Superbikes invade Infineon

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The fastest riders on two wheels in the country will be at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma this weekend for the storied circuit’s season-opening Kawasaki AMA Superbike Showdown.

Entering the American Motorcyclist Association’s annual trek to the track overlooking the Sonoma Valley wine country, Yoshimura Suzuki riders Ben Spies and Mat Mladin are once again the dominant forces in the Superbike class. Spies is the defending series champ and sits atop the points in 2007. Mladin has six AMA Superbike titles to his credit and has won the Superbike competition at Infineon Raceway six times.

Right on their heels, however, is the ageless one — American Honda’s Miguel Duhamel who is still among the top contenders as he approaches 40. Duhamel is the only rider to have won both the Superbike and Supersport events on the same weekend three times.

Information is available at (800) 870-7223, www.infineonraceway.com or www.ticketmaster.com.

New Yamaha Superbike to Debut: Yamaha, which has not fielded a factory-backed Superbike effort at Infineon Raceway since 2002, will unveil its YZF-R1 at the Kawasaki AMA Superbike Showdown this weekend in the Sonoma Valley.

Yamaha features a two-rider effort in Superbike this year with Petaluma High School graduate Eric Bostrom and Jason DiSalvo. The YZF-R1 has been strong through the first five events of the season, with Bostrom sitting in seventh place and DiSalvo eighth. Bostrom finished third in both Superbike races at California Speedway in Fontana in April.

Sports Cars Open Laguna Season: The Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series will kick off Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca’s 50th anniversary season this weekend at the famed circuit’s U.S. Sports Car Invitational from Friday through Sunday.

Northern California native Scott Pruett already has one Grand Am Daytona Prototype championship (2004) to his credit and is in contention again this season. There will also be racing in the Koni Challenge Series and Mazda MX5 Cup. Ticket information is available at (800) 327-7322 or logging on to www.laguna-seca.com.

FOYT READY To CARRY TORCH

After a brief and unsuccessful stint on the NASCAR circuit, A.J. Foyt IV is back to racing IndyCars. He landed a full-time ride this season with Indianapolis-based Vision Racing and, barring unlikely circumstances, will be in the field at the Indianpolis 500. “It’s just so great that I got the opportunity … to really come back here and prove that I can be driving these cars,” Foyt said.

THIS WEEK’S PIT STOPS

NEXTEL CUP

WHAT: Nextel All-Star Challenge

WHERE: Concord, N.C.

WHEN: Sat., 4:30 p.m.

BUSCH

WHAT: Carquest Autoparts 300

WHERE: Concord, N.C.

WHEN: May 26

NHRA

WHAT: O’Reilly Summer Nat’ls

WHERE: Topeka, Kan.

WHEN: June 3

IRL

WHAT: Indianapolis 500

WHERE: Indianapolis

WHEN: May 27

CHAMP CAR

WHAT: G.I. Joe’s Grand Prix

WHERE: Portland, Ore.

WHEN: June 10

FORMULA ONE

WHAT: Monaco Grand Prix

WHERE: Monte Carlo

WHEN: May 27

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