Chris Ulrich Raises Record Charity Funds With Two-Up Rides

ulrich_two_upHow much would you pay to ride around the Auto Club Speedway, in Fontana, California, on the back of an M4 Suzuki GSX-R1000 piloted by AMA Pro Superbike racer Chris Ulrich? What if it was for a good cause? Ulrich set a new record during the 7th annual Roadracing World Action fund-raising event by taking charitable people on two-up rides around the California circuit.

The event, which was held last weekend, raised a new record total of $4815. The previous record, set last year, was $3750.

Ulrich brough passengers on multi-lap trips around the 21-turn, 2.3 mile circuit. Ulrich ultimately covered 423.2 miles on 184 laps to raise money for the Roadracing World Action Fund.

“It was a good two days, a lot of laps, a lot of rides and I really appreciate everyone coming out. To have an event that successful in this economy was really good,” said Ulrich. “We’ve been promoting the event for the last seven years, and I think we did a good job of promoting it this year. It shows how much it has caught on and how much people understand how important safety is for track day riders and racers. It’s a great thing.”

Lucas Oil and Dunlop tires helped sponsor the event. Lucas Oil donated $2000 to the Road Racing World Action Fund and Dunlop donated several sets of tires.

“Big thanks to Lucas Oil for their continued support of our fundraising efforts and our sport, in general,” said Ulrich.

Speaking of Dunlop tires, Ulrich added: “It’s impressive to see that kind of technology come out of America in a tire that’s come a long way in a short amount of time,” said Ulrich. “They definitely passed the durability test, and they were fast the whole time.”

Fastrack Riders ( supplied track time, riding gear and support staff for the event.

Benny Solis Moves Up to DSB For 2012

benny_solis_dsbBenny Solis will be moving up in class in 2012. Solis, one of the fastest riders on the Supersport grid in 2011, will be racing with the, Versah Suzuki team in the Daytona Sportbike class in 2012.

Solis has already tested the 2011 Suzuki GSX-R 600 and recently signed to race with the team in 2012. Solis’ chief manager has yet to be determined.

“As soon as I got on the Suzuki I had a really good feel for it, I was able to push and I really liked the bike,” Solis said. “We worked on getting the set up closer to where I liked it and although we didn’t have it 100%, I was still able to beat my race pace lap times from this last season, so that was a plus on my side. I’m excited to get more time on the bike because I know I can go much faster and I can get it closer to where I really like the feel. 2012 will be a good season for us.”

Solis will be joining veteran Cory West on the Versah Suzuki team in 2012.

Team owner Mark Junge said:

“I have been impressed by Benny’s riding after watching him compete against the team last year. I am really looking forward to working with him and getting the Vesrah Suzuki GSX-R 600 set up for him and seeing what he can do with it. All 3 of my team riders for next year are looking strong and I am ready to get to the track – Bring on Daytona in March!”

Finger Pointing: Who Should Take the Blame for VIR Cancellation?

AMA_Pro_Racing_LogoAn already short AMA Pro Racing season lost another round after the AMA and the Virginia International Raceway couldn’t come to terms a month before the scheduled 8th round of the 2011 racing season. The late cancellation doesn’t say much for the state of road racing in America, but who’s to blame?

The AMA says that it did everything in its power to make sure that the VIR event went off as scheduled. Of course, VIR says pretty much the exact same thing. So with no one taking responsibility, let’s start pointing fingers.

These are the people that are to blame for the cancellation of VIR


VIR – John Ulrich writes at Road Racing World how the “greed and sloth” of the people at VIR caused the demise of round 8. VIR assumed all marketing and promotional responsibilities from M1 in 2010, and they haven’t made any money since. It looked like VIR was going to lose a big chunk of change again in 2011, so they decided to cut their losses and ditch the event.

AMA – According to David Atlas, CEO of AMA Pro Racing, the AMA and VIR had agreed on terms in December. The phone call that he received on Thursday, June 23, from VIR cancelling the round, came as a complete “shock.” I really hope that that’s true, but I find it hard to believe. VIR actually filed a lawsuit against the AMA (although they never officially served the AMA with the lawsuit) over the cancellation of the round.

According to the lawsuit, the AMA and VIR had a letter of intent to work together in 2011, but no contract. The AMA didn’t send the contract until June 2nd, 2011. When VIR didn’t agree with the terms, they tried to work things out, but no agreement could be made. (Of course this could be taken in another way. VIR bluffed big and decided to put out a “warning lawsuit.” But since a contract did actually exist, as Ulrich argues here, the finger pointing has to go back to #1.)

But contract or no, the AMA has to take some responsibility for this debacle. The AMA Pro Racing series was already a short 9 round series with VIR in place. The AMA was trying to stir up interest in 10th round, but instead, we’ll have to settle for an 8 round series for the first time since 1990.


The Fans – The AMA and VIR will argue over who’s to blame, but there is a bigger problem at hand. AMA Pro Road Racing just doesn’t bring in the fans. Without fans there is no money. Without money there is no racing.

People argue that the AMA has gone down hill in recent years, but most of those people probably haven’t watched any of the AMA races this year. We have three series that are going to come down to the final race in order to decide the championship. There have been last lap passes, riders taking wins by less than .1 seconds, big crashes, new records, and historic moments as brands like KTM reinvest into the sport.

Fans, or rather, people who used to be fans of the AMA, need to give American racing another shot.

SpeedTV – SpeedTV has the rights to all television broadcasts of AMA Pro Road Racing, and they do broadcast just about all the races. At midnight.

