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Roberts Takes Final Win Of The Season At Barber

AMA/Chevy Trucks U.S. Superbike Series
Round 17: Birmingham, Alabama
September 20, 2003

Roberts And Bostrom Go Big At Barber

The opening laps of the inaugural Barber Motorsports Park Honda Superbike
Classic was reminiscent of the final laps of this year's amazing Daytona
200; three Honda RC51 Superbikes all vying for the lead. Although the
three-pack of Red Riders didn't stay together to the closing of the 28-lap
event, two of them, Kurtis Roberts and Ben Bostrom made the first race in a
Superbike double header weekend a Honda-heavy podium.

The new Barber Motorsports 16-turn 2.3-mile road course was gobbled up by
Miguel Duhamel during qualifying and at the start of race one when the
multi-time national champ grabbed the holeshot. Starting from the third
position on the 38-man grid, Duhamel was followed in order by Bostrom and
Roberts.  The holeshot stuck until around the midway point of the second
lap when Duhamel rode wide in a turn, allowing Roberts the advantage. The
Duhamel/Roberts exchange for the lead was just the first in a string of
several lead changes that occurred throughout the first race.

With Roberts at the point, the Red Rider trio stayed out front for three
laps until eventual race winner Aaron Yates divided the group by passing
third place Bostrom. But Bostrom didn't settle for fourth place for long.
He quickly made up the deficit and before the race was over Bostrom would
take his turn as one of three Red Rider race leaders. Miguel Duhamel, the
first Red Rider to lead the race, unfortunately was taken out of the
running before that point when he low-sided approaching the apex of turn
two. The lap ten mishap sent the #17 RC51 into the gravel pit, but the
never-say-die Duhamel remounted outside the top ten and raced to a
remarkable seventh place.  In the process Duhamel turned in lap times equal
to some of his cohorts in the top five.

While Duhamel was doing a great job of cutting his losses, Bostrom, Roberts
and Yates were continuing their tight battle for the lead, which was joined
and headed briefly by Mat Mladin. Lap 12 saw Bostrom take his first turn at
the point when he passed Mladin, but not before nearly trading paint with

"It was one of the most fun races I've had all year," said Bostrom, who
qualified for the weekend of racing in the fifth position just ahead of
Roberts. "Kurtis (Roberts) and I got pretty close there a few times, but
that's what made it so much fun."

Roberts agreed that the tight racing was great fun, but found it more
amusing on the 15th lap when he again took over the lead. Although Roberts
began to break away from Bostrom at that point, he took Yates with him into
an onslaught of lapped traffic. Threading through back markers Roberts and
Yates exchanged the lead several times until Yates was able to put a lapped
rider between himself and Roberts just long enough to gain an advantage.

 "In road racing, a few tenths of a second seems like a minute," said
Roberts about not getting around the lapped rider that may have separated
Roberts from his second Superbike victory in a row. The Northern
Californian, who crashed hard in the morning qualifying session and injured
his shoulder, still refused to give up and chased Yates until the final
lap. Crossing the finish line behind Yates and Roberts was Bostrom, who had
nearly 20 seconds over the fourth place bike of Mladin.

AMA Superbike Overall Results:
1. Aaron Yates - Suzuki
2. Kurtis Roberts - Honda
3. Ben Bostrom - Honda
4. Mat Mladin - Suzuki
5. Giovanni Bussei - Ducati
7. Miguel Duhamel - Honda

AMA Superbike Point Standings:
1. Mat Mladin - Suzuki - 521
2. Aaron Yates - Suzuki - 492
3. Ben Bostrom - Honda - 461
4. Kurtis Roberts - Honda - 438
5. Miguel Duhamel - Honda - 417

AMA/Chevy Trucks U.S. Superbike Series
Round 18: Birmingham, Alabama
September 21, 2003

Roberts wins season final at Barber Motorsports Park

A morning downpour couldn't keep Sunday's crowd of 23,000 from the final
Superbike race of the 2003 season at the brand-new Barber Motorsports Park.
The three-day crowd topping 43,000-a remarkable turn-out for Barber's first
motorcycle event-saw some of the best racing of the season, and Sunday's
Superbike final was no exception, with Kurtis Roberts taking the win after
a race-long battle with Honda teammates Ben Bostrom and Miguel Duhamel.
Unfortunately with just two laps to go Duhamel and Bostrom were caught in a
scary multi-rider pile-up, ending their race prematurely. Although they
were not injured, neither rider was able to continue.

