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THE SPORT

AMA Superbike

AMA Superbike racing originated in the United States in 1976, and has become the premier motorcycle pavement racing series in the Western Hemisphere. Manufacturers and riders hungry for road racing glory battle in the Superbike class, where the fastest, most exotic road racing machines are ridden by some of the best riders in the world. The AMA Superbike series is one of the most competitive in the world, with more than a dozen factory riders mixing it up with privateer teams in a 12-race season that spans the country.

Honda’s history in the class starts in 1980, when the legendary Freddie Spencer–then 18–won three nationals and finished third in the final points. Only a few short years later Honda showed its complete mastery of the Superbike class, with Fred Merkel taking the championship and establishing an AMA record for the most Superbike wins in a season, with 10 victories out of 13 races. Since 1983 Honda has become the dominant force in the class, snatching victories in almost half of the Superbike races and taking home almost half of the titles, as well as setting the record for the most consecutive Superbike wins and championships.

The best riders in the country–some say the world–compete in the AMA Superbike series, making for white-hot competition that guarantees the importance of the class. Rules allow production-based 750cc four-cylinder motorcycles and twin-cylinder-powered bikes displacing up to 1000cc, both in highly modified form. The class’ status draws some of the most sophisticated motorcycles in the world, as their riders battle each other and the powerful machines for a shot at victory.

AMA 600 SuperSport

While the Superbike class is the highest-profile motorcycle road racing class in the Western Hemisphere, 600 SuperSport gives away nothing in terms of sheer, nail-biting competitiveness. That’s in part because middleweights typically are the best-selling sport bikes in the country, and wins here boost sales on the showroom floors.

Due to the very restrictive rules in 600 SuperSport racing, levels of performance among the machines is very similar, contributing to incredibly tight racing. Reigning 600 SuperSport Champion Nicky Hayden says, "You can go from second to fourth to first in a real hurry." Such close competition makes rider talent and the machine’s inherent performance capabilities crucial.

Machines consist entirely of lightly modified production-based four-stroke four-cylinder 600cc motorcycles. With race wins pushing sales, the factories typically enter their best riders in the class, who are joined by grass-roots privateers looking to make a name for themselves by beating the factory pros. For the most part, the pros themselves compete in both Superbike and 600 SuperSport, further guaranteeing some of the closest racing in any motor sport.

As in Superbike, Honda has thoroughly dominated the 600 SuperSport class. Out of 13 titles Honda CBR600s have won seven, including the inaugural year for the class, and last year, and have won 53 percent of all 600 SuperSport races. Team Honda rider Miguel Duhamel has won four of those seven titles, and holds the records for the most race wins (32) and longest win streak; 10 600 SuperSport victories in a row.

Posted by cycle.news on 2015-12-04 16:24:10

Tagged: , Team Honda , Team Honda 2000 , Honda Racing , factory Honda , 2000 , Honda , Honda Racing – 2000 , Miguel Duhamel , Honda road racing , Honda Superbike , Honda Supersport , Honda CBR600F4 , Press Kit Photo , motorcycle racing

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