champ Jeff Carver start on the back row (due to a false start) in his heat race at Indy in August to power his way around the outside of everyone to win in only six laps. And then to come off the back row again to finish the main in 3rd place, only because I think not only he was worn out, but so was the rear tire on his #24P Van's Yamaha.

Some of the best racing on the year came out of the Pro Singles races I witnessed. And the talent pool looked great this year, and very promising for the 2011 season as well.

You can catch up on a couple of interviews and photos in the links below. And we congratulate 2010 AMA Pro Motorcycle Superstore.com Pro Singles Champion Jeff Carver for a great year, as well as all of the participants in the 2010 Pro Singles season. What a ride and what a great year for these young men. Great job to all and thanks for the memories of a super season in AMA Flat Track!

2010 AMA Pro Flat Track Motorcycle Superstore.com Pro Singles Year End Top 10 Point Standings:

1. Jeffrey Carver, Jr. 293 points (5 wins, four 2nd place finishes, two 3rd place finishes)
2. Brad Baker 267 points (4 wins, two 2nd place finishes, five 3rd place finishes)
3. Michael Avila 194 points
4. James Rispoli 160 points
5. Mikey Labelle 139 points
6. Michael Martin 137 points
7. Chaz Springsteen 130 points
8. J.D. Beach 118 points (four wins on the year, moved to Expert GNC Class at Springfield)
9. Michael Toon 104 points
10. Jake Shoemaker 90 points

This is AMA Pro Flat Track's official release on the year end banquet awards. 2010 AMA Pro Motorcycle Superstore.com Pro Singles Champion Jeff Carver is featured as he gets his ceremonial #1 plate, and also is awarded National #23 for 2011 in the AMA Pro Flat Track Grand National Championship Series. Kevin Atherton was on hand to award him his 'old' number. Carver will get to wear a 'solid' National number due to the AMA awarding those to previous champions in the feeder/
growing series of the Pro Singles Championship:


Ultimate Motorcycling.com has this version of the AMA PR on the Pro Singles awards at the year end banquet in Prescott Valley, along with a couple of good pics as well:



Tyler Porter over at Fight For Dirt Track has this great interview with 2010 AMA Pro Motorcycle Superstore.com Pro Singles Champion Jeff Carver, Jr. from after the season ending race in Prescott Valley:


Tyler also has this interview with Mikey Labelle, who got his break out first-time win as an AMA Pro Singles rider at Prescott Valley. Labelle, who finished 5th in the 2010 AMA Pro Motorcycle Superstore.com Pro Singles Championship with 139 points, dedicated his Yavapai Downs Mile win to Jesse Phibbs. Jesse was the Pro Singles rider from Canada (who less than a few hours before the crash had won his first pole at the Lucas Oil Indy Mile event) that was severely injured on the first lap of the first Pro Singles heat race at Indy on August 28, and who several weeks later succumbed to his numerous injuries:


Here are some great shots over at Poppa Wheelie's super site of first-time Pro Singles winner Mikey Labelle at the Yavapai Downs Mile on October 9:


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