WSBK & AMA Pro Roadracing: Miller Time! (Spoilers)

Discussion in 'Racing' started by yooperbikemike, May 23, 2012.

  1. yooperbikemike

    yooperbikemike high, wide and handsome

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    High Plains Drifting for WSBK at Miller Motorsports Park

    Salt Lake City (Utah, USA), 23 May 2012 - In the wake of two fantastic races at Donington that saw five different riders and four different manufacturers vying for the win right down to the wire, the eni FIM Superbike World Championship is now heading towards the Utah high plains for the sixth of the 14 rounds in this year's calendar. As is tradition, the two races will be held on Monday 28th May, Memorial Day, in honour of the US Armed Forces, so first qualifying will take place on Saturday.

    The production-based racing series arrives at Miller Motorsports Park, the safest and most modern circuit in north America. The facility was inaugurated in 2008 and is located around 40 kms from the centre of Salt Lake City, the capital of the state of Utah, not far away from the legendary Bonneville Salt Flats, the scene for the world land-speed record attempts made every year.

    World Superbike has been the main event of the year in this area of the USA since its very first edition in 2008. The track measures 4.907 kms and on the long 1.1 km pit straight Superbike machines come close to 320 km/h (200 mph). In fact, the Miller circuit is expecting the 200 mph mark to be exceeded this time around as it has set up a ?Quest for 200' ticket prize draw competition for the general public. Judging by the astonishing top speed of 339.5 km/h reached on the long Monza straights by Tom Sykes on a Kawasaki, this particular record could quite easily be broken.

    The US Round is always one of the most fascinating because Superbike was born and developed in the United States half-way through the 1970s, before gaining world championship recognition in 1988. The race actually appears to bring good luck all round as for the past three seasons the winners at Miller Motorsports Park have all gone on to become world champions that year.

    The previous round in the UK did not change things at the top that much as Max Biaggi (Aprilia Racing), who has led the table since the opening race, the first and only one won by the former world champion this year, continues to lead. Biaggi won here two years ago on his way towards taking his 2010 world title.

    Biaggi is the man in the cross-hairs of Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team), who as well as claiming four Tissot-Superpole wins out of five, dominated at Monza and the 26 year-old Brit is now just five points behind the leader. Each race of the 18 remaining (9 rounds) assigns 25 points to the winner so there is still much to play for.

    A win at Donington for Jonathan Rea also put the Honda World Superbike Team rider back on track and the young man from Northern Ireland now has two wins to his name this year and is in third place, 20.5 points off the top slot. Miller could be a crossroads for Althea Racing's title hopes as the 39 year-old from Spain, Carlos Checa, has always made the difference here, dominating both on a four-cylinder Honda (2008) and a twin-cylinder Ducati (2011). Checa, who has been on pole three times in 2008, 2010 and 2011, will again be going for the big win to make up the 23 points separating him from Biaggi.

    Morale in the BMW Motorrad team is at an all-time high following Marco Melandri's first historic win for the German manufacturer on the British circuit. The Italian is 31 points down on Biaggi, and is followed in turn by his team-mate Leon Haslam, their points haul and positions in the table seriously affected by the double elimination at the final hairpin at Donington.
    Miller is also a happy hunting-ground for Sylvain Guintoli (Team Effenbert Liberty Racing Ducati) who scored his first Superbike podium here twelve months ago. The Frenchman then broke the winners' ice two rounds back at Assen.

    The FIXI Crescent Suzuki team has managed to recover the services of top draw rider John Hopkins in record time, the ever-popular American missing Donington due to the effects of his high-side at Monza. The team is also hoping a lot from Leon Camier, whose best results at Miller are two second places.

    The uncertainty surrounding the eventual outcome of this year's World Superbike races is sure to continue in the USA. It is worth mentioning that in the nine races held so far this season, there have been six different winners (Biaggi, Checa, Rea, Guintoli, Sykes and Melandri) on five different makes of bike: Aprilia, BMW, Ducati, Honda and Kawasaki. Only Suzuki is yet to make the grade but the Crescent-Yoshimura combination are working hard to close the gap.

    Points (after 5 of 14 rounds): 1. Biaggi 128.5; 2. Sykes 123.5; 3. Rea 108; 4. Checa 105.5; 5. Melandri 97.5; 6. Haslam 89; 7. Guintoli 85; 8. Laverty 65; 9. Giugliano 50; 10. Smrz 44.5; etc. Manufacturers: 1. Ducati 161.5; 2. Aprilia 139; 3. BMW 131; 4. Kawasaki 129.5; 5. Honda 112; 6. Suzuki 40.5.
    #1
  2. yooperbikemike

    yooperbikemike high, wide and handsome

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    BTW, check out the latest SoupKast for an excellent interview with Jonny Rea.
    #2
  3. yooperbikemike

    yooperbikemike high, wide and handsome

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    SpeedTV schedule

    All times Eastern

    Sunday, May 27

    6:30 PM -- DSB

    Monday May 28

    4:00 PM -- WSBK Race 1

    5:00 PM -- AMA SBK

    7:00 PM -- WSBK Race 2
    #3
  4. viajero

    viajero Too old to be a nOOb

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    I won't make it there this year, but for those on the fence about going, do it. Beautiful track and setting, great racing with top flight riders, and lots of excellent spectating locations. And the scenery (of the female kind) is another reason to go. Many of the vendor displays are worth a visit, as well.

