AMA Round 3 Supermoto

From a press release issued by AMA Pro Racing:

NATIONAL, WORLD CHAMPIONS COME TO SOUTH BOSTON SPEEDWAY

Round Two of the AMA Red Bull Supermoto Championship

PICKERINGTON, Ohio (Aug. 26, 2003) -- An impressive list of world class motorcycle racers are set to converge on Big Daddy's South Boston Speedway in South Boston, Va., on Saturday, August 30, for round two of the AMA Red Bull Supermoto Championship. Motorcycle racing legends such as Jeremy McGrath, Kevin Schwantz, Jeff Ward and Doug Chandler, to name just a few, are slated to compete in the competition that combines elements of motocross, flat track and road racing all into one circuit.

Former multi-time AMA Motocross and Supercross Champion and Indy Car driver Jeff Ward leads the AMA Supermoto Championship coming into South Boston after winning the opening round at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in Monterey, Calif., last month. In addition to the AMA Supermoto event (for bikes up to 450cc) fans will also see a round of the AMA Supermoto Unlimited Championship.

South Boston Speedway, which normally hosts stock car racing, will be converted into a supermoto circuit that will utilize the current speedway oval in addition to a twisty infield section combining flat track- and motocross-inspired elements. South Boston Speedway's supermoto track will feature a bit more of the fast pavement sections than Laguna Seca's supermoto circuit, which may play into the road racers' hands. The track was designed by supermoto authority and AMA Supermoto Race Manager Don Canet.

Jeff Ward is one of the all-time greats in AMA Motocross. "Wardy" won seven AMA National Championships and had one of the longest careers of elite motocross riders covering 15 seasons in the pro ranks. After retiring from motocross Ward began a new career in automobile racing. He came within a few seconds and a yellow light of winning the 1997 Indianapolis 500 in an exciting race that saw him finish third. He won the prestigious Indianapolis 500 Rookie of the Year Award. Now Ward, at 42, is proving to have the perfect background for AMA Supermoto. His motocross background gives him an advantage in the dirt portions of the track and his Indy Car experience has helped him become a threat on the high-speed pavement sections, too. Ward will be riding with the Troy Lee Designs Honda team along with AMA Supercross legend Jeremy McGrath. Ward won the first round in a thriller over former World Championship Motocross competitor and Motocross des Nations rival Kurt Nicoll. Naturally, Ward feels motocrossers have the advantage in supermoto.

"Motocrossers are so versatile," Ward said. "I think we're just used to getting the best out of whatever we're on. I actually feel like I'm better on pavement than on dirt. I might even do better at a track like South Boston. We'll see. I've watched the road race guys on the pavement and they're tough."

McGrath comes into the race ranked third in the AMA Supermoto Championship. McGrath led much of the series opener before drifting wide in a corner and dropping to third. The all-time AMA Supercross wins leader thinks AMA Supermoto has a bright future. "All of us are having a blast racing this series," said McGrath. "This (AMA Supermoto) is the next big thing. This gives us something to do, keeps us out of the house. I'm just going to have fun with it and keep it as low pressure as possible."

Three-time AMA Superbike Champion Doug Chandler is also entered to race in South Boston. Chandler has a flat-track background as well so the long-time AMA racing veteran will feel right at home on the South Boston track. Chandler will be riding a Red Bull HMC KTM.

Another favorite coming into Saturday's race is Kevin Schwantz, former Motorcycle Grand Prix Road Racing World Champion. Schwantz will be Suzuki-mounted and has a lot of experience on the supermoto machines.

With the amount of pavement on the South Boston circuit look for Schwantz to be a major factor. In addition to America's leading supermoto racers, several top European riders are planning to race in South Boston. Four of the top five riders in the Supermoto World Championship point standings, Boris Chambon (world series leader), Max Manzo, Ivan Lazzarini and Eddy Seel planning on racing at South Boston.

Other well known riders slated to race at South Boston include former Daytona 200 winner David Sadowski; 1991 AMA Superbike Champion Thomas Stevens; two-time AMA 125 Motocross Champion Mickey Dymond; Daytona Short Track winner Brett Landes; X-Games Freestyle star Mike Metzger and host of others.

Outdoor Life Network (OLN) will tape the race. OLN will show the entire series beginning in October and feature the season finale from Las Vegas with a live broadcast on Nov. 21. For ticket information call (877) 440-1540 or visit www.southbostonspeedway.com
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George Obradovich
George Obradovich

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