AMA Pro

Elena Myers, 16, becomes first female to win in AMA Pro Road Racing

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With a motorcycle racing history going back to 1934 and the formation of the AMA racing category called Class C, May 15, 2010 is the day that 16 year old Elena Myers put her name permanently in the history books with the very first AMA Pro Road Racing victory for a female rider.

Myers, from nearby Discovery Bay, California, took an exciting and popular victory at Infineon Raceway during the West Coast Moto Jam AMA Pro Racing SuperSport event.

Myers has been competitive from the very first race this year at Daytona International Speedway, taking a pair of seventh place finishes aboard her Lucas Oil/RoadRacingWorld.com/RMR Suzuki. She showed further improvement at the next round at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California with a stirring fourth place finish in the second of two races, after suffering an accident moments after the start of race one.

Myers again showed her mettle at the next race at Road Atlanta, when she again had the misfortune of getting caught up in someone else's problem on the race warm-up lap, which again prevented her from starting, but she came back to finish fifth in the second race.

Today, she again showed her ability by racing hard when it counted and took a well deserved win after battling with a number of her competitors during today's action packed AMA Pro Racing SuperSport race at 2.32-mile, 11-turn Infineon Raceway. Myers qualified on the outside of the second row in eighth place. She jumped up to fifth place at the start and began her day mixing it up once again with the excellent field in this year's production-based SuperSport class.

Pole position and Daytona winner Cameron Beaubier shot off into the lead and pulled out a slight gap, reflecting his outright speed during the entire weekend. Beaubier, riding out of his usual SuperSport Young Gun East Division, was consistently fastest in practice and qualifying riding his own Mazda Technologies/Intel Yamaha instead of his usual Rockwall Racing Yamaha.

A number of the other main players in SuperSport this year were right up front too, three-time winner and West Division Young Gun points leader Joey Pascarella, who this weekend was making his debut with the DNR Energy Drink/CNR Motorsports Ducati team and Pascarella's previous teammates at LTD Racing Yamaha, Huntley Nash and Jake Gagne, were also in contention as was a local Top Gun entry, Tyler O'Hara, riding another Yamaha extremely quickly.

Things started happening fast though, as Nash had trouble early, forcing him into the pits on lap one, and Gagne suffered a fall in the turn ten complex on lap seven which necessitated a red flag since Gagne's motorcycle was in a dangerous position on the track. The race was restarted with twelve laps remaining, and at the restart Beaubier didn't have the clean getaway that he had hoped for and not only did O'Hara move up to first place, but Pascarella and Myers were ahead of Beaubier too as the race resumed.

Now Pascarella started to get into form and he took the lead from O'Hara. Then Myers fought her way by O'Hara with Beaubier, now battling with another impressive Top Gun entry, Scott Gilbert. Gilbert, who took a second and a third at Auto Club Speedway earlier this year, was right in the middle of the mix as Beaubier began to find his rhythm and he moved past O'Hara also and started to track down Myers.

More than once Beaubier looked like he had passed Myers, only for her to fight back and retake the position. All of a sudden, Pascarella went wide in turn seven and both Myers and Beaubier moved to the front but as quickly as this was happening, Pascarella had the rear wheel slide out and the next thing you knew, the motorcycle twitched back and literally threw Pascarella off where he landed off track unhurt.

The race was again red flagged on lap 10, this time with Myers leading Beaubier. By virtue of the rules, the running order reverts back to lap 9, the halfway point and the last completed green flag lap, which showed Pascarella leading. As he was the cause of the red flag, he was moved to the end of the running order.

An emotional and overwhelmed Myers, the first female winner in the history of AMA Pro Road Racing, celebrated with the many happy fans and industry personnel present for this historic achievement. Myers commented, "When they told me the race was called, they said, 'You got second, but wait, Joey crashed and you got first,' and I looked at my Dad and he was crying."

Later on, she talked about her race, "I got a great start off the front row, which worked out really well for me. I was in second and Tyler was in first and I passed Tyler and Joey was still ahead of me...Sorry, I'm just on another planet right now." She continued, "The race went really good for me, and some people made mistakes and I took advantage of it. I don't think it's quite sunk in yet. It's crazy."

Both Beaubier and O'Hara congratulated Myers and saluted her win. O'Hara commented, "I think it's huge for the sport. Elena just broke the barrier as far as women on a motorcycle at the top level. I'm proud of her and happy and I like racing with her."

After all the excitement, Gilbert again took a fine fourth place finish on his Team Graves Yamaha ahead of Austin DeHaven and another Top Gun entry Michael Corbino, both of whom were riding Yamahas.

Race two of the doubleheader Infineon Raceway AMA Pro Racing weekend will be tomorrow at 1:30 p.m. local time and all eyes will be on this exciting AMA Pro SuperSport class, but it will be hard to top the historic events that saw Elena Myers put herself firmly into the all time record books in AMA Pro Motorcycle racing.

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