Wednesday, March 30, 2011

AMA Flat Track BOMBSHELL: Bryan Smith Announces Departure From Werner Springsteen Monster Energy Kawasaki Team

    Bryan Smith stands next to his Werner Springsteen Monster Energy Kawasaki during rider intros at the Springfield Mile round of the 2010 AMA Pro Flat Track Grand National Championship Series in September of 2010.  Team owners Bill Werner and Jay Springsteen stand at the ready just minutes before the team took it's second breakout victory in the series, establishing the 650R-based Ninja twin and the team as the one to beat on the mile tracks.
  • Smith officially announced earlier today that he would be leaving the team to field his own team throughout the remainder of the 2011 season, with just the two Daytona rounds in the bag so far.  Werner and team had announced back in December of 2010 that they had signed on veteran JR Schnabel to ride alongside Smith for the 2011 on the team's Kawasakis.  With this announcement today the question on everyone's mind at this point is WHO will fill the void now?  This could make for some very interesting rider swapping in the next few weeks, with the first Twins Series event scheduled at Springfield on the mile oval over the Memorial Day Weekend.

With Bryan Smith's announcement earlier today that he would be leaving the Bill Werner/Jay Springsteen-helmed Monster Energy team in the AMA Pro Flat Track Grand National Championship Series, this leaves a very significant seat open in the series with just over two months to go until the first Twins Series event at Springfield over the Memorial Day Weekend.  However, Werner and Springer are both long-time veterans in the sport and have the vision and the ability to be able to put great things together when it comes to AMA Flat Track racing.  Don't look for either to sit still for very long before making an announcement as to who will  now ride alongside National #33 JR Schnabel on the team's bikes.

We wish both Bryan Smith and the Werner Springsteen Monster Energy Kawasaki team the very best of luck in the their assault on The Rolling Thunder Show and the greatest racing show on wheels in the 2011 season!

You can read the official release here thanks to AMA Pro Flat Track:

And thanks also go out to Road Racing for their version of the release, along with some great shots of Flyin Bryan over the years:

Here's Bill Werner's spin on the sudden departure of Bryan Smith from the Werner Springsteen Monster Energy Kawasaki AMA Flat Track team.  Thanks to Will and Yve at The Fast and for this story:

AMA Flat Track: Pro Singles Class Proves It's Worth With Champs Brad Baker & Jeffrey Carver


While 2nd place finisher Chaz Springsteen looks on and event winner Brad Baker takes a swig of water, 3rd place finisher Mikey Labelle is interviewed by AMA Flat Track race announcer Scottie Duebler on the victory podium for the AMA Pro Motorcycle Superstore Pro Singles main event at Lima, OH. in June of 2010. After 12 hard-fought laps, Bad Brad took a convincing win on the half mile of just over 3.4 seconds from Springsteen, who came home just .313 seconds ahead of Labelle, who likewise finished just .050 seconds ahead of 4th place finisher James Rispoli. Baker is sponsored on his #1 Honda CRF450 by Rod Lake/Mike Velasco/Brothers Powersports, and was the defending and inaugural '09 AMA Pro Singles Champion.
The Pro Singles Class was originally established during the 2009 season as a showcase and ladder class for the younger and/or less experienced riders in flat track to get track time in competitive environments and to hone their talents in hopes of moving up to the premier class in flat track, the AMA Grand National Champion Series. It has proven to be an ultra-competitive series, and with the riders showcasing their talent on single cylinder-based machines, the costs are somewhat kept in-check as opposed to running a competitive Twins-based machine. Some of the best racing at any given event, whether on a short track, TT, half mile or mile course, has been seen in the Pro Singles Championship Series and close racing and finishes are the norm at any given event.
While Baker has moved on and up to the AMA Flat Track Grand National Champion Expert division for the 2011 season, both Springsteen and Labelle will be competing again during the upcoming season in the Pro Singles Series. Springsteen wasn't in attendance at Daytona, and Labelle had a rough start to his season in finishing last in the first race and not qualifying for the main in the second earlier this month.
After finishing in the 5th spot in the 2010 Pro Singles standings, look for Labelle to improve steadily throughout the upcoming season. And with a 7th place finish in last year's standings to his credit, Chaz should have a good year in 2011 as well. With Baker and '10 Pro Singles Champ Jeffrey Carver, Jr. making the move to the Expert class for this year, look for someone to step up to fill the void left by the departure of these fine young men in representing the sport and showcasing the talent level in this feeder class.

With just over two weeks to go for round three in the 2011 AMA Pro Flat Track Grand National Championship Series and AMA Pro Singles Series, a little reflection on the first two years of the AMA Pro Singles Flat Track Championship Series is due. With both '09 Pro Singles Champ Brad Baker and '10 Champ Jeffrey Carver, Jr. making the move to the 'bigs' in the AMA Flat Track Grand National Championship Series, there is a wide-open range of riders coming up in the feeder series that could take over the top spots vacated by these fine young men. And with the level of competition seen in the first two years of the series, nothing less then the best should or will be expected as the season gets rolling full swing come late spring. Mikey Avila on his #33E Honda CRF450 is the front runner after the first two rounds at Daytona with 1/2 finishes to his credit in the openers. Gerit Callies on his #76L Honda also carded 2/1 finishes and looks to give Avila a run for his money in 2011. Who else do you expect to see step up in the 2011 season?

When AMA Pro Flat Track came up with the overall formula for the Pro Singles Championship Series to replace the Expert Twins Series for 2009 and beyond, the idea was to have a level playing field to showcase the talent of the up-and-comers on single cylinder-based machines, in order to draw the competition level closer together, and as much as possible under racing scenarios, lower the costs to go racing. Costs of maintaining a single cylinder machine should/could prove to be less then maintaining a twin cylinder machine, and also all major manufacturers produce a 450CC machine that can be set up as a flat tracker with 'minimal' work, to make a more level playing ground. Whether you can use words like 'lower costs' and 'minimal' in discussing racing in general is another subject all together, obviously, and not the aim of this discussion.

