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VIR: Formula Xtreme, Superstock preview

ZEMKE AND DUHAMEL BRING BATTLE FOR AMA FORMULA XTREME TITLE AT VIR It's Yates and DiSalvo to the wire in AMA Superstock PICKERINGTON, Ohio (Aug. 23, 2005) -- For the second year in a row the battle for the Lockhart Phillips USA Formula Xtreme ...

ZEMKE AND DUHAMEL BRING BATTLE FOR AMA FORMULA XTREME TITLE AT VIR
It's Yates and DiSalvo to the wire in AMA Superstock

PICKERINGTON, Ohio (Aug. 23, 2005) -- For the second year in a row the battle for the Lockhart Phillips USA Formula Xtreme Series title is coming down to the last few races and at Virginia International Raceway on Aug. 26-28, Honda teammates Jake Zemke and Miguel Duhamel will write another chapter of their great 2005 season-long battle.

While the Honda mates go toe-to-toe in Xtreme, it's a battle between experience and youth in the Repsol Lubricants Superstock Series. There veteran Aaron Yates is trying to win back the championship he vacated in 1996 and young Jason DiSalvo is trying to chase down his older rival to score his first AMA title.

Zemke and Duhamel have been trading wins all season long on their factory Hondas. Last year it was Duhamel taking the victory at VIR and going on to win the Formula Xtreme No. 1 plate. This year the tables have turned and it's Zemke leading and Duhamel chasing. Zemke leads by 11 points with just two rounds remaining and is trying to reach the finish line and for the first time take home the top prize. Zemke has been agonizingly close to championships five times in his career and the former flat tracker isn't breathing easy yet.

"Anytime you have someone of Miguel's stature chasing you for the championship it's going to be tough," said Zemke, who has been runner up in Formula Xtreme three times before. "Even though we're teammates he's not going to give me an inch and I'll have to earn this championship one lap at a time."

Duhamel will go down in the record books as one of the best road racers in the history of AMA racing -- he already has seven AMA road racing titles to his name, but the 37-year-old Montreal native is not ready to rest on his laurels just yet.

"Obviously the pressure is on," Duhamel said. "For both of us it's going to be tight, right down to the last lap. Jake has ridden really well this season, but I don't want to go down without really making him earn it. VIR will not lack for excitement, that's for sure."

While Zemke and Duhamel are focusing on the championship, a few other riders would like to break the Honda stranglehold on the series. The two most likely candidates to break the monopoly at VIR are Attack Kawasaki's Ben Attard and Michael Barnes, of M4 EMGO Suzuki.

Attard has scored two podium finishes in the series and seems to be coming into his own in recent rounds. Barnes joined his team as a mid-season replacement rider and the veteran has been impressive. Barnes would love to add a Formula Xtreme win trophy to his trophy case.

Aaron Yates is heading up the Repsol Lubricants Superstock Series coming into VIR. The Yoshimura Suzuki rider has found a home in the series and a string of three consecutive wins has given the Georgian racing veteran a 14-point lead over Jason DiSalvo.

If Yates makes it four in a row at VIR he would become the first to run up a streak like that in the series since Tom Kipp clicked off five straight in the former 750 Supersport Series in 1999.

"It's good to be on a winning streak," Yates said. "but the championship is still too close for comfort. With just two races to go there's not a lot of strategy left. I'm going out there to try to keep winning. That's about it."

Former race winner Lee Acree will also be in the lineup for the VIR Superstock race. Acree's win here in 2001 was one of the biggest upset wins in the history of the series.

The AMA Lockhart Phillips USA formula Xtreme Series race will be televised nationally on SPEED Channel at 1 p.m. (Eastern), Tuesday, Aug. 30. You can also follow the race via live timing and scoring on www.amasuperbike.com.

For additional information on the race call (434) 822-7700 or visit www.virclub.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.

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Series AMA
Drivers Miguel Duhamel , Lee Acree , Tom Kipp , Aaron Yates , Jake Zemke , Michael Barnes , Ben Attard