Sunday, May 31, 2009
For a guy that is supposed to be a 'rookie' in a new series for him, that in
most cases other then this w/e he hasn't even seen the majority of the tracks
he is riding on, Ben Spies is setting the world, let alone the World Superbike Series,
Having broken a 17 year old record yesterday in winning 7 SuperPoles in a row, a previous
record held by another Texan and former AMA Superbike Champion as well, Ben stole the
record that was held by Doug Polen when he contested the World Superbike Series in the early
'90s, while winning the championship in '91 and '92 on the Fast by Ferracci Ducati. Yes, for a man that came into a new series this year, on a new team, and on a new and advanced Yamaha R1 motorcycle, Ben is doing his best to show everyone that he is no rookie, and be damned the
hype that you can't win or compete in WSBK on tracks you haven't seen or ridden on previously.
And just to add insult to injury to anyone else who had any doubts, he took this new record yesterday on a track that for once, he had ridden on, let alone seen. And did it while the clouds
were getting ready to open up and shower the track at Miller Motorsports Park in Tooele, Utah.
And to have broken a record that had stood for 17 years in the now 22 year old series is in itself
quite an accomplishment. Not bad for a 'rookie.'
Both races today at the beautiful MMP in Utah will be a challenge for all entered, and Ben will still have to come out ahead of rival Nitro Nori Haga in order to get back into the championship hunt after a couple of crashes and DNF's due to lack of fuel load and shifter-related problems--both of which occurred as he was either about to win or in the process of leading races. Nitro Nori did suffer a massive get-off yesterday during practice, so he is likely to be a rightfully-so sore today after pounding the MMP pavement from this big highside as made available by the wonderful folks at http://www.superbikeplanet.com/:
Can you say 'ouch'?
Nonetheless, Nitro may be sore but Ben 'Elbowz' Spies, or The Texas Terror should you have it, will still have his hands full with a field of major stars. Both races will be run today @ 2 P.M. and 5:30 P.M. EDT, and both will be shown tape-delayed on SpeedTV today at 5-7 P.M. EDT as well. And if you are like me, you can follow them both on the net courtesy of the fine folks at the Official World Superbike site here via this link. The live timing is on the right side of the page and pretty easy to spot about 1/3 of the way down:
You can also check out Miller Motorsports Park's website here:
Finally, the shots above were taken at Road America of Ben leading a various cast of U.S.-based stars from the AMA Superbike Series in June '06 in what was race 2 on Sunday afternoon of the 'old' REAL Superbike Series. On the Team Honda CBR1000RR mounted #17 Miguel Duhamel and #98 Jake Zemke, #22 Tommy Hayden on the ZX-based Team Kawasaki, team mates on the Ducati-factory efforts #100 Neil Hodgson--also a former World Superbike Champion--as well as Ben Bostrom on the #155 and also not only a former multi-time winner on the WSBK scene, but the winner of the '98 AMA Superbike Series, the '08 AMA SuperSport Champion, and this years winner of the AMA Daytona 200. Also to be seen in pic #2 is perennial crowd/fan favorite Aaron 'Yikes' Yates on the Team Yoshimura GSXR-1000, at the time Ben Spies' team mate along with multi-time champ Mat Mladin.
Enjoy the races this weekend, and have a good week. Thanks for coming by to share in the fun
and the speed and the rush that is Stu's Shots R Us! God Bless!
Saturday, May 23, 2009
This afternoon The Illinois State Fairgrounds will host what
is and has been for decades the finest two wheel show on dirt. Starting
with the Springfield TT today at the rodeo/multi-purpose stadium, the 450-class bikes will take on the hand-made TT track, and move tomorrow to the mile fairgrounds track several hundred yards away for the big twins class and The Infamous Springfield Mile Memorial Day W/E Classic.
Riders such as 7-time Grand National Flat Track Champ #1 Chris Carr, #23 Kevin Atherton, winner of over 15 GN races in his over 20 year career, #3 and former GN Champ Joe Kopp, #14 and former Singles Grand National Champ Jake Johnson, and a host of others will thrill the crowds--and some of the other riders--with their prowess not only on the TT course today, but especially with their skill to handle a 320 Lb. flat track motorcycle at close to 140
mph on the straightaways on the mile dirt track.