Three years into the running of the series now, Honda has without a doubt established itself as the 'machine of choice' in the Pro Singles Class with it's CRF450 machine. Two out of three riders entered in the class at Daytona were Honda mounted, and those numbers are also similar in the Expert Singles Class as well. With Henry Wiles' and Kawasaki's dominance in the Expert Singles Series the last couple of years, they have gained a few spots in terms of machines being entered by riders for 2011.

Mark Cernicky, who writes for Cycle, put together a competitive Honda CRF450 for the Pro Singles Class in '10 and made the main at Prescott Valley for the season-ender back in October. He also did some racing near his home in California at Perris Speedway and managed to win some races along the way, too. Along the way, he put together a great story of putting his effort together. You can read about it here:

While you are waiting for round three of the 2011 AMA Pro Flat Track Grand National Championship Series and AMA Pro Singles Championship Series to kick off in a little over 17 days in DuQuoin, IL. on April 16, you can check out the rules packages here:

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Honda's VF750F Interceptor Was the Bike That Changed It All, On & Off The Track


Sam McDonald can be seen looking over his #29 McDonald Racing/HRC/Wiseco-backed Honda RS250 in what was the paddock area at Road America in June of 1984. His like-sponsored '84 model VF750F Interceptor AMA Superbike sits with it's seat/tail section removed being readied for battle in the Honda Super Cycle Weekend event at the sprawling Elkhart Lake, WI. track. Besides being the '82 AMA 250CC GP Champion, 'Super Sam' was also a HRC-sponsored AMA Superbike top contender for several years in the mid 80s, finishing the '84 season ranked fourth in the standings. The Oklahoman comes from a long lineage of motorcycle racers, among them his brother Phil, who contended the AMA Flat Track Championship Series in the mid '70s carrying National #58, and father Norm, who is the 'N' in K&N Motorcycles out of Oklahoma.

Honda hit the street AND the track hot and heavy with the early Spring of '83 release of it's legendary VF750F, V-45-designed Interceptor. It was the first true sport bike with the racing inspired chassis, looks and handling, and on the street, Honda dealers were out of stock within days of their release. Read more below about on the street!

On the track, Honda had Freddie Spencer (for Daytona only), Mike Baldwin, Steve Wise, Roberto Pietri, Dave Aldana and Fred Merkel on factory bikes. They also had Sam McDonald, John Bettencourt and several other top running privateers mounted on the new wonder in varying degrees of semi-sponsorhip from HRC. Even with tipping the scales on the track, Honda lost the '83 championship to Wayne Rainey on a Rob Muzzi Kawasaki inline four/eight valve design. Merkel went on to win the '84-'86 AMA Superbike Championship and the rest, as they say, is history.

This particular bike sports a blue tank/red stripe which indicates the bodywork is from the '84 model year, whereas the fairing sports the blue/blue stripe scheme to indicate it is from the original release '83 model. At the time, Honda would sell the HRC-spec motor kits to top ranking privateers for around $10K U.S. If I remember correctly, you could also get the HRC-spec pipes for hundreds more. McDonald reportedly in the day got bikes as part of his package. Indy area racer Terry 'RT' Hampton piloted his #72 privateer VF750F to 10th place in the 1984 AMA Superbike Championship in what at the time (and still is!) considered a major accomplishment, with the help of one of HRC's spec V-45 motors.
While doing some reading the last couple of days I came acrossed a series of great articles about THE bike that changed it all for motorcycle sport riding in the early-mid '80s. In 1982, Honda came out with a new, revolutionary line of V-45 designed, 750CC machines in it's Sabre and Magna line of bikes and by 1983 the V-45 was fit into a race-inspired steel frame with 16 inch wheels and clamp-on style bars and released as The Interceptor. It was undoubtedly THE first true mass-produced sport/race bike to hit the public.

From the time this bike hit the pages of motorcycle print in late '82 upon news releases of it's pending arrival, to the time it hit Honda's dealers in late March/early April of '83, everything about motorcycle sport riding riding changed dramatically. Guys like myself on CB750/900Fs, or GS750/1000Es or GPZ750/1100s suddenly were turned into 'old school' sport bike riders, as the Interceptor was THE bike to have if that was the way you rode (and it was in those days, not that I condone sport riding on the street, mind you.) Honda dealers were out almost on arrival of the 'new thing' and bikes were being brokered from across the State of Indiana and even further for those that didn't get in on the initial rush for demand. Six or seven of the 9-10 guys I rode with regularly or semi-regularly owned an Interceptor. We probably helped keep Dreyer Honda and Greenwood Honda here in Indy in business to a certain extent. You remember those days, don't you?!

But without a doubt, the Interceptor was THE bike that created the biggest buzz in the world of sport bike riding in this part of the woods, and probably in your part as well. It changed the face of sport riding as we knew it, bringing legions of sport bike riders together, while changing the face of racing as it motored into history.

Cycle's John Burns penned Part One of Honda's release of the V-45:


Part Two of John Burns' article from Cycle, the Interceptor years:


Honda's Racing News department released this history of Superbike racing from 2003:


Larry Lawrence's The Rider has this great article about the Interceptor's first race at Daytona in Spring of '83:


Friday, March 25, 2011

WSBK Has Returned to Donington for this Weekend's Rnd 2 in the 2011 WSBK Championship


Ben Spies' #19 Sterilgarda Yamaha YZF-R1 2009 World Superbike Championship-winning machine sits on display in one of the Yamaha tent's during the Indianapolis RedBull MotoGP round in August of 2010. Spies' assault on the WSBK Championship Series in 2009 is stuff that legends are made of, winning 14 races along the way including a double round win at Donington Park. Spies was the first American WSBK Champion in seven years, following in the footsteps of fellow Texan Colin Edwards. In 28 races covering 14 events, Elbowz also managed an incredible 17 podiums, and won the pole position an astounding 11 times on the season.
Spies has been long-gone from the WSBK scene, instead progressively moving up the ladder in MotoGP after being named the 2010 Rookie of the Year, and now a team mate to '10 MotoGP Jorge Lorenzo on the Factory Yamaha M1. Yamaha's World Superbike team this year again has been completely revamped, and riders Marco Melandri and Eugene Laverty are piloting the #33 and #59 R1s in the 2011 chase. Both riders timed into the top four in the first timed qualifying session earlier today in Donington, and both look to improve on their great results from Philip Island a couple of weeks ago.
World Superbike Championship round two kicked off earlier today at Donington Park in England for what is looking to be another stellar year in the world production championship. With seven manufacturers contesting the series, competition is again at an all-time premium in the hotly contested championship. With Aprilia's Mad Max Biaggi wearing the #1 proudly on his Aprilia RSV4 Factory machine, the series is seeing the great racing that it has become known for, especially over the last 5-6 years.

