AMA Pro Road Racing riders return after an extended summer break to battle at New Jersey Motorsports Park.
GEICO Motorcycle AMA Pro Road Racing returns for the American Red Cross Devils Showdown presented by Team ProMotion at New Jersey Motorsports Park in Millville, New Jersey September 7-9, 2012. All but the AMA Pro Vance & Hines XR1200 riders have been on break for over a month since the previous round at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca and the New Jersey stop marks Round 10 of 12 in the 2012 season. The XR1200s battled in a double-header at the Red Bull Indianapolis Grand Prix mid-August and will return to the single-race format through the final three rounds of the year. As for SuperBike, SportBike and SuperSport, riders will face off in the usual contests on Saturday and Sunday and action is sure to be as intense as ever.
AMA Pro National Guard SuperBike
Monster Energy Graves Yamaha’s Josh Hayes is in the midst of a record-breaking season. After sweeping the round at Laguna Seca, he became the only rider in AMA Pro National Guard SuperBike history to earn eight consecutive wins. The Mississippi native is also tied with Ben Spies at third on the all-time SuperBike win list. If history is any indication, Hayes is in perfect position to pick up two more wins at New Jersey since he’s been the race winner in all but one of the contests run at the Motorsports Park since it was added to the SuperBike schedule in 2009.
Hayes’ teammate Josh Herrin is also enjoying a successful season. The SuperBike rookie has yet to earn a race win, but has taken nine podiums so far and has only fallen outside the top five three times. He’s a three-time race winner at New Jersey in AMA Pro GoPro Daytona SportBike, and he’ll be looking to convert that experience to a podium finish at the coming event.
Separating the two Graves riders in points is Yoshimura Suzuki’s Blake Young, who trails Hayes by 74. The Suzuki rider is the only one on the grid that has bested Hayes at New Jersey, taking the win in Race 2 at the event in 2011.
National Guard Jordan Suzuki’s Roger Hayden sits fourth overall and will also be a contender for podium position. The current year has been a series of ups and downs for Hayden, with all manner of mechanical issues and crashes plaguing him through the season. At Mid-Ohio, he rallied and showed that he’s still a competitive force on the track, going 3-2. His Jordan Suzuki teammate Ben Bostrom has struggled this year as well, falling short of the podium in every race so far. At New Jersey in 2011, Bostrom took second in Race 1 and fifth in Race 2.
Team Amsoil/Hero’s Geoff May sits 12 points behind Hayden in fifth overall and has been a regular fixture inside the top ten all season. Danny Eslick, also of Team Hero, has been more inconsistent than May, but both riders have made the podium at least once. Both pilot the only American-made bike on the grid, the EBR 1190RS, and their respective teams are constantly looking to improve their competitive edge against the Japanese and European manufacturers.
Foremost Insurance’s Larry Pegram sits sixth overall, followed by Eslick and Bostrom in seventh and eighth respectively, with Young’s teammate Chris Clark holding to ninth and Attack Performance/Motorcycle-Superstore.com’s Steve Rapp rounding out the top ten.
AMA Pro GoPro Daytona SportBike
Current points leader, Martin Cardenas of Geico Suzuki, hasn’t earned a SportBike race win since Road America in June, but has finished on the podium in three of the five contests since then. While riding in the SuperBike class in 2011, Cardenas went 8-4 at New Jersey and he’s going to have to continue posting podium finishes this year if he hopes to remain the points leader. The Colombian currently sits 64 ahead of M4 Suzuki’s Dane Westby and 80 ahead of Yamaha Extended Services’ Cameron Beaubier and his teammate Tommy Hayden.
Martin Cardenas (36), Cameron Beaubier (6) and Tommy Hayden (22) will continue to fight for the 2012 Daytona SportBike title at New Jersey Motorsports Park.
