Jimmy Filice (17) leads Keith Pinkstaff (21) and John Ashmead (37) at the 1986 Sears Point Raceway (Now Infineon Raceway) AMA Superbike Championship race in Sonoma, California. Filice was riding a factory Yamaha FZ750, Pinkstaff was on a nearly stock Suzuki GSXR750 and Ashmead on a factory-back Honda VF750. The new Yamaha Superbikes had connecting rods issues that year and Filice’s bike blew up. Yamaha (Filice and teammate John Kocinski) temporarily pulled out of the series while they tried to solve the issues with the bike. Ashmead finished fifth at Sears Point that year, Pinkstaff a very solid 8th – not bad for racing what essentially was a Supersport bike. Check out the crude track shaving presumably to smooth out bumps. It looks like the traction through the ground-up section was decent. I’d be interested in hearing from riders who raced the section to find out what they would say.
Archive for April, 2010
Australian Craig Anderson leads the pack into the first turn at the 2004 AMA Motocross National at Broome-Tioga Sports center near Binghamton, New York. Anderson raced AMA Nationals in 2003 and 2004. In June of ’03 he earned a major victory taking the 125cc National at Southwick, Mass. He scored several top-10 finishes in the 125cc class, but in 2004, when he moved to the premier 250cc class, he had a tougher time. His best result was an 11th overall at Budds Creek, Md.
This is the corner working/safety crew who worked the WERA Grand National Finals in 1991. The safety workers are the unsung heroes of motorcycle racing. The folks who keep an eye on the track, flag to warn riders, pick up bikes and attend to racers when they’ve crashed. The worst part is they only get publicity when something goes wrong. A big thanks goes out to all who have done corner working at races. I’m among those. Back in my WERA days there were times on occasion when there just weren’t enough corner workers and I would be asked to fill in. I was even asked to be starter once at Blackhawk. For some reason they never asked me back after I tried to start a race with a red flag.
SEATTLE, Wash. (April 24, 2010) – Monster Energy AMA Supercross, an FIM World Championship, made its return West on Saturday night in front of 51,442 fans at Qwest Field. After an exciting evening of action one week ago that changed the complexion of the AMA Supercross class championship, all eyes were on Rockstar/Makita Suzuki’s Ryan Dungey, of Belle Plaine, Minn., who needed to finish sixth or better to secure the title in his rookie season.
In the AMA Supercross Lites Western Regional Championship, DNA Shred Stix/Star Racing Yamaha’s Broc Tickle, of Holly, Mich., raced to his first career victory.
Windham was determined to return to the winner’s circle in Seattle, the site of his last victory in 2008. On a night where the track was extremely technical and rough due to rain throughout the week, the veteran rider grabbed the Spike Holeshot Award and never looked back to lead all 20 laps of the main event.
“That was the gnarliest race I’ve ever ridden,” exclaimed Windham. “The streak is over and it happened here in Seattle. It feels so good. I closed it out here in 2008 strong and I’m glad to do it again. I’ll tell you, as I get older, things like this are much harder to come by. Tonight was just about survival. I was glad I could keep it up on two wheels.”
For Dungey, he took a conservative approach to the tricky layout, riding methodically and smart to finish in fourth place and officially clinch the 2010 title and become only the second rookie in series history to achieve such a feat.
“The track was tough tonight,” said Dungey. “it was very demanding with a lot of ruts. It’s been an awesome season. It’s something else when you’re watching on TV as a little kid and hoping to be up here. It was all hard work that went into this. I’m super pumped. I just tried to take it easy in the main and stay upright. (The season) was a battle all the way. From the start we did all we could and put everything we could out on the track.”
Rockstar Energy Suzuki’s Tommy Hahn, of Decatur, Texas, garnered a career-best runner-up finish while Muscle Milk/Toyota/JGR’s Justin Brayton, of Murrieta, Calif., also achieved a career-best effort, rounding out the podium in third.
After an eight-race break, the AMA Supercross Lites Western Regional Championship returned to action in Seattle for its penultimate round of the 2010 season. GEICO Powersports Honda’s Trey Canard, of Shawnee, Okla., captured the Spike Holeshot Award with teammate Blake Wharton, of Pilot Point, Texas, and Troy Lee Designs Lucas Oil Honda’s Wil Hahn, of Decatur, Texas, in tow. Wharton made a pass for the lead a short time later, incidentally taking out the front wheel of Canard in the process. Weimer also found himself on the ground on the same lap. As both riders worked their way from the back of the field, Tickle moved into the lead and gapped the field. Weimer continued to progress forward as his primary title contender found trouble on several more occasions. Tickle would hold onto first for his inaugural win with Hahn in second and Weimer rebounding for third.