The FIM and WSBK also announced the other day that beginning with this second round (of 13 total for 2011), that on-bike cameras will now be part of the mix for the worldwide television and internet viewing audiences. Eight bikes total will carry cameras throughout each race weekend which will surely add to the already great coverage we see in the series.

SpeedTV carries the WSBK Championship on a tape-delayed basis here in the U.S. and will be showing both races back-to-back this Sunday, March 27 at 1500 EDT. The second qualifying practice fires off tomorrow morning at 0645 and 0945 EDT/US and Superpole 1 qualifying rolls off at 1100 EDT tomorrow. You can view both via WSBK's Live Timing and Scoring link (available below) as you can the races themselves on Sunday at 0800 and 1130 EDT/US.
You can check out all stats, results and info you need here via WSBK's official website:

WSBK Live Timing and Scoring:
Thanks to Ultimate for this great 'stats and facts' story about WSBK and the Donington round this weekend:

Friday, March 18, 2011

MotoGP Qatar Season-Opener Confirms Repsol Honda's Homework Being Completed

As two of the Repsol Honda technicians check out the data on one of the team's laptops, others move about the garage area of the #4 Repsol Honda RC212V of rider Andrea Dovizioso during the 2nd Annual Indianapolis RedBull MotoGP round in August of 2009. The third year man on the now-three man squad for the Honda factory team ended the third free practice session at the season-opening round at the Losail track in Qatar in the third fastest spot, behind new team mate Casey Stoner on the #27 RC212V, with Dani Pedrosa on the #26 machine in the second spot.
Stoner led all three practice sessions as the fastest man on track, with Pedrosa in the runner-up spot all three sessions. Dovi clocked in as the 8th, 4th and then 3rd-fastest position in the three sessions held yesterday and today. Stoner also led testing earlier in the week at Qatar in what is his first year on the factory Honda squad, after being with Marlboro Ducati since the 2007 season, when he won the MotoGP World Championship for the Italian factory.

Qualifying for the night race at Qatar is scheduled for 1255-1355 EDT/U.S. tomorrow, with the race scheduled to start at 1500 EDT/U.S. on Sunday, March 20. SpeedTV is showing the race live in the U.S. in what is the second year of it's HD coverage, which really did a nice job of stepping up last year.
With the long off-season in MotoGP now behind us, the opening round at the Losail Circuit in Qatar is starting off as a Repsol Honda showcase, and especially so for new teamster Casey Stoner, who after four years (and the '07 MotoGP World Championship) with the Italian Marlboro Ducati team, left a big red team for another Big Red team. Stoner started the off-season last year looking to make a mark on the Repsol Honda RC212V with his #27 affixed to the Repsol machine. He didn't let the winter break deter him, either, taking right up where he left off at the top of the charts. With a two-day session at Qatar earlier in the week to get final settings for the first of 18 scheduled races this year, Stoner again led the lap charts.

With no break in the pattern setting in, the '07 MotoGP Champion led all three free practice sessions for race one this weekend at the Losail Circuit, and looks to be at the very least the pre-race favorite going into tomorrow afternoon's qualifying session at 1255 EDT. Team mates Dani Pedrosa and Andrea Dovizioso rounded out the top three in the final practice session earlier this afternoon.

You can follow all the action this weekend and all year with Stu's Shots in the 2011 version of the MotoGP World Championship. We've provided a few links below to keep up with the action in MotoGP.

Round one of the 18-race 2011 MotoGP World Championship Series season goes green on Sunday, March 20 at 1500 EDT/U.S. at the night race in Qatar.
All updates and Live Timing from's results and stats link, where you can click back and forth from session-to-session or even from year-to-year:
David Emmett's has all the at/on track updates, as well as the always super photography of Scott Jones:
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Some great folks in The Netherlands keep us up on what's up at, and their updates and photos are great to get you through the season in MotoGP:
The folks from across the pond at also offer some excellent updates/news in MotoGP:
Yahoo Eurosport has some good results and news for MotoGP here:
And the folks that bring you MotoGP live race action in the U.S., SpeedTV (DirecTV Channel 607), also keep you updated online with their coverage here:

Thursday, March 17, 2011

AMA Pro Road Racing Discusses the Debates & Debacles That Were the Daytona 200 in 2011


Jamie James' spare #11 Yamaha YZF600 sits behind the pit wall at Road America during a practice session for the AMA HP4 600 Supersport Series round at the Coca-Cola Super Cycle Classic annual event at Elkhart Lake, WI. in June of 1994. The Vance & Hines/Yamaha/Dunlop/Bel-Ray-sponsored machines were piloted
by 'The Rajun Cajun' to the '94 AMA 600 Supersport Championship, including wins at Road America and Road Atlanta. James beat out title rival Mike Smith on the #68 Smokin' Joe's Honda CBR600 to win the championship at the final round at Road Atlanta in September of '94.
AMA Pro Racing News Release

AMA Pro Racing Addresses Issues and Problems Seen at Daytona 200 Opening Round

DAYTONA BEACH, FL (March 16, 2011) - The opening round of the 2011 AMA Pro Road Racing season featured some of the most intense, unforgettable action the series has seen yet. It also featured difficult decisions, outright failures, and confusion and dismay among fans and participants, out of respect for whom AMA Pro Racing pens this lengthy release. The decisions made last weekend will be explained here in detail; the failures that occurred will be acknowledged and addressed.

