Vote for SPEED Performance Awards

Several motorcycle racers among the nominees

By Motorcycle.Com Staff, Dec. 01, 2008
Online voting has opened for the third annual SPEED Performance Awards and several motorcycle racers have received nominations.

Jorge Lorenzo is up for the RACER Magazine Rookie of the Year award. The Fiat Yamaha rider finished fourth in the 2008 Championship standings. Lorenzo was flying at the start of the season, winning the pole position for the first three races and reaching the podium in four of his first five races in the MotoGP class including a win at the Portuguese Grand Prix. A series of injuries affected his performance through the middle of the season but the 21-year-old Spaniard regained his form to win the MotoGP Rookie of the Year award.

Valentino Rossi's daring pass not only got on Casey Stoner's nerves, it also led to his nomination for the Best Move award.The Laguna Seca duel between Valentino Rossi and Casey Stoner provided one of the nominees for the Best Move award. The two rivals traded the lead several times through the race but it was an early sequence on lap three that earned the nomination. Stoner and Rossi swapped leads heading into Laguna Seca’s infamous Corkscrew before Rossi made one final lunge for the lead. Rossi plowed through the gravel at the bottom of the Corkscrew to take the lead and when he returned to the track, he made brief contact with Stoner before pulling ahead.

AMA SPEED Athlete of the Year winner James Stewart is also nominated for the Best Move award. Flying off of a blind jump in the Motocross 338 at Southwick, Mass., Stewart was surprised to see a fallen rider standing in the middle of the track right ahead of him. At the very last moment, Stewart steered his bike to the left just enough for him to land and narrowly miss the downed rider.

Ben Solis and Leandro Mercado combined for one of the most dramatic racing moments of the year.A pair of Red Bull AMA U.S. Rookies combined for a nomination in the Best Finish category. On the last lap at Laguna Seca, Ben Solis Jr. passed Leandro Mercado heading into the final corner, but Solis’ exit was wide, giving Mercado the chance to pull even. The two riders sprinted down the final stretch, coming into contact several times and crossing the finish line with their bikes leaning against each other. Solis took the win by just 0.001 seconds.

Kevin Windham’s win at the 2008 Daytona Supercross was nominated for the Biggest Upset award. The race appeared to be out of Windham’s reach with Chad Reed holding a commanding lead on the final lap. Just three corners away from winning the race on the rain-soaked Daytona Speedway track, Reed’s Yamaha YZ450F ground to a halt with smoke billowing from a broken clutch. Reed stomped vainly on the kickstart lever as Windham passed him on his way to his first win at Daytona.

To view video clips and vote for the SPEED Peformance Awards, visit  Voting closes at midnight, Dec. 14.