What has become not only an institution, but a must-see race in any bike racing fans' eyes, the w/e should prove to be very exciting especially if Mother Nature cooperates. And if you can't make it to the races which are located some 195 miles west/southwest of Indianapolis, then you can follow the action via the links below thanks to the wonderful folks at http://www.amaproracing.com/ . The 3rd link will have the live timing as provided by the AMA so you can keep up, and in case you aren't sure where to go, I have provided a link to the Illinois State Fairgrounds as well:
Thanks to not only AMA Pro Racing, but to the Illinois State Fairgrounds for the
super links to all of the w/e action. Guaranteed fun and if you have never seen
a mile flat track motorcycle race, then your time is now. But if you already have
plans as most of us do by now, you can set your calendar for the Labor Day W/E races, as well, to see the short track as well as the mile race.
The shots above you are viewing are a smattering of pics I took at the '04 Labor Day W/E Classic. Riders such as aforementioned 7-time Champ, #1 Chris Carr, #23 Kevin Atherton, #14 Jake Johnson, #3 Joe Kopp, as well as #9, 3-Time Grand National Champion and perenial crowd and fan favorite Jay Springsteen, can be seen ready to go and in action on the mile during the main event.
Also in these shots you will see #89 Kevin Varnes, #18 Terry Poovey, #80 Rich King, #31 and NOW #1 and 3-Time Grand National Champ Kenny Coolbeth, and former and now semi-retired as last I heard #20 Johnny Murphree all doing battle at 140 on the straights and close to 95 mph diving into the turns.
Springfield is always a magical time, I myself went there my first year in '86 when The King, Kenny Roberts, came back to the dirt tracks after a 7 or 8 year abscense while winning 3 World Championships in 500 GP from 78-80 to try and put a Harley in the field for what at the time seem like a dream after all of his years aboard Yamahas. Unfortunately, he didn't make the field but it wasn't for lack of trying as the field was 'littered' with now retired greats Bubba Shobert, Jimmy Filice and even Wayne Rainey. Not too mention the dearly departed Ricky Graham, former 3-Time Grand National Champion. I've only missed 5 or 6 of the Labor Day Classics since that time after returning nearly every year since '91, and always leave shaking my head and thinking for hours---WOW---WHAT A SHOW!!
Believe me, an old pro at following GREAT motorcycle racing for over 3 1/2 decades, it DOESN'T get any better then this and you better forget that you bought a ticket for a seat because you will be on your feet for 3/4 of the time anyway.
Just a nod to Mike Kidd, the former '81 AMA Grand National Flat Track Champion, who when I started following the sport in the summer of '74 was laid up with injuries that he suffered earlier that year while riding for the Triumph Factory Team, and who also won races and helped Team Honda develop the RS750's that came along in the early '80s to defeat the long-running stand of Harley dominance. Mr. Kidd, who I saw win the Terre Haute, IN. Half Mile Race in '76, is now the man on the point for the new DMG-led AMA Pro Racing Flat Track series. With this w/e being the 3rd and 4th events of the '09 calendar, we could also be seeing history made as he tries to help turn around the declining attendance, the slow decline of new riders into the sport, and the
general problems of what tracks are proper tracks to race at. He will have his hands full this year trying to find a course of action and hope for the series, and with the help of the IMDA---the Illinois Motorcycle Dealers Assoc., who also run the Peoria TT in August, and by following their lead in putting on a class show, he would be the man to do it. I and many others wish him luck and realize the future of Grand National Flat Track Motorcycle Racing is in his hands!
Go enjoy your weekend, and mark Sun., June 14, 2009 on your caledar as well because at 4 P.M. ET, SpeedTV will be showing tape-delayed coverage of the weekend.
And last but definitely not least, remember to honor and pray for the men and women of our armed forces that gave their lives in battle for this wonderful country so we would still be allowed to do what we have always been able to do as a free country and to be able to attend the many, many different types of events that we do over the years, decades, and eras. God Bless Our U.S. Forces for what they have done and will do to protect us!!
Sunday, May 17, 2009
...unless you are one of the fine folks from the DMG Group. And then
you are bummin' again as Mat Mladin pulled off his 8th of 9 event wins this
afternoon in the AMA American Superbike Series race at Infineon Raceway in
Sonoma, CA. After having suffered defeat yesterday for the first time this season,
Mat stormed back to the win by an unofficial margin of 1.8 seconds over
Yamaha R1-mounted Ben Bostrom, the former '98 AMA Superbike Champ having his
best outing of the season as of yet in the 'new' AMA American Superbike Series.
Thanks to the fine folks at http://www.roadracingworld.com/ for the link to the top 10 results:
The shots above were taken of Mat during practice and qualifying during the race w/e
at Barber Motorsports Park in Leeds, AL., for the 'old' AMA Superbike Series in April of '07.