As is common knowledge at this point, AMA Pro Racing's spec-tire partner, Dunlop, saw evidence of front-tire overheating in the aftermath of many Daytona 200 riders' first pit stops. Once a conclusion was reached, they immediately notified AMA Pro officials that in the interests of rider safety, the Daytona 200 would need to be stopped long enough to allow all participating riders to mount a fresh front tire, and the red flag was thrown within ten seconds of that communication. The length of the downtime that followed has led to significant speculation about several aspects of the day's events; the actual facts are detailed below.

Additional background: Initially, Dunlop advised AMA Pro that riders would need to swap their current fronts for fresh versions of the same tire before continuing the 200, and the paddock was instructed to do so. Once riders were pitted under the red flag, however, Dunlop reassessed the situation and decided, again in the interests of safety, that all riders would need to be fitted with entirely new-spec backup fronts then stored in Dunlop's garages. The execution of both Dunlop decisions were complicated (and lengthened) by the fact that many teams had neither extra fronts (relating to the first set of instructions), nor extra rims.

LENGTH OF THE RED-FLAG HOLD: The length of the downtime that followed the first red flag was wholly and solely dictated by the amount of time it took to get each of the thirty-eight Daytona 200 competitors re-fitted with new-spec tires that were warmed long enough to be safely raced on. The downtime included the paddock's attempts to comply with original instructions, the communication to the paddock of Dunlop's revised assessment, the process of getting the entire field's front rims re-fitted with new-spec rubber, and the time it took to safely warm new tires.

Dunlop's new-spec re-fitment process was non-stop. During this period, AMA Pro re-set the Daytona 200 re-start time several times based on communication with Dunlop about their progress. LTD Racing's Huntley Nash was the last rider in the class to receive a new tire, and in consultation with Nash's crew chief, Gary Medley, it was decided that 20 minutes was the minimum amount of time his tire needed to warm. The 3-minute board for the race's re-start was set for 20 minutes from that time.

TEAM LATUS RACING/JASON DISALVO: Because Team Latus Racing used the significant red-flag downtime to repair eventual race-winner Jason DiSalvo's Ducati machine, speculation has given rise to two rumors that will be addressed here: 1) That the red-flag hold was extended to give Latus time to re-enter the race; 2) That the Latus machine was out of AMA Pro's control at points during said downtime.

1) The most straightforward response to Item 1 can be found in the above paragraphs detailing how the red flag and restart occurred and were handled. In short, the length of the red flag was solely dictated by the time it took to safely address the tire problem. To that fact, AMA Pro would simply add that we are fiercely dedicated to treating all of our participating teams and manufacturers equally and fairly, and further, that the matter of our dwindling live TV time---- the importance of putting our series in front of a live, prime-time audience---- was also of great importance. There was no benefit to AMA Pro in a red track; only in a green one.

2) Once pitted, Latus staff asked AMA Pro officials the approximate length of the red flag. As the extent of the tire problem was not clear at that point, they were told 10 minutes. AMA Pro grid official Mike Lagenfeld asked the Latus team to move DiSalvo's machine from pit lane to behind the wall, as it was deemed to be in an unsafe position for the then-impending restart. From that point on, the Latus machine was at no time out of Mr. Lagenfeld's sight; Lagenfeld also periodically monitored both team and machine for 3- to 5-minute intervals. When Lagenfeld informed the Latus team that the delay would be a lengthy one, they requested clarity on the rules and were told that as long as the original frame was used, the rules permitted them to regrid. With an AMA Pro staff member on-site the entire time, Latus made all necessary repairs and were gridded and inspected by tech staff, who also confirmed that proper procedure for removal from pit lane and AMA Pro custody had been followed.

Related rules: 2011 AMA Pro Road Racing Rule Book, pages 25 (2.23.c.iii) and 27 (2.23.h).

TIMING & SCORING: AMA Pro Racing deeply regrets that some of our online Timing & Scoring operations were not representative of AMA Pro standards last weekend, and that our at-track operations briefly listed an incorrect finishing order for the Daytona 200 itself. This---- and the effect it had on our competitors and fans---- is entirely unacceptable to AMA Pro, and internal measures will be taken to ensure future rounds are unmarred by repeats of such.

Due to the last-lap red flag triggered by Dane Westby's and Taylor Knapp's crashes, an incident in which Josh Herrin was also involved, some confusion exists about how Daytona 200 finishers were scored. The explanation, as per AMA Pro rules, follows: Because the first five riders crossed the finish line prior to the red flag, their race was ruled complete. Once the red flag was thrown, however, the results of those remaining riders reverted to the previous lap. The exception to this is riders involved in a red flag, if fault is not then assigned. Those riders are moved to the back of their respective lap-groups, which put Herrin behind the four who'd already crossed the line, and put Knapp and Westby behind a group that had not yet taken the checkers (but in front of everyone a lap down).

Related rules: 2011 AMA Pro Road Racing Rule Book, pages 27 (2.23q) and 28 (2.25.a and 2.25.d).

RIDER CONDUCT: AMA Pro Racing has carefully reviewed footage of the closing stages of the Daytona 200, together with other pertinent information, and has regrettably found one rider's on-track actions to have been unacceptably dangerous to other riders. Notification and explanation of penalty will be mailed to the rider in question; once received, the details of that ruling will be shared publicly by AMA Pro.

Related rules: 2011 AMA Pro Road Racing Rule Book, page 83 (A2.3.p) (A2.3.u).

CONCLUSION OF THE 200/15-LAP SPRINT: The decision to restart and conclude the Daytona 200 as a 15-lap sprint was influenced by two factors: 1) All involved parties were entirely confident the new-spec tires could safely do 15 laps under DIS' unique conditions; 2) Several of the teams' and riders' strategies involved running the entire race on a single front tire, and thus many participants were absent the back-up rims required for a pit stop tire-change. Keeping both the competitors' and the tires' capabilities in mind, AMA Pro officials strongly felt a 15-lap race was the only acceptable conclusion relative to rider safety.

Thank you for reading. This type of detailed release represents a departure from traditional operations but is in line with AMA Pro Racing's commitment to running a fair, transparent series that participants and fans can be proud of.

