Jake Zemke will contest the 2013 Daytona 200 aboard a Ducati 848 for the new Desmo Veloce team. Zemke serves as a last minute replacement for the squad’s planned Daytona SportBike rider, Garrett Willis, who was injured in a pre-season crash at Chuckwalla Valley Raceway.
Team Desmo Veloce will support two riders at Daytona – Zemke and Canadian rider Jordan Imrie, the latter piloting a Honda CBR600RR in SuperSport.
Winner of the 2006 Daytona 200, Zemke is also the 2008 Formula Xtreme Champ. He claimed a sixth-place result during the 2012 D200, racing for the Ducshop Ducati squad. The Californian went on to finish seventh in the DSB series that year.
“The last thing any rider wants to do is replace someone that has been hurt,” said Zemke in a team press release. “But we made a lot of progress with the Ducati last year and I think we have a really good chance to win at Daytona. I am happy to fill in for Garrett and I hope he heals quickly.”
Zemke piloted the Ducshop Ducati last year with current Desmo Veloce team owner, Richard Boyd, as his crew chief.
“Once we were certain that Garrett wasn’t going to be able to race, Garrett and I decided that Jake Zemke was the obvious choice to ride the bike in Daytona,” said Boyd of the decision to offer Zemke the D200 seat. “This is not the way we wanted to start the season, but Garrett’s attitude has been very refreshing, and in a total professional way, he is driving the whole program forward
In 2011, Zemke notably claimed the Daytona 200 pole position and a third-place podium finish for the Project 1 Yamaha team. That performance, however, did not translate into a season-long AMA Pro Racing gig and he would later run part of the British Superbike series racing the EVO class.
RELATED CONTENT: Before the 2012 Daytona 200 MotoUSA caught up with Jake Zemke and his return to AMA Pro Racing after a stint in British Superbikes. Read more in the Jake Zemke Interview 2012 Daytona.