Today, Yamaha Motor Corporation, USA, has announced its U.S. road racing teams to compete in the 2013 GEICO Motorcycle AMA Pro Racing season, which kicks off in March at the famed Daytona International Speedway.
In the AMA Pro National Guard Superbike division, Yamaha is fielding “Team Josh,” as three-time and defending class champion, Josh Hayes once again teams up with Josh Herrin, the 2012 AMA Rookie of the Year. Despite setting single-season records for the most SuperBike wins, the most consecutive SuperBike wins, and the most SuperBike poles, the elder Josh hasn’t lost any of his competitive fire. During the off-season, Josh signed a two-year contract to stay with Monster Energy/Graves/Yamaha because he loves the team and he still feels that he’s got a lot of unfinished business to attend to.
“My R1 is a six-speed, but I think I’ve still got another gear inside of me,” says Hayes. “I certainly don’t lack for motivation, I can tell you that. When we line up at Daytona, it’s another season and my past three championships sort of go away. It’s all about this year. This race. This lap. I’ll be ready.”
For Herrin, 2013 will be a pivotal year, as he looks to make that next step in his career by notching wins in SuperBike. He admits it won’t be easy. “Josh (Hayes) is an awesome teammate to have because he really pushes me to be the best I can be. He’s the three-time champ, and we’re riding the same bike, so I know that, if I’m going to win races this season, he’s the man to beat.”
The Daytona SportBike team continues into 2013 with Yamaha Extended Service as its title sponsor for the third consecutive year, once again fielding riders Cameron Beaubier and Garrett Gerloff.
Cameron Beaubier had a memorable 2012 season in AMA Pro GoPro Daytona SportBike as he faced more than his fair share of challenges — in the form of untimely injuries — yet he still managed to put together a remarkable season, in which he won two poles and seven races, including his breakthrough double win at Barber Motorsports Park on the same weekend that he earned his first career DSB pole.
Cameron is the odds-on favorite to not only get his first Daytona 200 win, but also capture his first Daytona SportBike season championship. “Hopefully, I got all that out of my system,” Cameron said about his injury-filled 2012 season. “I was happy to get seven wins, but I can’t help but wonder what could have been. I’m looking forward to the 2013 season like no other. I feel like a new person, and I can’t wait to get racing again. There are a lot of great riders in Daytona SportBike, including my teammate Garrett, so I’m excited for the season to start.”
Due to an accident at the opening round of the series last year that fractured his femur, Gerloff was forced to miss most of last season. Though, when he returned to racing at the final two rounds of 2012, he knocked the rust off very quickly, and won the final AMA Pro Motorcycle-Superstore.com SuperSport race of the year at NOLA Motorsports Park.
Garrett has been training like a man possessed during this off-season, and he’ll be ready to show up at Daytona aboard his #8 Y.E.S./Graves/Yamaha R6 and challenge his teammate Cameron, as well as the rest of the DSB field, for wins.
“That final race of the season at NOLA last year was a big boost for me,” said Garrett. “I waited so long to get back on the bike, and it all came good in New Orleans. But, this season, I’ve got a score to settle with Daytona after what happened last year, and you better believe that I want at it.”
In addition, Monster Energy has renewed its commitment as title sponsor of the Superbike team (and associate sponsor of the Daytona Sportbike team) for an additional two years.