Rain forced the Superbike race to be scheduled for earlier in the day,
which meant Miguel Duhamel would have little more than an hour after
finishing third in the 600 race to recover and prepare to do battle on his
RC51. Rain also brought a reshuffling of the pecking order to Sunday
morning practice session, with Kurtis Roberts and crew nailing the
wet-weather set-up on his RC51 and posting the quickest practice laps in
the wet, followed by Duhamel and Ben Bostrom. But when the green flag fell
for Sunday's Superbike event, the track was dry and the weather was
hot-oppressively hot, topped by sweltering humidity. And just like
Saturday's Superbike race, the Honda Red Riders fired their RC51s to the
front of the field.

Ben Bostrom pulled the trigger on the start, rocketing from the second row
to the lead with Duhamel in tow, and Roberts following close in fifth. For
the first two laps, Bostrom, Duhamel and Aaron Yates opened a gap on the
field, with Yates getting past Duhamel for second. On the third lap,
Roberts got past Duhamel for third, and Yates made a bid for the lead,
running wide and losing ground. Yate's mistake put Bostrom way out front
with more than a second's cushion, but before the Las Vegas resident could
build on his lead a crash brought out the red flag, forcing a restart.

The restart was nearly identical to the first start, with Bostrom and
Duhamel flying to the front, this time with Roberts in tow. The Erion Honda
rider wasted no time pressing past Duhamel to pursue Bostrom. Before the
end of the first lap, Roberts was diving inside and outside of Bostrom in a
bid for the lead. Bostrom answered back by putting his head down, and
dropping the lead lap times into the low 1:26s-quicker than he had
qualified. The Bostrom/Roberts battle carried the two Red Riders more than
a second ahead of the Duhamel and Yates, who were fighting for third
position when, unbelievably, a second red flag brought the race to a
stop-this time for a rain shower. The track dried quickly, and the riders
were back on the grid once more for the second restart.

Bostrom and Roberts immediately resumed their battle up front, with Duhamel
in fifth. Three laps into the restart, third place Yates encountered
mechanical problems and dropped back to sixth behind Duhamel. With Yates
behind him, the legendary Red Rider wasted no time picking off riders and
taking over fourth place with 13 laps to go, and then claimed third place a
lap later. Despite being more than a second down from Bostrom and Roberts,
Duhamel used his mastery of traffic to close the gap on his teammates, and
after five hard laps had pulled right up behind them.

Meanwhile up front, Bostrom and Roberts swapped the lead, sometimes two or
three times per lap, sometimes passing close enough to rub fairings,
putting on a show that brought the crowd to their feet. With eleven laps to
go, the trio of Honda riders once again encountered traffic, this time with
Roberts getting the short end. Bostrom once again took the lead, and
Duhamel dove into second. By now, the three Red Riders had pulled well
clear of the field, and settled into a battle for the last ten laps that
saw all three riders share the lead. Then the unthinkable happened: As all
three riders dove into tight turn four, Bostrom tangled with a lapped
rider, triggering a chain reaction that took out another lapped rider who
in turn collided with Duhamel.

"I came by my pit board and saw 'plus 8,'" said Roberts after the race. "I
thought it was a mistake. I couldn't believe I had a lead that big all of a
sudden. It's unfortunate for the guys. It was a real tough race. Ben was
riding hard and set a real fast pace up front. At the mid-point in the
race, I was losing the front end and sliding a lot, but I was getting
through traffic better, so when we got to those lappers I made a move. I
saw them picking up Miguel's bike on the next lap and then I knew. It has
been a tough year for us, but I really wanted to win another one for the
team. My guys work real hard, and it's great to end the season with two

The outcome of this final race shuffled the points considerably. The crash
dropped Bostrom to fourth and Duhamel to fifth in the final standings,
while Roberts' late season charge moved him to third in the 2003 Superbike

AMA Superbike Overall Results:
1. Kurtis Roberts - Honda
2. Giovanni Bussei - Ducati
3. Mat Mladin - Suzuki
4. Aaron Yates - Suzuki
5. Steve Rapp - Suzuki

