It makes no difference whether you're in an ice hotel in the Antarctic, or on a peak in Patagonia, say the name Michael Jordan and smiles appear. The basketball star has been among the most recognizable figures in our universe for a long time. But, until recently, few people knew anything about his passion for motorcycle racing.
2008 AMA Formula Xtreme Champion Jake Zemke.
In 2004 the sports legend turned his attention to motorcycle racing in the United States, and his infatuation manifested into Michael Jordan Motorsports. Jordan insists his mission continues to be focused on bringing a new level of distinction and manner to the motorcycle racing industry. And who in their right mind would bet against him, after all that is precisely what he did with basketball, raising the bar to a level yet to be wholly matched.
Four-time AMA National Champion Aaron Yates.
If a lifetime of round ball taught Jordan anything it's that to win championships you need the right team, which is exactly what he's done, from his choice of riders to his
Technical Manager for Michael Jordan Motorsports/National Guard Jordan Suzuki Hudson Valley Motorcycles, Inc., Richie Alexander.
2009 Canadian Superbike and 600 Sport Bike class second place finisher Brett McCormick.
"2010 was Michael Jordan Motorsports seventh season," commented Alexander. "In 2008 we won the AMA Superstock Championship with Aaron Yates, and this year we finished third in the AMA Superbike championship, with Jake Zemke kicking off the season properly by winning the opening two rounds in Daytona."
For the MJM team, 2008 was indeed their ground-breaking season. The team won its first AMA Championship with Aaron Yates taking the AMA Superstock title after a mere five years in existence. What's more, the fledgling team achieved this feat by defeating manufacturer-based teams with unlimited budgets.
For 2010, four-time AMA National Champion Yates returned to race in the AMA Superbike class for the team. He was joined once again by new teammate Jake Zemke riding the National Guard Jordan Suzuki. Like Yates, Zemke boasts a title from the 2008 season - the AMA Formula Xtreme Championship. And as mentioned, Zemke is also a winner of the prestigious Daytona 200 race.
Also joining the team this year was Brett McCormick. McCormick is from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada, he finished a very strong second place in the 2009 Canadian Superbike and 600 Sport Bike classes. By measure of his good results in the first two rounds of the championship, plus his experience racing for Suzuki Canada, McCormick became the logical choice to substitute for the injured Aaron Yates early in the season.
"Aaron is healing at his home in Georgia, he had a little set-back and needed another surgery. Everything went well and he should be able to ride mid-winter," explained Alexander.
In regards to McCormick's contribution to the team this year Alexander added "He has made forward progress in each event, finishing in the top-five a few times at the end of the season, not to bad for an 18-year-old newbie."
Regarding the team's clever and very popular choice of number plates for their bikes Alexander says, "In the AMA series the team owns the number that the rider uses, we thought it would be fitting to have Yates ride with the number 23 to represent Michael Jordan Motorsports, and the number 54 for Zemke representing the Guard."
For years the MJM team has continually confirmed their commitment to K&N, saying that K&N Filters are a part of their performance program, which helps them reach the podium with such consistency.
"Our K&N products are all great, we found good power on the dyno and track with the K&N race air filter. And easy bolt on power, you can't top that," remarked Alexander. "The K&N oil filter worked out really well too, the engine guys were real happy after engine tear downs."
In the final round of the 2010 AMA Pro National Guard American Superbike Championship held at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Alabama, National Guard Jordan Suzuki's Zemke rallied to a fifth place finish on Sunday, after a mechanical issue resulted in a DNF on Saturday. McCormick raced to a tenth place finish on Saturday and crashed out on lap eleven of Sunday's race.
The MJM team says they look forward to the first event of the 2011 series at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Florida on March 10-12.
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