Daytona Beach, Fla. (PRWEB) July 23, 2012
AMA Pro Road Racing will once again be featured alongside the international stars of MotoGP this weekend at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca as part of the Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix. The international event held at the legendary 2.238-mile natural road course in Monterey, Calif. is a huge weekend for all things motorcycle road racing, and is the place to be on this July weekend for fans who want to sample the very best in the sport from famous vantage points like the legendary Corkscrew or Ducati Island.
Three of the four classes that make up AMA Pro Road Racing will take part in the event. In a departure from the typical doubleheader weekend format, each class will contest one race final. Opening the weekend's racing activity with a 3:40 p.m. start time on Saturday, July 28, the rising stars and local experts of AMA Pro Motorcycle-Superstore.com SuperSport are slotted in for a 16-lap race. The always action-packed AMA Pro GoPro Daytona SportBike class will be featured in a 20-lap final on Sunday morning at 11:15 a.m. and the premier AMA Pro National Guard SuperBike division will close the weekend with a 23-lap race later that afternoon at 3:45 p.m.
SPEED will air the AMA Pro GoPro Daytona SportBike and AMA Pro National Guard SuperBike races in a set of back-to-back, same-day delayed broadcasts beginning at 11:00 p.m. ET/8:00 p.m. PT on Sunday, July 29.
AMA Pro National Guard SuperBike
Since the class debuted in 1976, AMA Pro National Guard SuperBike races have been held at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca as a part of every season except for two (1989 and 1990). There have been 35 AMA Pro National Guard SuperBike sprint races contested in Monterey, and the challenging track has produced 21 winners on six different manufacturers (BMW, Kawasaki, Suzuki, Honda, Ducati and Yamaha).
Two-time, defending AMA Pro National Guard Champion Josh Hayes (No. 1 Monster Energy Graves Yamaha YZF-R1) heads to Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca with a solid lead in the point standings over Blake Young (No. 79 Yoshimura Suzuki GSX-R1000). Hayes has yet to claim his first win at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, but 2012 has been a year of firsts for him. Yamaha's leading man has scored his first National Guard SuperBike wins at four tracks this season (Daytona International Speedway, Road Atlanta, Barber Motorsports Park and Miller Motorsports Park). If the Mississippian wins this weekend at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, he will become the first rider in AMA Pro National Guard SuperBike history to score eight consecutive wins in a single season. His current streak of seven ties him with all-time great Mat Mladin and current MotoGP superstar Ben Spies.
Of the active AMA Pro National Guard SuperBike riders, only Ben Bostrom (No. 23 Jordan Suzuki GSX-R1000) has won in the class here, taking home wins in 2004 aboard a Honda and claiming Yamaha's lone win in Monterey in 2010. Despite a touch-and-go season in 2012, Bostrom has always been strong at his home track; his record here also includes AMA Pro wins in three additional classes, AMA Pro GoPro Daytona SportBike (2009), AMA Pro SuperSport (2008) and AMA Formula Xtreme (2004) as well as a trio of wins in World Superbike. If he claims the top spot on the podium this weekend, he'll join an elite group of four riders who have three National Guard SuperBike wins to their credit at Mazda Raceway: Freddie Spencer, his brother Eric Bostrom, Spies and Mladin.
Bostrom's teammate on the Michael Jordan Motorsports squad, Roger Hayden (No. 54 National Guard Jordan Suzuki GSX-R1000), has been in top form as of late. The Kentuckian proved to be a challenge for Hayes last round at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, leading the race at times before racking up two additional podiums on the season. Hayden is joined this weekend by older brothers Tommy and Nicky, who will be competing in AMA Pro GoPro Daytona SportBike and MotoGP, respectively.
Another rider on a tour de force in 2012 is AMA Pro National Guard SuperBike freshman Josh Herrin (No. 2 Monster Energy Graves Yamaha YZF-R1). The former GoPro Daytona SportBike star is a solid third position in the points with two runner-up results earned in his debut season on the 1000cc Yamaha.
Riding on the only American-made SuperBike marquee in the field, Geoff May (No. 99 Team Amsoil/Hero EBR 1190RS) has led a consistent season so far in 2012. The new motorcycle's accolades are highlighted by a set of podiums split between May and teammate Danny Eslick (No. 69 Team Hero EBR 1190RS), earned at Infineon Raceway in May.
