2008 Erion Racing Honda


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2008 Erion Racing Honda

  1. 1. 2008 Erion Racing Honda
  2. 2. Table of Contents 4 The Team 48 The Team Behind the Team 8 Erion Racing Honda Facts 52 Team Sponsors 12 The Sport 58 Honda Road-Racing Results 16 The Machines 64 2008 AMA Superbike Schedule 24 Josh Hayes 65 2008 Erion Racing CD Key 36 Jake Zemke 2 Erion Racing Honda
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  5. 5. The Team Among the many teams that share the AMA paddock with the factory racing teams, no other organization can boast the success of the Erion Honda team. Celebrating its 15th anniversary as Honda’s premier support team, the Parts Unlimited Pro Honda Erion Racing team personifies professionalism in every aspect of its effort. The longevity of the association between Erion Racing and the years, one that will likely never be equaled, including six American Honda is not hard to understand. Honda has Formula Xtreme Championships between 1997 and 2007 always sought excellence in its competitive endeavors, and (1997-2000, 2006, 2007), four consecutive Formula Xtreme the Erion team has produced numerous championships titles from 1997 to 2000, two SuperTeams Championships in from one of the most formidable teams in all of American 1994 and 1996, a perfect season in 1999 (the team won all road racing—with the latest win being the 2007 Formula nine races) and back-to-back AMA 600 Supersport crowns in Xtreme title, with champion Josh Hayes taking his second 1999 and 2000. consecutive title and, along with ’07 teammate Aaron Gobert, winning nine out of ten races in the series. The Erion team continues to prove the dominance of Honda’s mighty CBR600RR®. On this machine, Honda and Headed by Kevin Erion, a former racer and AMA national Erion riders on CBR600RRs have won every Formula Xtreme title holder, and anchored by Technical Director Rick Hobbs, title since the class went to 600cc in 2004. CBR600RR- the Erion team has amassed an impressive win record over mounted riders on the Honda and Erion teams won every Erion Racing Honda 5
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  7. 7. one of the 21 races in 2004 and 2005. Since 2004, the CBR600RR has won 34 out of 42 Formula Xtreme races, including three Daytona 200 victories. For 2008, Josh Hayes returns to defend his Xtreme title, and to win the 600 Pro Honda Oils Supersport Championship aboard the CBR600RR, a title he narrowly missed winning in 2007. His teammate this year is Jake Zemke, who has a winning history with the Erion team. Zemke will also compete on Honda’s CBR600RR in both the Xtreme and Supersport classes. As American Honda’s official factory-supported race team, Erion Racing taps directly into the factory pipeline for access to motorcycles, parts and technical support. In return, Erion delivers an impeccably organized team that perfectly complements Honda’s strategy for racing success. Notably, Erion has nurtured some exceptional talent over the years, including 2006 MotoGP World Champion Nicky Hayden, Jake Zemke, Eric Bostrom and Kurtis Roberts. What is the secret to the Erion team’s success? In Kevin Erion’s words, “No one person has brought us success. Our relationship with Honda is key, as are the relationships we establish with everyone on our team. Our philosophy is to always give people more than they expect.” Erion Racing Honda 7
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  9. 9. Erion Racing Honda Facts + In 2007, Erion Honda’s Josh Hayes won his second consecutive Formula Xtreme championship on Honda’s CBR600RR. This was also Honda’s fourth consecutive title in the class with the CBR600RR. + Hayes and teammate Aaron Gobert won nine of ten races in the 2007 Xtreme championship on their CBR600RRs. + Since the inception of the Formula Xtreme class in 1997, Erion has won six titles. + After the AMA instituted the big-bore Formula Xtreme class in 1997, Honda-supported Erion Racing dominated the class, winning nine of nine races in 1999; the most consecutive races won by a single rider (six in 2000); and the most consecutive pole positions (eight in 2000). + Hayes won four Supersport races en route to third in the 2007 championship. + In Formula Xtreme competition in 2004 and 2005, Honda’s mighty CBR600RR won every race. + In AMA Formula Xtreme and Supersport competition, no other motorcycle has won more races and titles than Honda’s CBR600. Erion Racing Honda 9
  10. 10. + In 2006, Honda Racing’s Jake Zemke won the Daytona 200 on Honda’s CBR600RR—his first and Honda’s ninth Daytona 200 win. + At Daytona, Honda has amassed eleven Superbike wins, eleven 600 Supersport wins (Honda has not competed in the Supersport class since 2003) and two Formula Xtreme wins, more than all other manufacturers combined. + Winning 10 of 13 races, Honda VFR750F-mounted Fred Merkel captured Honda’s first AMA Superbike Championship in 1984. + In 1980, then-18-year-old Freddie Spencer helped kick off Honda’s Superbike effort by winning three races and finishing third overall in the points standings. + In AMA Supersport racing, Honda has won the most championships (nine of 19), the most races (83) and the most consecutive race wins (10). + Honda’s Hurricane 600 and the AMA 600 Supersport class debuted in 1987. The Hurricane swept the series, and Doug Polen won seven consecutive races en route to the championship. 10 Erion Racing Honda