We welcome your feedback at A copy of the 2011 AMA Pro Road Racing rulebook can be downloaded at

AMA Pro Racing is the premier professional motorcycle racing organization in North America, operating a full schedule of events and championships for a variety of motorcycle disciplines. Learn more about AMA Pro Racing at

For additional information contact:
AMA Pro Racing Communications, (386) 492-1014,


Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Suzuki Teams Talk About Daytona Opening Rounds of AMA Superbike Championship

Jamie Hacking's #92 Yoshimura/American Suzuki/Dunlop/Motorex-sponsored GSX-R750 gets final work done inside the Yoshimura garages at Mid Ohio in July of '01 in preparation for the AMA Superbike Championship round at the Lexington, OH. track. The Honda Super Cycle Weekend presented by Dunlop Tire began hosting two rounds of the Wiseco 100 for the premier superbike class in July of 2000, along with Road America and Road Atlanta, which had been the first track to hold a double round in 1998.
The official factory version of Team Suzuki in '01 consisted of then-2-Time AMA Superbike Champion Mat Mladin (and soon to be 7-Time Champ), along with team mates Hacking and Aaron Yates on the Yosh GSXRs. Jump to 2011 and Blake Young and Tommy Hayden helm the team that now houses the GSX-R1000s with Rockstar/Makita backing. Both are multiple-time winners in the premier series in AMA Pro Road Racing, and Young did the double at Daytona last Friday and Saturday, for the second year in a row that the same rider won both opening rounds. Jake Zemke scored the double in 2010 while riding with the Michael Jordan National Guard Superbike team.
With the winds of Daytona having blown by for another year, and some two months before round two of the 2011 AMA Pro Road Racing Superbike Championship hits the track at Infineon Raceway in May, teams took the time to reflect this week on last weekend's outings. With the Daytona 200 SportBike show catching most of the attention due to the calamitous nature of the way the race eventually came down, the AMA Superbike Championship rounds one and two were all but overlooked. But not for the lack of excitement, on the track where it belongs!

With Team Rockstar/Makita Yoshimura Suzuki's Blake Young winning both opening rounds at the World Center of Speed, #79 showed the field and the fans that his race win at the season ender last year at Barber was no fluke, and the young man from Wisconsin is again on top of his game after breaking his back last year and missing part of the season. Team mate Tommy Hayden on the #22 carded 2nd/3rd results in the openers and for the second year in a row missed the top step of the podium in both races by a combined .235 seconds! Needless to say both will be a constant threat throughout the remainder of the season and will provide some excellent and exciting racing once the series hits the real tracks on the schedule.

Team Jordan/National Guard Suzuki teamsters Ben Bostrom on the #23 Jordan Brand GSX-R1000 and Roger Lee Hayden on the #54 National Guard GSXR also figured into the mix for the season opener, but obviously not what either would have wanted, with BBoz scoring a 4th/5th and RLH a 5th/15th, the latter of which was caused by losing the front end on a painted line/stripe in a cornering move. With both of these guys being new to not only the team, but the new 2011 GSXRs as well, and testing having been at a bare minimum for all, look for both to better their results as the year progresses. BBoz obviously still has the fire in him that propelled him to the '08 AMA Supersport Championship and his '09 Daytona 200 win, let alone his win at Laguna last summer on the Pat Clark Yamaha. And the youngest of the Hayden Brothers out of OWB, KY. is looking to race at the front again in 2011 after suffering from running at the back in the World Superbike Championship last year while riding the under-funded Kawasaki for Team Pedercini. Either of these riders could garner the next win for Michael Jordan's team in it's eighth season of competing in the AMA Pro Road Racing Series.

The 2011 version of the AMA Superbike Championship reconvenes at Infineon Raceway (Sears Point to all you old heads like me) on May 13-15. With Daytona gone down the road, the series hits the real tracks for some real racing, in what should be a super year for Suzuki AND the rest of the field!
Suzuki Racing reviews Daytona rounds one and two of the 2011 AMA Superbike Championship:

More here from Suzuki Racing's official website:

Team Rockstar/Yoshimura/Makita Suzuki and Team Jordan Suzuki review their Daytona's to kick off the 2011 season. Thanks to for this press release:
AMA Pro Road Racing has the official results of all the racing at Daytona International Speedway here:

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

AMA Pro Racing Announces Cortech as Sponsor for Live Timing and Scoring


Chuck Palmgren on the #38 Daniel S. Gurney (DSG) Yamaha parallel twin leads '69 AMA Grand National Champion Mert Lawwill on the #7 Harley-Davidson Factory XR750, with Shell Thuett-sponsored Hank Scott bringing up the rear on his #14 Yamaha, during heat race action at the New York State Fairgrounds in September of 1975. The Camel Pro Series/AMA Flat Track Grand National Championship Series annual stop on the Syracuse Mile was a very well attended event by riders and fans alike, and was one of the last East Coast Nationals in those days before the series headed back to the West Coast to wrap up the year's championship.
AMA Pro Racing News Release

AMA Pro Racing Welcomes Cortech as Presenting Sponsor of AMA Pro Live Timing & Scoring

DAYTONA BEACH, FL (March 10, 2011) - AMA Pro Racing is pleased to announce the addition of Cortech apparel and gear as Presenting Sponsor of AMA Pro Racing's Live Timing & Scoring functions on and AMA Pro's new mobile applications.

Well known for their high-performance lines of motorcycle apparel and accessories, Cortech's support of the AMA Pro Road Racing series also includes the $2,000 "Fast Man Standing" year-end rider reward, which will acknowledge the AMA Pro National Guard SuperBike competitor who logs the most fastest-lap designations during the season's races.

"We're very excited to have Cortech join our group of sponsors," said COO and Managing Member David Atlas. "Our new mobile applications and enhanced Live Timing and Scoring are essential parts of our continued efforts to deliver more-accessible information to our fans and participants, and we're so pleased to have Cortech support this incredibly important facet of our sport."

"We're extremely proud to be involved with AMA Pro Racing," said Helmet House Director of Marketing Richard Kimes. "Helmet House was a long-time supporter of the series under the Shoei name, but this is a first for Cortech and very exciting across the board. We're looking forward to a great 2011 season."