Sixth in the points is Larry Pegram (No. 72 Foremost Insurance Pegram BMW S1000RR), followed by AMA Pro veteran Steve Rapp (No. 15 Attack Performance/ Motorcycle Superstore M1 PowerSports Kawasaki ZX-10R), who will be pulling double-duty this weekend. The Californian, who qualified on the front row at Mid-Ohio and finished an impressive fourth in both races, will make a wildcard appearance in the MotoGP race at Mazda Raceway aboard an Attack Performance CRT machine. Young's Yoshimura Suzuki teammate Chris Clark rounds out the top 10 in the National Guard SuperBike standings.
A number of notable AMA Pro National Guard SuperBike entries are likely to make a splash this weekend. Australian Superbike standout Glenn Allerton (No. 111 BMW HP Racing BMW S1000RR) has entered in the event. The reigning Australian Superbike champion will make his AMA Pro debut aboard a BMW S1000RR with specifications very similar to those of his championship-winning machine. Jake Holden (No. 59 Buyredline.com Honda CBR1000RR) is back, piloting a Honda and competing with a new team that is aiming to win. Two riders with strong showings at Mid-Ohio were Chris Ulrich (No. 18 M4 RoadracingWorld.com Suzuki GSX-R1000), who posted a set of top 10 finishes, and Taylor Knapp (No. 44 Riders Discount K&L Supply Vesrah Suzuki GSX-R1000), who returned to National Guard SuperBike after a two-race hiatus to post two eighth-place results.
The Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix will take place this weekend, July 27-29. The AMA Pro National Guard SuperBike class will take to the track for their first practice session on Friday, July 27 at 3:10 p.m. and will be featured in a 23-lap sprint race on Sunday, July 29 at 3:45 p.m. local time.
AMA Pro GoPro Daytona SportBike
Nearly Every AMA Pro GoPro Daytona SportBike race can be described as intense. The performance balance combined with depth of field creates an unpredictable battleground for some of the world's top talent. Since its inception in 2009, the class has seen three different champions take wins at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca: Ben Bostrom, Martin Cardenas and Danny Eslick.
Martin Cardenas (No. 36 GEICO Suzuki GSX-R600) is the only active AMA Pro GoPro Daytona SportBike rider with a class win to his credit at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. The 2010 GoPro Daytona SportBike Champ returned to the class in 2012 with a vengeance after a fruitful year in AMA Pro National Guard SuperBike highlighted by a rare breakout win during his debut season. With his return to GoPro Daytona SportBike, the Colombian displayed his skill early by taking six wins and grabbing all but one bonus point in the first eight races of the 2012 season.
The early season run that Cardenas appreciated came to an end recently with the return of Cameron Beaubier (No. 6 Y.E.S. Graves Yamaha YZF-R6). Beaubier, who suffered an off-track injury early in the season, took home his maiden AMA Pro victory at Barber Motorsports Park last month and followed that up with two additional wins and a third place finish to give him a perfect ratio of starts to podiums since his return.
Despite the local rider's impressive run, he enters this weekend sitting fourth in the point standings behind Dane Westby (No. 5 M4 Suzuki GSX-R600) and Tommy Hayden (No. 8 Y.E.S. Graves Yamaha YZF-R6). Westby's confidence has soared recently, turning his consistent season into a set of stellar results including his second career victory earlier this month at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. Former SuperBike standout Hayden acclimated quickly to the 600cc platform after he was tapped to replace Garrett Gerloff following the young gun's injury at the season-opener.
The AMA Pro GoPro Daytona SportBike field is the deepest in the AMA Pro Road Racing portfolio. Additional riders that are sure to threaten are Jason DiSalvo (No. 40 Latus Motors Racing Triumph Daytona 675), JD Beach (No. 95 RoadRace Factory/Red Bull Yamaha YZF-R6), Jake Zemke (No. 98 Ducshop Ducati 848), Bobby Fong (No. 50 Meen Motorsports Yamaha YZF-R6), Cory West (No. 57 Riders Discount Vesrah Suzuki GSX-R600) and DAYTONA 200® winner Joey Pascarella (No. 52 Riders Discount Vesrah Suzuki GSX-R600).
The riders competing in AMA Pro GoPro Daytona SportBike will contest a 20-lap race final on Sunday, July 29 at 11:15 a.m. local time.
How to Catch the Action
AMA Pro Road Racing Live Timing & Scoring presented by Cortech offers fans real-time access to results from on-track sessions at http://live.amaproracing.com/rr/. Between the races, stay connected with AMA Pro Road Racing at http://www.twitter.com/AMAProSBK and http://www.facebook.com/AMAProRoadRacing.