Hope everyone had a fine w/e. Now it's back to work to look forward to the 3-day w/e coming
up and celebrating Memorial Day, first and foremost, to honor all of the fine men and women that have served, fought, and died for this wonderful country. And to get pumped up for all of the fine racing to see and view for the upcoming 3-day w/e. Should be fun as one of the series
that kicks into gear next w/e is the AMA Flat Track Championship. returning after a 2 1/2 month break after Daytona, to the beautiful Illinois State Fairgrounds in Springfield, Il. Up first
for Saturday night are the 450 class bikes in the TT shoot out at the rodeo stadium, and then
the Infamous Springfield Mile on the fairgrounds dirt track for Sunday afternoon. It's going
to be a fun and fast w/e and nothing is better then seeing the flat track bikes on The Mile.
Stay tuned for the action and have a safe week!
Saturday, May 16, 2009
to us that Josh Hayes, on the Graves Motorsports Team Yamaha R1 has beat
Mat Mladin in race 1 of the AMA American Superbike Series Final at Infineon Raceway
in Sonoma, CA.
Having not heard the details at the time of posting, I can only post the final results as
Mr. Hayes beat Tommy Hayden, Larry Pegram, Aaron Yates as well as Mat Mladin to
win his very first AMA American Superbike race under the existing, as well as former,
series rules and engine criteria. Not taking anything away from Smilin' Josh, as he has worked
extremely hard this year with a new team, a new motorcycle and virtually a new slate in
running the Superbike series for the first time in several years. Congrats to Mr. Hayes in
his very well deserved win and for getting the proverbial monkey off his back in the Superbike
series. Having been a multiple winner of races in the 'old' Supersport series, as well as a 2-Time
FX Series Champ and race winner under the 'old' series formulas, the guy is for sure no slouch,
and to be congratulated for his accomplishments today. Bravo to you sir!
The unofficial results as of this posting can be found here at http://www.superbikeplanet.com/:
http://superbikeplanet.com/2009/May/090516raceone.htm (thank you to Dean Adams & Co.!)
UPDATE--7:45 P.M. Sat. 5/16/09
Here is the story of the race from race 1 at Infineon thanks to the fine folks at www.SpeedTV.com. Apparently Mat was having some front end problems with his
Team Yoshimura Suzuki that kept him from mounting any type of charge to keep his, and
Suzuki's long-time win streak intact. Again, nothing against Mr. Hayes and his efforts today:
The shots accompanying the bombshell mentioned in this post are of one Mr. Joshua Hayes at
Road America in June of '06 on the Erion Racing CBR1000RR Super Stock bike. These shots
were taken of Smilin' Josh as he was in various modes of practice and qualifying for the weekend.
Again, congrats to Josh Hayes for a breakthrough win at Infineon. And they can call it whatever
they want it will always be Sears Point......guess you gotta pay the bills....
Straight From The 'Guess Who Won Their 5th & 6th SuperPole' Dept.--Mat Mladin Wins AMA 5th SuperPole and Ben Spies Wins 6th WSBK SuperPole
As we begin to get into the thick of the motorcycle road racing seasons
in the AMA American Superbike Series as well as the World Superbike Series,
two names keep coming to the top in both.
Having fought one another tooth and nail for the previous three years in America
in the AMA Superbike Series, Mat Mladin and Ben Spies are both setting and maintaining
new records in their quests to win a 7th AMA title and 1st WSBK title, respectively.
Yesterday at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, CA., Mad Mat took his series-leading title
venture to another, and not surprising, level in winning the 5th SuperPole session of the year
in the new AMA American SuperBike Series. This morning, Ben 'Elbowz' Spies took his
World Superbike-leading 6th SuperPole win at the South African round of the WSBK Series.
Both riders, besting a field of multi-talented and race-winning riders, managed to pull off
another milestone in each of their series to lead their fields off the line in each of their w/e's
You can follow Mat's ventures via the link below in the AMA series at Infineon this w/e. This
afternoon's race starts at 3 P.M. west coast time and tomorrow's race at 4 P.M. west coast time:
....and you can get the live timing link here as well:
As for following Mr. Spies venture at Kyalami in South Africa, tomorrow's races are at 6 A.M. and 9:30 A.M. east coast time. The link is below and the live timing is located on the right side
of the Official WSBK website:
The shots we view as we keep up on their exploits were taken at the beautiful Barber
Motorsports Park in Leeds, AL., just outside of Birmingham, at the AMA round in April
of '07. In both we see Elbowz chasing Mad Mat in both shots, as he did in both races that
particular w/e, while defending and ultimately winning his 2nd of 3 AMA Superbike Championships.
Good luck to both Mr. Spies and Mr. Mladin in their quests to show the U.S. and the World as
to really who is top man in each of their indicidual series they are competing in this year.
