A crash in Race 2 at Infineon by Monster Energy Yamaha Pilot Josh Hayes handed the points lead over to Blake Young heading into Miller.
This Memorial Day Weekend Miller Motorsports Park hosts the fourth round of the AMA Pro Road Racing series, held in conjunction with Round 6 of the World Superbike Series. As usual, the MMP holiday weekend schedule features some program changes for the AMA Pro ranks, which takes second-billing to the SBK boys. AMA practice will get underway on Saturday while Sunday will host the Go Pro Daytona SportBike and Motorcycle-Superstore.com SuperSport races. Monday will include the Vance & Hines XR1200 and National Guard SuperBike events as well as headlining World Superbike races.
AMA PRO NATIONAL GUARD AMA SUPERBIKE
The American SuperBike class has seen some awesome racing this year between Monster Energy Yamaha Pilot Josh “Hurricane” Hayes and Yoshimura Suzuki’s Blake young. In Atlanta we saw Young take a high-speed fall only to come back from a dead last restart to take a win. At Round 3 in Sonoma we saw Hayes take a tumble in Race 2 after dominating Race 1, losing the points lead in the process. A lot of heat is being brought to the table between the two riders this year.
Entering the Miller round, Young sits atop of the points standing with Hayes holding down second spot just four points down. National Guard Suzuki rider Roger Hayden holds third in the points standings and is fresh off of a second-place finish in Race 2 at Infineon. Hayden, with 114 points, may have a comfortable gap over Yamaha’s Josh Herrin with 84 points, but has some work to do if he wants to catch up with Hayes.
Round 3 at Infineon also saw some new machinery on the podium in both SuperBike Races with Danny Eslick and Geoff May scoring the EBR stable a pair of third-place finishes. It’s awesome to see the Eric Buell Racing squad come this far in such a short period of time. We will just have to wait and see if the team has what it takes to be competitive on the faster course of Miller Motorsports Park. This weekend also marks the return of Motorcycle-Superstore.com/Attack Performance rider Steve Rapp after suffering a hand injury at Infineon.
Joey Pascarella will take over the Riders Discount / Vesrah Suzuki ride that we saw Benny Solis (above) start the 2012 season on.
GO PRO DAYTONA SPORTBIKE
The Daytona SportBike class has seen a game of musical rides go in in between Round 3 and 4. We saw Joey Pascarella win the prestigious Daytona 200 this year aboard a Project 1 Atlanta Yamaha R6. For Rounds 2 and 3 we saw the California native atop the SGA Racing Yamaha which he scored a third place on in Race 2 at Infineon. For the rest of the season Pascarella has taken over Benny Solis’ spot with the Vesrah Suzuki team while Solis has moved himself over to the Triple Crown Industries stable to ride a Yamaha R6.
The class has seen two other winners this season besides Pascarella, Geico Suzuki pilot Martin Cardenas has three wins under his belt for 2012 and Triumph’s Jason DiSalvo has one. Cardenas heads the top of the points standings with 113 points, 11 points back is the Y.E.S. Monster Energy Graves Yamaha rider Tommy Hayden. Dane Westby, who’s had a pair of podium finishes this season in Atlanta holds down third spot with 94 points heading into Round 4.
The SuperSport contest has been an exciting one this year. We’ve seen Elena Myers take the second win of her career at Round 1 at Daytona. Reigning SuperSport Champion James Rispoli has been on it this season, only finishing off of the podium one time thus far. New to the AMA Pro Roadracing scene, Vesrah Suzuki rider Jake Lewis made his professional debut this season and even scored a win in Atlanta.
Last year at Miller we saw National Guard Suzuki’s Corey Alexander take his first win in his debut SuperSport season. This year Alexander has yet to win a race with his best finish being second. Will we see him get a repeat of last year this weekend?
VANCE & HINES XR1200
Celtic Racing Monster Energy athlete James Rispoli is looking to get another win under his belt this weekend at Miller Motorsports Park.
The Harley class has been providing some of the best racing out of all the classes this year. Bartels’ Harley Davidson teammates Tyler O’Hara and Michael Barnes had a tremendous race at Infineon, with O’Hara leading the entire race until the last straight where he missed a shift and had to settle for second. Kyle Wyman has also been a threat this year, getting the first win of the season at Daytona. The three riders have yet to share the podium this season and are all separated by less than ten points in the standings.
Last year Steve Rapp topped the XR1200 charts scoring the win at Miller. As he is coming back from injury and not on the pre-entry list, it looks like he will be focused on his American SuperBike duties this weekend.