James Rispoli Embraces New Underdog Role
NEWS April 10, 2013
Photo by Brian J Nelson
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (April 10, 2013) – Few riders have experienced as much success in their respective classes in recent years as James Rispoli. The reigning two-time AMA Pro Motorcycle-Superstore.com SuperSport Champion was nearly perfect in his 2011 and 2012 title runs. After making the jump to GoPro Daytona SportBike this season, the 21-year-old Rispoli proved he can hang with the stout competition in his new class after recording an impressive seventh-place finish at this year’s DAYTONA 200 aboard the No. 43 National Guard/Celtic Racing Suzuki GSX-R600.
“My team and I really bounced back after rough practice and qualifying sessions,” said Rispoli. “It’s tough to swallow a seventh-place finish after the success I’ve grown accustomed to but realistically I’m happy with the end result in my first race in GoPro Daytona SportBike.”
A weak qualifying session resulted in Rispoli having to start back deep in the pack. This didn’t faze the New Hampshire product however, as he slammed the throttle when the flags went green and catapulted himself into the front-tier group before the first lap was even completed. Rispoli evidently took a liking to the front of the pack as this is where he would remain for the duration of the race, until finally crossing the finish line for the 57th time and placing seventh out of a 31-rider field.
Coming into the season, many speculated whether or not Rispoli had what it took to maintain the kind of success he’d been having in Motorcycle-Superstore.com SuperSport, as he would have to do so against a lethal GoPro Daytona SportBike lineup packed to the brim with youth, talent and ability like he hadn’t yet been exposed to in his professional career.
“I think I size up pretty well against these guys,” said Rispoli. “I came in to this class knowing I was the underdog and to be honest I kind of enjoy that role. Nobody really expects much from me and I’m ok with that. My team and I are still trying to build our base and get our package together; once we accomplish this, it’s going to be something special. I love the direction we’re going in right now. I know a lot more guys in this class can run with the pace and the competition is a lot deeper, but I thrive off that sort of thing.”
Next round’s action takes place at Road America for the Subway SuperBike Doubleheader. Look for Rispoli to continue to build his already impressive resume at the legendary speedway located in Elkhart Wis. on May 31 – June 2. For tickets, please visit http://www.roadamerica.com.