Details of the 2004 Team Hammer Talent Search Presented by Alpinestars have been finalized and rider registration for the program is now open.
The Team Hammer Talent Search Presented by Alpinestars is a comprehensive career development program designed to help participants reach the highest level their talent will allow in motorcycle road racing. It is, in simplest terms, a technology transfer program covering riding, bike set-up, sponsorship, dealing with the media and other major components of professional motorcycle road racing, and is open to Expert or Pro-licensed riders. Participants in the program will receive honest advice and evaluation, and straight answers to their questions, including The Big Question: “How do I get from where I am to where I want to be in motorcycle road racing?”
The program is being run by Team Hammer, Inc., which currently races primarily in AMA Pro competition as Team Valvoline EMGO Suzuki; the team was founded in 1980 and has raced continuously since the start of the 1981 season, winning dozens of National Championships with various sanctioning bodies.
A long list of riders who became successful professionals in National and International competition rode for Team Hammer or participated in Team Hammer Support programs early in their careers. Some of them became National and/or World Champions. The most recent example of a rider starting his professional career with Team Hammer is John Hopkins, who went from riding in the Aprilia Cup in 1999 to racing in the MotoGP World Championship in 2002, after winning the AMA 750cc Supersport Championship in 2000 and winning the AMA Formula Xtreme Championship in 2001.
Two participants in the program will earn full rides for the 2004 Suzuki Cup Finals held in conjunction with the WERA Grand National Finals, including the use of one Team Valvoline EMGO Suzuki racebike for the event weekend, the full-time attention of a team mechanic at the event, tires, entry fees and a set of brand new Alpinestars leathers, boots and gloves in team colors. One of the two finalists will be considered for a 2005 season ride with the team. Judging and determination of finalists will be done by Team Owner John Ulrich and Crew Chief Keith Perry.
The 2003 finalists were Greg Moore, 25, of Brookwood, Alabama and Chris Siglin, 22, of Clayton, California. As the best Talent Search finisher at the 2003 Suzuki Cup Finals, Siglin won the race-prepped 2003 Valvoline EMGO Suzuki GSX-R750 he rode at the event.
The program has a non-refundable registration fee of $1995. The fee includes monitoring of each rider’s results and progress during the season and tuition for two set-up seminar and instruction dates, held in conjunction with Michelin test days at California Speedway February 18-19 and at Barber Motorsports Park March 18-19. Also included is participation in Team Hammer Practice days at Daytona February 25 and at Brainerd June 24 as well as participation in Michelin test days at Road America April 20-21, Pikes Peak May 5-6, Brainerd June 8-9, Mid-Ohio June 30-July 1, Road Atlanta August 2-3 and VIR August 11-12.
Nominal gate fees for those events, if any, are not included. Because this is a package deal, riders do not get a refund if they do not attend all set-up seminar and instruction days or practice and test days. Registration closes February 17, 2004.
Evaluation and judging of program participants will be based on race results during the entire 2004 season; riding improvement seen during the season; and performance in designated special events, including AMA Sports races at Mid-Ohio July 19-22, and WERA National Challenge Series races at California Speedway June 11-13 and at Barber Motorsports Park September 24-26.
Participants must also race a year 2002 or newer Suzuki GSX-R motorcycle, wear Alpinestars boots and gloves and run program stickers on their racebikes.
For the most current information be sure to read the Team Hammer Talent Search Presented by Alpinestars section of the Team Hammer website.