Now, Speed is in a difficult position. Would you give a primetime spot to a sport that doesn’t have an audience? But I don’ think that’s the right way to look at the problem. The fact of the matter is that the sport doesn’t have an audience because there is no coverage.

Let me tell you a story. A few years ago, Chicago Blackhawks owner Bill Wirtz didn’t allow for home games to be televised, believing that if people could watch the game on TV they would never pay for tickets at the stadium. Well, it didn’t exactly work out that way. The Hawks didn’t have anyone showing up to the games. They didn’t have anyone watching at home. So basically, they didn’t have any fans. In 2004, the Blackhawks were named the worst franchise in pro sports by ESPN.


But that all changed when Wirtz’ son Rocky took over. The Blackhawks were back on TV and fans started regaining their interest in hockey. They started showing up to games, and with more fans, Wirtz put more money back into the team. Eventually Chicago transformed back into a hockey city, and the Blackhawks won their first Stanley Cup in 49 years.

I might be over simplifying a little bit, but the point is that starving the fans of racing content won’t make them hungrier for motorcycle racing, it will just drive them somewhere else to get their racing fill…. like NASCAR. Yuck.

Budget, Branding, and Business – Ed Kuhlenkamp, at Motorcycle USA gives a few reasons as to why AMA racing isn’t bringing in the crowds. Motorcycle racing is a costly sport, and the AMA doesn’t have the budget to fix all of its problems all at once. Most of the teams on the grid are also struggling to get from one race to the next. Jake Holden, for instance, has a sign out during every fan walk asking for donations to his racing efforts.

The state of AMA Pro Racing looks pretty dismal at the moment, which is really a shame, especially since the racers put so much into each and every race.

If there is one group of people that can not be faulted for the VIR cancellation, it’s the guys that push their bikes to the limit at every event. Not only are these guys risking life and limb on the track, but at every event this year they’ve sat down in the pits to shake hands, sign autographs, and take pictures with the fans.

The racers do not deserve an 8 round series. They do not deserve the supposed “greed and sloth” that brought us here. They do not deserve the midnight showings or the lack of fan interest.

The racers deserve a lot more. Hopefully they get it in 2012.

Courtesy of

Elena Myers Takes First Podium of 2011 Supersport Season

elena_myers_podiumsTeam SuzukiScoopFans rider Elena Myers rode a flawless and determined AMA Pro SuperSport race to capture her first podium of the 2011 season at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Alabama at the weekend.

In Saturday’s 17-lap race, 17-year-old Myers got a great start on her SuzukiScoopFans Suzuki GSX-R600 and charged into the lead after just a few laps. She went on to lead the pack for several more laps before settling into third position. Even so, while battling for her podium spot, Myers posted the fastest lap of the race. She and the other front-runners went on to gap the field and Myers was on the box for the first time this season.

“I got a good start on my SuzukiScoopFans Suzuki GSX-R600 in Saturday’s race,” said Myers. “I was starting on the second row from the fifth spot – that’s my best qualifying this year – and I felt pretty good about that. I was second off the line and then we had a red flag. In the restart, I had another good start and was trying to put my head down and I led for a few laps, and even went back and forth with the lead guys, but they ended up pulling a gap. I made my way home in third place and I’m really excited about that. It’s my first podium of the year and this was my first podium since my win last year. It’s definitely a big confidence-booster for me.”

Sunday’s race again saw Myers get up front fairly quickly and she was running in third for several laps before bringing home a solid fifth-placed finish. Although Myers is contesting all the 2011 AMA SuperSport rounds, officially she is only competing in the West Coast Championship. This weekend’s races at Barber were East Coast rounds and did not affect Myers’ overall Championship points standings. She remains in fifth place in the West Division.

“Today went pretty well,” she said. “I finished in fifth place. I didn’t get such a great start but I was battling with the top guys again. I think overall it was a good weekend – a third and a fifth, you can’t be too upset about that. My leathers are clean, I’m clean and my Suzuki looks good. A big thanks to everybody at Suzuki and my crew and everybody who really made this weekend a good one for me. Thanks to all the fans for coming out, and now I can’t wait for Mid-Ohio.”

The 2011 SuzukiScoopFans team’s next event of the 2011 AMA Pro SuperSport season will be at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio on July 8-10th.

[Press Releaes and Photo Courtesy of Suzuki Racing]

Steve Rapp Takes XR1200 Win at Miller

danny_eslick_xr1200Steve Rapp took his first win of the 2011 XR1200 season today at Miller Motorsports Park. Rapp beat out Danny Eslick and Chris Filmore for the race win.

Michael Barnes led for the majority of the race, but a determined Rapp took control with four laps remaining. Rapp was able to hold onto the lead, despite the best efforts of Danny Eslick and Chris Filmore.

Rapp’s win is his first victory of the season. Rapp also has a fourth and a third place finish and now moves into second place in the series behind Chris Filmore.

Kyle Wyman holds onto the third place spot in the overall standings, but he hasn’t been able to find the magic touch since his win at Daytona. Wyman finished in 8th place today behind Chase McFarland and Tyler O’Hara.

XR1200 Race Results

  1. Steve Rapp
  2. Danny Eslick
  3. Chris Filmore
  4. Michael Barnes
  5. Tyler OHara
  6. Chase McFarland
  7. Kyle Wyman
  8. Joe Kopp
  9. Michael Corbino

Courtesy of