HALE AND PRIDMORE SET TO MAKE COMEBACKS AT ROAD AMERICA PICKERINGTON, Ohio (May 31, 2005) -- Comebacks will be the theme in the Lockhart-Phillips USA Formula Xtreme and Repsol Lubricants Superstock Series races at Road America during the...
HALE AND PRIDMORE SET TO MAKE COMEBACKS AT ROAD AMERICA
PICKERINGTON, Ohio (May 31, 2005) -- Comebacks will be the theme in the Lockhart-Phillips USA Formula Xtreme and Repsol Lubricants Superstock Series races at Road America during the Suzuki Superbike Doubleheader, June 2-5 in Elkhart Lake, Wisc.
In Formula Xtreme Texan Mike Hale returns to the series for the first time in three years riding an Erion Honda prepped CBR600RR backed by RockwallHonda.com. The other big news is the return of Michael Jordan Motorsports lead rider Jason Pridmore after suffering the most serious injury of his racing career in Birmingham, Ala., in April.
Hale's return to Formula Xtreme will add another big name to the series. The former AMA Flat Track Rookie of the Year made a successful move to road racing in the mid-1990s and was the up-and-coming rider of that era after winning two AMA Superbike nationals in 1995. He now comes back to the series a veteran and is eagerly anticipating getting back to being a regular on the circuit.
"I've done some private testing and was able to turn in lap record times," said Hale, who finished second in the Road America Formula Xtreme race in 2002. "I even surprised myself at how comfortable I was on the bike. I'm coming to Road America to do my best and see where that puts me. There are a lot of talented riders in the series and I'm looking forward to getting in there and mixing it up with those guys."
Honda's Jake Zemke comes into Road America riding the longest Formula Xtreme winning streak in five years. His victory at Pikes Peak International Raceway two weeks ago was his 10th-career win in Formula Xtreme and made him the all-time wins leader in the class. Zemke is hoping to earn his first Formula Xtreme title after being a leading contender in the series for five years.
"Honda has given me a bike this year that is ready to go right out of the truck," Zemke explained. "We make a few adjustments and I'm up to speed right away. I think that's given me a lot of confidence."
This will mark Zemke's sixth Formula Xtreme appearance at Road America. The Californian has scored two podium finishes in past appearances but is seeking his first victory at the high-speed circuit.
Zemke's teammate Miguel Duhamel is the defending winner of the Road America Formula Xtreme race. With just four rounds remaining No. 1 rider of 2004 needs another win to close the 13-point deficit to Zemke in the series standings.
MPTracing.com Suzuki's Danny Eslick will be making his second appearance at Road America. He finished 12th in the Formula Xtreme race last year, but is expecting a much higher finish in this year's event. The young Oklahoman is ranked a surprising third in the series coming into this weekend's race.
Jason Pridmore is making his comeback just in time to compete at what is considered the Chicago-based Michael Jordan Motorsports Suzuki's home race. Pridmore underwent emergency surgery in Birmingham, Ala., after a serious crash during Repsol Lubricants Superstock qualifying at Barber Motorsports Park on April 24. Less than a week later he was released from the hospital after making a rapid recovery.
"I'm looking forward to getting back on the track," said Pridmore, an AMA and World Endurance road racing champion. "I've been trying to get healthy doing as much training as I can. I've been cleared by my doctor and I'm going to do a riding school so I'll have some track time before coming back to Road America."
Pridmore is a former Superstock and Formula Xtreme winner at Road America. He won his first race in Elkhart Lake in 1992.
Graves Yamaha's Jamie Hacking leads by a scant two points in the Repsol Lubricants Superstock standings at mid-season, but he suffered a bicycling accident while training for Road America and will miss the race. Hacking's misfortune opens the door for Yoshimura Suzuki's Aaron Yates and Hacking's teammate Jason DiSalvo who are tied for second in the standings.
Yates is back in the Superstock class for the first time since winning the title in his first year as a factory Suzuki rider in 1996. DiSalvo is looking to earn his first AMA championship.
Tommy Hayden is not far back in fourth and is looking to repeat his Elkhart Lake victory of last year.
"We have a good base set up for the Superstock machine," said Hayden, who rides a factory Kawasaki ZX-10RR. "A win would put us right up there in the battle for the championship. We've been consistent all season, but we need a few firsts to put us in the hunt."
Jordan Motorsports Suzuki's Steve Rapp stands fifth in the series and hopes to make a good showing for the team this weekend.
The Suzuki Superbike Doubleheader at Road America Lockhart-Phillips USA Formula Xtreme and Repsol Lubricants Superstock races will be televised on SPEED Channel on Tuesday, June 7 beginning at 2 p.m. Eastern.
For additional information on the race call 1-800-365-7223 or visit the website www.roadamerica.com.
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