AMA

Chuck Sorensen 250 Grand Prix 2002 champion

Sorensen gives Aprilia first AMA championship. PICKERINGTON, Ohio -- Chuck Sorensen won the MBNA 250 Grand Prix Series in the season finale Sunday, Aug. 11, on his Team Stargel Aprilia at Virginia International Raceway. It marks the third AMA...

Sorensen gives Aprilia first AMA championship.

PICKERINGTON, Ohio -- Chuck Sorensen won the MBNA 250 Grand Prix Series in the season finale Sunday, Aug. 11, on his Team Stargel Aprilia at Virginia International Raceway. It marks the third AMA 250 Grand Prix title for Sorensen, soon to be 30 years old (Aug. 14) from Sunnyvale, Calif. It is also a milestone for Aprilia, marking its first AMA road racing title. Sorensen beat young Cruise America Honda rider Jason DiSalvo by 40 points in the final standings. Perry Melneciuc was third in the series on a Team Oliver Yamaha.

Sorensen, who won the 250 Grand Prix title in 1999 and 2000, won this year's championship by building a strong early points lead after he won four of the opening six rounds. Sorensen earned eight podium finishes in the 10-race series, including a series-leading five victories. The only races he finished off the box was at California Speedway and at Mazda Laguna Seca, where his bike's motor seized on the warm-up lap.

"It's phenomenal to come out of the last race with a win like that," said Sorensen, who is fourth on the all-time AMA 250 Grand Prix wins list with 15-career victories. "I was kind of anxious to get the most wins in a season, so I was pretty stoked about that too. The crew did a great job, they treated it like any other weekend. Of course it's all weighing on my minds about the championship, but through experience you learn that."

Sorensen becomes the fifth rider to win three AMA 250 Grand Prix Championships. Donnie Greene, John Kocinski, and Jimmy Filice each won three titles in the class. Rich Oliver, who was a mentor to Sorensen early in Sorensen's career and later became his top rival, has four 250 Grand Prix championship titles. Aprilia has been involved in AMA 250 Grand Prix racing since the mid-1980s backing top riders such as Al Salaverria, Robbie Petersen, Chris D'Aluisio, Andy Leisner and the late Randy Renfrow. While the company has helped field strong efforts in the past, Sorensen is the first rider to bring them the championship.

For immediate post-race results, points, and live transponder scoring from each race in the championship, log on to amaproracing.com's Superbike Mediacenter, the official home of the AMA Chevy Trucks U.S. Superbike Championship.

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