Questions Loom as GEICO Motorcycle AMA Pro Road Racing Gears up for Road America
NEWS May 21, 2013
Photo by Brian J Nelson
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (May 21, 2013) – With exactly ten days remaining until GEICO Motorcycle AMA Pro Road Racing commences its Round 2 action set to take place at Road America, several questions loom as to what kind of surprises await. Round 1 at Daytona International Speedway revealed a significant amount of events that most race fans couldn’t have predicted. For instance; three-time defending National Guard SuperBike Champion Josh Hayes and his back-to-back DNF’s due to motorcycle malfunctions, Cameron Beaubier’s sheer dominance of the DAYTONA 200, and two Colombians owning a Motorcyle-Superstore.com SuperSport class which seemed to ignite an international flavor back into the series.
Over the years, race fans have grown accustomed to witnessing Josh Hayes go back-to-back in the win column, much less the DNF column. With his back against the wall heading into Round 2, Hayes finds himself down 48 points to up-and-coming Monster Energy Graves Yamaha teammate Josh Herrin and 47 points down to what looks to be a scary good Martin Cardenas (Yoshimura Suzuki Factory Racing) this year. In an interview last month with Hayes, the three-time king insisted that regardless of his disastrous Daytona efforts, he’s far from waving the white flag and believes he’s still got a legitimate chance of making it four straight championships in the elite class. Over his last six races at Road America, Hayes has dominated the asphalt, claiming victory to four of his last six races at the legendary 4.05-mile course and the Gulfport, Mississippi product will need to produce similar results again this time around if he plans on staying in contention.
There is no doubt that Cameron Beaubier was considered one of several potential candidates to capture the coveted DAYTONA 200 checkered flag this season. However, to think that the 20-year-old would go on to win the historic race by over 22 seconds would have been viewed as a rather large stretch of the imagination by most. Beaubier, mounted on his No. 6 Yamaha Extended Service/Graves Yamaha YZF-R6, dominated the 57-lap shootout and looks to carry over his momentum to Road America. However, the road to success will be that much harder as 2012 GoPro Daytona SportBike runner-up Dane Westby (GEICO Motorcycle Road Racing) will be chomping at the bit to make up ground after being medically ineligible to race at Daytona after rupturing his spleen in a practice round earlier in the week during Round 1. There’s no denying that Beaubier’s performance in GEICO Motorcycle AMA Pro Road Racing’s only endurance race of the season was an exceptional one. However, it will be interesting to see how the kid from California makes the adjustment from the 57-lap format that he handled so well to the 13-lap all-out sprint that he will be forced to conform to at Road America.
Round 1 at Daytona International Speedway saw three Colombian natives each claim victories and several other foreigners from around the globe participate and compete at a high level at the season opener. With two GoPro Daytona SportBike championships under his belt, Martin Cardenas (Medellin, Colombia) returned to the National Guard SuperBike ranks this season and immediately made an impact, winning one of two races to start the season. Stefano Mesa (Medellin, Colombia - Motosport.com) and Tomas Puerta (Medellin, Colombia - RoadRace Factory Racing) took the Motorcycle-SuperStore.com SuperSport class by storm to kick off the season with one win each to their credit. After winning Race 2 at Road America last season, Mesa looks to continue his success aboard a No. 37 Motosport.com Yamaha YZF-R6. Venezuelans Robertino Pietri (Team Moto Venezuela PC 4x4 Store) and Fernando Amantini (Team Amantini) also add to a strong 2013 international rider list of contenders that hope to make some more noise during Round 2 at Road America.
Road America is one of the most historic venues in all of motorsports. Located in Elkhart Lake, Wis., this beautiful track is the longest circuit on the 2013 GEICO Motorcycle AMA Pro Road Racing schedule. The classic venue will size up the competition as the summer begins to kick in across the nation. For tickets and more information regarding the event, scheduled to take place on May 31-June 2, please visit http://www.roadamerica.com/.
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