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  12. 12. The Sport 2008 AMA Superbike Series Consider this pleasant dichotomy: The AMA Superbike Championship and its three support classes—Formula Xtreme, Supersport and Superstock—arguably present the most competitive and thrilling racing spectacle in the entire USA, yet the stars of this sport remain refreshingly accessible to the track-going public as a whole. The elevated levels of factory support result in exquisite It’s easy to understand the appeal. Competitors ride at the handbuilt machines that are at once gorgeous in appearance limit of their seemingly superhuman skills, often nose to and stunningly brilliant at speed, and the racers rank among tail as they blast down straightaways at speeds approach- the best in the world. Yet the riders, teams and sponsors go ing 200 mph. They slide and drift through corners on the to great lengths to encourage close contact with their brink of catastrophe, then pass one another in daring dis- legions of fans. Appearances at dealerships on race week- plays of athleticism. ends are common, autograph sessions hold forth every race weekend and it’s not unusual for a racer to stop and pose Driving this drama is a surge in motorcycle technology that with a fan for a photo op or to sign a T-shirt between prac- has produced engines that, in Superbike trim, top 200 horse- tice sessions. Overall, it’s a race fan’s dream come true. power, and chassis refinements that, together with advances in tire design, have substantially improved stability and 12 Erion Racing Honda
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  14. 14. cornering capability. The culmination of this commitment by two consecutive Honda championships for Miguel Duhamel, America’s race teams is close-quarters racing that is every bit as while his teammate Jake Zemke rode a CBR600RR to second intense and competitive as World Championship competition. place overall each year. Honda was so dominant that Red Riders won every race in both seasons, 21 in all. In 2006, The Daytona 200, a part of the AMA Superbike Championship Erion Honda-mounted Josh Hayes brought home Honda’s as recently as 2005, today utilizes 600cc Formula Xtreme third class title in as many years, and in 2007 Hayes earned an machines. The modification was made by the AMA in unprecedented fourth consecutive Formula Xtreme title for response to concerns that had arisen regarding Daytona Honda in dominating fashion, winning seven of the nine races International Speedway’s high-walled, steeply banked oval he contested. The 2008 season will see Erion Honda’s Hayes layout and the associated high-speed risk to riders. and Zemke vie for the Formula Xtreme championship in 2008. Superbikes continue to compete at Daytona in a sprint-race Honda Racing’s Duhamel and Neil Hodgson will tackle the format, consistent with the rest of the Superbike events that Daytona 200 on Formula Xtreme equipment in an effort to comprise the championship. help garner the company’s third 200-mile victory (and tenth total Daytona 200 win) since the AMA designated the race as 2008 AMA Formula Xtreme a Formula Xtreme event in 2005. A significant change to the popular AMA Formula Xtreme series—the lowering of displacement limits from 1000cc to 2008 AMA Supersport 600cc for four-cylinder machines—attracted the full attention Erion Racing’s Josh Hayes and Jake Zemke will carry the of the Honda Racing team in 2004 and 2005. The result was Honda banner forward in 2008 in a second 600cc class, 14 Erion Racing Honda
  15. 15. Supersport, aboard Honda’s much-heralded CBR600RR. Hayes narrowly missed doing the double and adding the 600 Supersport crown to his laurels in 2007 as he won four races during the year. Honda has built a reputation as the winningest manufac- turer in the history of AMA Supersport racing, having captured more than 45 per- cent (88 of 193) of all 600 Supersport victories and eight championships. Erion Racing Honda 15
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  17. 17. The Machines Erion Racing Honda CBR600RR (Formula Xtreme, Supersport) Honda’s CBR600RR is a remarkable machine. But don’t just take our word for it. In 2007, the all-new CBR600RR went undefeated in 600cc class comparisons in every major U.S. motorcycle publication and web site. It also won Cycle World’s Best Middleweight, Motorcyclist magazine’s Best Sportbike, Sport Rider magazine’s Middleweight of the Year, Rider magazine’s Best Sportbike, and Bike (England’s largest motorcycle magazine) Bike of the Year award. Is it any wonder that the CBR600RR stormed to the 2007 For 2008, Honda-supported Erion Racing defends its second AMA Formula Extreme title, as well as won the World 600-class Formula Xtreme title (and the team’s sixth Formula Supersport Championship? Xtreme championship since the AMA created the class in 1997) with the race-proven CBR600RR platform. This phe- The new RR furthers a long heritage of winning: Dating back nomenal machine will also anchor Erion’s assault on the to its introduction in 1987, the CBR600 has amassed a 2008 Supersport title; last year Josh Hayes narrowly missed record as the winningest 600-class sportbike ever made, winning that championship. with a record of AMA and World titles that no other manu- facturer comes close to. Hayes took home Honda’s fourth consecutive FX title in 2007, and his second in a row. The 2008 Erion Honda effort Erion Racing Honda 17
  18. 18. will be anchored once again by Hayes and teammate Jake Zemke. Of note, Honda Racing’s Miguel Duhamel and Neil Hodgson will also straddle CBR600RRs for the Daytona 200 Formula Xtreme race in March. The MotoGP-inspired CBR600RR has compiled an impressive resume since it swept the 2003 World Supersport Championship in its first year of world competition.To under- score the dominance of its racing pedigree, the CBR600RR secured the World Supersport title again in 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2007. Technical Credentials: Honda CBR600RR The CBR600RR that lines up for Formula Xtreme and Supersport competition in Erion trim in 2008 is a proven formula. Introduced in 2007, Honda’s next-generation CBR600RR delivers lighter weight (more than 16 pounds lighter), more compact dimen- sions and reduced drag everywhere compared to previous models. A smaller engine permitted more effective positioning within the frame for optimal weight distribution, and a shorter wheelbase with a longer swingarm tap into MotoGP-inspired designs that optimize traction at the rear wheel. Stronger engine performance throughout the powerband with a more linear power delivery also helped make the new Honda 18 Erion Racing Honda
