Daytona 200 & AMA Superbike Preview
AMA Pro Racing
This week will see the opening races in the 2011 AMA Pro Road Racing season, as all four AMA Pro Road Racing classes will be competing March 10-12 at Daytona International Speedway.
The kick-off events will culminate in the 70th running of the Daytona 200, which will be broadcast live on SPEED from 1:00 to 3:30 p.m. EDT Saturday, March 12.
The first AMA Pro National Guard SuperBike bout will be a doubleheader, with the first race taking place Friday, March 11, and the second on Saturday, March 12. Race start times are 4:30 p.m. and 11:15 a.m., respectively.
The AMA Pro Motorcycle-Superstore.com SuperSport class will also feature a doubleheader event, with Race 1 running Friday, March 11, at 2:15 p.m. and Race 2 getting underway at 10:00 a.m. Saturday, March 12.
Making its debut on the high banks of Daytona International Speedway will be the AMA Pro Vance & Hines XR1200 series, via the largest grid the class has seen yet. The V-twin riders will leave the start line Friday, March 11, at 3:15 p.m.
Main storylines for Round 1 of the 2011 AMA Pro Road Racing series at Daytona International Speedway, featuring the Daytona 200, are as follows:
AMA Pro Daytona SportBike/Daytona 200:
Reigning 2010 AMA Pro Daytona SportBike Champion Martin Cardenas (Team M4 Suzuki) has moved up to AMA Pro SuperBike for 2011, leaving the SportBike title up for grabs.
Graves Yamaha’s Josh Herrin will be defending his 2010 Daytona 200 win this year, with support from new team sponsor Monster Energy.
A number of very fast AMA Pro SuperSport young-guns have moved up to the Daytona SportBike class for 2011, including 2010 East Division Champion J.D. Beach and 2010 race winners Huntley Nash and Cameron Beaubier (the latter of whom took last year’s Daytona SuperSport victory).
AMA Pro National Guard SuperBike:
All eyes will be on reigning AMA Pro SuperBike Champion Josh Hayes (Graves Yamaha) as he begins his title defense. Having demonstrated impressive speed at the pre-season Daytona Dunlop Tire Test, Hayes is clearly ready to pick up where he left off.
The mighty Rockstar Makita Suzuki team is determined to return to the pre-2010 form that saw their riders capture ten of the previous twelve championships.
Rockstar Makita Suzuki’s Tommy Hayden has unfinished business this year, having wrapped up 2010 just 14 points behind Hayes after a season-long battle.
The Michael Jordan Motorsports effort features an all-new rider lineup for 2011, boasting Ben Bostrom aboard the #23 Jordan Suzuki bike and Roger Hayden aboard the #54 National Guard Jordan Suzuki.
Bostrom is a former national superbike champion who also scored a race victory at Round 7 last year; Hayden (the youngest brother of 2006 MotoGP World Champion Nicky Hayden) returns from a difficult season with the small Pedercini Kawasaki squad in World Superbike.
Kawasaki returns to AMA Pro Road Racing at Daytona with the Cycle World Attack Performance team, which will field Eric Bostrom—- younger brother of Ben Bostrom—- in both AMA Pro SuperBike races as well as the Daytona 200.
AMA Pro Motorcycle-Superstore.com SuperSport:
2010 race winners James Rispoli (ANT-Racing.com Suzuki) and Elena Myers (M4 Suzuki, with support from SuzukiScoopFans) will headline the Motorcycle-Superstore.com SuperSport field this year. Myers’ victory made her the first female in history to win an AMA Pro road race.
Tomas Puerta and David Gaviria will be riding for the proven, race-winning LTD Racing Yamaha team this year. Puerta took a pole position at the 2010 Laguna Seca event and was third in East Division points.
Riders to watch in Daytona SuperSport: Hayden Gillim, Benny Solis, and Jacob Morman, who have previously distinguished themselves as part of the former U.S. Red Bull Rookies Cup program.
AMA Pro Vance & Hines XR1200:
2000 AMA Pro Flat Track Grand National Champion Joe Kopp will ride for Team Latus Motors in his XR1200 series debut. 2007 Daytona 200 winner Steve Rapp will be riding the full Vance & Hines XR1200 season with support from Parts Unlimited.
Michael Barnes will be teaming with Rapp with support from Drag Specialties. Barnes finished second at last season’s final XR1200 round at Barber Motorsports Park.
Scott Russell—- five-time Daytona 200 winner, 1993 World Superbike champion, and current SPEED TV announcer—- will be competing in the Daytona XR1200 race with support from the Harley Owners Group.
For Daytona 200 tickets and information, please visit daytonainternationalspeedway.com; for additional information about AMA Pro Racing, please visit amaproracing.com.