AMA SBK News
Privateer racer Taylor Knapp knowingly knifed his way to two more top-ten finishes at the New Jersey Motorsports Park (NJMP) round of the AMA Superbike Championship, putting himself seventh in this season’s points.Knapp is now the top-ranked privateer in the Superbike class, 10 points clear from his nearest rival.The 23-year-old Knapp, from Lapeer, Mich., started road racing when he was 12-years old .Now Knapp has knuckled down to the challenge of the AMA’s class of big bikes, regularly turning in top-ten results on his Suzuki GSX-R1000, equipped with an Öhlins shock and and fork cartridge kit, each derived from Öhlins MotoGP suspension components.Not only is Knapp a privateer, he is a true privateer by every measure, driving his bike to each event, remapping it at home on the dyno, preparing it along side Crew Chief Tom Goddard.Dave Knapp (Taylor’s father)says: “He’s the top finishing rider who polishes his own shock springs.”Knapp hones his skills by competing in WERA events when he has an off weekend from the AMA.At the WERA Cycle Jam, which took place in August at Virginia International Raceway, Knapp won two superbike races with the Öhlins riders Brian Stokes and Lee Acree sharing the podium with him in the National class, and Stokes taking second again in the Sportsman class.At the NJMP AMA event, Knapp earned an eighth-place finish in Superbike Race 1, and a 10th-place finish in Race 2, from his 12-place qualifying position.In 2010 Knapp’s best qualifying was fifth at the Road Atlanta round, putting him in the midst of factory riders. His best finish in 2010 was a seventh in race 2 at Mid-Ohio Sportscar Course, and his finishing position average is 10.2, according to the AMA.Dave Knapp (a former dirt track and road racer) says: “We’re hoping teams notice Taylor’s great performances this year. He’s always prepared and ready to put on a show at every event and he’s really earned his way to being the top privateer in the points. Öhlins USA has been a great help to us. I can’t thank them and Mike enough. He understands how Taylor needs his bike set up for his riding style.”Knapp’s knext AMA race is the season-closing event at Barber Motorsports Park, where Knapp will be defending his top ranking.Öhlins USA distributes and services the world’s leading performance suspension for automobiles, motorcycles, ATVs, and snowmobiles. Öhlins develops its proprietary and innovative suspension components at the highest levels of racing from open-wheel car racing, to Moto GP, to off-road competition on two and four wheels. Öhlins USA also provides training for service centers and dealers (Ohlinsusa.com).