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Fontana: Series round two preview

Suzuki AMA Pro Superbike Challenge Continues 2009 AMA Pro Road Racing Season This Weekend Auto Club Speedway Race Features Dual American Superbike and Daytona SportBike Races FONTANA, California (March 19, 2009) - Round 2 of the 2009 AMA Pro...

Suzuki AMA Pro Superbike Challenge Continues 2009 AMA Pro Road Racing Season This Weekend

Auto Club Speedway Race Features Dual American Superbike and Daytona SportBike Races

FONTANA, California (March 19, 2009) - Round 2 of the 2009 AMA Pro Road Racing Series will be held at Auto Club Speedway, March 20 - 22, where the Suzuki AMA Pro Superbike Challenge will feature five races in a full weekend of AMA Pro motorcycle road racing action on the 2.36-mile Fontana speedway road course.

AMA Pro National Guard American Superbike presented by Parts Unlimited and AMA Pro Daytona SportBike presented by AMSOIL will co-headline the weekend card, with each division running dual Saturday and Sunday races for the first time this season. The weekend also features the emerging 16 to 21-year-old riders of the AMA Pro SuperSport presented by Shoei division. Flag-to-flag coverage of the four featured races as well as highlights of the SuperSport event will be showcased on the new AMA Pro Prime Time show on SPEED, Saturday, March 28 and Saturday, April 4 at 10 p.m. ET. The series premiere of AMA Pro Prime Time - which will feature the season-opening Daytona AMA Pro American Superbike race - will be this Saturday, March 21 at 11 p.m. ET.

The 2009 AMA Pro Road Racing season began two weeks ago with the Daytona 200 by Honda weekend at Daytona International Speedway where top riders Ben Bostrom and Mat Mladin won the featured races. Bostrom scored his first career win in the legendary Daytona 200 by Honda AMA Pro Daytona SportBike race under the lights on Friday, March 6, while Mladin won the AMA Pro American Superbike opener a day earlier.

Bostrom will shift his focus to AMA Pro American Superbike competition this weekend and for the rest of the season, but several of the other top finishers from the AMA Pro Daytona SportBike opener are among the 47 riders entered for Fontana. The list includes Bostrom's Yamaha teammate and second-place Daytona 200 runner-up Josh Herrin (No. 8 Team Graves Yamaha YZF-R6) and third-place finisher Jason DiSalvo (No. 40 Team M4 Suzuki GSX-R600).

Other riders to watch based on their strong Daytona 200 results include Jamie Hacking (No. 88 Monster Energy Attack Kawasaki Ninja ZX-6R) and Shawn Higbee (No. 11 Higbee-Racing.com Buell 1125R) who rounded out the top-five in the opener.

Sixth-place at Daytona went to Paradigm Racing and talented rider Barrett Long (No. 29 Paradigm Racing Yamaha YZF-R6) who edged 2008 Daytona 200 winner Chaz Davies (No. 57 Factory Aprilia /Millennium Technologies Team Aprilia RSV), Dane Westby (No. 213 Westby Racing/Kneedraggers.com Yamaha YZF-R6), Martin Cardenas (No. 36 Team M4 Suzuki GSX-R600) and Leandro Mercado (No. 95 Monster Energy Attack Kawasaki Ninja ZX-6R), who are all entered at Fontana. Along with 11th place finisher Jake Zemke (No. 1x Erion Racing Honda CBR600RR), six different makes of motorcycles - Yamaha, Suzuki, Kawasaki, Honda, Buell and Aprilia - were represented in the top 11 at Daytona and the parity is expected to continue in California where Triumph will also be represented by second-generation rider Justin Filice (No. 30 Bud Light Lime/R & B Motorsports Triumph Daytona 675), son of AMA Pro Hall of Famer Jimmy Filice.

Other Daytona SportBike riders to watch this weekend include Buell's Danny Eslick (No. 9 Bruce Rossmeyer's Daytona Racing/RMR Buell 1125R) and Michael Barnes (No. 34 GEICO Powersports/RMR Buell 1125R), Herrin's teammate Tommy Aquino (No. 6 Team Graves Yamaha YZF-R6), Chris Peris (No. 16 Erion Racing Honda CBR600RR) and Santiago Villa (No. 32 Roadracingworld.com Suzuki GSX-R600) among a full field of other top contenders.

Race one for AMA Pro Daytona SportBike will close Saturday's schedule at 4 p.m. local time with the weekend's second race for the division getting the green flag at 2:30 p.m. on Sunday. Both races are 21 laps for 50 miles.

SoCal American Superbike Ready to Roll

The AMA Pro Daytona SportBike class is just one part of AMA Pro Road Racing's premier class competition at Auto Club Speedway. Sharing the spotlight is the AMA Pro American Superbike class which is home to some of the top riders in the sport.

Bostrom (No. 2 Yamaha Motor Corp. USA Yamaha R1) joins teammate Josh Hayes (No. 4 Yamaha Motor Corp. USA Yamaha R1) in leading Yamaha's effort against several potent Suzuki, Honda, Ducati and Buell teams. Bostrom finished sixth in the Daytona American Superbike opener while Hayes crossed the finish line in eighth place.

