Melissa Paris, Scott Russell, to Teach All-Women Yamaha Champions Riding School

yamaha_champions_riding_schoolThe buzz surrounding the first all-women Yamaha Champions Riding School just ratcheted up a notch: AMA Pro Road Racing star Melissa Paris and the legendary Scott Russell will be at the two-day school on August 17-18 at Miller Motorsports Park as Guest Instructors!

These two accomplished riders have previously spent time at the Yamaha Champions Riding School, and jumped at the chance to help women riders improve their skills. Paris is consistently impressive in the AMA Pro Daytona SportBike Championship and was a wild-card qualifier for the FIM World Supersport Championship at Miller Motorsports Park in 2010.

She will join Russell – the former AMA Pro Superbike and World Superbike Champion nicknamed “Mr. Daytona” for his five wins in the Daytona 200 – as Guest Instructors, augmenting the Yamaha Champions Riding School’s lauded curriculum that focuses on each student’s goals. The school is limited to 18 riders, plus another 20 women who would like to sit in on the classes as auditors. The 20 auditor spots are aimed at women who are considering riding but would like to learn more before taking that step.

“The 20 ‘audit’ spots were included because our school’s in-class curriculum makes sense,” Chief Instructor Nick Ienatsch said. “So many people want to mystify motorcycle riding, and it’s our goal to explain it in clear, everyday language. Over the years, we’ve had potential riders sit in on the class, and each of them has left with a clear understanding of how the bike and rider work together to control speed and direction…and they have gone on to buy bikes and enjoy this sport. I wish we could have every new or potential motorcycle rider in the country sit in our classroom, watch the videos, get a two-up ride…let the how’s and why’s of motorcycle riding soak into their brains. It would save a lot of crashes, save our industry… and literally save lives. There are solid, explainable reasons why good riders are good…and why drama happens.”

Ienatsch is joined by an all-star instructor crew at every Yamaha Champions Riding School: Ken Hill, Dale Keiffer, Shane Turpin and Mark Schellinger. “These guys know how tough this sport is. They understand how hard they worked to get good…and I mean winning championships, setting track records and making it to breakfast every Sunday morning,” Ienatsch said. “Their only goal at the school is to help students ride better. That’s it. When we add in Scott Russell and Melissa Paris, the women’s school will be fantastic. And we’re hoping a few surprise Guest Instructors show up, too!”

The first day of the women’s school will not end on the track. “We’ll move to the garages in the evening and put on some special clinics aimed at the challenges motorcyclists face,” Ienatsch continued. “How to pull the wheels from your bike. Lube the chain. Change the oil. Load and unload….and a few other clinics that short-cut the learning curve of our students. The Yamaha ChampionsRiding School’s Operations Manager, Jill Giles, is a championship-winning crew chief, and she knows women can be extremely good on the mechanical side. Most women riders don’t grow up around bikes, so these clinics will get them up to speed with detailed and pointed instruction from experts. We want these two days to be more than just lapping a track. We aim to change the motorcycling lives of our students, to bring them understanding and command of this sport.”

The Yamaha Champions Riding School’s first annual women-only class will be fun, in a non-intimidating environment, for riders of all levels who want to take the next step in their riding. Interested students should sign up soon, before all the available spots are reserved.

For more information about the Yamaha Champions Riding School, go to or call 435.27.SPEED (277-7333).

[Press Release Courtesy of Miller Motorsports Park]

AMA Pro Road Racing: Photos From Barber Motorsports Park

Big storms and 100 degree days made for an interesting weekend of motorcycle racing at Barber Motorsports Park. But the AMA Pro Road racers put on a show for the fans in Alabama, where Martin Cardenas, Blake Young, Benny Solis, James Rispoli, Danny Eslick, and Josh Herrin, all walked away with race wins.


Superbike_PodiumThe first race of the weekend was a wet one for the AMA Superbike riders. Tommy Hayden was leading the pack when rain began to fall and the race had to be red flagged.

But the rain let up and within 20 minutes the AMA Superbike riders were back on the track. In wet conditions, Hayden fell back from the front. Martin Cardenas was able to pick up the reigns and led the Superbike riders around the track to pick up his first AMA Superbike win of his career.

In the second race, the Superbike riders had to deal with temperatures in the high 90s. Tommy Hayden was once again riding up toward the front, when a mechanical error put him on the sidelines. It was an unfortunate weekend for Hayden, but his Yoshimura Suzuki teammate, Blake Young, was able to pull out the win ahead of Josh Hayes.

(You can see all the photos from the AMA Superbike action here.)


DSB_Champagne_ToastJosh Herrin was on a three race win streak heading into Barber Motorsports Park. Herrin could have captured his fourth consecutive win, but a mechanical error put him on the sidelines during the first Daytona Sportbike race. With Herrin out of the race, Danny Eslick pushed himself to the front of the pack, and was eventually able to widen the gap to three seconds.

Eslick would claim his first win of the season, while fellow Suzuki rider Cory West would take third and the championship lead.

