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AMA Pro Racing Returns to Barber Motorsports Park – Birmingham, Alabama

Written by  October 1, 2012

This has been a hotter than normal year for most of the country, and the weekend of June 22 was no exception. Even with the temperatures in the 100s, fans still poured into the Barber Motorsports Park for 10th Annual AMA Super-Bike Race weekend.

AMA Pro Racing features top professional racers from basically around the world! Heading up the list is the world famous AMA Pro National Guard Super-Bike class, where the most experienced and fastest racers in the series go spoke to spoke. This allows for some intense setup options, with some mind-blowing speeds of over 200 mph at times. The Super-Bikes incorporate a wide range of equipment diversities.

The AMA Daytona Sport-Bike class features middleweight action where lead changes can run 10 deep, with front runners often running four wide in the straights. However, the Daytona Super-Bike format allows for a multitude of engine sizes and configurations; AMA Pro’s newest addition (and one of our favorites) Pro Vance & Hines XR1200s class is just the opposite. This entirely spec class puts riders on nearly identical Harley-Davidson XR1200s, making for some really awesome racing. That goes with out saying really, I mean, they are after all HARLEYS!

The AMA Pro Motorcycle Super-Sport class is where the up-and-coming riders and local experts test their skills in a talent-infused field before advancing to the other classes.

We discovered this weekend that Daytona 200 race winner Jason Disalvo of the Latus Motors Racing Triumph team now lives in Trussville, Alabama right in our backyard! He now calls this his “home track.” That’s pretty cool!

With seven races planned for the weekend, race action got started Friday with qualifying and practice, and a first chance at meeting the racers up close and personal with a Track Walk with the AMA Pro Riders.

Saturday and Sunday had more qualifying and practice, with race action taking place in the afternoon. During the lunch break on both days there was a Fan Walk for all classes in the Hot Pit lane, giving people another chance to meet the racers and check out the bikes. All three days had the National Guard doing “2-up rides” that with the purchase of a Parade Lap pass, people got to ride the track.

Also during the lunch break on Saturday and Sunday, we were all treated to a stunt show out on the track. It was pretty cool. From out of nowhere there was a bike on the track doing “wheelies” and “stoppies” and all kind of cool stunts up and down the track. We loved it! We met the rider of Sunday’s show Ernie “Edub” Vigil with his 2012 Triumph Street Triple Bike. Ernie is a Pro Street freestyle rider that we had a blast watching and enjoyed talking to later. We told him that we would love to see him back down here, to which he replied, “Just let me know.”

We always manage to make new friends each time we come here, and on this trip we met Debbie McDaniel, who was one of the track volunteers and also sponsor of the #72 race team of Miles Thorton, who also had his family in the pits working right alongside of him--a family affair. They are really nice folks that we enjoyed spending time with and wish them much success in the future.

We also chatted with Mr. George Barber, owner of Barber Motorsports and owner of the over 1300 bikes and the largest collection of Lotus race cars that rotate in and out of the museum at the park. This has got to be one of the most down to earth, nicest guys on the planet. He takes the time to stop and talk with anyone who wishes to speak with him.

Crowds were down a little Sunday as the racing got underway. I’m sure the sweltering heat had something to do with it. But let’s face it, it didn’t matter where in the country you were, most people were experiencing the same sweltering heat as the South.

At the end of the day, #33 Kyle Wyman, with his Spykes Harley-Davidson XR1200, stood front and center of the podium, hoisting the winner’s trophy for the Vance & Hines XR1200 race, with #29-Tyler O’Hara coming in second, #34-Michael Barnes third, #23-David Estok fourth, and #45-Benjamin Carlson placing fifth.

The winner of the Motorcycle Super-Sport R2 Race was, #1-James Rispoli on his Suzuki GSX-R600, second place went to #85-Jake Lewis on his Suzuki GSX-R600, #12-Tomas Puerta on a Yamaha YZF-R6 took third; #69-Hayden Gillim on a Yamaha YZF-R6 placed fourth, and #21-Elena Myers on a Suzuki GSZ-R600 placed fifth.

Sunday’s third race was the GoPro Daytona Sport-Bike Race, with #6-Cameron Beaubier on his Yamaha Extended Service-Yamaha YZF-R6 coming in first, #5-Dane Westby on his M4 Suzuki-Suzuki-GSX-R600 coming in second. Third place went to #36-Martin Cardenas on his Geico Suzuki- Suzuki-GSX-R600, fourth place went to #8-Tommy Hayden on his Yamaha Extended Service-Yamaha YZF-R6, and #50-Bobby Fong took home the fifth place trophy on his Meen Motorsports Racing Yamaha YZF-R6.

The last race of the day was the National Guard Super-Bike Race, and the winner of that race was #1-Josh Hayes riding a Monster Energy Yamaha R-1; the second place trophy went to #79-Blake Young on his Yoshimura Racing Suzuki GSX-R1000; third place to #2-Josh Herrin riding a Monster Energy Yamaha R-1; fourth place to #99-Geoff May on his Team Amsoil/Hero EBR-1190RS, and #54-Roger Hayden on his National Guard Jordan Suzuki-Suzuki R100 took home the fifth place trophy.

Along with three days of cool racing action, there was also the Fan Zone attractions, vendors, and the museum to keep folks entertained, so there is plenty of fun for everyone, which means you have no excuse to not be here for the next race--hope to see you there!

Write-On and Ride-On

By Lynn Reynolds and

Leigh Lilly