Daytona winner Mladin and his No. 7 Rockstar/Makita Yoshimura Suzuki GSX- R1000 are just one of several fast Suzuki entries. The Yoshimura team placed each of its three Suzukis in the top five at Daytona with Tommy Hayden (No. 22 Rockstar/Makita Yoshimura Suzuki GSX-R1000) finishing third and Blake Young (No. 79 Rockstar/Makita Yoshimura Suzuki GSX-R1000) snagging fifth place.

Another top Suzuki threat comes from Jordan Suzuki. The Michael Jordan-owned Jordan Suzuki effort includes bikes for Georgia-based riders Aaron Yates (No. 23 Brand Jordan Suzuki GSX-R1000) and Geoff May (No. 54 National Guard Jordan Suzuki GSX-R1000). Yates finished seventh at Daytona and May was 10th.

The Daytona opener saw a trio of riders on the three different makes of motorcycles lead the race. In addition to winner Mladin and his Suzuki, former World Superbike Champion Neil Hodgson (No. 100 Corona Extra Honda CBR1000RR) led a pair of laps and finished second while Ducati's Larry Pegram (No. 72 Foremost Insurance/Pegram Racing Ducati 1098R) also set the pace for three laps before a solid fourth-place result. Pegram is ready for Fontana while Hodgson will sit out this weekend due to recent injuries. He will be replaced by Jake Holden, who raced for Corona last year and won with the team at Fontana in Superstock competition.

Chris Ulrich (No. 18 Roadracingworld.com Suzuki GSX-R1000) will race on a Fontana track that he knows very well while Higbee (No. 11 Higbee-Racing.com Buell 1125CR) rides the only Buell on the 30-bike entry list.

The weekend's first American Superbike race kicks off Sunday's racing schedule at 2:30 p.m. local time. Race number two goes down at 4 p.m. on Sunday and closes the 2009 Suzuki AMA Pro Superbike Challenge weekend. Like the Daytona SportBikes, both American Superbike races are 21 laps for 50 miles.

SuperSport West Rolls

The Daytona 200 by Honda weekend marked the debut of the new AMA Pro SuperSport class, which is AMA Pro's showcase of America's future motorcycle racing stars today. The race proved to be one of the most competitive of the Daytona weekend with Erion Racing's Tyler Odom (No. 46 Erion Racing Honda CBR600RR) taking the victory and an early lead in the SuperSport West standings.

SuperSport is divided into East and West Championships but the Daytona kick-off was a combined race that allowed Odom and some others to race against their East series colleagues while still earning West division points. Odom tops the Fontana entry list that also includes fourth-place Daytona finisher Chris Clark (No. 48 Bazzaz/Pat Clark Motorsports Yamaha YZF-R6) and Clint Shobert (No. 26 American Honda CBR600RR), who finished seventh at Daytona.

A proving ground series, SuperSport is reserved strictly for up-and-coming riders between the ages of 16 and 21 who compete on 600cc sport bikes that are only minimally modified from what you will find at your local Suzuki, Yamaha, Kawasaki, Honda or other motorcycle dealerships.

The green flag is scheduled to drop for the 17-lap (40 miles) SuperSport race at 11 a.m. on Sunday.

Kids Fitness Kick-Off

The first race of the Suzuki AMA Pro Superbike Challenge weekend will actually be for a worthy cause. Auto Club Speedway, in conjunction with the Kids Fitness Foundation, Inland Empire United Way, County of San Bernardino and Healthy Community staff members from a variety of local cities, will host a special 5k Run/Walk/Ride around Auto Club Speedway's road course on Saturday, March 21.

Event and Registration Opens at 6:00 a.m. at the Speedway or participants can register on-line at www.kidsfitnesschallenge.com. The Run begins at 7:45 a.m. and participation is free and all competing will be admitted to the Suzuki Superbike Challenge motorcycle event for free that same day at Auto Club Speedway. In addition to the Run/Walk/Ride, students will have an opportunity to experience the California Healthy Expo located on site with rock climbing walls, soccer clinics, and healthy living experts.

The Fitness Challenge Foundation is dedicated to a comprehensive national vision to reverse the rising rates of obesity through Physical Activity, Nutrition, and Positive Mental Health initiatives, including the development and implementation of policies and programs that promote regular physical activity and nutrition. For more information visit kidsfitnesschallenge.com.

-credit: ama

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Series AMA
Drivers Tommy Hayden , Jamie Hacking , Geoff May , Aaron Yates , Neil Hodgson , Jake Zemke , Chaz Davies , Michael Barnes , Shawn Higbee , Chris Peris , Blake Young , Chris Ulrich , Justin Filice , Barrett Long , Jake Holden , Josh Herrin , Martin Cardenas , Santiago Villa , Clint Shobert , Leandro Mercado , Tyler Odom , Dane Westby , Tommy Aquino , Chris Clark , Ben Bostrom , Danny Eslick