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  21. 21. CBR600RR a winner. The new engine features a noticeably fat- lighter. This advanced manufacturing technique helps create ter torque curve between 7000 and 10,000 rpm, and peak an organically formed structure that offers an optimal balance horsepower has significantly increased. of light weight and rigidity. In order to both reduce weight and enhance mass centralization, the number of component parts Smaller, lighter, more powerful and amazingly agile compared and welds used to build the frame dropped significantly. For to all machines that have come before, the CBR600RR follows example, the 2006 CBR600 frame was comprised of 11 the development doctrine of Honda Racing Corporation’s next- welded-up sections, while the new frame is made of only four generation 800cc MotoGP racing platform. In keeping with the larger castings. This new frame is more than 1.1 pounds MotoGP race team’s mission to create a smaller and lighter lighter than the unit it replaces, as well as stronger, slimmer racer that will still outperform the current generation of lead- and more compact. ing-edge designs, Honda’s CBR600RR engineering team focused on achieving a superior power-to-weight ratio with all The CBR600RR is also a powerhouse, thanks in part to its its inherent benefits. innovative two-stage PGM-DSFI fuel-injection system. One set of injectors installed at the entrance to the intake ports The new CBR600RR incorporates next-generation Fine Die-Cast provides an ideal air/fuel mixture for strong, smooth accelera- technology that allowed the frame to be smaller and drastically tion at low- to mid-range settings. At higher engine speeds, Erion Racing Honda 21
  22. 22. the system’s second set of “showerhead” injectors installed in In the suspension department, Erion Racing’s Supersport the roof of the airbox kicks in to deliver extra fuel to cool the machines utilize a fully adjustable 41mm inverted Honda fork high-volume air intake. The CBR600RR sports an impressively with an Öhlins cartridge kit that provides smooth, responsive large air-intake port built into the nose of the front cowl, pre- performance coupled with excellent rigidity and low unsprung cisely where the airstream hitting the fairing flows at its weight. Formula Xtreme-spec bikes get the full championship- strongest. Modeled after the system developed for the World winning Öhlins fork. Integrated into the CBR600RR’s rigid but and AMA Superbike Championship-winning RC51, this new lightweight swingarm is the Honda Unit Pro-Link® rear fresh-air port feeds directly through the new frame’s open suspension system pioneered on the race-winning RC211V® steering-head casting and into the CBR600RR’s larger-volume MotoGP racer. For Supersport, an Öhlins rear damper features airbox. As a result, engine performance is not only stronger a built-in remote gas reservoir and offers full spring-preload, throughout the powerband, but the power curve is also more rebound and compression-damping adjustability. Formula linear. In Supersport trim, the new engine now features a Xtreme-spec bikes also incorporate the race-proven Öhlins noticeably fatter torque curve between 7000 and 10,000 rpm rear damper. and peak horsepower is significantly increased, with the peak output coming at 13,500 rpm. Where the Formula Xtreme Following on the heels of an unbroken string of Formula class rules allow more substantial modifications, the engine Extreme and World Supersport championships, the 2008 architecture provides substantially more potential for Erion’s season promises to be another showcase of the CBR600RR’s tuning masters. ability to dominate. 22 Erion Racing Honda
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  25. 25. JoshHAYES Erion Racing Honda 25
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  29. 29. Josh Hayes Two years, two AMA Formula Xtreme championships. For Erion Honda’s Josh Hayes the results are very satisfying, especially since the road to his racing success has been as challenging as racing around Laguna Seca in the blazing July sun. “It was awesome to repeat as champion in the Formula competitive class, a performance he credits to his team and Xtreme class for 2007, especially considering the dominance Honda’s CBR600RR. “When I came back to Erion in 2006, we had, that was fantastic,” reflects the 33-year-old racing Rick Hobbs and I were both able to take our knowledge, veteran. “But the spirit of the fight in the first {2006} cham- understand each other’s needs, and move forward and be pionship, racing in such a close battle, it was pretty sweet to very successful. I came into 2007 supremely confident in my come out on top in the last race that year as well.” abilities to go out there and repeat. And then Honda stepped up their game by giving us the new 2007 Hayes utterly dominated Formula Xtreme in 2007 with seven CBR600RR. Honda has won more races than anybody else wins in 10 rounds, sitting out the last race due to injury, but in the Supersport series and the new CBR is a wonderful with the title firmly in hand. He also competed in Supersport weapon.” last year, marking Honda’s return to the class after a three- year hiatus. He was immediately a factor in that fiercely That’s an understatement. In his second year with Erion Erion Racing Honda 29
