Rispoli to Defened Supersport Title With Celtic-Orient Express Racing

james_rispoliJames Rispoli is switching teams for the 2012 AMA Supersport season, but he isn’t switching goals. The “Rocket” will be aiming for the 2012 AMA Supersport Championship with the Celtic-Orient Express Racing Team.

Rispoli, who won the AMA Pro Supersport East Division, AMA Pro Supersport Overall, and Young Gun titles in 2011, could be tough to beat in 2012, especially know that he has Celtic in his corner. Celtic Racing has helped developed young talents like P.J. Jacobsen, Chaz Davies, Kenny Noyes, Michael Laverty, and Alistair Seeley.

“I am really excited to be working with Barry Gilsenan and the Celtic Racing team,” Rispoli said. “They’re known for working with young talent and helping to bring out the best in them. This is an opportunity of a lifetime and will be an awesome learning year for me. I now have the experienced crew and backing I need to excel and really put everything I have into each ride. I want to thank Barry and all the sponsors for this incredible opportunity, I can’t wait for the first test.”

Team owner Barry Gilsenan added:

“James put on an impressive display winning the championship in 2011 and I am very happy to have signed him for this year. He is young, talented and has a bright future in the sport. We look forward to working with James to defend his championship.

The Celtic Racing team will also have the added help of Orient Express. Orient has been a long-time supporter of the team but this year they have stepped up their efforts and will be a title sponsor.

“I am also delighted to announce our continued association with Orient Express, who has been a loyal supporter of our team for many years,” Gilsenan continued. “This year Orient Express has stepped up their support to become a co-title sponsor and I thank them for that.”

The Celtic-Orient Express Racing team will also be associated with Michael Jordan Motorsports recent expansion with the Army National Guard, and Fairhills Group entry Corey Alexander.

Skip Dowling of Orient Express added:

“We are pleased to again be working with Celtic Racing and especially excited to support two talented, up-and-coming young racers for 2012. These riders impressed us with their professionalism and success both on and off the track. We’re glad to be able to support the team with some of the best components on the planet. Being associated with the Army National Guard is an honor we will not take lightly and will strive to be worthy representatives.”

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 RidersDiscount.com, 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 RidersDiscount.com 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 RidersDiscount.com 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!”

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]

Rispoli Wins, Takes Points Lead at Barber Motorsports Park

Rispoli_ElbowJames Rispoli took his first win of the 2011 AMA Supersport season today at Barber Motorsports Park. RIspoli had relentless pressure from race 1 winner Benny Solis, but the ANT Racing rider was able to ride a near flawless race to capture the race two victory.

Rispoli and Solis had battled it out during the first race at Barber Motorsports Park, but it was the Honda rider who took the checkers in race 1. Rispoli was determined to find the top of the podium during the second race, however, and jumped off to an early lead of 1.5 seconds by the end of the first lap.

“James had more than a second on me at the beginning,” Solis said. “So I had to work really hard to close the gap, but once I was there I think I wore my front tire down. I tried passing him at the end, but I just couldn’t get it there.”

Solis rode in Rispoli’s shadow throughout the second race at Barber Motorsports Park. Solis took the lead briefly in the closing laps, but Rispoli quickly regained the advantage.

“I got a good start,” Rispoli said. “I knew it was going to be pretty hard to stay in front of Benny while keeping the tires ready for the end of the race. So I slowed down a little bit. But when he passed me, I was like ‘It’s not going to happen,’ and I was able to get the lead back.”

Rispoli held the lead for 16 of the 17 laps to take his first victory of the 2011 Supersport season. Rispoli currently holds the lead in the east Supersport division over Tomas Puerta.

Hayden Gillim took the final spot on the podium. Gillim finished 13 seconds behind the race leader.

AMA Supersport Race Results

  1. Rispoli
  2. Solis
  3. Gillim
  4. Alexander
  5. Myers
  6. Dominguez
  7. Parker
  8. Puerta
  9. Dellinger
  10. Young

Courtesy of AllAboutBikes.com

Elena Myers Scores Best Result of 2011 at Road America

elena_myersDuring the second Supersport race at Road America, it looked like Elena Myers was going to take home her second career win. Myers led the way around the Road America circuit for the first half of the race but would eventually miss the podium by .15 seconds.

Elena took the lead almost immediately off the line. When top riders like James Rispoli, Benny Solis, and David Gaviria went down, it looked like the young Suzuki rider had the race in the bag. But Travis Wyman, Tomas Puerta, and Dustin Dominguez had other plans.

“My starts have always been good but that was one of the best I’ve ever had,” said Myers. “Getting third going into the first turn after starting from the third row isn’t exactly too bad!

“I was trying to stay smooth and work with the SuzukiScoopFans Suzuki GSX-R600 instead of against it. Everybody was going at it and obviously some people crashed and I’m glad I wasn’t any part of that. I’ve been trying to focus on being smooth and consistent in the last few races and that worked out for me this time.”

Myers fourth place finish is her best result so far this season. Myers also took a top ten finish during Saturday’s race, claiming a 7th place result.

“On Saturday, I got a really great start on my SuzukiScoopFans Suzuki GSX-R600,” said Myers. “I just went for it right off the bat; I wasn’t even paying attention to what was going on around me. A couple of people fell down, but I hung in there and was around fifth. I went back a little after that, and I think it was because we chose a softer tire and I need a little more practice with learning how to manage that. But at the end, I picked it up again and gave it everything – I didn’t even care if I crashed or anything – and I picked up a little more speed.”

Myers will get another chance at the podium in a few weeks at Barber Motorsports Park.

Courtesy of AllAboutBikes.com