Hacking, Zemke And Paris To Race At Utah World Superbike Round
As MotoGPMatters.com revealed last week, Jamie Hacking has been confirmed as Makoto Tamada's replacement at PBM Kawasaki for the US round of World Superbikes at Miller Motorsports Park, Utah. The American - born in Oswaldtwistle, in the north of England - has seen action in the World Superbike series before, running as a wildcard in 1998 and 1999 at Laguna Seca, his best result a 7th place finish. However, Hacking has been one of the few riders in the world to make the Kawasaki ZX-10R truly competitive in Superbike racing, and Miller is a track where Hacking has an outstanding record. Hacking has a tough act to follow, after South African Sheridan Morais scored a 13th and 11th place finish in his World Superbike debut in Kyalami, and beating his team mate Broc Parkes.
Hacking won't be the only AMA rider acting as a replacement, as Jake Zemke has been called up to sub for John Hopkins. Hopper's recovery from the horrific crash at Assen - the second year in succession he's been savaged by the Dutch track - is proceeding well, but it is far too early for the American to start racing again. As a consequence, American veteran Zemke will be riding Hopkins' Stiggy Racing Honda. Zemke is currently riding a Honda CBR600RR in the AMA Daytona Sportbike class, and is the reigning champion in the now defunct AMA Formula Xtreme championship. Zemke raced a Honda CBR1000RR in AMA Superbikes from 2004 to 2007 with American Honda.
Hacking and Zemke may not be the only Americans replacing riders at Miller, though. There is still some speculation about a replacement for Suzuki's Max Neukirchner, injured in the first corner pile up at Monza. The most likely candidate is Fonsi Nieto, who filled in on the German's Alstare Suzuki GSX-1000R at Kyalami, but there has been some talk of American sensation Blake Young taking the ride. The name of Mat Mladin was mentioned several times in connection with the ride, but Mladin flatly denied he would be riding the bike.
One American who will definitely be racing in Utah is Melissa Paris. Paris is most well-known as the wife of AMA Superbike rider Josh Hayes, but is a talented rider in her own right. Paris won the CCS National Lightweight division last year, as well as taking a win in the USGPRU series. She only turned professional this season, but managed to finish in 21st place in the prestigious Daytona 200, the best finish ever for a female competitor in that race.