    I found the track personnel to be friendly and accomodating. The available food wasn't too bad, and the fans seemed mostly knowledgeable.

    Seeing Spies take the double was an unforgettable experience.
    #4
  5. HarveyMushman

    HarveyMushman .

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    I'll be there. Weather looks like it'll be okay, with a chance for some excitement.
    #5
  6. AMG-USA.COM

    AMG-USA.COM Adventurer

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    Oh man I can't wait. My first ever major racing event beside British Superbikes @ Oulton Park in 04.:kboom
    #6
  7. yooperbikemike

    yooperbikemike high, wide and handsome

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  8. wrk2surf

    wrk2surf on the gas or brakes

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    .active weather for the beginning of the holiday weekend...a vigorous pacific storm system will move into the western great basin friday before lifting through the state saturday. Warm and windy conditions on friday will give way to cooler and wetter conditions for much of the area on saturday.
    West-central and southern utah will see a dramatic increase in winds on friday ahead of this storm. Southerly winds are expected to become strong and gusty during the midday and afternoon hours in these locations. Wind gusts in excess of 50 mph are possible during saturday afternoon. Strong crosswinds are expected...especially on east-west oriented roadways across western utah. Areas of blowing dust will also be possible.
    A cold front will move across the area late friday night into saturday. This front will bring an increased threat of precipitation during the daytime hours across northern and western utah. Isolated thunderstorms are also possible saturday.
    Snow levels will remain quite high through the event but may drop to as low as 7500 feet during heavier showers beginning saturday. Significant accumulations across the high terrain are not expected at this time...but those planning outdoor activities at the upper elevations should prepare for winter-like conditions at times.
    Conditions are expected to improve by sunday morning across a majority of the area.
    Those planning outdoor activities this holiday weekend should keep an eye on the weather forecast as the storm approaches the area. Monitor noaa weather radio...your favorite media outlets...and weather.gov/slc for additional information.
    #8
  9. snowhawk jockey

    snowhawk jockey Slack Jaw Gaper

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    Packing the GiantLoop as we speak!
    I ride down tomorrow and will be dressed for rain.
    My first time to Miller, and WorldSBK, so can't wait!!
    I'll be track-side as a corner marshal for the event.
    The race gas fumes are already making my eyes water...:clap

    Any tips on which corner I should ask for?
    #9
  10. wrk2surf

    wrk2surf on the gas or brakes

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    first or last few
    #10
  11. BOOTLACE

    BOOTLACE Bikie Scum.

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    Ducati-fest. Checa, Guintoli, Kuba.....All good in the snow. :wink:
    #11
  12. NMEXPAT

    NMEXPAT Been here awhile

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    Heading to SLC, this morning for the races and extra long weekend. Miller is awesome! This time the wife and daughter are waking. We've bad this trip on our calender since Nov 11. Always a good time. SLC and area are clean and there's plenty to do.


    I have a spare 3-day gen admin ticket willing to sell for under face value. Send me a pm if interested.
    #12
  13. dlearl476

    dlearl476 Two-bit Throttle Bum

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    My son no longer works for a Big-4 MC dealerships, so I'm out in the cold on the VIP connections. Oh well, at least there's still the Ducati tent. I'll probably just pop up for the races on Monday. Weather looks iffy and I've been sick as a dog all week. Hopefully, I'll be fit enough to ride in Monday, the two lane in and out of MMP can be a bitch on four wheels.
    #13
  14. dlearl476

    dlearl476 Two-bit Throttle Bum

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    As a spectator, the "Attitude" corners are one of my favorites. I don't know what the perspective would be from the corner worker spot. (Big Esses where you can see three corners at once.)

    But a LOT happens in those last three corners. (You're closer to the facilities, as well.)
    #14
  15. wrk2surf

    wrk2surf on the gas or brakes

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    Checa
    Melandri
    Haslam
    #15
  16. Pantah

    Pantah PJ Fan from Boston

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    Haslam in a double...:thumb
    #16
  17. Aquatic

    Aquatic Long timer

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    +1 :thumb
    #17
  18. Jim Moore

    Jim Moore Long timer

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    Checa: I like turning left.
    #18
  19. viajero

    viajero Too old to be a nOOb

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    Looks like weather is again an issue. Time to consider rescheduling this event, for riders and spectators alike. I'd really like it to succeed, but don't see that happening as currently timed.

    Hopefully Monday brings sun and fans to watch some great racing.

    It was great weather when I was there in '09.
    #19
  20. ILuvUMan

    ILuvUMan Opinions Vary

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    Raining bigtime in Tooele and it's almost noon. Not looking good for today.

    Suppose to fade away by tomorrow (Sunday) afternoon. :clap
    #20