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  31. 31. after a four-year hiatus, Hayes was in contention for the Supersport title all season, winning four of the eleven rounds (more than anyone else), including two of the last three. Unfortunately, a crash at Laguna Seca was too much to overcome and Hayes finished third in the season. A native of Gulfport, Mississippi, Hayes knows a thing or two about overcoming adversity. A latecomer to road racing, he competed for the first time as a teenager against riders who had years of experience. But he learned quickly, winning three WERA titles in 1994 and capturing six more in the next four years. He turned pro in 1999 and immediately got everyone’s attention when he won the opening round at Daytona in 750 Supersport. That year he finished third over- all in Formula Xtreme and was on his way to even greater success with Erion Racing Honda in 2000, when he was in a terrible crash at Daytona the following spring in the 600 Supersport race. Nerve damage in his right arm would take years to heal, yet in 2000 he still managed third over- all in the AMA Formula Xtreme series that year. In 2001 with Honda-supported Bruce Transportation, Hayes—with very little feeling in his throttle hand—finished fifth overall in both 600 Supersport and Formula Xtreme. He was on his way to regaining his old form in 2002 when he seriously injured his hand in Fontana. Surgery was required to repair broken bones and he sat out most of the remaining season. Undeterred, Hayes finally made good on his promising career when in 2003 he won the 750 Superstock title. Now with two more titles to his credit, no one would blame him for being a bit cocky, but that’s not in Hayes’ nature. Erion Racing Honda 31
  32. 32. “It’s great fun to race against your fellow man. I really enjoy the sport and I enjoy seeing the young kids putting out the same kind of effort that I put out trying to make a successful rac- ing career for myself. Anytime I ever needed help, I could go to Miguel Duhamel and he was very open with me. Every one of us has the same goals and we all respect that we’re after the same prize. When it’s time, you go for everything. At the end it’s fun to revel in the race and the competition. It all comes down to not how much you know, but your race craft.” As he looks toward 2008, Hayes is confident—and armed with the best motorcycle on the grid, Honda’s CBR600RR. “Honda did an amazing job of improving the bike’s positive attrib- utes without taking away the characteristic Honda feel. The addition of the midrange power really helped our game with the Formula Xtreme bike. And by making the bike so much lighter and shortening the wheelbase, it made it easier to change direction and also gave us amazing front-end feel.” If anyone doubts Hayes’ sincerity, he puts his money where his mouth is. “I’d ridden the CBR600RR mostly in modified version, but when we went into Supersport, I thought, ‘Wow! This is really an amazing motorcycle.’ Enough so that I went and bought two: one for my wife to race, and one for myself to have a practice bike.” On the track or in the garage, Josh Hayes and Honda are an unbeatable combination. 32 Erion Racing Honda
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  34. 34. JOSHHAYES STATISTICS 2007 2002 1st AMA Formula Xtreme Injured at the second race of the season, Hayes was 3rd AMA Supersport out of action for much of the year. He came back to earn a second-place podium finish at the final 2006 Supersport race at VIR 1st AMA Formula Xtreme 5th AMA Superstock 2001 5th AMA 600 Supersport 2005 5th AMA Formula Xtreme 9th AMA Superbike Winner, 4th Annual Willow Springs Motorcycle 2000 Club 200 3rd AMA Formula Xtreme 12th AMA 600 Supersport 2004 8th AMA Superbike 1999 8th AMA Superstock 3rd AMA Formula Xtreme Winner, 3rd Annual Willow Springs Motorcycle 6th AMA 600 Supersport Club 200 Winner AMA 750 Supersport, Daytona 5th Macau Grand Prix 1998 2003 1100cc Suzuki Cup Champion 1st AMA 750 Superstock 600cc Suzuki Cup Champion 4th AMA Formula Xtreme Formula USA 600cc Class 103 Champion Winner, 2nd Annual Willow Springs Motorcycle WERA National 600 Superstock Champion Club 200 WERA Sportsman B Superstock Champion WERA Sportsman C Superstock Champion 34 Erion Racing Honda
  35. 35. PROFILE 1997 BORN: 1975, Gulfport, MS 1100cc Suzuki Cup RESIDENCE: Gulfport, MS Champion WERA National Endurance NATIONAL #: 1 Co-Champion BEGAN RIDING: 1986, age 11 FIRST RACE: 1994, age 19 1996 WERA National Endurance TRAINING: Road bicycling, motocross, weights Co-Champion HOBBIES: Motocross, bicycling, snowboarding HEIGHT/WEIGHT: 5’10”/160 pounds 1995 WERA National Heavyweight MARITAL STATUS: Married, wife Melissa Supersport Endurance CURRENT RACEBIKE: Honda CBR600RR Champion TECHNICAL DIRECTOR: Rick Hobbs 1994 LEAD TECHNICIAN: Rick Hobbs WERA National 1100 Novice TECHNICIANS: Masahiro Iizuka, Matt Zurbuchen Production Champion WERA National 750 Novice Production Champion WERA National 600 Novice Production Champion Erion Racing Honda 35
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  37. 37. JakeZEMKE Erion Racing Honda 37
