2011 is LTD Racing's third season in AMA Pro competition. The K&N backed team's steadfast focus has been on developing young talent, and once again this year they field a three rider team comprised of Huntley Nash, Tomas Puerta and David Gaviria. Last year the team brought aboard former AMA Superbike and World Superbike crew chief Gary Medley to help raise a new generation of hyper-fast road racers, and this season they have additional backing coming from Yamaha Extended Services (Y.E.S.) to help towards that goal.
K&N backed LTD Racing's Tomas Puerta and David Gaviria swept the Daytona AMA Pro SuperSport races.
Fabled crew chief Gary Medley feels that Huntley Nash has the skills to go far in the racing game.
The vastly respected Gary Medley made his name working for Rob Muzzy and with champions like Doug Chandler and Scott Russell. We spoke to Medley to get his insightful take on how things are going at LTD Racing, as he once again has some of the fastest riders in the AMA under his vigilant tutelage.
You kicked-off your season at Daytona recently, give us a few insights from your perspective as to how it went for you and the team? Also, how does Tomas Puerta feel about getting his first SuperSport win?
LTD Racing's three rider team made up of Huntley Nash, Tomas Puerta and David Gaviria, represents the new generation of super-fast road racers.
"We had a great weekend with Tomy winning his first race for us and also David Gaviria winning, too." (In winning his first ever AMA Pro Super race on Sunday, Gaviria lead an LTD Racing sweep of the Daytona AMA Pro SuperSport races).
"Tomy has been with us for a while and this is his third season with LTD. He's worked really hard during that time and to see him get a win was rewarding. It's impossible not to root for him because of his personality. This is the year for Tomy to step up and get the results that Huntley and Joey Pacarella got last year, which was winning and getting on the podium."
"With David, we really did not know what to expect. We raced against him last year and it was clear he had a lot of talent but he wasn't running up front and contending for wins. Any time a team has a new rider, there's a period of when everyone is learning each other. At the start of the weekend, it was clear he was ready to go and there wasn't really much of an adjustment period! We got a good setting and he raced it. We're looking for a great year out of him."
"Huntley (Nash) has moved up to Daytona SportBike and he was 12th in the Daytona 200, a good result for him since he hurt his ankle in the offseason and wasn't quite fully recovered. He put his head down and kept getting faster all weekend. We lacked a little pace at the beginning but that will change."
Talk a bit about the Y.E.S. backing, how did that come about, and how important is it to your team? Also, did the added support make it possible for you to carry three riders this year, or would that have happened anyway?
"We have run Yamahas our entire existence and we wanted this to happen eventually. Their support is invaluable for us. We couldn't compete at the level we want to without it. Three riders are hard to run and LTD Racing has been about giving talented riders the opportunity rather than fielding the guys that can pay. The Y.E.S. deal allows the team to keep operating that way. We are a small organization, but we try to be a team that gets talent ready for the next step. Everything is about getting the equipment to be as good as we can, then working closely with the riders during the race weekends to get the most out of the bikes and their talents. That's our goal and so far, it has worked. The added bonus is being officially associated with the Yamaha brand, which we feel has a lot of class."
Did you do anything out of the ordinary during the off season to prepare for this year?
"We had new equipment for the boys, so the offseason was about getting everything ready. Also, the jump to DSB (Daytona SportBike) means we had to prep a different spec machine, so that added some to our plate. We also got a new hauler so some work had to go into that as well."
What sort of race goals have you set for the team this year?
"Obviously we want to win both SuperSport division titles and we want to contend in every race. Tomy is East Coast and David is West Coast, but it looks like both boys will race every round. DSB is going to be tougher with Huntley because the competition is greater, but that's what he wanted and the team wanted. That kid really can go far in this game. It is going to be a learning year, but we expect good results. Right now, we are looking to get him in the top ten and then we'll take it from there."
Is there anything else new this year you'd care to talk about?
"The competition in AMA Pro gets tougher every year and so you can't sit still. We're always trying to get better on every level of the team."
LTD Racing's next round of competition is in May at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma Valley, California.
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