2012 AMA SuperbikeDuring the 2011 AMA Superbike Championship, the HMC/KTM SBK Racing Team debuted the 1190 RC8 R Race Spec at Mid-Ohio with Chris Fillmore at the controls.
The Michigan native put in positive efforts aboard the KTM RC8 R, finishing seventh in race 1, and ninth in race 2, showing the strength of the Austria-based motorcycle manufacturer.And on Friday, KTM Motorsports reported that the HMC?KTM team will compete in the entire 11-round AMA Superbike Championship for 2012.And once again it’ll be Fillmore piloting the KTM, the man who won the 2011 AMA Harley-Davidson XR1200 series. He’ll be working under HMC Racing owner, Mitch Hansen.KTM Motorsports reports the “famous” duo have an extensive history with the KTM brand. Hansen led the HMC/KTM Supermoto Team to 10 National Championships from 2003-2009 and was also the face behind the U.S. Red Bull Rookies Cup effort from 2008-2009. Fillmore raced for the HMC/KTM Supermoto Team at the young age of sixteen in 2003 and again in 2008 where he finished 2nd overall in the AMA Pro Supermoto Championship while also competing on the KTM 990 Super Duke in select events.Chris Fillmore (KTM RC8 R Race Spec Superbike) says: “I have been testing the RC8 since it first arrived in the states and the Race Spec bike is very competitive,” remarked Fillmore. “I am very excited to be racing in the Superbike class again and am looking forward to competing in a full season and improving on our success from last year.”Mitch Hansen says: “We have been tied to the KTM brand for many years now and this level of racing is what we both have aimed for. We are proud to represent KTM and their Superbike at the national level and look forward to showing the U.S. market what the bike is capable of.”John Hinz (KTM Product Line Manager) says: “We were very proud of what HMC and Chris accomplished in 2011, entering the highly competitive Superbike class in the middle of the season. We feel confident in our HMC program, Fillmore and the RC8 R that we will see even more success during the 2012 season.”Hansen is equally excited to return to racing, commenting, “We have been tied to the KTM brand for many years now and this level of racing is what we both have aimed for. We are proud to represent KTM and their Superbike at the national level and look forward to showing the U.S. market what the bike is capable of.”Fillmore also competed in the final two rounds of the 2011 AMA Superbike Championship in Laguna Seca and New Jersey Motorsports Park, but didn’t have the best of luck.During Laguna Seca, which was run in conjunction with MotoGP, Fillmore crashed hard during practice, and was ruled not fit to race the main event due to a concussion. And at the final round in NJMP, Fillmore crashed in race 1, and suffered electrical problems in race 2, finishing 18th.
This week we ride two genre-departing motorcycles from the established American manufacturers. Jess McKinley gives us his thoughts on the all new Harley-Davidson Pan America Special, and Ron Lieback gives his on Indian’s latest version of the FTR 1200 S.