Tommy Aquino Spirit AwardThe motorcycle-racing community lost one of its young and bright riders on February 2 – Tommy Aquino.
The 21-year-old Californian crashed while training at Piru MX Park in Piru, Calif., with family and friends.Memorials immediately began across the industry, and the latest arrives from AMA Pro Racing, Cortech and SHOEI – the “Tommy Aquino Spirit Award.”The award, which celebrates Aquino’s positive spirit in the paddock, will be granted to an “AMA Pro Road Racing rider who best embodies the spirit of the paddock during the 2014 season.”AMA says the paddock will vote for the rider who exemplifies qualities mirroring those of Aquino, including passion for the sport, fan engagement and team interaction.“Over the past eight years we have had the pleasure of working with Tommy Aquino, but he was much more than just another SHOEI athlete,” said Hiro Mizushima, President of SHOEI Safety Helmet Corp. “His personality really shined through his radiant smile, and everyone appreciated his presence. Always easy to work with, Tommy earned a place within the SHOEI family as one of us, someone we would do anything we possibly could to help out. Losing someone like Tommy is like losing one of our family members, he will truly be missed.”“Cortech and Helmet House are honored to present this award,” said Richard Kimes, CMO and Director of Training for Cortech and Helmet House. “Tommy was like family to us and we’re proud to help carry on his legacy.”“I want to thank both Cortech and SHOEI for their gracious gesture in the name and spirit of Tommy Aquino,” said David McGrath, Senior Director of Competition, AMA Pro Racing. “Tommy brought youth, levity and an uplifting spirit to our community. His good nature and infectious smile are fondly remembered by all. He is and will be sorely missed.”About Tommy Aquino (Courtesy of AMA Pro Racing):Aquino raced in AMA Pro GoPro Daytona SportBike from 2009-2012, finishing inside the top five on 30 occasions and acquiring nine total podiums. Aquino’s biggest on-track moment in AMA Pro Racing competition came in 2011 at New Jersey Motorsports Park where he recorded a Race 1 victory on the back of his No. 6 Yamaha Extended Service Yamaha YZF-R6.AMA Pro Racing is the premier professional motorcycle racing organization in North America, operating a full schedule of events and championships for a variety of motorcycle disciplines. Learn more about AMA Pro Racing at www.amaproracing.com.
This week, Senior Editor Nic de Sena rides the all new Ducati Monster. Big changes have been made by Ducati–has the company ruined the considerable heritage of the iconic Monster–or are the changes worth it? In the second part of the show, we chat with Nick Ienatsch, Founder and Head Instructor at the Yamaha Champions Riding School. He says: “We aim to change your riding life by introducing you to Champions Habits: The techniques, approaches, skills, and the mindsets of the best riders in the world. These Champions Habits are the foundation of safety and consistency to whatever speed you ride, in any venue on any bike. Street riders, this is just as much for you as track riders. The best way to make safe riders is to make good riders.“ We hope you enjoy this episode!