The AMA Pro Road Race season kicks off this weekend at Daytona International Speedway, an event that culminates in Saturday's running of the legendary Daytona 200. Please visit for Cortech Live Timing & Scoring and for more information about Cortech's high-performance products. To download AMA Pro Racing's Live Timing apps for the iPhone and Android platforms, please visit the iPhone App Store and Android Market.

AMA Pro Racing is the premier professional motorcycle racing organization in North America, operating a full schedule of events and championships for a variety of motorcycle disciplines. Learn more about AMA Pro Racing at

For additional information contact:
AMA Pro Racing Communications, (386) 492-1014,


You can check out Tour Master's Cortech catalog here:

And here are the new links to AMA Pro Racing's Live Timing apps on the net. These are also listed on the left side column of the site under the 'AMA' info lists, and unlike previous years, the links stay static, in other words no changing from event to event.

Hopefully the season-opening bugs/problems associated with the Live Timing and Scoring applications are and will be taken care of by the next events on each series' respective schedule. In defense of AMA Pro Flat Track, the problems encountered during the opening round one event at the Daytona Short Track were experienced only during qualifying rounds, and by the time the evening's program commenced for heat races, the site was working well with no apparent glitches seen for the rest of the two rounds.

However, another red ink spot on the chart for AMA Pro Road Racing, to go along with all of the other problems during the shortened Daytona 200, the LT&S did go down after the lengthy red flag, and never got back running by the time the event finally wrapped up. Hopefully this will not happen again throughout the year!

AMA Pro Road Racing Live Timing and Scoring presented by Cortech:

AMA Pro Flat Track Live Timing and Scoring presented by Cortech:

Monday, March 14, 2011

Jason DiSalvo Wins Controversial Daytona 200

Jason DiSalvo pours it on coming out of turn 8 at Road America on the #40 Yamaha Motors Corp/Graves Motorsports-backed Yamaha YZF-R1LE during qualifying for the AMA Repsol Lubricants Superstock Series in June of 2006. Jason went on to qualify fourth behind team mates Eric Bostrom on the #32 and Jamie Hacking on the #2 Graves Yamahas, with Aaron Yates on the #1 Yoshimura American Suzuki GSX-R1000 in the third spot.
Yates went on to win the main event, Hacking came home third .158 seconds behind, and DiSalvo rounded out the podium in third 2.328 seconds behind Double A-ron. At the end of the year, Hacking, Yates and DiSalvo finished 1-2-3 in the championship in the Superbike Lite Series.
After competing in the U.S. AMA Road Racing Series until the end of the '09 season, DiSalvo signed to ride the Triumph Daytona 675 Triple in World Supersport competition for the 2010 year with the BE1 Racing team. As a team mate to former U.S. competitor Chaz Davies, DiSalvo didn't feel the love and he and the team split after the Miller round in Utah at the end of May. Managing to hook up with the GP Tech Moto2 team and well-known crew chief Al Ludington, the New York State rider put in a thrilling ride at his one-off race at the Indy Red Bull MotoGP round of the Moto2 series, coming home in a very respectable 9th place. During the off-season, Jason signed with the Latus Motors Ducati team to ride the all-new for 2011 Ducati 848EVO in the AMA Pro Daytona SportBike Road Racing Series.

He got 2011 off to a pretty good start on Saturday, in spite of ALL the tire and engine problems on the day, and all of the criticism that has been echoing out of Daytona since late that afternoon.
In what will surely go down as one of, if not THE most controversial finishes in the 50 years that the Daytona 200 has been running at Daytona International Speedway, Jason DiSalvo on the Latus Motors Ducato 848 won the 'Daytona 147' in what turned into a final 15-lap sprint race to bring the spring classic at the massive Sunshine State to a critical close. Amid all of the Dunlop spec-tire problems, DiSalvo's team being allowed to change his engine during the overly lengthy red flag at what should have been the mid-point of the race, Jason and the Latus Ducati team fought a strong race on the track to give the Italian V-Twin it's first sip of champagne on the top step of the box in the Daytona 200.

With tire problems plaguing the overall outcome and finish of the season opening AMA Road Racing Series, and the ensuing 2 hour 30 minute red flag that shortened the race from 200 miles to 147, this race will be remembered more for the problems associated with it than for it's wild and crazy finish. With several riders coming together and two crashing out just behind the #40 Latus Ducati as it was crossing the stripe to take the checkered flag after 14 wild and wooly laps, all hell broke loose on AND off the track after the melee was cleaned up and the riders involved miraculously walked away. Scoring officials were at odds initially as to who actually finished where, and when the dust and parts had settled, Cory West on the #57 Vesrah Suzuki GSX-R600 and former winner Jake Zemke on the #98 Project 1 Atlanta Yamaha YZF-R6 rounded out the box in victory circle after what was surely the longest day's journey into 'almost' night.

Not a very good representation of what was once considered the Classic North American road race at Daytona, but nonetheless, we congratulate Jason on his win as well as his return to the U.S. Series and look forward to seeing more of what he can really do once the series resumes on real road race circuits at Infineon Raceway in May in the AMA Pro Daytona SportBike Series!
Paul Carruthers at Cycle sifts through the spillage of what was originally the Daytona 200, and instead ended up being the 2011 '147':

Here is the official story from the sanctioning body, AMA Pro Road Racing, on Saturday's Daytona 200:

And thanks again to AMA Pro Road Racing for these results of Saturday's endurance race:

Speed has this review video of the day's events at the Daytona '200':
Here's another short video, thanks to, from a fan that caught the race-ending melee through the fence. Take a look and then also turn up your speakers for the carnage. It also shows the riders walking away (thankfully!) after their get together:
Larry Lawrence of The Rider (who was in Indy over the weekend covering the Indy Supercross race for Cycle has a pretty strong case here for why AMA Road Racing should possibly start considering lever guards for front brake levers on road racing machines:

Sunday, March 13, 2011

AMA Flat Track: Breaking News--Lloyd Brothers Motorsports Signs Brad Baker to Ride Ducati in '11 AMA Grand National Championship Twins Events!!