AMA Superbike Point Standings:
1. Mat Mladin - Suzuki -  550
2. Aaron Yates - Suzuki -  519
3.  Kurtis Roberts - Honda- 474
4.  Ben Bostrom - Honda - 462
5.  Miguel Duhamel - Honda- 417

Formula Xtreme Series
Round 10: Birmingham, AL
September 21, 2003

Zemke Ends Xtreme Series On The Podium

Of the four events that the Red Riders contested on Sunday at the inaugural
Barber Motorsports Park Honda Superbike Classic, the Formula Xtreme final
was the only race not halted by a red flag and that was just fine with
Erion Honda's Jake Zemke. Armed with his #98 Honda CBR954R and starting
from the fourth position on the first row, Zemke gave race winner Jamie
Hacking one heck of a fight throughout the 17-lap event.

"I didn't get a very good jump off the line, but by the time we were coming
out of the first turn I was in second right behind Hacking," said Zemke.
"From there I just sat on him and just waited for it all to play out."

As Zemke pressured Hacking for the lead, Bruce Transportation Honda's Marty
Craggill and Erion Honda's Roger Hayden were trying to reach their Red
Rider teammate up at the front. Craggill started sixth and soon found
himself in a battle with Josh Hayes, which lasted until nearly the end of
the event. Hayes got the best of the Australian rider, but not before the
duo traded positions several times throughout. Craggill finished his first
Formula Xtreme series with Bruce Transportation in sixth place, seventh in
the point standings.

Young Hayden held seventh place on the 2.3-mile race track until the end of
the fifth lap when he had to retire prematurely due to a mechanical failure
in his #95 race machine. Hayden, who missed out on some of the Formula
Xtreme events due to injuries and bad luck finished the ten round series in

On the tenth lap Hacking and Zemke managed to shake third place Damon
Buckmaster, who up until that point was within striking distance of both
riders. Buckmaster maintained the third position for over half of the
event, but according to runner-up Zemke, he wasn't worried about anything
but the race for first place.

"I saw +0 on my board and I knew he was there," said Zemke about third
place Buckmaster, "but he never tried to put a wheel in on me. Plus my bike
was really fast today so I wasn't worried about him."

With Buckmaster out of the mix the race truly came down to a battle between
Hacking and Zemke; a battle that Zemke eventually had to ease up on due to
excessive front end chatter. "I put on a charge, (to pass Hacking) but from
of the beginning of the race I had a little front-end chatter and as the
race progressed it just kept getting worse and worse," explained Zemke.

In the final few laps of the race Zemke maintained his runner-up position
and a spot on the podium, a familiar place that Zemke managed to visit
eight times through the ten race Formula Xtreme Series. Zemke's season long
consistency, and a win at Brainerd, helped the Northern Californian to
finish third in the series point standings. Had it not been for bad luck at
Road America, where he scored no points, Zemke would have been battling for
the championship at the Barber Motorsports season finale. In 2004, Zemke
will be back with the Honda team, and he's sure to be in contention for a
national championship.

AMA Formula Xtreme Overall Results:
1. Jamie Hacking - Yamaha
2. Jake Zemke - Honda
3. Ben Spies - Suzuki
4. Damon Buckmaster - Yamaha
5. Josh Hayes - Suzuki
6. Marty Craggill - Honda
9. Ty Howard - Honda
12. Mark Ledesma - Honda
23. Roger Hayden - Honda

AMA Formula Xtreme Point Standings:
1. Ben Spies - Suzuki - 318
2. Damon Buckmaster - Yamaha - 285
3. Jake Zemke - Honda - 281
4. Josh Hayes - Suzuki - 267
5. Adam Fergusson - Suzuki - 236
7. Marty Craggill - Honda - 217
10. Roger Hayden - Honda - 135
11. Jason Curtis - Honda - 112
14. Ty Howard - Honda - 83
21. Craig Connell - Honda - 55

AMA/Pro Honda Oils 600cc Supersport Series
Round 11: Birmingham, Alabama
September 21, 2003

Duhamel Back On The Supersport Box

As has happened so many times in this year's series, the skies got dark and
rain drenched the race track the morning of the 600 Supersport final. Due
to the weather, the Honda Superbike Classic Barber Motorsports Park event
schedule was revised, and naturally lap times on the wet 2.3-mile circuit
got significantly slower. A wet morning practice session allowed the
Supersport contingent one last look at the slippery 14-turn track. Red
Rider Miguel Duhamel reminded the fans and his competitors that he is the
man to beat when conditions get wet by setting the fastest lap time in the
watery ten minute practice. Duhamel carried that momentum into the 17-lap
final when he pulled away from the rest of the field and led laps four
through eight. A drying racetrack closed up the field, and after a restart
caused by a downed rider, Duhamel ended up in third place, a mere 0.637
seconds out of the lead.

