AMA SUPERMOTO CHAMPIONSHIP RETURNS TO COPPER MOUNTAIN Double header event part of huge motorcycle gathering PICKERINGTON, Ohio (Aug. 16, 2005) -- Copper Mountain (Colo.) Ski Resort will again play host to one of the premier weekends in AMA Pro...
AMA SUPERMOTO CHAMPIONSHIP RETURNS TO COPPER MOUNTAIN
Double header event part of huge motorcycle gathering
PICKERINGTON, Ohio (Aug. 16, 2005) -- Copper Mountain (Colo.) Ski Resort will again play host to one of the premier weekends in AMA Pro Racing on Aug. 20-21, when the AMA Supermoto Championship visits the scenic Rocky Mountains. Four rounds of the 12-race AMA Supermoto Championships will run over the two-day event, making Copper Mountain perhaps the most important event in the series in terms of championship points available.
The Copper Mountain Supermoto races are part of Suzuki CycleFest 2005. Along with all the racing action attendees will get the chance to test ride new bikes, see the latest riding gear and apparel and enjoy some of the best roads in America. In addition fans can enjoy the amazing skills of motorcycle stunt riders and listen to music of live bands.
Doug Henry, of Torrington, Conn., leads the AMA Supermoto championship coming into Copper Mountain. Henry has won three of the four races leading up to this weekend on the factory-backed Graves Motorsports Yamaha. But, it hasn't been easy for the former AMA Motocross champ. In two of those wins he had to make dramatic last-lap passes to secure victory.
"Everything has been going my way so far," said Henry, who is the all-time AMA Supermoto wins leader. "The new team has really come together, the Yamaha YZ450F is proving to be a great supermoto bike and I hope I can keep my momentum going with a good weekend at Copper Mountain. The track is smaller than most we go to and not overly technical, so that should mean a lot of riders will be running together up front. I've heard the dirt section is going to be longer this year, so that should work to my advantage. Another thing is the altitude. It plays havoc on the bikes and I think getting a good set up early on is going to be important."
As is always the case in racing, luck also plays a major part in the outcome. Last year Henry looked set to pull off a sweep of the Copper Mountain doubleheader before his bike broke while leading the second race. He spent the rest of the year trying to play catch up in the points chase and ultimately finished third in the 2004 series.
Jeff Ward, the defending AMA Supermoto Champion and last year's second race winner at Copper Mountain, hopes to get his season back on track this weekend. The Motorcycle Hall of Famer started the season by focusing on a last-minute opportunity to race in the Indianapolis 500. Concentrating on auto racing temporarily may have hampered Ward's Supermoto preparation. The No. 1 Troy Lee Designs Honda rider is ranked third in the current standings and looks to make up some ground.
"It's a big weekend for me in terms of getting back in the championship," Ward said. Obviously Doug (Henry) has been dominating lately. We've had some tough luck early on, but I think my preparation has come along in recent weeks and I feel rejuvenated and ready to race. Copper Mountain is a track that suits my style of riding, so I'm looking to go there and turn in some solid races."
If ever there was a tough-luck rider in the championship, that rider would have to be German Jurgen Kunzel. For three years the Red Bull KTM rider has led race after race only to finish heartbroken at the checkered flag. The last round in Shawano, Wis., typified Kunzel's luck in the championship. He led 14 of the 15 laps only to be chased down and passed by Henry on the final lap. Still Kunzel, one of Europe's premier supermoto racers, comes into Copper Mountain ranked a close second in the standings to Henry. He's hoping to finally break though and earn his first Supermoto victory in America this weekend.
Former AMA Hot Shoe Series Sportster Performance Champion Michelle DiSalvo will be making her AMA Supermoto debut. DiSalvo, from Modesto, Calif., has solid flat track credentials, having scored a victory at the Hot Shoe level (equivalent to Triple A baseball in flat track racing) and being twice ranked top-10 nationally in the Harley-Davidson Sportster Performance Series. Additionally, Australian racer Erin Normoyle will make her AMA Supermoto debut in the Supermoto Lites class riding for Fast 50's. According to her website www.erinnormoyle.com, Normoyle made FHM Magazine's top 100 sexiest women in the world and is an accomplished motocross and supermoto racer in her native Australia. DiSalvo and Normoyle join motocrosser Stefy Bau as the only women ever to attempt to qualify for an AMA Supermoto Championship race.
Doug Henry's Graves Motorsports Yamaha teammate Mark Burkhart leads the Supermoto Lites class. The Ohioan has two wins and has been dominant so far this season. Burkhart hopes to keep his unbeaten streak alive with a pair of wins this weekend.
Frenchman David Baffeleuf heads up the Supermoto Unlimited class on his Team HMC / Generations of Sonoma KTM. Baffeleuf is looking to improve this weekend on his fourth-place performance in the Supermoto Unlimited class at Copper last year. Husqvarna rider Leonardo Bagnis is ranked second and Darryl Atkins, another Team HMC rider is third.
The Honda Red Riders Junior Supermoto Challenge presented by HRCA will run a doubleheader at Copper Mountain. Young riders ages 12 to 15 will ride identically prepared Honda CRF150Fs and compete for the chance to qualify for the season ending Red Bull Supermoto-A-Go-Go race to be held in Reno in October. Several Junior Supermoto riders have turned pro since the inception of the series three years ago.
The Copper Mountain races will be televised nationally on OLN. Visit www.amasupermoto.com for show dates and times.
Pricing for CycleFest ranges from $8 for a one-day child pass to $40 for a three-day adult pass, which includes admission to the races and activities. For only $10 per day, spectators can purchase a Paddock Pass to gain access to the pit area for the Supermoto Race, providing an even closer look at the action on and off the track. For additional information on Suzuki CycleFest 2005 and the AMA Supermoto Championship at Copper Mountain call 1-866-249-1192 or visit the website www.rpmcolorado.com.
About AMA Pro Racing
AMA Pro Racing is the leading sanctioning body for motorcycle sport in the United States. Its properties include the THQ AMA Supercross Series, the AMA Motocross Championship, the AMA Superbike Championship, the AMA Ford Quality Checked Flat Track Championship and the AMA Supermoto Championship. For more information about AMA Pro Racing, visit www.amaproracing.com.