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Suzuki Scoop Fans STG Suzuki (AMA Sportbike)
On May 15, 2010 at age 16, Elena Myers became the first woman to win an AMA Pro Racing professional motorcycle road race, at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, California.
For the teenager from Discovery Bay, California, it was a long time coming, but all part of a plan put into effect when she was 12 years old. Even then, there was something about the youngster's maturity and confidence that caught the attention of Team Hammer co-founder John Ulrich, who has made a name for himself as a man with a keen eye for spotting racing talent.
Elena started at age eight and quickly progressing from 35cc pocketbikes to 50cc minibikes to an 80cc SuperMoto bike with the support of her parents, Matt and Anita. At age 11, Elena graduated to a 125cc Grand Prix racebike and won her first race.
In 2006, Elena raced in the USGPRU 125cc GP National Championship Series and the WERA 125cc Grand Prix National Challenge Series and WERA West 125cc Grand Prix Sportsman Series events on a new Honda RS125 purchased by John Ulrich and sponsored by Roadracingworld.com, under the Kids: Don't Smoke! banner. Elena battled at the front of the field, with several wins.
With her talent confirmed, Ulrich laid out a master plan for the young racer and her parents. Once Elena turned 16 and could get an AMA Pro license--and as long as she continued to do well on the racetrack and in school--Ulrich would take her to Daytona International Speedway to make her professional debut on a 600cc SuperSport racebike built by Team Hammer.
In the meantime, Elena had attracted the attention of Kawasaki executive Jan Plessner, who wanted to improve the brand's marketing outreach to women interested in motorcycles. Elena signed a 2007 support deal with Kawasaki, which included a pair of Ninja 650R twin- cylinder motorcycles, race prep, at-track support and PR training. Under the terms of the deal, Elena could continue to compete in USGPRU events on the Roadracingworld.com- sponsored Kids: Don't Smoke! Honda RS125, while also racing her Kawasaki 650 in WERA events. She earned more USGPRU podium finishes on the Honda, and started winning WERA West races on her Kawasaki.
For the 2008 and 2009 seasons, Elena stepped up to racing a Roadracingworld.com- sponsored Kids: Don't Smoke! four-cylinder Kawasaki ZX-6R in 600cc WERA National Challenge Series and WERA Sportsman Series events, earning race wins and more podium finishes. And in November, 2009, Elena turned 16 years old and became eligible for an AMA Pro Racing license.
In March 2010, Elena headed into her AMA Pro Racing debut at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Florida armed with a pair of Team Hammer-prepared Suzuki GSXR600 racebikes fielded in collaboration with Roadracingworld.com. She ran in the top five and finished seventh in both races of the AMA SuperSport double-header at Daytona. She crashed in a starting-grid collision not of her making on Saturday of the second round of the AMA Series, at Fontana, California's Auto Club Speedway, and suffered a badly bruised elbow. She rebounded to finish a strong fourth on Sunday.
Just before the third round of the series at Braselton, Georgia's Road Atlanta, Lucas Oil signed on as a title sponsor, and Elena's program had a new official name: Lucas Oil Roadracingworld.com Suzuki. Unfortunately a competitor's motorcycle spewed out coolant on the parade lap before Saturday's race, causing Elena and several other riders to crash; her left foot suffered a severe bruising. Again, Elena rebounded on Sunday, passing into fourth just as a red flag came out; with scoring backed up a lap according to AMA rules, Elena was officially classified as finishing fifth on the day.
Shooting pain caused by a nerve problem in the injured foot became a problem at the fourth round of the series, at Sonoma, California's Infineon Raceway. After receiving a pain- killing local injection, Elena qualified on the second row of the grid, then went on to make history by battling forward and winning Saturday's race! She led again on Sunday and was third on the last lap when a competitor knocked her off the track a few corners before the finish line; Elena finished fifth.
Life changed for Elena Myers on that historic weekend in May. Fans stood and cheered each time she went past on the track. People thronged around her in the paddock, and lined up for autographs. At Infineon Raceway, Elena proved that dreams can come true. Elena went on to finish second in 2010 AMA Pro SuperSport West overall points.
Elena came back stronger and smarter and looked for nothing less than the title in 2011, but so did her competition. Another victory eluded her, but Myers led two SuperSport races during the season on her SuzukiScoopFans Racing GSX-R600, placed third in Race One at Barber Motorsports Park, collected six top-five finishes and took fifth in the SuperSport West Championship in spite of missing three races with a broken left wrist.
One week before heading to the 2012 season-opener at Daytona Elena learned a bone was still broken in her wrist. But she didn't let that stop her from winning AMA Pro SuperSport Race Two at the World Center of Racing. Elena had surgery on her wrist immediately after Daytona and returned two weeks later to place eighth and ninth at the physically-demanding Road Atlanta. The official title of 18-year-old Myers' 2012 AMA Pro SuperSport program is SuzukiScoopFans SportbikeTrackGear.com Suzuki.
When she's not racing or making media appearances, Myers attends college classes near her home.