“The track was really technical tonight,” said Tickle. “The ruts were gnarly. I knew it was going to come down to being smart and putting 15 laps together. I can’t thank everyone else enough. For the last week or so I’ve been getting back into supercross (form) and I’m excited to get my first win.”
Canard posted an 11th-place finish, losing 10 points to Weimer and dropping to third in the standings behind Hahn. Weimer holds a 19-point advantage heading into the championship finale.
The 2010 Monster Energy AMA Supercross season continues next weekend with the penultimate round from Salt Lake City, Utah, and Rice Eccles Stadium.
AMA Supercross Class Results: Seattle
1.Kevin Windham, Centerville, Miss., Honda
2.Tommy Hahn, Alvord, Texas, Suzuki
3.Justin Brayton, Murrieta, Calif., Yamaha
4.Ryan Dungey, Belle Plaine, Minn., Suzuki
5.Davi Millsaps, Murrieta, Calif., Honda
6.Nick Wey, Murrieta, Calif., Kawasaki
7.Michael Byrne, Newnan, Ga., Yamaha
8.Chad Reed, Tampa, Fla., Kawasaki
9.Andrew Short, Smithville, Texas, Honda
10.Kyle Chisholm, Valrico, Fla., Yamaha
AMA Supercross Class Season Standings
1.Ryan Dungey, Belle Plaine, Minn., Suzuki, 320
2.Ryan Villopoto, Poulsbo, Wash., Kawasaki, 266
3.Kevin Windham, Centerville, Miss., Honda, 248
4.Davi Millsaps, Murrieta, Calif., Honda, 231
5.Josh Hill, Carlsbad, Calif., Yamaha, 227
6.Justin Brayton, Murrieta, Calif., Yamaha, 211
7.Ivan Tedesco, Murrieta, Calif., Yamaha, 183
8.Nick Wey, Murrieta, Calif., Kawasaki, 174
9.Tommy Hahn, Alvord, Texas, Suzuki, 161
10.Kyle Chisholm, Valrico, Fla., Yamaha, 147
Western Regional AMA Supercross Lites Class Results: Seattle
1.Broc Tickle, Holly, Mich., Yamaha
2.Wil Hahn, Decatur, Texas, Honda
3.Jake Weimer, Rupert, Idaho, Kawasaki
4.Blake Wharton, Pilot Point, Texas, Honda
5.Ryan Morais, Murrieta, Calif., Suzuki
6.Josh Hansen, Elbert, Colo., Kawasaki
7.Cole Seely, Newbury Park, Calif., Honda
8.Phil Nicoletti, Bethel, N.Y., KTM
9.Max Anstie, Hemet, Calif., Yamaha
10.Hunter Hewitt, Pilot Point, Texas, Suzuki
Western Regional AMA Supercross Lites Class Season Standings
1.Jake Weimer, Rupert, Idaho, Kawasaki, 155
2.Wil Hahn, Decatur, Texas, Honda, 136
3.Trey Canard, Shawnee, Okla., Honda, 131
4.Broc Tickle, Holly, Mich., Yamaha, 125
5.Blake Wharton, Pilot Point, Texas, Honda, 107
6.Cole Seely, Newbury Park, Calif., Honda, 90
7.Josh Hansen, Elbert Colo., Kawasaki, 75
8.Max Anstie, Hemet, Calif., Yamaha, 75
9.Phil Nicoletti, Bethel, N.Y., KTM, 69
10.Jeff Alessi, Murrieta, Calif., Yamaha, 64
Robbie Petersen (264) and Andy Leisner (6) dice for position at the Road America AMA 250 Grand Prix race in June of 1988 in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin. Leisner, riding an Aprilia, ended up getting the best of Petersen in this race taking fourth. Petersen was fifth on a Honda. It marked the best-career AMA 250 Grand Prix finish for Leisner. Petersen is back in America this year working as crew chief for Ben Bostrom with Pat Clark Motorsports Yamaha. Today Leisner is with the well known motorsports marketing and management company Hardcard.
Lanny Allen (53) leads Reuben Frankenfield (35) and Frank Wilson (12) in a WERA C Superbike race at Indianapolis Raceway Park in April of 1994. Fast Canadian Wilson moved up to take the lead, but Allen got him back on the final lap to win an exciting race. Allen and Frankenfield were the top road racers from the Indianapolis area during the early-to-mid 1990s. The two had dozens of tight battles in WERA North Central Region races.
