From a Superprestigio press release:
SMI is pleased to announce the first five invitees to the inaugural running of the Superprestigio of the Americas, to be held on an indoor short track at the Orleans Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas on Saturday, Nov. 21, 2015. The first five invited to compete in the international competition are present and former AMA Pro Grand National Champions Jared Mees, Brad Baker, Kenny Coolbeth, Jr., Jake Johnson as well as 2015 X Games Gold Medalist Bryan Smith.
“We are happy to announce the original five riders to be invited to the first ever Superprestigio of the Americas,” said SMI President Steve McLaughlin. “Jared, Brad, Kenny, Jake and Bryan represent five of the most elite motorcycle racers in the world and for anyone to become Superprestigio winner, they’ll likely have to go through one of these guys. Flat track is the original extreme sport so it’s only appropriate we bring this race to Las Vegas and with these champion riders coming to the Orleans for the inaugural Superprestigio of the Americas, fans are guaranteed to see some intense and entertaining racing.”
Mees is a two-time AMA Pro Grand National Champion as well as winner of the AMA Pro Grand National Twins title in 2009. He is also the current leader of Harley-Davidson GNC1 presented by Vance & Hines points chase.
“I’m looking forward to racing in Las Vegas,” said Mees, who rides with sponsorship from Las Vegas Harley-Davidson. “The Grand National Championship will be decided, so everyone will be able to go out and just race without having to worry about points. It will be fun to race against the guys I go up against week after week, as well as mixing in with top riders from other types of racing. It should be a blast.”
Factory Harley-Davidson rider Brad Baker is the2013 Grand National Champ and saw his title hopes this year ruined by a mid-season broken leg. But Baker is slated to be back to speed and racing well before SOTA and with his aggressive cornering style, should be considered a favorite on the special indoor arena track built at the Orleans Hotel & Casino. Baker also won the revival of the Superprestigio in Spain in January of 2014, in an epic battle with MotoGP Champion Marc Marquez.
Kenny Coolbeth, Jr. is a flat track racing veteran who happens also to be a three-time AMA Grand National Champion and is the winningest active rider in AMA Pro Flat Track competition with 34-career Grand National wins. Coolbeth, who rides for Zanotti Racing, should be primed to go for Las Vegas since he won a leg of the prestigious Daytona Short Track doubleheader in March of this year.
Two-time Grand National No. 1 plate holder Jake Johnson is also one of the original invitees to SOTA. Johnson went into semi-retirement this summer, but was called back into action by the Harley-Davidson factory when Brad Baker was injured. Johnson proved he’d lost none of his speed after he was the top qualifier at the Springfield Mile and led the race coming out the final turn before getting passed by Bryan Smith and Jared Mees at the last second. Johnson is somewhat of a short track specialist with six of his 18-career national wins coming on the smaller tracks.
Also among the fabulous five SOTA invitees is Bryan Smith. The factory Kawasaki ace and Gold Medalist of this summer’s X Games Flat Track competition, is locked in a heated battle with Mees and Sammy Halbert for this year’s Grand National Championship. So at the Orleans, which also will host the final round of the AMA Pro Flat Track Series on Friday night (Nov. 20, 2015), Smith will either be celebrating the high of his first Grand National title, or will be ready to take his frustrations on the rest of the SOTA field. Either way Smith, the hottest flat tracker in the country right now with six national wins already this season, will be a thrill to watch.
Keep posted for future announcements of other riders who will be invited to SOTA’15.
Spots are still open for additional AMA Pro Grand National riders to qualify and some of those won’t be decided until the night before the event. More details to come.
The Superprestigio of the Americas (SOTA’15) will bring together leading motorcycle racers from various motorcycle-racing disciplines from around the world to compete head to head with the stars of AMA Pro Flat Track on a specially-designed indoor short track at the Orleans Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas on Nov. 21, 2015. The special race is part of the big Las Vegas doubleheader weekend with the AMA Pro Flat Track finale taking place the night before (Nov. 20, 2015) on the same track.
For additional information go to www.superprestigio.com