Westby posted his worst result of the season at Laguna Seca, finishing in 18th, but otherwise has been within the top ten, if not the top five, in every race of the year. Beaubier is on course to be a primary challenger to Cardenas though, winning four of the last five races. The young Yamaha rider has the skill and the guts to go for the win every time, demonstrated dramatically in a final lap pass of both Cardenas and Hayden in the contest at Laguna. Beaubier’s climb up the ranks comes after he missed three races early in the season due to injury. Hayden has yet to earn a win, but has five podiums and only fell outside the top-ten once in Race 1 at Road America.
Team Latus Motors Racing’s Jason DiSalvo is also a contender for a race podium if he’s able to avoid incidences. He’s taken some hits, crashing out a handful of times and missed the round at Laguna Seca entirely. When he does finish a race though, he’s generally within the top five if not on the podium.
Privateer Jake Zemke of Ducshop Racing sits sixth overall behind DiSalvo, followed by RoadRace Factory’s JD Beach in seventh and Bobby Fong of Meen Motorsports in eighth. Riders Discount Vesrah Suzuki’s Cory West sits in ninth and his teammate Joey Pascarella rounds out the top ten. Pascarella is the only rider beside Cardenas, Westby, Beaubier and DiSalvo to take a race win in SportBike this year.
AMA Pro Motorcycle-Superstore.com SuperSport
The contest at New Jersey Motorsports Park counts toward the AMA Pro Motorcycle-Superstore.com SuperSport Eastern Division points competition which is in a deadlock between Riders Discount Vesrah Suzuki’s Jake Lewis and Castrol Triumph’s Dustin Dominguez. The two riders are mathematically tied for the lead at 161, each have two race wins in their division and three additional podium finishes otherwise. Lewis struggled mid-pack at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, the last round to count toward the Eastern Division, while Dominguez went on to sweep the round. Lewis fared much better at Laguna Seca, taking fourth, whereas Dominguez didn’t start at all. The Triumph rider went 5-4 at New Jersey in 2011 and may have the upper hand on Lewis at the Millville track in terms of experience.
Kneedraggers.com’s Stefano Mesa holds steady in third overall, 23 behind Lewis and Dominguez. He took his first career AMA Pro win at Road America, a contest that counted toward the Western Division. He’s been regularly within the top ten in all Eastern races and has the potential to gain ground on the title battle before the end of the season.
RoadRace Factory’s Tomas Puerta follows Mesa in points with National Guard’s Corey Alexander further back in fifth overall.
Western Division riders that could take valuable, top-five finishing positions are Celtic Racing’s James Rispoli and RoadRace Factory’s Hayden Gillim. The two riders are first and second respectively in their division and consistently finish at the top of the pack. They wouldn’t earn points for a top finish, but would deprive the Eastern Division riders and could affect the overall positions.
Kyle Wyman currently leads the XR Showdown after going 1-2 in the doubleheader at the Red Bull Indianapolis GP.
AMA Pro Vance & Hines XR1200
The XR1200 Series doubleheader at the Red Bull Indianapolis Grand Prix marked the first round of the XR Showdown where the top ten riders reverted to an even playing field, 1000 points each, in the final push for the championship.
The three riders who dominated the podium all season, Bartel’s Harley-Davidson’s Tyler O’Hara and KLR Group’s Kyle Wyman and Michael Barnes, were put to the test in the contest at Indy. Wyman was able to go 1-2, but O’Hara slipped in Race 1 and finished 12th. He was able to recover and take the win in Race 2, but his uncharacteristic performance leaves him third overall where, prior to the Indy contest, he was first. Barnes missed the podium altogether, going 4-5, unable to get past Suburban Harley-Davidson’s Benjamin Carlson, who went 2-3.
XP Motorsports’ Michael Corbino is fourth overall, followed by Barnes and Harv’s Harley-Davidson’s Travis Wyman in sixth.
SuperBike, SportBike and SuperSport riders begin practice on Friday September 7, 2012, followed by qualifying and their first races on Saturday. The XR1200’s get their first practice Saturday followed by a single race on Sunday.