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  41. 41. Jake Zemke The return of Jake Zemke to the Honda-supported Erion Racing Team marks a definite homecoming, a reunion of rider and team rich with past racing success. Early in his career, Zemke earned a ride with the Bruce Transportation Group team, which began life literally working out of the Erion shop. As Zemke found more and more success, he soon found himself riding for the Erion team. Looking back on those times brings a big smile to the face the prominent place Zemke holds in the road-racing of the affable Californian. “My first Supersport race win paddock. However, an examination of the records shows came on a Bruce/Erion Honda CBR600,” Zemke recalls. “And that while he finished a highly respectable third in last year’s my first Formula Xtreme win was aboard an Erion Honda AMA Superbike championship and as the runner-up in five while I was still riding for Bruce Transportation. Kurtis AMA series in the past decade—he once finishing tied for Roberts had already locked up his FX championship, so first in points, but lost the title on a tie-breaker basis, and Kevin Erion let me ride Kurtis’ bike and I won the race. Later, also won the Daytona 200 in 2006—Zemke has yet to claim my first Superbike win came with Erion. Lots of good times, his first championship. But by his reckoning, all that’s about lots of success, so now I’m looking for my first AMA to change in 2008. championship with Erion.” “I’m really happy that Kevin and the boys have the faith in That last statement is actually a bit surprising, considering me to put me back on their bikes,” Zemke says. “I know Erion Racing Honda 41
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  43. 43. most of the guys on the team, I’ve worked with them and Kevin runs a great program. Kevin and Rick Hobbs have nailed down the formula for success; they go out and beat factory teams on a regular basis and that says so much about their program and their dedication to winning. You don’t see that happening with any other team in the paddock. It was a bit of a tough decision for me to move out of Superbikes, but I’m glad that this year I’ll be racing in Formula Xtreme and Supersport aboard this latest generation Honda CBR600RR.” With that, the discussion turns toward machinery, both new and old. Zemke says, “Honda’s latest CBR600RR is very impressive. I especially like that it turns well and transitions side-to-side amazingly fast. “My career has pretty much been all Honda, and I’ve ridden a lot of different models: the CBR600F4 and F4i, CBR600RR, CBR929RR, CBR954RR, RC51, CBR1000RR. Over the years I’ve found that Hondas generally have the same feel; they fit pretty much the same, and the way the bike reacts with impres- sive consistency, no big departures so you don’t have to make any big adjustments. That consistency that Honda brings to the table makes you feel comfortable as a rider and makes it easier to win.” Erion Racing Honda 43
  44. 44. Although Zemke will be riding Honda’s CBR600RR exclusively years I’ve had a new crew chief every single year and it takes in 2008, his weekend will be divided into two different races on time to build up that working relationship. I’ve worked with bikes in distinctly different stages of tune, Formula Xtreme John in the past and we’re familiar with each other, we’ve trim—a heavily modified machine—and Supersport trim, which done this before, he knows what I need and like. We have the is very close to the stock specification. communication down pat; when I describe what the bike is doing he understands what needs to be adjusted on the bike. “The Erion team has done a great job of getting all the controls Our close level of communication just puts me that much on my two bikes feeling similar—handlebars, footpegs, seat, further ahead come race day. levers and so on. Once I have that same basic fit, I find I can adapt well from one bike to the other. The Formula Xtreme “Overall, we’re in a strong position to win on the CBR600RR. bike has more power, bigger brakes and Ohlins suspension, so Our team has two riders who can win at every race, and our I can use more of a point-and-shoot riding style with it. The team is rock solid. My goal is to win two championships. Supersport bike is very close to stock configuration in engine, But I figure the toughest thing will be beating my teammate suspension and brakes, so I have to maintain more cornering Josh Hayes!” speed on that bike to turn fast lap times. But they’re both still Honda CBR600RRs and that means I can win on either one. A family man with four children and a true love of the sport, Zemke has unfinished business to tend to in 2008. “Another reason this transition has worked so well is because Don’t be surprised to see him bag his first title when the I’m working with John Ethell again as my crew chief. For many dust settles. 44 Erion Racing Honda
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  46. 46. JAKEZEMKE STATISTICS 2007 2002 3rd AMA Superbike 2nd AMA Formula Xtreme (tied for first in points) 8th AMA 600 Supersport 2006 Wins first Daytona 200 2001 7th AMA Superbike 4th AMA Formula Xtreme 6th AMA 600 Supersport 2005 2nd AMA Formula Xtreme 2000 11th AMA Superbike 2nd AMA Formula Xtreme 8th AMA 600 Supersport 2004 2nd AMA Formula Xtreme 1999 3rd AMA Superbike 2nd AMA 750 Supersport Wins first Superbike victory at 15th AMA 600 Supersport Brainerd International Raceway 1998 2003 10th AMA 750 Supersport 3rd AMA Formula Xtreme 5th AMA U.S. Supersport 1997 3rd AMA Harley-Davidson SuperTwins 46 Erion Racing Honda
  47. 47. PROFILE BORN: 1975, San Francisco, CA RESIDENCE: Paso Robles, CA NATIONAL #: 98 BEGAN RIDING: 1982, age 6 FIRST RACE: 1985, age 9 TRAINING: Motocross, trail riding, mountain and road bicycling, running HOBBIES: Motocross, trail riding, wake boarding, running, snow boarding HEIGHT/WEIGHT: 5’5”/150 pounds MARITAL STATUS: Married, wife Rebecca, children Derrek, Shawn, Gavin and Sachiko CURRENT RACEBIKE: Honda CBR600RR TECHNICAL DIRECTOR: Rick Hobbs LEAD TECHNICIAN: John Ethell TECHNICIANS: Lee Vaughan, Kei Maeda Erion Racing Honda 47
