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]

Josh Hayes Does The Motorcycle Mating Dance [Video]

josh_hayesIn a recent imaginary survey, 80% of male riders say that they started riding a motorcycle to pick up chicks. The stat may not be exactly accurate (of course it just may be) but it’s no secret, at least in the male mind, that chicks dig motorcycles.

AMA Superbike rider and defending Superbike champion Josh Hayes put this theory to the test. Could he really win the affection of a female just by riding his motorcycle?

Here is the motorcycle mating dance as performed by Josh Hayes.

There you have it. Chicks dig motorcycles. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that Melissa Paris just happens to be married to Hayes.

Courtesy of

Melissa Paris Joins Weronica Endurance Race Team

Melissa ParisMelissa ParisThe FIM Endurance World Championship has quietly become one of the most interesting motorcycle racing series going right now. A number of former and current road racing stars are spending time there and competing on the entertaining and historic circuits on which it is often held. A short list of female competitors…

Steve Martin, Gary Mason, Jason Pridmore, and many champions from mainly European nations, with the notable addition of Australians and an American or two, all race alongside and with one another for team honors above all else. This year’s running will have another contender in Team Weronica, a team consisting of Italy’s Paola Cazzola, Guatemala’s Vania Medrano and Nina Prinz of Germany – all women in case you didn’t notice.

The second North American representative was recently announced to be AMA Pro Daytona SportBike series competitor Melissa Paris.This can be considered a significant milestone for women in the sport of motorcycle racing. If you do look at it like that, this is the first all-female team in the history of the Endurance World Championship. The histories of each of these impressive riders are also lists of firsts; for instance, Paris set a new record as the highest placing woman at the Daytona 200.She was also the first woman to qualify for a FIM World Supersport race.

Vania Mardano riding supermotard in Mexico
Vania Mardano riding supermotard in Mexico
Medrano has championships in an interesting progression through disciplines starting with motocross, through enduro and into supermotard. The first woman to enter for an entire World Supersport season is Cazzola, and Prinz has taken the women’s European Superstock 1000 Championship and diced it up in the German (IDM) Superbike Championship.


Moving away from the significant first(s) that this team represents – which is a great legacy, but it couldn’t have come soon enough – the experience and determination are impressive sans any gender qualifications. Team Weronica has a diverse range of talent, and will have the backing of an equally adept team of engineers and technicians from the British Superbike Championship series paddock. Their ride will be the power-meister BMW S1000RR, a bike which has garnered plenty of praise on the street but precious few podiums on the race circuit. That is definitely changing and the S1000RR is seeing its fortunes improve as the factory gains racing experience with the bike. Beyond the pure, raw horsepower, BMW has also equipped that machine with an incredibly adaptable set of electronics which allow for great latitude in settings.

Team Weronica BMW S1000RRTeam Weronica BMW S1000RRChemistry will need to be a primary focus for everyone on the team early this year if they hope to have a good season. If language and ego are not barriers, the bike will be the biggest challenge to conquer – and that can be a long process. Finding a good setup for all riders on an endurance team is difficult enough with a bike which all members of the team have had some experience with; the S1000RR is a new beast for Team Weronica. However, sometimes a common drive for a singular goal, as with all team sports, can be a very powerful tool which brings out the best in everyone involved. Team Weronica has all the right ingredients, now they need to get started on mixing things up!

The first race of the 2011 FIM Endurance World Championship is the 16 – 17 April running of the 24 Hours Bol D’Or at France’s Magny-Cours.

Courtesy of