AMA COMPETITION JUMP STARTS INTO 2005 FONTANA, Calif. (April 18, 2005) - There's no better way to jump start the racing season than with a win, and competitors of the AMA Superbike Championship presented by Parts Unlimited and supporting...
AMA COMPETITION JUMP STARTS INTO 2005
FONTANA, Calif. (April 18, 2005) - There's no better way to jump start the racing season than with a win, and competitors of the AMA Superbike Championship presented by Parts Unlimited and supporting classes raced for the checkers at Daytona International Speedway in March. Following a doubleheader weekend in Alabama next weekend, the AMA competitors will head west for another doubleheader at California Speedway with the Suzuki Superbike Challenge on April 29 - May 1.
Reigning AMA Superbike champion Mat Mladin is in a familiar position after winning the season opener at Daytona. If pre-event testing (Mladin was quickest in Alabama and at California Speedway) and last year's races (Mladin won Daytona, one race in Alabama and both races at California) coupled with the season opener are any indication, the Australian native could pull off another huge upset in 2005.
Neil Hodgson comes to the AMA circuit for the first time ever this year as a former World Superbike champ and MotoGP rider. He finished second in Daytona and will be coming to the Fontana, Calif., road course for the first time ever later this month. He was brought over by Ducati to challenge Mladin for the championship.
Young standout Ben Spies who is competing in his first full season in the superbike class finished third at Daytona, followed by fellow Suzuki rider Aaron Yates in fourth and Honda's Jake Zemke in fifth.
In the Pro Honda Oils Supersport Championship presented by Shoei class season opener, Tommy Hayden broke through for his second victory at Daytona (first came in 2003 in Superstock). Hayden won not only the 2004 Supersport event at California Speedway, but did so en route to the championship. At Daytona, he beat 2003 California Speedway Supersport winner Jamie Hacking to the checkers by 3.723 seconds. Jason DiSalvo, Spies and Aaron Gobert wrapped up the top-5 at the season opener.
Miguel Duhamel defended his Lockhart-Phillips USA Formula Xtreme Series win in the season opener (won 2004's event also) in the newly renamed Daytona 200 last month. The Canadian also won last year's Formula Xtreme event at California Speedway and the 2004 class championship. For the first race of the Formula Xtreme season, Duhamel crossed the finish line 42.586 seconds ahead of second place Kurtis Roberts and Zemke in third making the podium finishers the only riders on the lead lap.
Vincent Haskovec surprised many when he claimed the Repsol Lubricants Superstock Series win at Daytona last month. During the off-season, he got a new title sponsor, Team M4 Emgo Suzuki, and switched to Pirelli tires just weeks before the race. In last year's California Speedway races he finished 13th in the Superstock class and fifth in the Formula Xtreme class. At Daytona, Yates finished second followed by Jason Pridmore, Hacking and DiSalvo in third through fifth, respectively. Last year's California Speedway Superstock winner Spies did not compete in the class' season opener.
While the AMA Superbike class prepares to go cross-country for the Suzuki Superbike Challenge, you don't have to because California Speedway is located in your back yard. Tickets for the doubleheader weekend are on sale now and children 12 and under are free with a paid adult admission.
For ticket and event information, call 800-944-RACE  or online at www.californiaspeedway.com.