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  49. 49. The Team Behind the Team Kevin Erion, Team Owner Erion Racing’s Kevin Erion is the most successful independent team owner in the AMA paddock. With two AMA titles under his belt as a rider in the late 1980’s, Erion went on to win more national titles as a team owner than anyone in AMA road racing. As Honda’s primary support team for more than a decade, Erion Racing has forged one of the most impressive records in AMA road racing. A family man with three daughters, Erion understands every aspect of his team’s operation. He’s even been known to drive his own team transporter from coast to coast, just to keep a watchful eye on things. Most importantly, he recognizes emerging young talent, knows what the riders and mechanics have to do to win and organizes the team’s resources with the precision need- ed to achieve that goal. Rick Hobbs, Team Technical Director and Lead Technician for Josh Hayes Rick Hobbs leads the Erion team’s day-to-day operations, and that includes all the research and development that goes on between races. Hobbs spends endless hours running Erion Racing’s bikes on the dyno, searching for the perfect settings for the fuel-injection systems and ignition mapping to give his riders seamless throttle response. Hobbs is a natural at what he does, and the success of Erion Racing owes much to his guidance; in the 10 years he’s been with the Erion team, Hobbs has helped guide his riders to seven AMA championships, including the last two consecutive Formula Xtreme championships in a row. Erion Racing Honda 49
  50. 50. Masahiro Iizuka, Supersport Technician for Josh Hayes John Ethell, Lead Technician for Jake Zemke Masahiro Iizuka begins his third year with Erion Racing after For years, John Ethell has been a regular fixture in the AMA three years on the factory Honda Racing team, most recently for paddock, having served on a number of top-ranked teams, Superbike pilot Jake Zemke. In 2008, he will be responsible for including Team Honda and Erion Racing. Ethell has earned a the development of the Supersport CBR600RR for Josh Hayes, deep background and vast knowledge regarding all that goes the current Formula Xtreme Champion. Iizuka is well known for into a winning race program. In 2008 Ethell assumes oversight his tremendous work ethic. A Tokyo native, Iizuka is a former for Jake Zemke’s racing efforts. The duo has been teamed NASB 125 road-race champion, and he also won four 125-class together with great success before on the Erion team, and this AMA races in 1995, earning third in the series. Watch for his relationship is sure to bring more success in 2008. expertise to pay off as Hayes competes for his fourth AMA title. Lee Vaughan, Formula Xtreme Technician for Jake Zemke Matt Zurbuchen, Formula Xtreme Technician for Josh Hayes Lee Vaughan began his wrenching career as a dealer techni- Matt Zurbuchen returns for his third year to the Erion team. cian in Florida, and he reckons that experience formed a solid Zurbuchen is a former top OMRRA road racer, who also raced in foundation for the many things he has accomplished in the the AMA series. He has spent time with other squads in the AMA ensuing years. After working for another factory-supported paddock and brings a considerable amount of knowledge and racing team, Vaughan joined the Erion Team in 2006. In 2008 expertise to his work. In 2008 Zurbuchen will take primary he will assume the main responsibility for tuning Jake Zemke’s responsibility for Josh Hayes’ potent Formula Xtreme CBR600RR powerful CBR600RR-based Formula Xtreme machine. in an attempt to win a third consecutive championship. 50 Erion Racing Honda
  51. 51. Kei Maeda, Technician for Jake Zemke in his native Japan, designing camshafts, pistons, valve seats Hailing from Yokohama, Japan, Kei Maeda earned his technical and other racing parts. In 1996 he joined Honda Racing chops at Technical Sports Racing (TSR), a top-level tuning, Corporation (HRC) in Japan and soon became a race-team parts and racing program in Japan that is active in the All mechanic, working on the RC45 and RC51. Sato started with Japan Championship series, Suzuka 8-Hours and more. Maeda Erion Racing in 2002, and his hard work and dedication contin- first came to the United States in 2006 to serve a brief intern- ue to inspire the entire team. ship with Erion Racing, and that tryout led to a spot on the team roster in 2007. “Kei is very thorough in his work and is Sam Line, Tire Support also easy to get along with,” said Rick Hobbs. A native of Dallas, Texas, Sam Line is no stranger to racing success. After 13 years of professional road racing, Line decid- Yuichi Sato, Formula Xtreme Engine Development ed to stay active in the sport by taking a job on the other side Now serving his sixth year on the squad, Yuichi Sato has of the pit wall. The ensuing years have seen him team up with become a mainstay on the Erion team. His forte has always many topline racers in the AMA paddock. Line returns to Erion been engine development, so this year Sato is focusing his Racing for his fourth year, and in 2008 will fulfill a number of attention solely on deriving the most from the powerplant of roles at the track, with his primary duties in tire support for the the Honda CBR600RR. He began his wrenching career in 1985 entire team. Erion Racing Honda 51
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  53. 53. 2008 Team Sponsors American Honda As a sponsor of Erion Racing, American Honda is committed to continuing its dominance on the racetrack in 2008. By supplying the championship-winning CBR600RR for the Supersport and Formula Xtreme classes, Honda reaffirms the productive teamwork that the factory and Erion have enjoyed for more than a decade. Erion Racing The 2008 season marks Erion Racing’s 15th year as a Honda-supported team. This pairing between the two companies stands as one of the most successful in all of AMA racing. With 10 AMA National cham- pionships to its credit—including back-to-back Xtreme titles in 2006 and 2007—Erion Racing boasts championship credentials as a developer of high-performance products for Honda motorcycles. Parts Unlimited This is the eighth year of team sponsorship by Parts Unlimited®, a company with more than three decades of experience in the motorsports realm. Parts Unlimited remains the world’s leading wholesale distributor of parts and accessories, and the company slogan “We support the sport” is certainly justified by its ongoing support for Erion Honda Racing. Erion Racing Honda 53
