2007 AMA SUPERSTOCK SERIES HARD TO PREDICT Spies pre-season favorite, but Yates and Bostrom set to challenge PICKERINGTON, Ohio (March 5, 2007) -- The opening round of the 2007 AMA Superstock Series, on Thursday, March 8 at Daytona ...
2007 AMA SUPERSTOCK SERIES HARD TO PREDICT
Spies pre-season favorite, but Yates and Bostrom set to challenge
PICKERINGTON, Ohio (March 5, 2007) -- The opening round of the 2007 AMA Superstock Series, on Thursday, March 8 at Daytona International Speedway, will go a long way in helping to figure out which riders and teams will step up to be leading contenders for the title. Yoshimura Suzuki's Ben Spies seems the obvious choice as the pre-season favorite, but a number of other riders are likely to put even more focus on the class than Spies will. Riders such as Ben Bostrom, Aaron Yates and Geoff May, to name a few, could easily pull ahead of the pack in this wide open class.
With reigning series champion Jamie Hacking vacating his title to focus on the Superbike class, a new champion will be crowned this year. Spies thinks the factory Yoshimura Suzuki is so strong that it should make things much easier for him than the other riders in the series.
"My goal is to win two championships this year. I don't see any reason why it can't happen," Spies confidently said. "Our Suzuki GSX-R1000 Superstock bike is so good that we should have a good chance to win every time out. The bike is going to have to be good out of the truck because with so much emphasis on Superbike we won't have a lot of time to dial it in on race weekends."
Spies has plenty of incentive, especially at Daytona.
"Daytona and Road America are the two tracks where I haven't won," Spies explained. "I'm really going to be focused to get a win at Daytona this year. That being said, you can't win the championship there, but you can definitely lose it so it's important to come out of there with the maximum amount of points possible. We should have the bike to win, so it's up to me to get out there and make it happen."
Chief among the riders who have a great deal of motivation to do well in the class this year is Michael Jordan Motorsports Suzuki's new rider Aaron Yates. Yates lost his ride with Yoshimura Suzuki at the end of last year and he's not only looking to prove a point, but he wants to bring Jordan Suzuki much deserved success.
"We've had some great results in testing and I think I have a good shot at winning back this title," said Yates, who won this championship in 2005 and 1996 and is the only former Daytona Superstock winner in the field. "I definitely want to bring the spotlight to the Jordan team. These guys have worked hard to build a team that's up there with the factories and it would be nice to be the rider to give them the success they've been looking for."
Yates is trying to become only the third rider to win three AMA Superstock titles. Scott Russell and Tom Kipp both won the series three times back when it was the 750 Supersport class.
Yates also points to his teammate Jake Holden as a rider he sees as a top contender in Superstock. "I think Jake may surprise some people," Yates said of Holden.
Geoff May is expected to be another leading competitor in the series riding a potent M4 EMGO Suzuki. That team has had a great deal of success in the season opener in years past with riders like Vincent Haskovec, John Hopkins and Josh Hayes earning first round victories at Daytona. May is a former AMA Superbike Rookie of the Year.
Matsushima Performance Suzuki's Danny Eslick is stepping up to the Superstock class this year after spending most of his time on 600cc machine in the last few seasons. The Oklahoman is considered one of the top up-and-coming riders in all of AMA road racing.
Trying to hold off the Suzuki hoard in Superstock will be Graves Yamaha's Ben Bostrom. Bostrom may be the most experienced rider in the field having been a former AMA Superbike Champion and a star in World Superbike.
Signing with Yamaha to compete in the Superstock class and become a teammate to his brother was an easy decision for Ben Bostrom.
"The only other option was to go to Europe and I really wanted to ride here especially with my brother," Ben Bostrom said. "This was the best seat available and I feel fortunate to be on it."
Other top riders such as Roadracingworld.com Suzuki's Chris Ulrich, a two-time Superstock national race winner, John Haner, on the Millenium Tech/KWS Motorsports Suzuki, and Suzuki Canada's Pascal Picotte, could also be factors in the Daytona opener.
Tickets for this and other Bike Week races at Daytona can be purchased at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com.
-credit: ama racing