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Brainerd: Formula Xtreme, Superstock preview

Duhamel/Zemke AMA Formula Xtreme duel comes to the Northland PICKERINGTON, Ohio (June 22, 2004) -- Since the opening round at Daytona International Speedway in March, the AMA Lockhart Phillips USA Formula Xtreme Series has been a two-rider game.

Duhamel/Zemke AMA Formula Xtreme duel comes to the Northland

PICKERINGTON, Ohio (June 22, 2004) -- Since the opening round at Daytona International Speedway in March, the AMA Lockhart Phillips USA Formula Xtreme Series has been a two-rider game. Miguel Duhamel and Jake Zemke have made the Formula Xtreme class their personal playground. Duhamel comes into round seven of the 11-race series Saturday, June 26, at Brainerd International Speedway holding a nine-point advantage over his quasi Honda teammate Zemke. Duhamel also has won four races to Zemke's two. But this race could work in Zemke's favor.

Zemke has been one of the hottest, if not the outright best, rider at Brainerd in recent years. The Paso Robles, California resident has won a race at Brainerd each of the last three years and he plans on keeping that streak going. "That's the plan," The Erion Honda rider quipped.

Duhamel's no slouch at BIR either. The French-Canadian, who now calls Las Vegas home, has scored eight wins at Brainerd over the years between AMA Superbike and Supersport races. A longtime fan favorite, Duhamel is enjoying his stint on the new Honda CBR600RR Formula Xtreme bike.

"Our bikes are just starting to be developed," Duhamel told Cycle News. "They are a lot of fun to ride, actually, because you can throw them around a lot. People have been curious for a long time to see just how fast a 600 can go, and now they're getting their answer."

Brainerd's fans will be happy to learn that Doug Chandler will return to the track aboard an HMC Ducati Milwaukee Ducati 749R. Minnesota motorcycle racing fans have embraced Chandler going back to the days when he won a World Superbike race at BIR in 1990. The returning veteran has looked strong in his return to AMA road racing. He kept sharp while he was away by competing in AMA Supermoto, and if the HMC squad can coax some additional speed from their Ducati, Chandler could be winning again sometime soon.

Another exciting addition to Formula Xtreme this year has been the Buell XB9R Firebolts campaigned by Floridian Mike Ciccotto and Michael Barnes. Both riders have scored top-10 finishes on the American-made sport bikes this year. Ciccotto scored a solid seventh-place run at Road America earlier this month.

Brainerd starts a new ballgame in AMA Superstock

A few weeks ago Jamie Hacking was pulling clear of the rest of the AMA Repsol Superstock Series competition and appeared to be on an easy downhill run to the championship. Everything changed however, when Hacking took an unexpected trip through a gravel trap at Road America earlier this month. He salvaged a 24th-place finish, but went from holding a 23-point lead in the series to falling back into a tie in the standings with Graves Yamaha teammate Aaron Gobert.

Suddenly Superstock has turned into a five-race free-for-all battle for the championship. As many as seven riders still have a real shot at the title and the party gets started this Sunday, June 27th at Brainerd International Raceway.

To pick a potential champion from the top Superstock riders is a tough call. The Graves Yamaha riders of Hacking, Gobert and Jason DiSalvo seemed to be the team and riders to beat early on, but the Kawasaki's of Tommy and Roger Hayden have come on strong in recent rounds. The green Kawasaki ZX-10Rs proved plenty fast on the straights of Road America with Tommy Hayden and Josh Hayes finishing one-two on the big ZXs.

Brainerd's three-mile circuit features the longest straightway in the series and that could play right into the strength of the Kawasaki-mounted riders this weekend.

Not to be forgotten in the championship hunt are Suzuki riders Ben Spies and Steve Rapp. Spies won a round of the series on his Yoshimura Suzuki in April at California Speedway, but has lacked consistency throughout the season. Rapp has plugged away scoring top-10 finishes every round on his Valvoline EMGO Suzuki and would love to gain some valuable points at Brainerd and move himself up in the standings.

Graves Yamaha's Damon Buckmaster is expected to return to Superstock action at Brainerd after having surgery to repair a broken bone in his left hand.

The Lockhart Phillips USA Formula Xtreme and Repsol Superstock races will be shown on SPEED Channel at 1 p.m. Eastern on July 6 as part of the network's Two Wheel Tuesday lineup.

The AMA Chevrolet Superbike Championship final will be shown live on SPEED Channel at 4 p.m. Eastern, Sunday, June 27.

For additional information on the Trofeo Ducati Brainerd AMA Superbike National call (218) 824-7220 or visit www.brainerdracewayandresort.com.

-ama-

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Series AMA
Drivers Steve Rapp , Miguel Duhamel , Tommy Hayden , Jamie Hacking , Doug Chandler , Damon Buckmaster , Jake Zemke , Roger Lee Hayden , Ben Spies , Aaron Gobert , Michael Barnes , Josh Hayes