Dave Lloyd, half of the Lloyd Brothers Motorsports team head-honchos that contest the AMA Pro Flat Track Grand National Championship Series Twins Events, checks the controls on Joe Kopp's #3 Lloyd Brothers Motorsports/
American Agip/Latus Motors/Motion Pro-sponsored Ducati 1098 during a break in the action at the Labor Day Weekend running of the Springfield Mile in September of 2010. LBM, Kopp and the Ducati turned some major heads around the world of flat track racing (let alone around the world!) last May in winning the Prescott Valley, AZ. mile event at Yavapai Downs, for the first win in an AMA Flat Track Twins event by anyone other then Harley-Davidson in almost 13 seasons. Kopp's win on the Big Duc was the shot heard round the world that (among other great moves last year in the series) helped to bring the crowds back to the series and get more old and new fans involved with the greatest sport on wheels.
Dave and Mike Lloyd have been campaigning teams in The Rolling Thunder Show for some time now, and as you can tell from the shot above, put out a great product on AND off the track that gives maximum exposure to their sponsors, their sponsor's products and the fans. The team has fielded mounts for some of the best in the business, from Henry Wiles, Aaron King and now-full time AMA Superbike pilot Larry Pegram.
Smokin' Joe went on to finish second in the year-end standings in the 2010 version of the AMA Pro Flat Track K&N Filters presented by Motorcycle Grand National Championship Series, and with his year-end announcement in Arizona being made official that he would be retiring from full-time competition, Dave and Mike Lloyd were left without a constant threat in the saddle for the Ducati for the 2011 season. Let alone that veteran leadership to help further develop the bike.
That has all changed within the last few days, and to find out more, you're going to have to read on about the great news to hit the AMA Flat Track Grand National Championship Series for the 2011 season!

Brad Baker sits in his pit area during the Springfield Short Track round of the AMA Pro Flat Track Grand National Championship Series in September of 2010. The '09 AMA Pro Singles Flat Track Champion, who fielded the #1 Rod Lake/Mike Velasco/Brothers Powersports/Baker Boys-backed Honda CRF450 to a second place finish in the 2010 AMA Pro Motorcycle Pro Singles Championship, is obviously a proven winner ON and off the track. The 18 year old from Washington State has the form on the track, and with a smile like he's gleeming in the shot above, a media/sponsor/promoter's dream OFF the track as well.
In his championship-winning season in the Pro Singles' inaugural year, Baker won four events and made the podium 10 times in 13 events. Last year, in defense of his title, he again won four events and amassed 11 podiums in 16 events, only to come in runner up to '10 AMA Pro Singles Champ Jeffrey Carver, Jr. Oh, and when AMA Flat Track gave a few of the Pro Singles riders a chance to knock handlebars in some of the Expert Twins events last year, he also qualified for all three events he gave it a shot at, and brought home a best of 10th against the big boys at the Calistoga Half Mile in California. Not too bad for what would be considered a 'rookie' in the Expert GN Series!
Baker started off the 2011 season at Daytona last Thursday and Friday with a BIG bang. While sporting his new National #12 number plate for the new season in a new class, he finished 4th/3rd in the season-opening rounds on the tough and rough Daytona Short Track, all the while fighting it out with the nation's best on one of the toughest tracks that the series visits each year. On both nights he faced trying to get into a 48 rider field against 60-62 entrants, both nights he qualifed top 10 and started up front, and both nights with stellar race ending results. And keep in mind that on Friday, Joe Kopp, Bryan Smith and Nicole Cheza did NOT make the 48 rider cut off in Daytona. Long time veterans in the series at that!
Needless to say, this young man has a bucket-load of talent, and has more than proved he can mix it with 'the bigs' on the track. Read on below to hear what will undoubtely help him to rise to even new heights in AMA Flat Track Grand National Championship Series racing in the upcoming year.
Some of THE BEST news to hit the 2011 AMA Pro Flat Track Harley-Davidson Insurance Grand National Championship Series came acrossed my laptop over the weekend, as it was learned that the Lloyd Brothers Motorsports team has reached an agreement with '09 AMA Pro Singles Flat Track Champion and '10 runner-up Brad Baker to contest the 2011 Grand National Twins Events on the team's Ducati. Baker, who set sail in his first full-year in the highly competitive AMA Flat Track Grand National Series at Daytona last Thursday and Friday with great rides to 4th and 3rd places in the season-opening events, will be bolting his new National #12 onto the LBM Ducati, which was taken to victory last May in Arizona by 2000 AMA GN Champ Joe Kopp.

Having been conversing with team owner Dave Lloyd since the end of December of 2010 on his team's 2011 sponsorship search, I fired off an e-mail to him after reading that Brad had announced on Friday he would be competing in the '11 Twins Series events on the LBM Ducati. Dave and his brother Mike, long-time high profile competitors in The Rolling Thunder Show, have been working feverishly to get sponsorship together for this year, with high hopes of bringing the team back to the track for 2011. With last year's rider Joe Kopp announcing his retirement at the end of last season from full-time competition, and with the flat global economy still hitting everyone and everything in it's path (especially motorsports sponsorships) things weren't looking totally grim, but were nonetheless leaving them (and myself!) wondering if things would fall together in time for the series first Twins Series event (which is now going to be Memorial Day at the Springfield Mile, with the recent cancelation of the May Arizona Mile.)

Well, Stu's Shots can report to you that the great looking on-and-off the track Lloyd Brothers Motorsports Ducati team WILL be back for 2011. Dave was kind enough to fire back an e-mail confirming what I had heard/read, and is currently in the process of putting together official press releases (to be coming out in the next few days!) to announce this great pairing in The Rolling Thunder Show for the upcoming season. We should have all of the big (and little) details sometime in the next few days straight from one of LBM's owners, and we will have that official press release here on Stu's Shots for you as soon as we get it in our grubby little fingers.

A BIG congrats to Brad Baker and The Lloyd Brothers team for getting things together to make another great run at the AMA Pro Flat Track Grand National Championship Series. This is a team that brings an awful lot to the table in terms of exposure and bang-for-the-buck for it's sponsors and fans, and without them the series would surely suffer a massive hole in the paddock and on the track-figuratively and literally. We can't wait to see them hit the track together for the first event on the legendary Illinois State Fairgrounds mile oval at the end of May.