  54. 54. Pro Honda Oils and Chemicals Honda Rider’s Club of America (HRCA) Pro Honda® Oils and Chemicals has supported For 15 years as a Honda racing Honda racing teams for 27 years, supplying a sponsor, the Honda Rider’s Club full line of lubricant and motorcycle products. of America® has offered its In 2007, Pro Honda stepped up as a primary Members a wide variety of activities and services, such as spe- sponsor of the Erion Honda team, and that relationship contin- cial appearances, autograph sessions, pit tours, VIP hospitality ues in 2008. Pro Honda products are approved by Honda R&D, and even dinners with Honda’s racing teams. The HRCA® and they are available at Honda dealerships across the country. boasts more than 550,000 Members and regularly offers them an inside look at Honda racing through its bimonthly member Dunlop publication Honda Red Rider™ magazine in addition to a Dunlop® has dominated the Members-Only Web site (www.hrcahonda.com). American pavement racing scene like no other tire manufacturer, winning 39 out of a possible 40 Dynojet AMA Supersport and Superstock championships and 22 AMA Dynojet Research, Inc. is the world Superbike titles—including the last 18 in a row. That’s in addi- leader in the development and tion to Dunlop’s success in every other theater of racing around manufacture of performance-enhancement products and tools. the world. Erion Racing sources all of its tires from Dunlop. Its fuel-management and diagnostic products, coupled with 54 Erion Racing Honda
  55. 55. personalized services, give consumers the resources to maxi- the first to offer asbestos-free brake pads for motorcycles. The mize performance and increase efficiency. With over a decade Scandinavian company’s road-race compound pads see wide- of experience, Dynojet has relied on state-of-the-art technolo- spread use in AMA competition, and that’s what the Erion gy to provide the best products available. team will be using again in 2008. K&N Renthal K&N Engineering® of Riverside, Perhaps better known in the off-road California, is the leading innovator of world for its handlebars and handgrips, reusable, cotton-gauze filter technolo- Renthal® also specializes in the sophisticated tooth profiles gy for automotive applications. From humble beginnings as a needed for front and rear sprockets. Renthal’s championship family-run business more than 35 years ago, K&N Engineering roots run deep into the off-road world but also include the is now a truly global company, with offices in the UK and the 2000 and 2002 World Superbike titles won by the Castrol Netherlands. Honda team. SBS S.T.M. One of the first motorcycle aftermarket Established in 1981 by brothers Vito and Oronzo specialty-brake-pad companies, SBS® was Strada, S.T.M. has been a leader in two-wheel Erion Racing Honda 55
  56. 56. competition development, including bicycles and motorcycles. D.I.D Since 1994, S.T.M. has specialized in the production of clutches, With a long history in motorcycle racing and today is the world leader in slipper-clutch technology. This and dozens of national and world champi- marks the second year of the company’s association with Erion onships to its credit, D.I.D® is a world leader in chain and wheel Honda Racing. technology, and also an original-equipment supplier of chains to Honda. D.I.D is a longtime sponsor of Honda race teams, and for 2008 is proud to supply chains for Erion’s CBR600RR racing NGK machines. When it comes to spark plugs, NGK® is the world leader. Maker of spark plugs for virtu- VP Racing Fuels ally every automotive, motorcycle, marine VP Racing Fuels® of San Antonio, Texas, and small-engine application, NGK dominates. With state-of-the- has 30-plus years of experience in blending art manufacturing, inventory and distribution facilities in Irvine, motorsports fuels as well as other petrole- California; Sissonville, West Virginia; and Chicago, and with ISO um products. VP’s resume includes more than two decades of 9002/QS-9000/ISO 14001 certification, NGK is dedicated to provid- NHRA Pro Stock championships as well as titles in offshore, off- ing customers with the finest products and service possible. road, circle-track and aircraft competition. VP rejoins Erion Racing for the sixth season in 2008. 56 Erion Racing Honda
  57. 57. MotoWear Mettec Since before the first running of the Mettec produces lightweight compo- Indianapolis 500 in 1911, MotoWear has pro- nents and parts from metallurgical com- duced high-quality apparel for American plex alloys, using sophisticated process- industry. From NASCAR to CART, NHRA to es and treatments. The primary focus IMSA, and SCORE to the World of Outlaws, MotoWear has thread- has been titanium alloys, however Mettec also manufacture parts ed its way through the entire world of racing. from aluminum, chromoly and more exotic steels like 300M. The company’s engineering background in and knowledge of the Constructors Racing Group design of lightweight non-magnetic, durable products give racers Constructors Racing Group (CRG) manufac- a decided advantage. tures precision components for the motor- sports industry. All CRG products are man- ufactured in-house, using solid billet aluminum and CNC machining processes, and are assembled utilizing precision ball-bearing pivots and stainless hardware. CRG Control Levers have been campaigned by championship-winning AMA and World Supersport teams since 2001 to consistently put riders on podiums. Erion Racing Honda 57
  58. 58. 58 Erion Racing Honda
