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Pikes Peak: Formula Xtreme, Superstock preview

Haskovec closing the gap in Lockhart-Phillips USA Formula Xtreme; Valvoline EMGO Suzuki rider beginning to challenge Honda dominance PICKERINGTON, Ohio (May 19, 2004) -- Honda has dominated the Lockhart-Phillips USA Formula Xtreme Series since...

Haskovec closing the gap in Lockhart-Phillips USA Formula Xtreme; Valvoline EMGO Suzuki rider beginning to challenge Honda dominance

PICKERINGTON, Ohio (May 19, 2004) -- Honda has dominated the Lockhart-Phillips USA Formula Xtreme Series since the revamped class kicked off at Daytona in March, but there are signs that the other manufacturers are narrowing the gap. Vincent Haskovec turned a lot of heads when he took the pole on his Valvoline EMGO Suzuki GSX-R600 last weekend at Barber Motorsports Park. Now the series comes to the picturesque Pikes Peak International Raceway on May 22 and 23, for the AMA Superbike Weekend presented by Honda Motorcycles and 2nd Annual "Gravity Check" Extreme Games.

Haskovec is looking forward to racing on the serpentine 1.3-mile Pikes Peak road course. He feels his nimble handling Suzuki will work well on the twisty course. The Czech emigrant was thrilled with winning his first pole at Barber, making the statement that his team is coming on strong.

"Pole position is always great because it shows you are the fastest guy around," he said. "The lap gave me an amazing feeling; I came in and everybody was cheering. It was great not only for me, but for the team as well."

Jason Pridmore could also be a real threat at Pikes Peak. The World Endurance racing champion is another rider who excels on technical circuits. His job outside of racing is training riders at his STAR Motorcycle Schools, so it's natural that his skills translate well on a rider's course like PPIR. Pridmore has a rich history at Pikes Peak. He's a two-time Formula Xtreme and a former Superstock winner as well at the track.

While the Suzukis of Haskovec and Pridmore are making gains the Hondas of Miguel Duhamel, Jake Zemke and Alex Gobert remain supreme. Duhamel has three wins and the series lead, while Zemke is a close second and is coming off a win last week in Birmingham, Ala. It marked Zemke's fifth-career victory in Formula Xtreme and moved him into a tie with Ben Spies sixth on the all-time class wins list.

Hacking puts a bit of daylight between himself and rivals in Repsol Superstock

Graves Yamaha's Jamie Hacking has established some equilibrium in the topsy-turvy world of Repsol Superstock racing. After seeing three different series leaders in the first three rounds Hacking consolidated his series lead with a victory last week in Birmingham, Ala. The revamped Superstock class makes its first visit to Pikes Peak International Raceway this weekend and Hacking is one of the favorites to take the victory.

Hacking is riding a two-race winning streak coming into Pikes Peak. He thinks the best is yet to come for him and his Graves Yamaha R1.

"Things are really starting to get sorted out with the bike," said Hacking, who has a 17-point lead over teammate Aaron Gobert. "I'm looking forward to going to Pikes Peak and winning another."

The Kawasaki team is another squad getting their new bikes sorted out at a rapid rate. Brothers Tommy and Roger Lee Hayden finished second and third respectively to Hacking last week. The duo challenged Hacking for the lead during the middle stages of the race at Barber Motorsports Park before Hacking turned up the wick on his Yamaha and clocked some blazing laps to secure the win. The second and third by the Hayden's marked the best results for both riders so far in Superstock this year.

"I feel more confident on the bike each week," said Tommy Hayden, a former Supersport winner at PPIR. "I don't think it will be long before we put a Kawasaki on top at one of these races."

Graves Yamaha's Damon Buckmaster, Yoshimura Suzuki's Ben Spies and STAR Motorcycle School Suzuki's Jason Pridmore are all former Superstock winners at PPIR and will be racing in this year's race.

Both the Pikes Peak Lockhart-Phillips Formula Xtreme and Repsol Superstock races will be shown on SPEED Channel on Tuesday, June 1 at 1 p.m. Eastern.

-ama-

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Series AMA
Drivers Miguel Duhamel , Jamie Hacking , Damon Buckmaster , Jake Zemke , Roger Lee Hayden , Vincent Haskovec , Alex Gobert , Aaron Gobert , Jason Pridmore