Pride&Prejudice: AMA Athletes Need Some Love, Too

IMGP9984smAttendance for this year’s Daytona 200, like every year, was crap. I might have been able to start a flag football team with the amount people in the stands. This is one place where the AMA bites it hard. They should try and get off the self righteous AMA bandwagon and make the races about the racers, and not the oh so mighty AMA. Nobody outside of racing knows who Jason DiSalvo is because the AMA doesn’t tell any story. He’s a racer for the AMA. That’s it? Awesome.

Do you think that all of the Podunk NASCAR fans really give a crap about racing cars in a circle? Not bloody likely. They love the racers. NASCAR does a great job of telling a story. Dale Jr. sucks the big one, but he sells tickets. He does wrangler commercials. All American good ol boy with racing royalty in his veins; even though he should be selling wranglers at Wal-Mart instead of endorsing them.

You mean to tell me that James Rispoli, one of the most promising prospects in supersport, couldn’t be a huge success if the AMA actually put the effort into making a story about his life, selling the sizzle? AMA wake up and smell the rubber burning in your office. Dear marketing team, when Josh Hayes can walk into a crowd of people and no one asks for an autograph, your marketing plan might need a little tweaking.

Let’s get back to the drawing board and off the soapbox. Let’s tell a story… tell the public who the racers are. They have trials and tribulations, just like everybody else. And the public should know what a struggle it is for a racer to get out and ride every race. The pressure to win, get funded, and not wreck. Please the sponsors, keep the logistics going, and don’t piss anybody off. You gotta love pretentious team owners with a hard-on for being in the limelight. Oh yeah, and don’t forget all the bullshit that comes along with the AMA.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to slam the AMA, even though this story really seems to be doing that quite well. I know alot of the people that work for the AMA, and they’re great people, but, when there are 500,000 people outside the speedway and 15,000 inside, somebody in that organization needs to take a look at what’s important. More fans=More Money…you guys like money, right?

Courtesy of AllAboutBikes.com

10 of the Youngest Motorcycle Racing Champions

Last weekend, Taylor Bayne became the youngest driver to win the Daytona 500. At just 20-years-old, Bayne beat out Carl Edwards, David Gilliland, and Bobby Labonte to take a historic win at Daytona.

In light of Bayne’s spectacular feat, here is a look at some of the youngest motorcycle champions in the history of racing.

Loris CapirossiMotoGP: Youngest rider to win the 125cc World Championship.

Loris Capirossi: Loris Capiross won his first world championship before the age of 18. Capirossi won the 125cc world championship in 1990 when he was 17 years and 165 days old. Capirossi’s career has spanned more than three decades, and last year he made his 300th career start.

MotoGP: Youngest rider to win the 250cc World Championship

Valentino Rossi: Valentino Rossi won his first 250cc world championship in 1999 at the age of 20. This was Rossi’s second World Championship victory, as he won the 125cc class championship two year’s prior. Since then, Rossi has amassed 9 grand prix championships, 7 of which were in the premier class. Rossi is also the youngest rider to win a world championship in each of the three divisions.

freddie_spencerMotoGP: Youngest rider to win a premier class World Championship.

Freddie Spencer: Being the youngest rider to win a premier World Championship is only one of many records held by Freddie Spencer. Spencer is also the only rider to ever win the 250cc and the 500cc championship in the same year (1985). He was also the youngest rider to win an AMA Superbike race in 1979. He was 18.

Supercross: Youngest rider to win an AMA Supercross championship.

Ryan Dungey: Ryan Dungey became the youngest rider to win an AMA Supercross championship in 2010. But in order to make it an absolutely legendary season, he also became the youngest rookie to win an AMA Motocross championship that same year. Ryan Dungey is still one of the youngest riders in the Supercross series, despite having two titles under his belt.

troy_corserWorld Superbike: Youngest riders to win the World Supercross Championship

Troy Corser: When Troy Corser won the World Superbike title in 1996, he became the first Australian, and the youngest rider in the history of the sport to do so.

James Toseland: Corser’s record setting win in 1996 was outdone by James Toseland in 2004. Toseland became the youngest rider to claim the WSBK title at the age of 23. Toseland won the title again in 2007, before moving over to the MotoGP.

British Superbike: Youngest rider to win the British Superbike

Leon Camier: Leon Camier made history in 2009, when he became the youngest rider to win the British Superbike Championship. After his record breaking 2009 season, Camier moved to the World Superbike series.

Mike the Bike hailwoodIsle of Man TT: Youngest rider to win the Isle of Man TT

Mike Hailwood: The Isle of Man TT is such a storied series, that it was hard to pin down the youngest champion. But Mike the Bike’s 1961 victory at the age of 21 is a good contender. Hailwood would go onto win another 13 TT’s, and considered one of the greatest to race at the mountain track.

AMA Superbike: Youngest rider to win the AMA Superbike

Nicky Hayden: The Kentucky Kid became the youngest AMA Superbike champion in 2002, when he won at the age of 21-years and 12 days. Hayden moved on to the MotoGP, where he took the World Championship in 2006.

brad_andresGrand Nationals: Youngest rider to win the Grand National Championship.

Brad Andres: Brad Andres won his first Grand National Championship in 1955 during his rookie season. That same year, Andres became the youngest rider to win the Daytona 200 at the age of 18.

