TOOELE, Utah (May 25) — Although he described it as a ” lonely day” on his GEICO Motorcycle Honda CBR600, star rider Jake Zemke was pleased with his season-best fourth-place result in the final leg of the GEICO Superbike Shootout, held Sunday at Miller Motorsports Park near Salt Lake City.
Aside from the start where he expertly jumped from the second row to third place, Zemke hardly saw another rider during the race. The front-runners simply spread out across the 2.2-mile West Course and rode out the 20-lap race.
“Bobby Fong was the only rider I saw, really,” Zemke said. “He ran into the back of a rider at the start and sat up like something maybe was wrong with his bike. He must have dropped way back at that point because I didn’t see him, or anyone really, until Bobby passed me (on Lap 9). That was all the excitement I had.
“To have the bike perform like it did is very encouraging. We definitely feel as though we’ve closed the gap on the guys that have been ahead of us, and that’s a real testament to the crew and this team. It’s satisfying as a rider to reward the crew guys with a strong race because they do the same amount of work, if not more, when we don’t do so well as when we do, so this is for them.”
The uptick in performance is coming at the perfect time for Zemke as the road racing tour immediately shifts to historic Road America next weekend. Pointing to Sunday’s result as a highlight, Zemke said the three-race GEICO Superbike Shootout was a hit for many reasons.
“First and foremost, it gave us a chance to race out west with this huge core of motorcycle racing fans out here,” Zemke said. “It also filled the gap between Daytona and the rest of the AMA Pro schedule. Most importantly, we were able to work on this bike in real race conditions and make it better. And I always love racing close to home (San Luis Obispo area). I’ll be home tonight!”