It just doesn't get any better than on 2 wheels!
Sunday, May 10, 2009
Although, just not in the same race outing.
After winning his 5th SuperPole of the season in WSBK competition at Monza,
Mr. Elbowz suited up for the racing end of things at the Italian circuit. After leading
the majority of the race, his Yamaha R-1 ran out of fuel in the last set of turns onto the
final run relagating him to a 15th placing, and 1-point outing for the day in the championship
hunt. Later in the 2nd race of the day, Ben pulled off another win, while his main competition
for the title, Nitro Nori Haga, binned it early in the race to card ZERO points for the race. While
taking home a 2nd place in race 1, Nitro managed to give up a few points to Ben to make the
championship a now 54 point differential going in to next weekend's race at the South African
round of the World SuperBike Series.
You can view all results straight from the official site here:
The shot above is Mr. Spies in SuperStock-class qualifying mode at Barber Motorsports Park
in Alabama during the April '07 round of the good OLD AMA Superbike Series.
Saturday, May 9, 2009
While we see Ben Spies bend it into turn 11 at Barber Motorsports Park
during qualifying for the old AMA SuperStock class in April of '07, word comes
from across the pond that young Mr. Spies has claimed his 5th SuperPole of the year
in the World Superbike Series in Monza, Italy.
Being a 'rookie' racing in Europe this year, Elbowz Spies has now amassed 5 Superpole wins, 4 wins, 1 second, and also, unfortunately, 3 crashes. The 3 crashes, with ZERO points each for those three races, mean that Mr. Spies comes into the 5th round of the year 60 points in arears
of one Nori Haga on the Team Xerox Ducati in the fight for the '09 World Superbike Series
Championship. However, with the 2 races for tomorrow, and the other 9 events and 18 races
to go in the season, anything can happen. And Nitro Nori in this young season has made ZERO
mistakes so far, having captured 2nd place to Mr. Spies 4 wins.
You can keep your fingers crossed and watch the tape-delayed races tomorrow on Speed TV, or
even catch the live timing during the races 'live' on your computer. The races roll off at 0600 and 0930 ET in the morning, and will be shown 16-1800 ET on Speed, or the night owl times of
0300-0500 on Wed. 5/13 on the same. You can also follow along with the
updates from the website on the left side column, or click here:
It should be a great round to see.
Go get 'em Ben!!!
As Mat waves to the crowd after having won the 2nd of both w/e races
at Barber Motorsports Park back April of '07 in the REAL AMA Superbike
Series, news this week is that he has started his own blog here on Blogspot.
After having announced several weeks back that he is now on Twitter--see post
below--Mat this week announced his intentions to keep us up to date on his new
blog, as well. If you would like to follow Mad Mat this year, check out the link and
hang on for a fast and furious ride as he rips through the ranks of the NOW AMA
American Superbike Series--think Superbike-Lite compared to what we have been
used to here in the good ole U.S. of A. Nonetheless, Mr. Mladin is spanking the competition
on the DE-tuned bikes just as he has done so for the better part of the last 12 or 13 years,
now having amassed a total of 7 wins this year aboard the '08 and now '09 model GSXR-1000
Suzuki. The competition has a long year ahead of it. Read on and right on!
Sunday, May 3, 2009
As we also see of the shot above from Mid Ohio in 2008 after winning
both Superbike events of that w/e, Mat Mladin, now on the #7 Team Yoshimura
Rockstar Makita Suzuki GSXR-1000 (my now that is a mouthful!), Mat won
both events this w/e at Barber Motorsports Park just outside of Birmingham, AL.,
in the wonderful town of Leeds.
Being at the top all w/e for when it counted--winning Superpole and both main events,
and for the first time this year now mounted on the new 2009 K9 models, Mat showed
the competition--not to mention the suits at DMG--that you don't make him mad by
changing the rules to try and beat him. Mad Mat simply delivered on the same goods
he has been delivering to us for over 13 years of competition now--by showing everyone
that may or may not have doubted, that Mat is NOT going away. And just making him even
madder by criticizing, putting him on probation, stripping him of real wins by means of petty
rule interpratations---did I spell that right??!!---and by thinking for any iota of a moment
that you are going to keep or kick him down, well, ya all have a new thing coming then. Cuz
Mat Mladin will not break, and he will not be allowed to be beat down by overzealous suits
or rules that were intent in many ways to alter his domination. And if it really came down to
it, don't you think he could do it on a scooter, too?! Come on! Wake up people. Or at least
a few of those suits......
Go get 'em Mat! I only wish we could see this live!