AMA

Brainerd: Superbike preview

Zemke aims for another first at Brainerd PICKERINGTON, Ohio (June 18, 2004) -- Jake Zemke feels good about his chances of winning his first AMA Chevrolet Superbike Championship race at the June 25-27 Trofeo Ducati presented by Michelin at ...

Zemke aims for another first at Brainerd

PICKERINGTON, Ohio (June 18, 2004) -- Jake Zemke feels good about his chances of winning his first AMA Chevrolet Superbike Championship race at the June 25-27 Trofeo Ducati presented by Michelin at Brainerd International Raceway. It's easy to understand why the Californian is optimistic about Brainerd. Zemke won his first AMA Supersport race on the three-mile BIR circuit in 2002, and last year he became the first two-time Brainerd Formula Xtreme winner. Now he looks to add yet another first to his string of success at Brainerd, which is round 11 of the 18-race AMA Chevrolet Superbike Championship.

Zemke is a close third in the series point standings behind defending champ Mat Mladin and former champ Miguel Duhamel. Zemke's emergence as a championship contender in his first full season of AMA Superbike racing is a surprise to many, but not to Zemke.

"I expected to be in this position," Zemke confidently said of his solid first half of the season. "I have the experienced Erion Honda team behind me and am riding an excellent motorcycle in the new Honda CBR1000RR. As a racer any time you compete with that kind of backing you expect to be a contender."

Many signs point to Brainerd as being the place where Zemke could finally get a breakthrough win in Superbike. He's won a race at the Minnesota circuit every year since 2001 and the high-speed configuration just seems to agree with Zemke.

"Brainerd has a real good flow to it," he explained. "The layout allows for different racing lines and creates good opportunities for passing. I've been knocking on the door all season long so I think Brainerd would be appropriate place for me to get my first Superbike win."

While Zemke has an impressive resume at BIR, the opposite could be said of Yoshimura Suzuki's Mat Mladin. The four-time AMA Superbike champ is second on the all-time AMA Superbike wins list, yet surprisingly has never taken a win at Brainerd. It's one of only two tracks in the series were he hasn't tasted victory. He led much of last year's race before being forced to pit with tire problems. The Aussie sensation got off to a blazing start of the 2004 campaign starting with a victory in the Daytona 200. After winning five of the first six rounds Mladin has now gone four rounds without a victory and has witnessed his points lead dwindling.

"We've got a 10-point lead heading to Brainerd," Mladin said. "But I'm not feeling confident that we'll still be in that position after the next few races, with tracks that require high speeds and strong acceleration."

The hottest rider coming into this next weekend's race is three-time Brainerd winner Miguel Duhamel. The Honda racing veteran swept the doubleheader weekend in Elkhart Lake, Wis., earlier this month and became the first rider in AMA Superbike history to reach the 30-win mark. A win on Sunday would make Duhamel the first four-time Brainerd Superbike winner.

Ben and Eric Bostrom are also former Superbike winners at Brainerd. Both brothers got their first Superbike win on the circuit and both would dearly love to take a second win at the track.

Eric has experienced an up-and-down season so far on the Parts Unlimited Ducati Austin 999 entry. A win at Pikes Peak International Raceway last month was the highlight so far for the fourth-ranked AMA Superbike rider. Older brother Ben has yet to get on the podium despite riding what many feel is the best Superbike in the field in the factory Honda CBR1000RR. Ben has admitted he's felt lost this year, but a win at Brainerd could serve as the confidence boost the former World Superbike star needs.

Another rider looking to get his season on track is Yoshimura Suzuki's Aaron Yates. The Georgian is the defending Superbike winner at Brainerd, but comes into this year's race ranked eighth in the series.

Privateer Geoff May has scored in the top 10 at every race but one this year and finds himself ranked fifth in the standings. The Team Prieto Racing Suzuki rider is hoping his strong season earns him a factory ride next year.

The race will receive same-day national coverage on SPEED Channel at 4 p.m. Eastern on June 27.

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

<pre> AMA Chevrolet Superbike Championship Presented by Parts Unlimited Trofeo Ducati presented by Michelin Brainerd International Raceway -- June 24-27, 2004

Friday, June 25 9:00 - 10:00 AMA Repsol Superstock Practice 10:10 - 11:10 Lockhart Phillips USA Formula Xtreme Practice 11:20 - 12:20 Chevrolet Superbike Championship presented by Parts Unlimited Practice 1:20 - 2:20 Pro Honda Oils Supersport Championship presented by Shoei Helmets Practice 2:30 - 3:00 Lockhart Phillips USA Formula Xtreme Qualifying Group 1 3:10 - 3:40 Lockhart Phillips USA Formula Xtreme Qualifying Group 2 3:50 - 4:20 Chevrolet Superbike Championship presented by Parts Unlimited Qualifying Group 1 4:30 - 5:00 Chevrolet Superbike Championship presented by Parts Unlimited Qualifying Group 2

Saturday, June 26 9:00 - 9:30 AMA Repsol Superstock Practice 9:40 - 10:10 Lockhart Phillips USA Formula Xtreme Practice 10:20 - 10:50 Pro Honda Oils Supersport Championship presented by Shoei Helmets Practice 11:00 - 11:30 Chevrolet Superbike Championship presented by Parts Unlimited Qualifying Group 1 11:40 - 12:10 Chevrolet Superbike Championship presented by Parts Unlimited Qualifying Group 2 1:10 - 1:40 AMA Repsol Superstock Qualifying Group 1 1:50 - 2:20 AMA Repsol Superstock Qualifying Group 2 2:30 - 3:00 Pro Honda Oils Supersport Championship presented by Shoei Helmets Qualifying Group 1 3:10 - 3:40 Pro Honda Oils Supersport Championship presented by Shoei Helmets Qualifying Group 2 4:00 Lockhart Phillips USA Formula Xtreme Final (60k - 13 laps)

Sunday, June 27 9:00 - 9:25 AMA Repsol Superstock Practice 9:35 - 10:00 Pro Honda Oils Supersport Championship presented by Shoei Helmets Practice 10:10 - 10:35 Chevrolet Superbike Championship presented by Parts Unlimited Practice 11:00 AMA Repsol Superstock Race Final (60k - 13 laps) 12:20 Nondenominational Chapel Service 1:00 Pro Honda Oils Supersport Championship presented by Shoei Helmets Final (60k - 13 laps) 3:00 Chevrolet Superbike Championship presented by Parts Unlimited Race Final (100k - 21 laps)

-ama-

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series AMA
Drivers Miguel Duhamel , Geoff May , Aaron Yates , Eric Bostrom , Jake Zemke