Stay tuned here as we will have all of the details posted once all of the particulars come together in the next couple of days.

Great news! Bravo guys!
While you are waiting for this super news like we are here at Stu's Shots, take a look at the Lloyd Brothers Motorsports website here:

Dave and Mike Lloyd put together this great video at the end of the 2010 AMA Pro Flat Track Grand National Championship Series season. Great stuff, and if nothing else it will help some until the end of May rolls around to get you geared up for the new season and this great news:

This is a fine example of great advertising and sponsorship exposure that the LBM team is famous for in The Rolling Thunder Show:
K&N Filters was not only the title sponsor for the 2010 AMA Pro Flat Track K&N Filters presented by Motorcycle Grand National Championship Series, but was and has been a sponsor of many AMA Flat Track teams over the years and decades. They are also one of LBM's associate sponsors, and put together this great expose on the team and their fine work in AMA Flat Track:
A great example of news of the Lloyd Brothers Motorsports team and AMA Pro Flat Track being heard around the world comes from 2 Wheel from The Netherlands. Brian Christner was originally living in the Las Vegas, NV. area when he was transfered to Amsterdam. He shares his love of motorcycles and motorcycle racing via his excellent website, and posted this great item about LBM at the end of December of 2010. Thanks Brian, always great to see more exposure for the greatest show on wheels!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

AMA Flat Track: Sammy Halbert Completes the Sweep at Daytona Short Track

Willy Halbert puts the finishing touches on his son Sammy Halbert's #7 Fredericktown Yamaha/Woody Kyle Racing/Kings Kustoms/Nelson Racing-sponsored YZF450 at the Gas City Short Track round of the AMA Pro Flat Track K&N Filters presented by Motorcycle Grand National Championship Series in June 2010. Jethro Halbert's like-sponsored #69 sits between Slammin' Sammy's mounts in the pit area. Jethro would go on to finish 5th on the evening, while Sammy would follow him home in 6th at the bullring short track in North Central Indiana.

Sammy stole the show again last evening at round two of the 2011 AMA Pro Flat Track Harley-Davison Insurance Grand National Championship Series at the Daytona Short Track, passing the early leaders on lap four, and sailing to an over 5 second win on second place man Johnny Lewis on the #10 Scott Powersports Honda after 25 grueling laps on the limestone track. Third place on the evening went to first full-year Expert Brad Baker on the #12 Honda. Rounding out the top five were #1 Jake Johnson on the Zanotti Racing Honda and #2 Kenny Coolbeth, Jr. on the Chaplin Kawasaki.
Racing luck was a hard pill to swallow at the second Daytona round, as #3 Joe Kopp (after a brilliant ride to third earlier in the day on the DIS road course in the XR1200 Series), #42 Bryan Smith, last year's Calistoga winner #80 Steve Bonsey, and #15 Nicole Cheza failed to make the 48 rider cut-off for the evening's event. Slammin' Sammy stole the whole pie last night in setting fast time, winning the fastest heat of the evening, winning the Dash for Cash and romping to the main event win over an 18 rider main event field filled with some of the best The Rolling Thunder Show has to offer.

The series takes a short break and resumes action in DuQuoin, IL. on April 16 at the Southern Illinois Center on the grounds of the DuQuoin State Fair.
In what will undoubtedly go down as one of the all-time great race season opening triumphs in the history of the AMA Pro Flat Track Grand National Championship Series, Sammy Halbert on the #7 Fredericktown Yamaha/Woody Kyle Racing YZF450 took the sweep at the Daytona Short Track for his second race win in two nights just outside the infamous Daytona International Speedway oval and road course. Making quick dispatch of the leaders, Slammin' Sammy set sail on lap four and went on to win the main event over a stacked field by over five seconds. Johnny Lewis made it two-for-two in the season opener on his #10 Scott Powersports Honda, with first full-year Expert Brad Baker (the '09 AMA Pro Singles Flat Track Champion) coming home third on his #12 Honda.

Top ten from last night at Daytona:

1. Sammy Halbert #7
2. Johnny Lewis #10
3. Brad Baker #12
4. Jake Johnson #1
5. Kenny Coolbeth, Jr. #2
6. Matt Weidman #20
7. Jared Mees #9
8. Chad Cose #49
9. Henry Wiles #17
10. Jeffrey Carver, Jr. #23

With a short five week break before the series resumes at the Southern Illinois Center in DuQuoin, IL. on April 16, teams will have a chance to regroup for the 2011 season in the AMA Pro Flat Track Harley-Davidson Insurance Grand National Championship Series.

Congrats go out to Slammin' Sammy and his Fredericktown Yamaha/Woody Kyle Racing team in kicking off the 2011 season on such a high note. #7 leaves Daytona with a 16 point lead in the championship standings, and there's no reason to believe that this hard charging young man won't be ready for more once the series hits Southern Illinois.
AMA Pro Flat Track posted this report on Sammy's win at the Daytona Short Track from last night:

Paul Carruthers was on hand again at DIS to file this report on the race for Cycle

Larry Lawrence filed this race press report on last night's action at Daytona on his The Rider site:

Bryan Harley was on hand for to file this report on the race last night in Daytona:

The Daytona News-Journal had a reporter on site for this story of the evening's events at the Daytona Short Track:
From AMA Pro Flat Track, here are the full results from last night's great event:
Dave Hoenig's Flat Trak will have the full results as well as photos from the race posted soon here:

Here's a sampling of Dave's photos from the AMA Pro Flat Track gallery from last night:

And the boys across the pond from the GREAT Sideburn Magazine filed this report on the race as well:
You can follow Sammy and Halbert Brothers Racing via Facebook, as well as catch up on videos and interviews and stories from the last couple of days here:

And big thanks go out again to the great Miriam Deitcher for her on-the-spot coverage of the action the last couple of days from the World Center of Speed in Daytona. Miriam used to cover all of the AMA Flat Track races for the AMA several years ago, and started up her own page here on Facebook to keep the fans at home up to date on the on and off track action: