Traditionally 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, Motorcycle-Superstore.com 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 Motorcycle-Superstore.com 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.
Yamaha has just announced that the Graves Yamaha team, which consists of reigning AMA Superbike champion Josh Hayes and Daytona 200 winner Josh Herrin, will be sponsored by Monster Energy this year.
“Creating the Monster Energy Graves Motorsports Yamaha team connects our brand with one of the most respected racing programs and two of the best riders in the country,” said Alex Dunstan, Motorsports Manager for Monster Energy. “Having the American Superbike #1 plate represent the #1 energy drink in the U.S.is a natural fit for our company and we look forward to kicking off the season at Daytona!”
Yamaha will also be fielding three more teams this year. The Yamaha Extended Service/ Pat Clark Sports/Graves Yamaha Team, HT Moto Racing, and Team LTD Racing.
The Yamaha Extended Service / Pat Clark Sports / Graves Yamaha Team, will feature Chris Clark and Tommy Aquino. Clark will be riding Yamaha’s championship winning bike, the YZF-R1 in the AMA Superbike series, and Aquino will be riding a Graves Motosports prepared YZF-R6 in the Daytona Sportbike division.
“Yamaha Extended Service is very proud to be part of this racing effort,” said Mo Murray of Yamaha’s customer support group.”And we cannot think of a better way to show our support than with the excitement that road racing brings to thousands of our customers.”
Yamaha is also welcoming back Mellisa Paris, who made history as the first woman to qualify for an FIM World Supersport Championship round. Paris will be riding in the Daytona Sportbike series with the HT Moto Racing team.
Team LTD Racing will also be joining the Yamaha family this year. Huntley Nash will be riding for LTD in the Daytona Sportbike division, and Thomas Puerta and David Gaviria will be riding in the Supersport class.
AllAboutBikes talks to Ant Racing and the Monster Energy rider James Rispoli about the races this season and what’s in store for next year. James Rispoli started out his racing career in the dirt on a JR50 at just 6 years old. You can now see him running in the AMA Supersport series.
AllAboutBikes caught up with James both at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca and Barber Motorsports Park Alabama at the end of the 2010 season.
The first part of this interview was held at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca so we asked James about his first race on the Saturday.
by Julian Taylor
James, recalls that after his first race which he lost, his buddy gave him a trophy to make him feel better, and he has been chasing them ever since.
AAB: Where did you start riding?
James: “New Hampshire, my first race was terrible I was on a JR50 at 6 years old and progressed from the 50 to an 80 then onto a 250 all on the dirt flat track.”
AAB: What happened in your first race?
“I Crashed qualifying here on my A bike on lap two, qualifying 11th. And I went down in the race too on my B bike. You have to push to the limit to find out where it is.”
The second race was much better James finished fifth in that race getting nipped to the post by Elena Myers on a drag to the finish line; “lack of horsepower” was definitely the issue there said James afterwards.
AAB: How do you keep yourself fit?
James: “Eating healthy, getting on the bicycle, and really trying to put in the miles.
AAB: Where do you hope to be at the end of the season?
James: “I hope to be running top 3 on the box consistently. (James got his first win after this interview at New Jersey) if we’re there or there about’s I will be happy.
It’s still a little up in the air for next year. Do we stay in Supersport and keep learning or move up to Daytona Sportbike and get to the next level. (James has since this interview decided to run in the Supersport class again next year to get a full season under his belt)
Part 2: Barber Motorsports Park
by Dan Evon
Going into the final round of the AMA Supersport series, James Rispoli had his eyes on the podium. Rispoli had just claimed his first AMA Supersport victory in New Jersey, and was looking to end his season strong. Even though Rispoli didn’t achieve the finishes he desired, the young rider gained knowledge, experience, and confidence over the Barber weekend, and will be even stronger going into 2011.
AllAboutBikes Magazine got a chance to talk with James Rispoli after the Barber event. AAB: Are you relieved the seasons over?
Rispoli: “No, I wish we could go back for two more rounds. I mean, after VIR I really got my head in the game. I think we really started running toward the front after VIR, so I wish we could go back to Laguna or Road Atlanta, that would be the ideal way to end the season for me.”
AAB: You took your first win of the season at New Jersey. Was there anything different going into that race, as opposed to the other races this season?
Rispoli: “I’ve never been to New Jersey, that’s one thing. But we had so many races going into it you know, it’s crazy how we pulled it all off. We did Indy, Indy Mile, then we went to Bonneville, then we flew into New Jersey on Thursday night for New Jersey on Friday Morning.”
