Yamaha USA is ready for the GIECO AMA Pro Road Racing season, releasing previews of its teams in the AMA SuperBike and AMA Daytona SportBike championships.
Factory Yamaha returns to AMA Superbike with the Monster Energy/Graves team featuring Josh Hayes, who won the past three AMA SBK titles, and Josh Herrin.
In AMA Daytona SportBike, the Yamaha Extended Service (Y.E.S.)/Graves team will feature Cameron Beaubier and Garrett Gerloff.
Following are previews of the teams for the upcoming 2013 AMA Pro Road Racing series, which will feature 11 rounds.
Monster Energy/Graves/Yamaha SuperBike
Returning once again as title sponsor of the SuperBike team, and beginning a new, two-year agreement with Yamaha U.S., is Monster Energy.
Keith McCarty (Motorsports Racing Division Manager for Yamaha) says: “We’ve had a fantastic working relationship with Monster Energy over the past couple of years, and we’re thrilled that they are continuing as title sponsor of our SuperBike team, in addition to being an associate sponsor of our Daytona SportBike team. Monster is a premier brand in the energy drink market that aligns perfectly with Yamaha. Both companies embrace the spirit of competition and, together, Monster Energy and Yamaha have shared two AMA Pro Racing SuperBike championships, along with many wins in the Daytona SportBike series. We’re looking forward to even greater success as we begin this renewed relationship with Monster.”
Back for his fifth season with the Monster Energy/Graves/Yamaha SuperBike team, and still burning with a feverish desire to lead every lap, earn every pole, and win every race, is three-time and defending AMA Pro National Guard SuperBike Champion Josh Hayes.
The 2012 season was a phenomenal year for Josh, as he set single-season records for the most SuperBike wins, the most consecutive SuperBike wins, and the most SuperBike poles. In addition, he moved into second place in all-time career SuperBike championships, all-time career SuperBike wins, and he’s just one pole win out of second place in all-time career pole positions.
Is he humble? Yes. Is he satisfied? Not on your life. During the off-season, Josh signed a two-year contract to stay with Monster Energy/Graves/Yamaha because he loves the team and he still feels that he’s got a lot of unfinished business to attend to.
Josh Hayes says: “My R1 is a six-speed, but I think I’ve still got another gear inside of me. I certainly don’t lack for motivation, I can tell you that. When we line up at Daytona, it’s another season and my past three championships sort of go away. It’s all about this year. This race. This lap. I’ll be ready.”
The Monster Energy/Graves/Yamaha SuperBike team goes into 2013 with a two-Josh lineup once again, as Josh Herrin returns for his 8th year with Yamaha and 10th year of racing a Yamaha professionally.
The 2012 season was Josh’s rookie year in SuperBike, and he quickly proved to be one of Josh Hayes’ most formidable challengers. The younger Josh got the holeshot in a number of races, led some laps, and earned Rookie of the Year honors in AMA Pro Racing’s premier class.
The upcoming year will be a pivotal year for Josh, as he looks to make that next step in his career by notching wins in SuperBike. He admits that it won’t be easy.
Josh Herrin says: “Josh (Hayes) is an awesome teammate to have because he really pushes me to be the best I can be. He’s the three-time champ, and we’re riding the same bike, so I know that, if I’m going to win races this season, he’s the man to beat.”
Look for Josh Hayes aboard the #1 Monster Energy/Graves/Yamaha R1 and Josh Herrin piloting the identically liveried #2 Yamaha SuperBike beginning at Daytona in March.
Yamaha Extended Service/Graves/Yamaha Daytona SportBike
The Daytona SportBike team continues into 2013 with Yamaha Extended Service as its title sponsor for the third consecutive year and, according to Colin Haugh who heads up the Y.E.S. program, the partnership has been a win-win.
Colin Haugh says: “Being the title sponsor for Yamaha’s DSB team has really helped to increase awareness of Yamaha Extended Service as a brand, as well as getting the word out about the many benefits that Yamaha Extended Service provides to Yamaha’s owners and riders throughout the U.S. At the same time, the team has been highly successful in DSB competition. We’re looking forward to big things out of the team in 2013.”
Cameron Beaubier had a memorable 2012 season in AMA Pro GoPro Daytona SportBike as he faced more than his fair share of challenges - in the form of untimely injuries - yet he still managed to put together a remarkable season, in which he won two poles and seven races, including his breakthrough double win at Barber Motorsports Park on the same weekend that he earned his first career DSB pole.
Cameron was fast right out of the gate at Daytona last year, and he ultimately finished third in the Daytona 200. Back aboard his #6 Y.E.S./Graves/Yamaha YZF-R6 for 2013, Cameron is the odds-on favorite to not only get his first Daytona 200 win, but also capture his first Daytona SportBike season championship.
Cameron Beaubier says: “Hopefully, I got all that out of my system. I was happy to get seven wins, but I can’t help but wonder what could have been. I’m looking forward to the 2013 season like no other. I feel like a new person, and I can’t wait to get racing again. There are a lot of great riders in Daytona SportBike, including my teammate Garrett, so I’m excited for the season to start.”
Another rider who faced a formidable injury-related challenge in 2012 was Garrett Gerloff. The fractured femur that Garrett suffered in the first practice session at Daytona last year essentially netted the young Texas phenom a “do-over.”
He had to sit out most of the season, but he returned to racing at the final two rounds of 2012, knocked the rust off very quickly, and won the final AMA Pro Motorcycle-Superstore.com SuperSport race of the year at NOLA Motorsports Park.
Garrett Gerloff says: “That final race of the season at NOLA last year was a big boost for me. I waited so long to get back on the bike, and it all came good in New Orleans. But, this season, I’ve got a score to settle with Daytona after what happened last year, and you better believe that I want at it.”
Garrett has been training like a man possessed during this off-season, and he’ll be ready to show up at Daytona aboard his #8 Y.E.S./Graves/Yamaha R6 and challenge his teammate Cameron, as well as the rest of the DSB field, for wins.
More Gravy With Graves
Celebrating their 15th year working together, Graves Motorsports and the Yamaha U.S. Road Racing Teams has been a highly successful partnership.
Keith McCarty says: “I can’t say enough about what Chuck Graves and Graves Motorsports have meant to our team. It’s a close relationship focused on one thing, and that’s winning. The Graves Motorsports components that we use on our R1 and R6 have proven time and time again to be integral to our success. And the professionalism and expertise that Chuck and his crew bring to our team was a big reason why Yamaha won the Manufacturer’s Championship, as well as the Team Championship last year.
“In addition to our continuing relationship with Graves Motorsports, I’m very proud that each and every one of our team partners from last year is back with us again this year. Their loyalty to our program is much appreciated and a key to our success.”
About this year’s lineup of riders, Keith said, “First and foremost, we’re a family, and our four riders are like my kids. I care deeply about them, as I do about everyone on our teams, and I’m so proud of all of them. Josh Hayes has an opportunity to continue re-writing the history books this season and possibly win his fourth championship in a row. Josh Herrin has a successful year under his belt in SuperBike, and I have no doubt that he’s going to give Josh Hayes a run for his money.
“And, in Daytona SportBike, Cameron Beaubier and Garrett Gerloff fought through a lot of adversity last year, and they’re both better for their efforts. We’ve got high hopes for Cameron and Garrett this season, starting with the Daytona 200 in March. It’s going to be a great season for our two teams, our four riders, our valued partners, and all of us at Yamaha. We can’t wait.”
Be sure to follow the Yamaha U.S. Road Racing Teams on Facebook. Yamaha will be posting race results, team news, and other information all season long.