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May 27, 2014 - 06:10 AM
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Upward Trending Geico Motorcycle Honda Riders Excited For Road America
Posted by: newsla on May 27, 2014 - 06:06 AM
Upward Trending Geico Motorcycle Honda Riders Excited For Road America

Fresh off their best outing of the 2014 road racing season, GEICO Motorcycle Honda riders Jake Zemke and Chris Ulrich arrive in Wisconsin for this weekend's Subway Superbike Doubleheader with high hopes of capitalizing on their newfound momentum.


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Zemke finished fourth at Sunday's Arai Mountain Nationals near Salt Lake City, his best result in four starts this year on his 600cc SportBike, while team owner/rider Ulrich found the podium with a third-place finish in the 1,000cc Superbike category.

"It was a solid weekend for both of us and it definitely lifted everyone's spirits," the 38-year-old Zemke said. "We're all out here to win, bottom line, and in just our second year with these Hondas we're starting to see podium and near-podium finishes. It seems as though we're trending in the right direction."

Both veteran riders have competed at historic Road America numerous times in the past and mark the lengthy 14-turn, 4.1-mile layout through the Wisconsin countryside as one of their favorite racetracks in the country.

"It's the longest track on the circuit and it's plenty fast," Ulrich said. "It's an old-fashioned horsepower track in many regards, but at the same time there are some sections that certainly test your ability and precision.

"You've got to link Turns 5-9 together. If you hit 6 right, you get the first part of 'Hurry Downs' right. You get Turn 8 right, and you get the 'Carousel' right and that sets you up for a fast lap. Conversely, if you mess up in that linked section, your lap time is going to suffer. The same goes from 'Canada Corner' onto the front straightaway. You've got to link each one of those areas together."

Whether you pull off a perfect lap or find yourself dicing it up with several other riders, Zemke says the fans are always there in support.

"The people in that area of the country are awesome," Zemke said. "Everyone from those upper-middle states know this is their race and they are there in volume. We get a lot of Canadians coming down as well. It's a great atmosphere. You go around in the infield and there are people camped out everywhere. There are families and friends, and when fans walk come to the pits, there's just a relaxed feeling about the place.

"The track is almost European in design. I raced in Monza, Italy, many times and Road America reminds me a lot of that place because of the speed and flow of the track. It's a true road course. The modern racetracks, more and more, are going away from that, whereas Road America is a true, natural road course. There's nothing quite like it."

The action gets underway with practice and qualifying Friday. The first GoPro Daytona SportBike race begins at 2 p.m., Saturday, immediately followed by the first American SuperBike race at 3 p.m. The same race schedule will be followed Sunday.

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