AMA SuperSport Daytona Preview 2012

March 13, 2012
Bart Madson
By Bart Madson
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Bashing away at the MotoUSA keyboard for nine years now, Madson lends his scribbling and editorial input on everything from bike reviews to industry analysis and motorcycle racing reports.

The SuperSport series returns for 2012 with once again the title sponsor. Featuring the rising stars of road racing, this feeder class has already graduated several DSB regulars up the AMA ranks. The young guns will get two opportunities to showcase their talent at Daytona with a pair of 10-lap races.

Start of the second SuperSport contest at Daytona
The rising stars in American road racing return to Daytona’s high banks to compete in the AMA SuperSport series.

Monster Energy-sponsored rider James Rispoli returns to defend his SuperSport title. The standout rider in the 2011 SuperSport series will run the #1 plate on his Celtic Racing Orient Express GSX-R600. Rispoli is joined by a number of contenders in the Gixxer ranks. Foremost is newcomer Jake Lewis, who will ride for Vesrah Suzuki. Lewis is the 2011 AMA Roadrace Horizon Award winner and the latest young talent to be tutored by Earl Hayden, founder of the Owensboro road racing dynasty.

The SuperSport grid will once again be stacked with Yamahas, with Hayden Gillim expected to be a top R6 pilot. Gillim’s byline reads much like Lewis’, an AMA Horizon winner (2010) benefiting from the tutelage of the elder Hayden. Gillim finished runner-up to Ripsoli in the SuperSport East rankings last year, so expect a fierce title battle from the RoadRace Yamaha pilot.

Other R6 riders looking for Daytona glory are Tomas Puerta (third in 2010 SuperSport East) and Zach Herrin. The latter rider looks to follow big brother Josh’s path up the ranks via Graves Yamaha.

YZF-R6 Graves Project Bike
Oregon-based will back Portland rider Devon McDonough for his rookie SuperSport campaign.

Devon McDonough will also be campaigning the SuperSport schedule aboard an R6. Oregon-based the 16-year-old from Portland for the 2012 season. Stay tuned to Motorcycle USA for regular updates from Devon, who will be chronicling his rookie season in the digital pages of MotoUSA.

Elena Myers returns with Suzuki. The 18-year-old made history in 2010 as the first woman to win an AMA Pro road racing event (Infineon), and finished fifth in the SuperSport West series last year. Myers won’t be the only girl racing against the SuperSport boys, as Shelina Moreda contests the series for 2012. The GoPro sponsored rider will campaign an R6 for the full season, also racing in TTXGP events for CRP racing.

Another young gun to watch at the Daytona SuperSport is Team Latus’ Dustin Dominguez. Fourth in the SuperSport East standings last season, the Oklahoma native nabbed his first victory last season and will campaign aboard the Triumph Daytona 675.