"It was a little juicy out there with some dry spots, so it was pretty hard
to run that pace without crashing or hitting the wrong spot," said Duhamel.
"It was a good clean race and the guys were riding pretty hard. My CBR600RR
was working great so of course I feel if I had another run at it, I could
have changed the order, but today Tommy (Hayden) was the fastest guy. In a
hard race like that you can get third and still feel pretty good."

Tire choice was the question on everyone's minds at the start of this
year's final Supersport race on the moist Alabama surface. When the final
decision was made all of the Red Riders rolled onto the grid choosing DOT
tires over rain specialties. Although the weather appeared to be improving,
the choice may have hampered the performance of Erion Honda's young lions
in the early going of the wet race. Teammates Jake Zemke, Roger Hayden and
Alex Gobert all started slowly and were forced to ride amongst slower

Duhamel, on the other hand, immediately went toward the front and began an
early race skirmish for the lead with Damon Buckmaster and Tommy Hayden. On
the fourth lap, while running in second place Duhamel out-broke Buckmaster
in a corner and quickly pulled away from the chase group. In the following
two laps, Duhamel built up a lead that began to erode as the track began to
dry. The seventh and eighth laps saw the chase group pick up the pace,
enough so that a hard charging Aaron Gobert and Buckmaster began to
challenge Duhamel's lead. The trio traded positions several times until the
red-flagged 12th lap when the entire 37-man field returned to pit lane to
prepare for a six-lap sprint to the finish.

The restart went much better for the Red Rider crew, especially for Zemke,
Alex Gobert and Roger Hayden, who put their CBR600RR's in sixth, seventh
and eighth place. Ultimately the Erion Honda riders completed the event in
the same finishing order. Duhamel got an even better start, garnering the
holeshot, although he lost it when a missed shift allowed Buckmaster to
move past between turns one and two. Tommy Hayden joined and eventually
passed the Duhamel/Buckmaster battle, pulling enough of an advantage on the
final lap to secure the win. Entering the 14th and final turn on the last
lap, third place Duhamel dove around Buckmaster and rocketed out of the
corner toward the finish line. It appeared the Red Rider had second place
in the bag until Buckmaster slipped past for second at the line.

"Like I said, I'm happy with my finish," stated Duhamel," but I have to
admit I was a little surprised to get passed by Buckmaster at the finish
line, especially since I passed him so fast in the last corner."

With the final 600 Supersport race of 2003 now in the history books, and
three wins to their credit (Duhamel, Zemke and Roberts), the Red Riders
head into the off season already thinking about next year. Could the most
successful 600 Supersport machine in AMA history win a record ninth
600-class championship? Stay tuned.

600 Supersport Overall Results:
1. Tommy Hayden - Kawasaki
2. Damon Buckmaster - Yamaha
3. Miguel Duhamel - Honda
4. Aaron Gobert - Yamaha
5. Jamie Hacking - Yamaha
6. Jake Zemke - Honda
7. Alex Gobert - Honda
8. Roger Hayden - Honda
11. Blake Young - Honda
14. Ty Howard - Honda
17. Martin Craggill - Honda
20. Chris Peris - Honda

AMA 600cc Supersport Points Standings:
1. Jamie Hacking - Yamaha - 334
2. Damon Buckmaster - Yamaha - 326
3. Tommy Hayden - Kawasaki - 250
4. Alex Gobert - Honda - 241
5. Jake Zemke - Honda - 240
8. Roger Hayden - Honda - 230
11. Miguel Duhamel - Honda - 184
12. Jason Curtis - Honda - 155
15. Chris Peris - Honda - 104
16. Marty Craggill - Honda - 103
17. Ty Howard - Honda - 99