In Monterey, California this past weekend the Kneedraggers.com/Triplecrown Industries team and the AMA Pro Racing paddock experienced motorcycle racing in the best and worst conditions. A heavy fog wreaked havoc on the morning practice and qualifying sessions but as the fog lifted fans and riders soaked up the California sun and the world famous event known as Laguna Seca. The Kneedraggers.com/Triplecrown Industires team set the tone on Friday when Stefano Mesa finished the first session at the top of the list with a 1:30.939. Mesa was on track to set a new lap record until a crash in the Corkscrew altered his plans. In the Daytona Sportbike class, Tommy Aquino who was filling in for the injured Austin Dehaven, qualified 7th. Dehaven’s surgeon, Dr. Thomas Brian was on hand for the event and said “Austin’s surgery went well, his foot is in great shape and with a little rehab he should be back to normal in no time.” Benny Solis also fell victim to the treacherous Corkscrew which put him in 17th place to start the race. David Gaviria ended up one row behind Benny qualifying in the 20th position.
In an effort to find the best possible rider to replace the injured Austin Dehaven the Kneedraggers.com/Triplecrown Industries team has recruited Tommy Aquino to ride their R6 for round 8 and 9 of the AMA Pro season. When asked about the rest of the season, Kneedraggers.com/Triplecrown Industries team owner Dave Brite said “Tommy Aquino will be riding with us for the next 2 rounds. Tommy has had great results at Laguna, top 5 for the last 2 years and last year at NJMP he took home a 1st and 3rd. I hate that Austin won’t be there with us because I know he would have done well at Laguna but he can recover from this injury which is why we are not sure what’s going to happen after New Jersey. To race at the AMA Pro DSB level you have to train hard which is what Austin was doing and sometimes these things happen. We feel fortunate to have Tommy step in for these races and we are optimistic about the weekend with Tommy, David, Benny and Stefano.”
On Tuesday July 17th, Austin Dehaven jumped on his dirt bike to train with his friend and Red Bull Rookies Cup rider Joe Roberts. They were in Hunger Valley at the Gorman motocross park. Austin and Joe were riding the course when Austin went to make a left turn in a big cloud of dust and “plowed the front.” As the bike was going down, Austin’s foot was forced into a large rut where his toe caught which made the top of Dehaven’s foot become smashed between a large rock and the foot peg. After X-Rays it was determined that Austin broke and fractured bones on the top of his left (shifting) foot. Dehaven just came off his best finish of the season at Mid Ohio and the next race at Laguna Seca is where he finished in 2nd place 2 years ago when he won the West SuperSport Championship. Austin was expected to finish in the top 10 at Laguna but will have to sit out for round 8 and most likely round 9 at New Jersey. Austin would like to complete the 2013 AMA Pro season with the final two rounds at Homestead and NOLA if he’s cleared in time.
SGA/KATRA team co-owner and Poland native Kat Zimpel has finally out done herself. Zimpel has constructed what some consider to be the most talented group of International female riders on the planet for this weekends WERA national 6 hour endurance race. Nadieh Schoots from the Netherlands rode as a Wildcard in the British Superstock 600cc class, Krystyna Kubran took home two WERA West Championships in 2010, Melissa Paris was the first female ever to qualify for a World Supersport event and team owner Kat Zimpel has taken home first place CCS trophies from Daytona.
While testing at Barber Motorsports park this past weekend, it was obvious that the SGA/KATRA/Yamaha Champions Riding School (YCRS) team is not taking the exceptional talent of the 2012 Daytona 200 winner and 2010 AMA SuperSport West Champion Joey Pascarella lightly. It was even more obvious that a driven and determined rider has been matched with two equally driven and determined team owners, none of whom are afraid to pick a fight with the Goliaths of the paddock. In an effort to have the riders comfort as their number one priority, SGA/KATRA/YCRS has built a team around Joey Pascarella. Crew Chief Danny Anderson, mechanics Jerome Craig and Lewis Ferrari along with team members Mike “Ski” Szatkowski and Nick Ferrari have been able to provide a set up that Pascarella is finally happy with. In addition to the SGA/KATRA/YCRS team members, Graves Yamaha suspension expert Chris Lessing was flown in to assist with the testing sessions at Barber.