This 2006 Suzuki press kit photo of Mat Mladin is uncredited, but my bet is that it’s a Brian J. Nelson photograph. I call this three-quarter side shot, knee down and visible the Brian J Angle. Brian J certainly wasn’t the first to shoot this angle of a road racer going through a corner, but I have to say from my perspective he perfected it. This is a very difficult shot to pull off. Hit the shutter button just an instant earlier and you won’t see much of the side of the motorcycle. An instant later and you’ll no longer see the rider’s knee on the ground on the opposite side of the motorcycle – it will be obscured by the front wheel. It’s a delicate timing shot and Brian J can nail this angle effortlessly. I’ve seen some of his unedited memory cards and he’ll have a dozen of these shots in a row of different riders, all perfectly focused and composed. The beauty of this angle is you can see nearly the entire side of the motorcycle (great for sponsors) yet you can still just see the inside knee touching, or nearly touching the pavement. Brian is a master of getting every imaginable angle of a road racing motorcycle, but to me this will always be his signature shot.
Canadian Marianne Fraser racing her Honda en route to winning the 1991 WERA Formula 3 Expert Championship. Marianne was one of the first, if not the first female WERA Expert National Champion. Interestingly enough Marianne beat Johnny Hodgkiss to win the race. Hodgkiss later became mechanic for Ben Spies during his final season of club racing.
A just-released report shows that motorcycling fatalities nationwide dropped by at least 10 percent in 2009, which is the first decline in 12 years.
Based on preliminary data, the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA), which represents the state highway safety offices nationwide, projects that motorcycling deaths declined from 5,290 in 2008 to 4,762 or fewer in 2009. The projection is based on data collected from the 50 states and the District of Columbia.
The report, released April 22, is based on a survey of GHSA members, who reported fatality numbers for their states. The GHSA notes that while data are still preliminary, most states have final fatality counts for at least nine months of 2009, giving GHSA confidence to predict that the death count will be down by at least 10 percent for the year.
The GHSA cautioned that the report only involves one year, so it’s too soon to predict a steady decline.
“We will need to see three to five years of decline before we are ready to say that a positive trend has developed,” said GHSA Chairman Vernon Betkey.
In fact, the report points out that fatalities have significantly decreased in the past but then rose again. For example, from 1980 to 1997 motorcycling fatalities dropped by almost 60 percent. But then fatalities increased steadily from 1997 through 2008.
2,294 motorcyclists were killed in 1998, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which gathers its data from the same sources as the GHSA. That number increased steadily each year, reaching 5,290 in 2008.
“The death of any motorcyclist is one too many, so this news that fatalities are down is encouraging,” said Ed Moreland, AMA vice president for government relations. “While we are pleased that the number of motorcycling fatalities dropped dramatically in 2009, we need to see that trend continue.”
Moreland cautioned that there will be speculation about why the numbers are down so significantly in 2009, and noted that there aren’t any solid answers.
“The motorcycling community looks forward to getting some real answers about motorcycle crashes and what causes them from the new federal crash causation study that is getting under way,” Moreland said. “Then we can put our heads together to find solutions, reduce crashes and save more lives.”
The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) formally announced the new crash causation study on Oct. 5. The FHWA is overseeing the four-year, $3 million study, which is being conducted by Oklahoma State University through the Oklahoma Transportation Center in Stillwater, Okla.
The last major study into the causes of motorcycle crashes was issued in January 1981. Called “Motorcycle Accident Cause Factors and Identification of Countermeasures Volume I: Technical Report,” the study became known as the “Hurt Report” after lead researcher Harry Hurt of the University of Southern California. Hurt was inducted into the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame in 2007 for his pioneering work.
That study provided a wealth of data that has been used by organizations and individual motorcyclists to help keep riders safer on the road. But the traffic environment has changed enormously in the decades since, prompting the AMA to begin campaigning for a new study several years ago.
I’m guessing this is a Suzuki GSXR Cup race, but I’m not sure. I do know that’s Bruce Baldus leading the way on the No. 36 bike at the GNF in 1991. Riders behind him include Tray Batey (No. 33), Todd Hoge, (directly behind Batey) and New Zealander Chris Haldane (No. 7x) on a Dutchman Racing Suzuki. I’m not sure who No. 12 is. It says Dean on his leathers so it could be Dean Mizdal. I also don’t recognize No. 95, although it looks like he’s wearing ex-Yoshimura leathers (I’ve found out No. 95 is Texas road racer James Schaefer). Maybe you can name some of the unidentified riders. Leave a comment below.