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Laguna Seca Supermoto preview

Star-studded field set to participate in inaugural AMS Red Bull Supermoto championship round - Dunlop Supermoto Classic at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. PICKERINGTON, Ohio (June 25, 2003) -- The opening round of the AMA Red Bull Supermoto ...

Star-studded field set to participate in inaugural AMS Red Bull Supermoto championship round - Dunlop Supermoto Classic at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.

PICKERINGTON, Ohio (June 25, 2003) -- The opening round of the AMA Red Bull Supermoto Championship will be a who's who of motorcycle racers as a number of top riders including past and current champions have entered to participate. Riders from virtually all racing disciplines are represented and debate among fans centers around who will take the first checkered flag, July 11-13 at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca for the Dunlop Supermoto Classic.

Perhaps the most notable name scheduled to race is Jeremy McGrath. McGrath, who is racing less than a year after he announced his retirement from AMA Supercross, is entered as part of the powerhouse Troy Lee Designs team. Riding along side McGrath will be legendary motocross/supercross star and Indy Racing League driver Jeff Ward as well as Troy Lee himself. Interestingly, McGrath will be making his AMA Supermoto debut aboard a Honda CRF450 having ended his relationship with KTM.

Former 500cc World Grand Prix champ Kevin Schwantz is recovering from a broken hand yet is planning on racing at Mazda Raceway aboard his Suzuki DR-Z400. The renowned Texan is always a fan favorite and his feet-up, hang it out sliding style will be popular with the crowd just as it was when he competed on the world stage. Schwantz has been racing local and regional supermoto events for the past couple of years and is a solid pick to capture the championship.

Another rider who will be piloting a powerful Honda four-stroke is the "Godfather of Freestyle", Mike Metzger. Metzger, who has established himself in the wild and wooly world of freestyle motocross, claims to be focusing his energies on an AMA Supermoto title. Receiving support from Honda, his commitment is obviously genuine. The innovative Metzger is sure to be one of the riders to watch.

Suzuki's Travis Pastrana has entered but his presence at round one is questionable due to recent injuries. The popular supercross/motocross/freestyle star has announced that he's walking away from the AMA Chevy Trucks U.S. Motocross Championship for awhile but plans to contest the AMA Red Bull Supermoto Championship. Travis' presence will certainly add a lot to the series as he's one of the most personable and well-liked racers ever.

Other notable riders entered at round one include former AMA Motocross champions Danny LaPorte and Micky Dymond, 1990 Daytona 200 winner and current motorsports broadcaster Dave Sadowski, and past AMA Superbike champions Doug Chandler and Thomas Stevens.

The flat track fraternity will be well represented by former champion Joe Kopp as well as reigning champion, Chris Carr. Carr, the four-time AMA Grand National Champion, announced his involvement with the series at Daytona when the championship was announced. Carr is the current points leader in the AMA Progressive Insurance U.S. Flat Track Championship and is looking to be only the second rider in history to capture five Grand National titles. He would love to add the inaugural AMA Supermoto Championship to his resume and some experts feel dirt trackers will have an advantage in supermoto due to their comfort with sliding the bike at high speeds. Some feel that motocrossers are best suited because of their ability in the dirt while yet others insist it will be a road racer that prevails because of the demanding, high-speed pavement sections of the track.

One thing that is known for sure is that the racing will be tight. AMA Pro Racing's Associate Director of Commercial Development, Chris Bradley says everything is being done to achieve a level playing field. "Our track design criteria, is to create a 'discipline-neutral' racetrack. To keep things as equal as possible the courses will feature at least one significant jump combined with high-speed pavement sections," said Bradley. "Course designer Don Canet has a great deal of experience in building supermoto tracks and the Laguna Seca course will result in exciting, bar-to-bar racing. It'll be the perfect way to launch the series."

-ama-

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Series AMA
Drivers Kevin Schwantz , Jeff Ward , Travis Pastrana , Jeremy McGrath , Doug Chandler , Mike Metzger , Micky Dymond , Don Canet , Chris Carr