Scott Parker: Andres won his first Grand National race at the age of 18, but his record has since been broken by 9 other riders. Nicky Hayden and Larry Pegram are two of the youngest riders to win a Grand National race, but the top honor goes to Scott Parker, who won his first race in 1979 at the age of 17 yrs, 8 mos, 8 days. It’s also interesting to note that Parker is one of the oldest racers to win a Grand National race. Parker was 38 when he won his last race in 2000, more than 20 years after his debut win.

Grand Prix: Youngest to win a Grand Prix race.

Scott Redding: Redding has the distinction of being the youngest rider to win a grand prix race. Redding won his first Grand Prix race at 15 years and 170 days, when he won the 2008 British 125cc Grand Prix at Donington Park, breaking Marco Melandri’s 10 year record. Redding would also go on to become the youngest rider to win 50 grand prix races.

Courtesy of AllAboutBikes.com

Fabrizio Ready For Donington

fabrizio-set-for-doningtonTeam Suzuki Alstare’s Michel Fabrizio is looking forward to this weekend’s World Superbike Championship second round at Donington Park in England, as last time he raced at the circuit in 2009, he finished on the podium.

The 4.023 kilometer (2.49 mile) circuit has been slightly revamped since 2009, but remains essentially a flowing circuit, with a few stop-start sections that require heavy braking. The circuit was the scene of the first ever WSBK race in April 1988 and 34 races have taken place at this popular venue so far.

Michel Fabrizio:

“The last time we raced at Donington, I finished with a podium in race two, so my memories of it are pretty good. I understand that the track has been modified a bit since then, so we will all be starting off learning about the changes and what effects they have on getting a good set-up. Most of the track is pretty flowing, but there are couple of places where you have to be really hard on the brakes and that is why a good set-up and well-balanced bike is vital.

“A lot of people seemed to be unduly concerned about how the weather may be at this time of the year, but the last race in Australia wasn’t as good as we all expected, so Donington might be OK. Whatever the weather is, it will be the same for everybody and if it happens to be cold and wet, then that’s how it’s going be and I and the others just have to get on with it. On the other hand, it may turn out to be a fine, Spring day and everybody will be happy – especially the fans.

“British fans are always very enthusiastic about their racing and I hope that the weather is OK and we get a good crowd. I am feeling very positive about Donington and will be aiming for a good practice, qualifying and Superpole and then another great Donington podium.”

Donington Park Recent Race Results

2010: No race
2009: Race 1: Ben Spies (USA-Yamaha), 2 Max Biaggi (ITA-Aprilia), 3 Noriyuki Haga (JPN-Ducati). 12 Michel Fabrizio (ITA-Ducati).

Race 2: 1 Spies, 2 Leon Haslam (GBR-Honda), 3 Michel Fabrizio (ITA-Ducati).

[Press Release and Photo Courtesy of Suzuki Racing]

Nick Apex Wins Daytona Round of XDL [Video]

XDL_LogoThe 2011 XDL series, the sportbike freestyle competition, kicked off in Daytona Florida during the 70th annual Daytona Bike Week. Nick Apex won the event, and was joined on the podium by Bill Dixon and Luke “Duke” Emmons.

The XDL in Daytona featured the first round of the FMF Cup, but it also had various contests like “sickest trick,” the “wheelie race,” and the “circle challenge.”

Check out all the action from the Daytona event of the XDL series in the video below.

Courtesy of AllAboutBikes.com

Herrin Gets Fined, Suspended, After Daytona 200 Crash [Video]

daytona_200_crashAt the end of the Daytona 200, Dane Westby and Taylor Knapp took a nasty spill. The AMA said after the race that certain riders would be penalized for the crash, but they wanted to take time to review the tape to make sure they made the right call. The AMA has just announced that they have faulted Josh Herrin for the crash.

It appears that Herrin’s elbow hit Westby’s brake on the final lap of the Daytona 200, causing the crash between Westby and Knapp. The AMA has suspended Herrin for one event, and have placed him on probation until the end of this year. Herrin’s team, Graves Yamaha, has also been fined $7,500.

Here is the press release from the AMA

“AMA Pro Racing announced today that penalties and an accompanying fine have been assessed against Josh Herrin and Graves Motorsports, respectively, as the result of actions during the March 12 Daytona 200, specifically those related to the rider’s last-lap approach to start/finish. As per the AMA Pro Road Racing 2011 Rule Book, rules A1.1, A2.1, A2.3.p, and A2.3.u, the details of the penalties and fine are as follows:

  • Rider penalty: One-event suspension, to be applied at Infineon Raceway Round 2, May 13-15
  • Rider penalty: Season-long probation, in effect through December 31, 2011, the violation of which shall result in further and more-serious penalties
  • Team penalty: $7,500 fine, the entire proceeds of which will be applied to the purchase of additional Airfence

Both rider and team were notified of the above details in advance of this release, and the penalties do not prevent them from taking part in the May 2-3 official AMA Pro test at Miller Motorsports Park.

AMA Pro Racing thanks all involved parties for their patience.”

Josh Herrin finished 5th in the Daytona 200, earning 16 points. It does not appear that the AMA will try to take away Herrin’s points.

Here’s the video of the crash in question.

http://c.brightcove.com/services/viewer/federated_f9?isVid=1&isUI=1

Courtesy of AllAboutBikes.com