  59. 59. Honda Road-Racing Results Honda finishes in AMA Superbike, AMA 600 Supersport, AMA Formula Xtreme and AMA Formula 1 since 1980. 2007 2003 1999 AMA Superbike 3rd/8th AMA Superbike 3rd (4) AMA Superbike 7th AMA Formula Xtreme 1st/3rd AMA 600 Supersport 4th AMA 600 Supersport 1st AMA Supersport 3rd/10th AMA Formula Xtreme 3rd AMA Formula Xtreme 1st 2006 2002 1998 AMA Superbike 3rd/7th (1) AMA Superbike 1st (5) AMA Superbike 1st (6) AMA Formula Xtreme 1st (1a) AMA 600 Supersport 5th AMA 600 Supersport 3rd AMA Formula Xtreme 2nd AMA Formula Xtreme 1st 2005 AMA Superbike 5th/11th (1) 2001 1997 AMA Formula Xtreme 1st/2nd (2, 2a) AMA Superbike 3rd AMA Superbike 2nd AMA 600 Supersport 3rd AMA 600 Supersport 1st 2004 AMA Formula Xtreme 4th AMA Formula Xtreme 1st AMA Superbike 2nd/3rd (3) AMA Formula Xtreme 1st/2nd (2) 2000 1996 AMA Superbike 2nd AMA Superbike 2nd AMA 600 Supersport 1st AMA 600 Supersport 1st AMA Formula Xtreme 1st AMA SuperTeams 1st Erion Racing Honda 59
  60. 60. 1995 1989 1983 AMA Superbike 1st (7) AMA Superbike 6th AMA Superbike 2nd AMA 600 Supersport 1st (8) AMA 600 Supersport (no placement) AMA Formula 1 1st AMA SuperTeams 3rd 1988 1982 1994 AMA Superbike 1st AMA Superbike 2nd AMA Superbike 8th AMA 600 Supersport 2nd AMA Formula 1 1st AMA 600 Supersport 2nd AMA Unlimited Team Challenge 1st 1987 1981 AMA Superbike 1st AMA Superbike 2nd 1993 AMA 600 Supersport 1st (12) AMA Formula 1 3rd AMA Superbike 7th AMA Formula 1 series discontinued AMA 600 Supersport 3rd 1980 AMA/CCS GTO National Endurance 1986 AMA Superbike 3rd Championship 1st AMA Superbike 1st AMA Formula 1 1st 1992 AMA Superbike 7th 1985 AMA 600 Supersport 1st (9) AMA Superbike 1st AMA Formula 1 1st 1991 AMA Superbike 3rd (10) 1984 AMA 600 Supersport 1st (11) AMA Superbike 1st (13) AMA Formula 1 1st 1990 AMA Superbike 2nd AMA 600 Supersport (no placement) 60 Erion Racing Honda
  61. 61. Erion Racing Honda 61
  62. 62. 62 Erion Racing Honda
  63. 63. Highlights ond three-peat, winning two AMA (7) Duhamel posts a record-setting six con- Superbike races and one AMA Formula secutive AMA Superbike wins and becomes (1) 2005-2006 is a development period for Xtreme race at the final round at Virginia the first rider in history to win both the AMA Honda Racing’s AMA Superbike program as International Raceway, occurs on the same Superbike and AMA 600 Supersport titles in American Honda assumes the lead role for day, a feat never before accomplished in the same year. the bike’s evolution. AMA road-racing history. Zemke finishes third in his rookie AMA Superbike season, (8) Honda’s CBR600F3 wins every AMA 600 (1a) Although Honda Racing does not con- posting two wins. He also finishes second Supersport race. test the 2006 AMA Formula Xtreme series, to Duhamel in the AMA Formula Xtreme Honda-supported Erion Racing’s Josh Hayes Championship, winning two races. (9) Honda’s CBR600F2 occupies the top five takes the title, Honda’s third in a row. Jake overall points positions in AMA 600 Zemke wins his first Daytona 200 aboard an (4) Duhamel posts new AMA all-time career Supersport. AMA Formula Xtreme—spec CBR600RR. win records, scoring his 26th AMA Superbike win and his 41st Supersport win in 2003. (10) Duhamel wins the Daytona 200 on (2) 2004-2005: Miguel Duhamel and Zemke an RC30. win all but one of the AMA Formula Xtreme (5) At age 21, Nicky Hayden becomes the races (Honda’s Ben Bostrom won the 2004 youngest AMA Superbike champion ever, (11) Honda’s CBR600F2 wins all nine AMA Laguna Seca round). In the last race of 2005 and he does so with an impressive nine 600 Supersport races. Duhamel wins seven at Road Atlanta, Duhamel edges Zemke to wins in a single season. He’s also the of those nine. win the championship and increases his youngest Daytona 200 winner. Duhamel AMA career victories to a record 86. wins both rounds of the Road America dou- (12) Honda’s original CBR600F Hurricane bleheader, raising his career AMA Superbike wins every AMA 600 Supersport race and (2a) Duhamel wins his AMA record-tying win count to 25. The Honda RC51 takes 11 holds all top 10 positions in points. fifth Daytona 200 on an AMA Formula of 16 rounds in AMA Superbike competition. Xtreme—spec CBR600RR. (13) Honda’s VF750F Interceptor wins 12 of (6) Ben Bostrom captures the coveted num- the 13 AMA Superbike series races. (3) Duhamel increases his career AMA ber-one plate in the final AMA Superbike Honda’s Merkel wins 10 of the Interceptor’s Superbike wins to 32 and takes eight victo- race of the season. Duhamel breaks Fred 12 victories. ries to win the AMA Formula Xtreme Merkel’s AMA record for most career AMA Championship. He also wins three AMA Superbike wins, with Duhamel’s 21st victory races on two separate weekends. His sec- at Road Atlanta. Erion Racing Honda 63
  64. 64. 2008 AMA Superbike Schedule March 5-8 May 29-June 1 August 1-3 Daytona 200 by Honda Honda Summit of Speed Honda Super Cycle Weekend Daytona International Speedway Miller Motorsports Park Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course Daytona Beach, FL (Superbike Doubleheader) (Superbike Doubleheader) (in conjunction with the FIM World Lexington, OH April 18-20 Superbike race) Honda Superbike Classic Tooele, UT August 15-17 Barber Motorsports Park Virginia International Raceway (Superbike Doubleheader) June 6-8 (Superbike Doubleheader) Birmingham, AL Road America Alton, VA (Superbike Doubleheader) April 25-27 Elkhart Lake, WI August 29-31 California Speedway Road Atlanta (Superbike Doubleheader) July 18-20 (Superbike Doubleheader) Fontana, CA Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca Braselton, GA Monterey, CA May 16-18 (in conjunction with the U.S. Grand Prix) September 27-28 Infineon Raceway Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca (Superbike Doubleheader) Monterey, CA Sonoma, CA 64 Erion Racing Honda