Road Race History
During AMA Pro Racing's 76-year history, no female has ever won a road racing event, but Elena Myers changed this Saturday, taking the AMA Supersport win before a home crowd at Infineon Raceway.
The 16-year-old Discovery Bay native currently in 10th-grade took race 1 on Saturday in the AMA Supersport West series, which is limited to riders 16-21 years old on nearly stock 600cc machines.
Myers started from 8th on the grid at the 2.32-mile circuit, jumping to 5th at the start. The race was red-flagged twice, and ended on the ninth lap, after Myers passed the series' leader, DNA Energy Drink CNR Motorsports Ducati rider Joey Pascarella, who would also crash on the same lap.
Elena Myers says: "When they told me the race was called, they said, ‘You got second, but wait, Joey crashed and you got first,' and I looked at my Dad and he was crying. I got a great start off the front row, which worked out really well for me. Sorry, I'm just on another planet right now. The race went really good for me, and some people made mistakes and I took advantage of it. I don't think it's quite sunk in yet. It's crazy."
According to her Roadracing World bio, Myers began competing at eight years old, arriving quickly from pocket bikes to Supermoto. By 11, she competed on a 125cc GP bike, winning the race. She then competed on a 125cc bike in the USGPRU National Series in 2006, with help from Roadracingworld.com and John Ulrich. She had podium finishes the following year.
In 2008, she would have a WERA National win, along with several podiums on a Roadracing World - Kids: Don't Smoke! Kawasaki ZX6.
In 2010, she began racing professionally in both the AMA Supersport West class, competing on the No. 21 Lucas Oil RMR Roadracingworld.com Suzuki GSX-R600.
Myers followed up Saturday's Race 1 win with a fifth-place finish in Race 2 at Infineon. She is currently second in the Supersport West Championship, with 94 points after three of 10 rounds. The series leader, Pascarella, has 137 points.
An interview at her debut AMA Pro Racing event at Daytona this year revealed more about this young shining star.
Elena Myers said: "It seems like I've been waiting forever for this. Ever since I was 11 years old, when I met Team Hammer owner John Ulrich, we've had this plan that when I turned 16 I'd make my Pro debut at Daytona on one of his bikes."
"The economy has affected sponsorship, but we're here at Daytona and ready to go. When we first talked about doing this, I was so young and didn't really know what the future would hold. But five years later the time has come and it's pretty unbelievable!"
Myer's race competitor at Infineon, Petaluma's Tyler O'Hara (Yamaha R6), well-put the historical significance of Myers' victory.
Tyler O'Hara says: "I think it's huge for the sport. I think Elena just broke the barrier as a woman on a motorcycle at the top level. I'm proud of her, and happy and I like racing with her... it's going to bring a lot more fans and some more sponsors and make everything better."