AMA Pro Racing Previews Road America
2011 AMA Road Racing
Two weeks after the spectacular racing at Wisconsin’s Road America circuit, AMA Pro Road Racing is back in action this weekend at the Birmingham-area’s lush Barber Motorsport Park.
From June 17 through 19, the central Alabama facility plays host to the Barber SuperBike Classic, which will feature edge-of-your-seat racing plus a number of activities in support of the Alabama National Guard, including special ticket offers for Guard members and their families.
The AMA Pro National Guard SuperBike, Daytona SportBike, Motorcycle-Superstore.com SuperSport, and Vance & Hines XR1200 divisions are all preparing to line up at Barber, which will see double-header races in three of the series’ four classes. As the points races tighten across the board, some new challengers have stepped forward to confront those riders who laid claim to the early part of the season.
Monster Energy Graves Yamaha’s Josh Hayes continues to hold the points lead in the premier class, and the Mississippi boy has yet to finish off the podium in his championship defense. But with Rockstar Makita Suzuki’s Blake Young having returned to his winning ways at Rounds 3 and 4, the battle’s even closer than the ten points currently separating them would indicate. Add Young’s Rockstar Makita Suzuki teammate, Tommy Hayden, to the mix, and you’ve got three impressively dominant riders primed to deliver the same kind of wheel-to-wheel racing Road America fans witnessed.
The Daytona SportBike class standings saw a true upset at Round 4, as Team Latus Motors Racing’s Jason DiSalvo-who was near perfection after the first three races-crashed out of not one but two Road America contests, allowing Monster Energy Graves Yamaha’s Josh Herrin, who took his first victory of the year at Round 3, to bang out two additional class wins and take over the championship. While entirely determined to make a comeback, DiSalvo will first have to contend with Vesrah Suzuki’s Cory West, who currently sits second overall.
The Motorcycle-Superstore.com SuperSport class, meanwhile, is still wholly up for grabs, five different riders having already won 2011 races in pursuit of championship crowns and the Motorcycle-Superstore.com $25,000 points-fund bonus. Barber Motorsports Park’s Round 5 will be the third East Division SuperSport race on the calendar-a coast LTD/Y.E.S. Yamaha’s Tomas Puerta is currently firmly in control of, while teammate David Gaviria owns the West Coast points race. Roadracingworld.com’s Benny Solis, however, has proved a winner on any given day, and a whole host of other young riders are also coming on strong, including Corey Alexander (Vesrah Suzuki), Travis Wyman, Elena Myers (SuzukiScoopFans Racing), James Rispoli (ANT-Racing.com Suzuki), and Dustin Dominguez (Team Latus Motors Racing).
And finally, having just celebrated its one-year anniversary, the Vance & Hines XR1200 class is flexing its new maturity in a big way, boasting increasingly deeper fields of riders and a rash of diverse talent. When Chris Fillmore (Bruce Rossmeyer Daytona Racing) took his second victory of 2011 at Road America, he did so by defeating a staggering seven riders after a seesaw battle that saw the chase train cross the finish within a second of the race-winner. Fillmore is currently followed in the standings by Parts Unlimited’s Steve Rapp and Fillmore’s Bruce Rossmeyer teammate, Kyle Wyman.
Fans in attendance on Saturday are encouraged to stay late for some face-time with their favorite riders, as AMA Pro Racing, Barber Motorsports Park, and ZOOM Motorsports are hosting a special Track Walk at 5:30 p.m. to benefit local victims of the tornados that devastated the area in late April. For only $10, fans can walk all or a portion of the track while talking race strategy with AMA Pro stars; tickets can be purchased either upon Saturday entry at Gates 2 and 10, or in Lot E prior to the start of the walk.
For event tickets and information, visit barbermotorsportspark.com. For TV broadcast dates and times for Barber SuperBike and Daytona SportBike action, visit speedtv.com. Motorcycle-Superstore.com SuperSport and Vance & Hines XR1200 can be viewed lived on Speed2.