After a hugely successful inaugural event last weekend at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California, the GEICO Motorcycle Superbike Shootout is heading north this week to hold the Arai Pacific Nationals May 3-4 during Sonomafest at historic Sonoma Raceway, in Sonoma, California.
The event will feature many of America’s top professional racers facing off against the best Pro-Am riders from host club AFM in the RaceFuelZ Pro Superbike and Dynojet Pro Sportbike races on Sonoma Raceway’s challenging 2.32-mile, 12-turn road course.
Latus Motors Racing Triumph’s Bobby Fong, the winner of the Dynojet Pro Sportbike race at Auto Club Speedway, is looking to continue his success at Sonoma Raceway, especially because it is his home track.
“I’m really excited about heading to race close to home because I know a lot of friends and family will be out there,” said Fong, a 23-year-old from Stockton, California. “I’m really pumped to get back out there and race again so soon. We’ve got a lot of confidence behind us now because we got that win and our Triumph Daytona 675R is one of the best bikes out there.
“And it should be a really good event because AFM usually draws a good crowd, and the Superbike Shootout put on a good show last weekend. So I think we should have a really good turnout for this second round.”
As for the Superbike Shootout racing within an AFM event, the club’s 60th anniversary weekend, Fong said, “It’s good for the AFM because they get to showcase their talent and the riders get to show what they have in front of the Pro teams. And a lot of fast Pro racers have come out of the AFM: Steve Rapp, Rich Oliver, Elena Myers, Cameron Beaubier, Joey Pascarella.”
Fong will not be alone in his pursuit of victory in the Dynojet Pro Sportbike class as Yamaha Extended Service/Monster Energy/Graves Yamaha’s JD Beach and Garrett Gerloff; Rocky Mountain Kawasaki’s Ricky Orlando, the unofficial all-time Daytona 200 mileage record holder; M4 Sportbiketrackgear.com Honda’s Joe Roberts; Team H35’s Benny Solis; and GEICO Motorcycle Honda’s Jake Zemke will also be going for the win at Sonoma Raceway. In addition, veteran journeyman racer Michael Barnes will be making his race debut on the new Veloce Racing MV Agusta F3 675 at the event.
In the RaceFuelZ Pro Superbike division, Martin Cardenas comes to Sonoma Raceway with a target on his back because the calm Colombian won the new series’ inaugural race on his Yoshimura Suzuki GSX-R1000 at Auto Club Speedway.
“I’m really looking forward to the race next week after winning in Fontana,” said Cardenas. “It feels great and it gives me confidence, but anything can happen at Sonoma Raceway. I like the layout of Sonoma Raceway. I think it is a very tough track, very technical and demanding physically. But my Yoshimura Suzuki team and I will work hard on our GSX-R1000 and do our best, just like at every race. We have had big crowds at Sonoma Raceway in the past, so I am hoping that a lot of people come out to watch and we give them a great race like we did in Fontana.”
“Great race” is almost an understatement, as the fans at Auto Club Speedway were treated to a fantastic, five-way battle throughout most of the RaceFuelZ Pro Superbike race. At the end, Cardenas held off rising star Cameron Beaubier and his Monster Energy Graves Yamaha YZF-R1 by just 0.082 second. With his family and friends in the stands, Roseville, California, native Beaubier will be looking to make the most of his first Superbike race at his home track.
In addition to Cardenas and Beaubier, three-time Pro Superbike Champion Josh Hayes, Cardenas’ teammate Roger Hayden and privateer rider/team owner “Aussie Dave” Anthony were also in the hunt for the win at Auto Club Speedway. Hayes, who rides the #4 Monster Energy Graves Yamaha YZF-R1, won his first Pro Superbike race at Sonoma Raceway in 2009 and has seven career Pro race wins at the track. Hayden has never won a Pro race at Sonoma Raceway, but he was the runner-up in the last Pro Superbike race there in 2012. And SIC/Motul/Fly Racing’s Anthony, a native of Australia, will be looking to grab the podium finish that just eluded him at Auto Club Speedway.
Other riders entered for the RaceFuelZ Pro Superbike race at Sonoma Raceway include Chris Clark, the third Yoshimura Suzuki rider; KTM/HMC Racing factory racer and “Following Fillmore” web TV show star Chris Fillmore; and Chris Ulrich, who rides the GEICO Motorcycle Honda CBR1000RR. In addition, Tyler O’Hara, a Pro rider from Petaluma, California, will be making his Pro Superbike debut on a Meen Motorsports Yamaha, and Steve Metz, a veteran AFM racer will also be making his Pro Superbike debut on a Boulder Motor Sports-prepared Team Tigerbike Ducati 1199 Panigale.
Motul USA is official oil of the GEICO Motorcycle Superbike Shootout Presented By Yamaha Arai Pacific Nationals at Sonoma Raceway.
"We couldn't be more excited to help the Superbike Shootout team bring road racing back to the West Coast,” said Dave Wolman, President of Motul USA. "When I received the call from the Ulrich family, we at Motul knew we had to commit ourselves to supporting road racing and the motorcycle industry with these exciting events."
is the official helmet of the GEICO Motorcycle Superbike Shootout Presented By Yamaha.
Fans attending the race will have a chance to interact with the racers. Practice and qualifying take place Saturday, May 3, and the races run on Sunday, May 5. Fans can attend the Rider Q&A Sessions after qualifying on Saturday, the Dynojet Pro Sportbike Q&A 2:35-2:55pm, and the RaceFuelZ Pro Superbike Q&A 5:05-5:25pm. Also, fans have access to the “Pit Walk” which is an autograph session on Hot Pit Saturday 12:30-1:00pm, and Sunday 12:00-12:30pm.
Two-day weekend tickets are $25 each at the gate. Children 12 and under are free and parking is free. For more information on the event, go to www.superbikeshootout.com