AAB: How did you celebrate after that win?
Rispoli: “You know it wasn’t too much, it was just a huge relief, you know. We got one. We had to work our butts off for it, it wasn’t given to us. It was definitely a hard fought win, and it brought my confidence really up.”
“So yeah, the celebration wasn’t too big. It was just a normal race weekend, maybe a little bit more. But there were more races, and we just kept going, and going into the last round at Barber we said ‘alright we got a win, now we have to come out in the last round full bore and see what we can do to beat these guys.’”
AAB: The Barber weekend didn’t really go as planned, but did you take anything away from Barber? Are you hopeful for next year?
Rispoli: “I think Barber, was a tough weekend, but I think Barber went very well for us, even though we crashed out of both races, we’re taking the positives away, we claimed our first ever front row in Supersport, so we knew New Jersey wasn’t a fluke.”
AAB: So what is the goal next year? You got your first race win this year, your first front-row start, are you guys aiming for podiums, race wins, championships? What’s the plan for 2011?
Rispoli: “2011 we’re going to run the Supersport East. I just think I need another year qualifying, racing, just another year on road racing. And really, that will be my first real real full AMA season. I mean, we did the full season this year. But now it will be my first real full season.”
“But yeah, I want the championship. I want to bring home the number 1. We’re looking for that, we’re looking for consistent podiums, and yeah, I want more than 1 win. I want to make sure that I’m the guy going into 2012.”
AAB: What is the off-season going to be like this year?
Rispoli: “We’ll do some track days, definitely do some testing. I’ve been working with Jason Pridmore, a lot, and I definitely want to thank him for helping me out this season. He’ll help me out over the winter on training, and riding, and things like body position and corner speed. Hopefully we’ll be doing a lot with Jason Pridmore.”
“I trained for a week before Barber with Josh Hayes, so hopefully I can go out and train with him again. I want to go into Daytona knowing I’m the best, or at least I’m in the best shape that I can be in. Physical, mental, I want to know that I have the best shot of taking the double at Daytona.”
AAB: That’s about all I have for you, is there anything you want to add.
Rispoli: “I’d like to put a big thanks out to my dad, who was there 100%, 110% for me this year, and just couldn’t do it without all the sponsors this year.”
Since this interview was transcribed AllAboutBikes has come to an agreement with James and Ant racing and we will be one of the featured companies on this race outfit in the 2011season next year.
For the preceding three years in the British Superbike (BSB) and British Supersport Championships, Pirelli has maintained its status as sole tire supplier to both series. Pirelli is also control tire for the FIM World Superbike Championship (since 2004) until 2012 and the FIA Formula One auto racing series until 2013. Now, with a contract written and ready to be signed, Pirelli will continue its support of British motorcycle racing until 2015.
MotorSport Vision (MSV), rights-holders of the entire BSB series, has been very happy with the consistency and professionalism with which Pirelli approaches their work. The new contract between the two entities is a direct reflection of the quality and performance of Pirelli tires and impressive support, logistics and marketing which the tire manufacturer provides each and every race weekend.
Of course it also helps that the relationship between World Superbike and BSB is very strong and the riders who move from one series to the other are better prepared due to the similarity of the tires being run. In fact, the previous BSB contract helped Pirelli secure its position with the World Superbike Championship.
Having the UK’s premier motorcycle racing series as part of their growing influence will certainly keep Pirelli in the minds of race fans there and around the world. This is good business for the company and it also means that riders who buy Pirelli will be using premium racing rubber to, ideally, bring them victories at the track – a ‘win-win’ if ever there were one.
The 2011 British Superbike Championship starts on 22 – 25 April at Brands Hatch.
The AMA Supersport class will see a few small changes for the 2011 season. The biggest change is that the AMA Supersport will no longer be divided into the Top Gun and Young Gun classes.
The Supersport series will still give awards to the younger Supersport riders between the ages of 16-21 who score the most points. But the overall champion will be the rider who scores the most points in either the East or the West division.
The 2011 season will give the East and West divisions an equal amount of point opportunities. Riders can race out of their division, but only points scored in their divisional races will count toward their point total. Riders can continue to race in the Supersport class until they have won two championships.
“We felt these changes were necessary to more clearly define the overall SuperSport Champion,” said AMA Pro Chief Operating Officer David Atlas. “As with our other championships, the rider with the most points wins the coveted number one plate and we wanted to bring the same degree of clarity and recognition to the exciting SuperSport class, while also still acknowledging the accomplishments of the best young rider with a special year end award.”