Herrin would be able to get some points back in race two, however. Eslick led for every lap during the second Daytona Sportbike race except for the last one. Herrin made a late race pass and was able to take the checkers by .02 seconds.

(You can see all the photos from the Daytona Sportbike action here.)


AAB_Rispoli_grid_2Benny Solis and James Rispoli battled for the top spot on the podium during both AMA Supersport races at Barber Motorsports Park. Solis was able to take the checkers in race one, but Rispoli fired back to take the win in race two.

Rispoli now leads the east Supersport division ahead of Tomas Puerta. Solis, is currently second behind David Gaviria in the west.

(You can see all the photos from the AMA Supersport action here.)

Courtesy of

AMA Announces $235K Purse for Daytona 200

daytona_international_speedwayTraditionally the richest round on the AMA Pro Road Racing schedule, this year’s Daytona 200 season-kickoff event is no exception. A total of $235,500 will be up for grabs when the series returns to Daytona International Speedway, the purse spread throughout the AMA Pro National Guard Superbike, Daytona SportBike, SuperSport, and Vance & Hines XR1200 classes.

The 70th running of the legendary Daytona 200, which reverts to its traditional Saturday-afternoon start this year, will offer a bristling field of Daytona SportBike riders 57 laps to fight for a $20,000 winner’s purse. The event’s second- and third-place finishers will claim $15,000 and $10,000, respectively, with the remaining $64,500 paying down through 20th position.

Each of the two 15-lap AMA Pro National Guard SuperBike races will award a $51,000 purse, for a double-header total of $102,000. SuperBike race-winners will take home $10,000 per victory, with the remaining $41,000 paying through 15th position.

The SuperSport class—- for which Daytona serves as a combination East/West Division event—- will vie for a total of $7,000 per 10-lap race, each winner claiming a $1,500 purse and the remaining prize money paying through tenth position.

The Vance & Hines XR1200 class, making its inaugural appearance at Daytona International Speedway and boasting the largest field the division’s seen yet, will race for $10,000 in prize money. The first big V-twin to tear across the line will take home $3,750, with the remainder paying through tenth position.

The stakes are high for AMA Pro’s road race stars, and fans who emerge from Daytona International Speedway’s tunnels into the legendary infield for the March 12 event will experience a full slate of pit-stops, autograph sessions, fan walks, vendors and exhibitors, live entertainment, and more.

[Press Release Courtesty of AMA Pro Racing.]

Duke Launches 2011 Road Race Rankings

The Geoff Duke Trophy
Motorcycle racing fans can follow the AMA Pro Road Racing series. They can watch the MotoGP and the World Superbike series, or the Supercross, Motocross, or BSB. But how do you keep track of all the races that don’t belong to a specific series? Duke has just launched the 2011 Road Race Rankings series, which groups 26 international events into one series.

The 10th annual Road Race Rankings series will officially launch on Friday at the Isle of Man. This year’s series, the 10th annual, will include events like the Isle of Man TT, Macau Grand Prix, North West 200 and the Ulster Grand Prix. The Rankings series includes these big events, but will also include events like Cookstown, the Skerries and Killalane.

The Road Race Rankings series was developed to “pay tribute to those who show this high level of dedication and enthusiasm for the sport.”

“It is fitting that 2011 marks the start of a new era for the Duke Road Race Rankings as the sport we celebrate – real road racing – has enjoyed a modern renaissance during the decade the Rankings have been running,” said Peter Duke, Managing Director of Duke Marketing. “Visit almost any of the meetings in our 2011 schedule and you will find packed grandstands, full grids and paddocks heaving with top flight teams and leading racers; sure signs of confidence in the future of the sport.road_racing

“It comes as no surprise to me that there is an ever-expanding fan base – even in the USA – and continuing investment in real road racing. Others are now discovering what fans have always known; real road racing produces a jawdropping spectacle, incredible racing, pure drama and real passion. And now with modern TV technology, a whole new audience is growing worldwide.

“It is a sport about commitment and devotion. Just ask the hundreds of riders and teams who journey from Scarborough in April to Macau in November, visiting more than 20 other meetings along the way, to pursue their dream – investing time, money and hard work for often little reward other than the satisfaction of a good result or improved lap time.”

“It was for these people we launched the Duke Road Race Rankings in 2002, to recognise their awesome dedication to racing on the roads, to thank them for the amazing racing we can enjoy throughout the year, year after year.” “So, as we prepare for the flag to drop at Oliver’s Mount on April 17, we can look forward to another season of great racing. Good luck to all and may the best rider win!”

Road_RacingThe Duke Road Race Rankings series was launched in 2002, when Ian Loughner won the title. Loughner has won two more titles since 2002, but Ryan Farquhar has collected the most titles. Farquhar has won 5 Road Race Rankings title, including the last three in a row.

Farquhar will be going for his fourth consecutive title when the series gets underway on April 17 with the Spring Cup Road Races at Oliver’s Mount.

Courtesy of