After years of racing and finishing on the podium at Road Atlanta, Apex Race Services team owner Tim Hunt understands this track. This weekend, Hunt’s challenge will be transferring his Road A knowledge and expertise to the stable of Supersport riders under the Apex Race Service tent. In addition to Jake Morman, the Apex Race Service team has picked up CCS rider David Hall and Manny Manusuthakis who’s no stranger to Road Atlanta or the AMA grid.
After recovering from their first team effort, Apex Race Services takes a look back at Daytona.
In their first outing the Apex Race Services team took on the Daytona International Speedway. Team owner Tim Hunt and the Apex Race Services crew successfully completed round 1 of the 2012 AMA Pro Racing schedule. “It’s always nice to walk away from a weekend safe and sound, this year we are lucky to have a three very talented riders, Nico Vivarelli, Jake Morman and Brett ProBert. They all had their heads in the game; they stuck to the plan and made massive improvements over the 3 day weekend. Apex Race Services ran 2 bikes in the SuperSport race and 1 in the Daytona 200, all 3 bikes crossed the finish line thanks to our solid team of mechanics and crew. Apex Race Services entered racing to develop riders and help them improve as they move along in their racing career. It’s impossible to help these future stars if their bikes can’t cross the finish line. I really appreciate the job that Tryce Welch, Leigh Anna Hunt, Lenny Albin, Aaron Ralph, Jonathan Boswell, Dave Hall and Dean Dufrene did this past weekend. We ended up with Jake Morman in 8th place in the AMA SuperSport East Standings, Nico Vivarelli moved up 19 spots from Thursday to Saturday and Brett ProBert finished his first AMA race so I think we are off to a great start.”
Jake Morman: “On Friday I struggled the whole race to stay where I was; I couldn’t quite get the bike under control and ended up in 17th. We had a better idea on Saturday of what we needed to do. We went softer on the rear shock and put new rubber on the front. With the new tire I felt like I could turn in so much better. For the re-start of Race 2 I thought I jumped the start. When I came out of turn one I was not happy with myself and put my head down to make up as many spots as possible incase I had to do a ride through. I ended up in 13th in race 2 and I’m sitting 8th in the AMA SuperSport East standings. I couldn’t do it without my team and sponsors, big thanks to Tim and Leigh Anna at Apex Race Services, my crew chief Tryce Welch, Superbike Chassis and Lenny Albin, Ohlins, Motul USA, Vortex, Hotbodies, Dunlop, Pant Saggin Dezigns, Cycle Pirates, Impact Safe-T Armor, The Schwantz School, Arai helmets, Alien Motion, Heroic Racing Apparel, Forma Boots, Explicit designs, Yoshimura, and Bad Rad racing/Young Gunz racing”
Brett ProBert: “I’m coming back from an accident that happened in August of 2011, it was bad and I’ve had a couple surgeries to get back to normal. This was my second time on this track and my first AMA race. I love the banking and the horseshoe. The first couple days I was running around like a Chicken with my head cut off, now that I’ve gotten past this first race I think my nerves will settle down. I was really happy with Apex Race Services, very professional and they have a big crew. It’s a great community to be a part of, Tim’s a great guy and there are more than enough people to help you. I also want to thank my Father, Mother and Rockford construction who are my biggest supporters. I’m really looking forward to the next race.”
On March 15th, thanks to the support of KATRA, Vemar Helmets, Tuttauto, Davitti, Gelateria Paradise, Athlon Club, Mau Design, and Apex Race Service Nico Vivarelli rolled onto the AMA Pro Racing course at the Daytona Beach International Speedway for the first time. In an interview after the riders meeting Vivarelli said, “It’s like no other track in the World, the banking is extreme, I am so excited.” Not only was he rolling on to the track for the first time but Nico only had a total of 4 hours at the Palm Beach International Raceway on the Apex Race Services Yamaha R6 motorcycle.