2011 AMA SuperSportThe new alliance between AMA Pro Road Racing and Motorcycle-Superstore.com kicked off in spectacular fashion at Daytona International Speedway earlier this month, comprising a pair of unbelievably exciting AMA Pro SuperSport races that saw two riders take their first career AMA Pro wins in the newly sponsored Motorcycle-Superstore.com-supported class.
LTD Racing Y.E.S. Yamaha teammates Tomas Puerta and David Gaviria took dramatic victories in two of the best races of the season’s opening weekend. For Puerta, the victory was particularly sweet, as he’d turned in ten top-four finishes the year before (including four third-place finishes and a pair of seconds) but was unable to reach the top step. Race-watchers knew it was only a matter of time for the talented Puerta, and at Daytona, the young Colombian rider made good.In contrast to the ever-present Puerta, David Gaviria ran a limited number of 2010 events, and despite decent results stayed mostly under the radar, turning in his best finish (a sixth) at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. Daytona, however, was an entirely different story for Gaviria.With former LTD Racing star Huntley Nash having moved up to the AMA Pro Daytona SportBike class for 2011, Puerta – now the leader of the young-gun squad – quickly took hold of the mantle by dominating the first Daytona SuperSport race of the Motorcycle-Superstore.com-sponsored era. In a class that has already produced a number of rising-star graduates, Puerta led every lap on the way to his very first win in AMA Pro. Second-place finisher Stefano Mesa (Rata Racing Ducati) crossed the line just .008 seconds ahead of Gaviria, who was new to both the LTD team and to Daytona itself. Saturday morning’s Motorcycle-Superstore.com SuperSport Race 2 was an even closer affair, as Gaviria – in contest with Puerta, Mesa, James Rispoli (ANT Racing/Star School), and others – came out on top of a drafting battle that saw him take his first career AMA Pro win by a margin of just .048 seconds. Second-place Puerta was disappointed not to have swept the weekend, but still pleased for his LTD Racing teammate.These two very fast, very personable young Colombian riders have thus staked their claims on the $25,000 Motorcycle-Superstore.com Year End Points Fund, which is split between East and West Coast Division Championships and additionally recognizes the class’ Overall Championship and Young Gun recipient.With just one round in 2011’s rear view, the AMA Pro Motorcycle-Supestore.com SuperSport series is already off to a phenomenally exciting start. Round 2 of the AMA Pro Road Racing series runs May 13-15 at Sonoma, California’s, beautiful Infineon Raceway. To be part of the action, please visit infineonraceway.com for ticket and event information.