Mike Smith to Ride Harley VR 1000s

Brent Plummer
by Brent Plummer
With the departure of Scott Russell to Ducati, Mike Smith has signed on to the Harley-Davidson VR 1000 Superbike Race Team.

Smith will join Pascal Picotte to ride factory VR 1000s in the 2001 AMA Superbike season. Read on for official details from Harley...

MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN (October 12, 2000) - Mike Smith of Canton, Georgia, will be back in black and orange, joining Pascal Picotte on the Harley-Davidson VR 1000 Superbike race team. Smith recently agreed to terms to ride the VR 1000 for the 2001 AMA Superbike racing season.

Smith, 33, took four AMA Buell Pro Thunder wins during the 2000season, scoring victories at Road Atlanta, Road America, Pike's Peak and Willow Springs. He has 13 career AMA 600 SuperSport victories (second on the all-time AMA 600 SuperSport win list), an AMA Superbike pole position and a Formula USA Championship to his credit.

Smith also has previous experience with the VR 1000. He rode for theHarley-Davidson team in 1998, filling in for an injured Thomas Wilson during the last three rounds of the AMA Superbike series. Smith scored a top-10 finish aboard the VR in 1998 at Las Vegas, posting an 8th place performance.

In 1999, he raced the VR 1000 in a one-off ride at Phoenix, replacing Scott Russell. Smith qualified on the second row and finished 10th.

"This is great," Smith said. "I'm looking forward to working with Pascal and the guys on the Harley-Davidson VR 1000 race team. While it was nice to know I had options this year, I made it clear to my manager that this is where I wanted to be. Harley-Davidson has given me chances in the past two years to show my skills. That has meant a lot to me. I look forward to being part of the team, and God-willing, give them the results they deserve."

Smith and his wife Suzanne have two children, Michael Jr., already a budding motocross star at age 4, and Greyson, 10 months.

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