2012 AMA Daytona Sportbike ChampionshipFollowing some action in the 2011 British Superbike Championship (WFR Honda), Jake Zemke’s position in 2012 motorcycle racing was uncertain. And because he carries a huge presence in America, many AMA Pro Racing fans hoped the 2006 Daytona 200 winner would return stateside.
And on Monday, these hopes were fulfilled when Ducshop Ducati reported it had signed Zemke to compete aboard an 848EVO in the Daytona 200. But unlike last year, when Zemke took third aboard the Project 1 Atlanta Yamaha R6, the Daytona 200 won’t be his only appearance; Zemke will also compete in the entire 2012 AMA Pro GoPro Daytona Sportbike Championship aboard the Ducshop Ducati 848 EVO.Jake Zemke says: "I am so excited to be riding the Ducshop Ducati for the 2012 season. We recently completed a two day test and while it was my first time on a Ducati race bike, I was incredibly impressed with the power delivery and overall package. Our goal is to once again put the Duc on top of the box in Daytona."The 200 mile, 57 lap race will take place on Saturday, March 17, with a scheduled start time of 1p.m. EDT, and will be broadcast live on SPEED TV. Zemke will be joined at the Daytona 200 by Ducati Riding Experience (DRE) Chief Instructor and Technical Supervisor Dario Marchetti, but will be the only Ducshop rider for the remaining AMA Sportbike races.Following is a press release courtesy of Jake Zemke:Jake Zemke Bio (98) Jake Zemke is a household name to all AMA fans. A former dirt tracker, he made his AMA roadracing debut in 1997 and has subsequently finished in the top 3 of the Championship 12 times, bringing him to the podium over 100 times during his professional career. In 2006 he won the Daytona 200, and finished third in the 2007 Superbike Championship. 2008 saw Jake crowned Formula Xtreme Champion while finishing second in the AMA Supersport championship. His 2010 season started with a bang, taking double wins in the Superbike class with the Jordon Motorsports Team. These wins highlighted the first ever Superbike wins for the AMA team. That year would see him finish third overall in the championship. In 2011 he delighted fans when he took pole in the Daytona 200 on a non-factory bike. The rest of the season was spent across the pond, competing in the British Superbike Championship.Dario Marchetti Bio (23)Ducati Riding Experience (DRE) Chief Instructor and Technical Supervisor, Dario Marchetti, is already a multi-time Daytona winner. In 2007 Marchetti won the Motorcycle Race of Champions endurance race on a 1098S. In 2004 he won the Battle of Twins on a Ducati 748RS, having ridden the track just twice. The Italian rider also helped lead Ducshop Racing to a podium finish in the 2009 8-hour Moto-GT2 Championship season finale at Daytona and raced again with the team in 2010 in the Daytona 200 aboard their 848.The former World Endurance Championship podium finisher is also a four-time Italian Champion and 500 Moto GP star. Dario brings with him a wealth of experience – not just for Ducati but endurance racing. This race is Dario’s return to the world stage after suffering a horrific crash in 2010. After nine weeks in the hospital and months of physical therapy, Dario has fully recovered and intends to make a strong showing in Daytona.You can follow the team at twitter.com/ducshop or Facebook at facebook.com/ducshop.The team would like to thank Rizoma, Element Case,TPL Racing, Freightliner Manitoba, Rewards4wellness.com, Troy Lee Designs, FMF, Fast Finish, Drippinwet, Jason Disalvo Speed Academy, Armour Bodies, Fast Frank Racing, EVR, D.I.D, Zero Gravity and Vesrah for their support.