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A 17-Year-Old Girl, A Suzuki GSV-R and 190 MPH at Indy

At the risk of exploding your personal stereotype of 17-year-old girls, read on about the exploits of young Elena Myers at Indianapolis earlier today aboard Alvaro Bautista’s GSV-R MotoGP bike.  I have had the pleasure of riding on a race track with young Elena a few years ago at a press introduction, and she was already extremely fast aboard a Kawasaki 650cc twin.  She has since graduated to AMA Pro roadracing, and has even won at that level in the SuperSport class (where, no surprise, she is the only female competing).

Now racing a sponsored Suzuki in the AMA SuperSport category, Ms. Myers was given the opportunity to sample Bautista’s GSV-R at Indianapolis by Paul Denning, Rizla Suzuki team manager.  On a green Indy track that makes the MotoGP regulars nervous as they anticipate the first practice for this weekend, Myers rode carefully, and smoothly, but impressed virtually all of the onlookers (and there were plenty) as she put down five laps earlier today.  One of her passes down the front straight netted 306 kilometers per hour (190 mph in old money).  Here is the press release:

Elena Myers made her debut on a MotoGP machine at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway today as she completed a handful of laps onboard Alvaro Bautista’s Suzuki GSV-R prototype machine.

Team SuzukiScoopFans rider Myers was given the chance to ride the GSV-R after chatting with Suzuki MotoGP Team Manager Paul Denning at Laguna Seca this year and was able to fulfil that opportunity at Indy today. The 17-year-old produced a superbly-confident performance on the Suzuki as she completed five laps of the 4,216m American circuit as part of the build-up to this weekend’s Grand Prix at the historic track. Myers got into a smooth rhythm and managed to break the 300km/h barrier as she clocked an impressive 306km/h (190mph) down the main straight. She was watched by regular Suzuki MotoGP racer Bautista and many other Grand Prix stars as she put the GSV-R through its paces, and all were impressed with her smooth and self-assured riding style. Bautista was also on-hand before Myers took to the track to offer advice and was waiting in the pit-box as she returned his bike ready for Sunday’s race.

Myers became the first female racer to win an AMA Pro road-race when she took victory at the AMA Pro SuperSport event at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma in 2010. This season Myers has recorded a podium finish at Barber Motorsports Park, plus five more top-five finishes on her way to an impressive fifth overall in the 2011 AMA Pro SuperSport West Division – despite missing two rounds due to injury.

The young American star will remain at Indianapolis for the rest of the weekend and see Bautista, the GSV-R and the rest of the MotoGP field in action during the 12th round of the 2011 MotoGP World Championship.

Elena Myers:

“Wow! I can’t really say anything else; it was just such an incredible experience! I can’t thank the guys at Suzuki MotoGP enough – they have been awesome! This makes me so hungry to come out here and try it someday for real on a race weekend: Well I guess this is a race weekend, but I mean for real next time. I can’t say enough about the bike either; it does everything 20 times better than I ever would have imagined – this has just been amazing and I think I’ll slowly realise what just happened over the next couple of days. The GSV-R just blew me away!”

Paul Denning – Team Manager:

“It was great to see Elena out on a MotoGP bike and very cool that – as the Suzuki MotoGP team – we could help her fulfil one of her dreams. At 17-years-old, and judging by her performances in the AMA Pro SuperSport championship, she has a significant amount of ability that is only going to develop as she gains experience. She treated the run today with great intelligence and maturity, but nonetheless it was impressive to see that she wasn’t afraid of either the speed or the power!

“Thanks to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for helping us to make this happen, the boys for preparing the bike and to Alvaro for letting Elena use it!”

24 Comments

  1. rjwinz says:

    I wonder if they can find an umbrella boy for her. Probably. :)

  2. Shane says:

    Apparently no one around here has ever heard of VICKY JACKSON BELL. Probably the fastest woman on two wheels -consistently- around a road course. Look it up, she is a former WSMC champion and also a National Champion as well.

  3. TunaPete says:

    Here is an old newspaper article about Sherry Friduss:
    http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1320&dat=19850617&id=stcTAAAAIBAJ&sjid=2QYEAAAAIBAJ&pg=4336,615774

    Besides Daytona the previous year, Sherry also won the Pocono race mentioned in the first line of the article. There is some question about whether these races were “professional” or not, but there is no doubt that they were AMA national roadraces.

    I don’t remember meeting Sherry, but her husband, Stan Friduss, was always supportive of those of us who races BMWs and Guzzis in the late ’80s and early ’90s.

  4. kirk66 says:

    Elena has one hurdle to get wins consistantly. It’s not the bike- M4 operates that bike and is the best SS & DSB team on the grid. It’s not ability. She’s shown she has the talent. It’s stamina. She need a personal train to work on upper body strength. When she get more muscles to complete all those laps the win will be there. Someone get her a trainer and you will be rewarded with championships in your future.

    • thanescott says:

      There was an article in RoadRacingWorld some months back about the various trainers with whom she works. She may have to work harder than an average 17 yo boy to have the required strength, but the kid’s getting after it like any other professional.

    • Stinky says:

      Just went back & looked @ Roadracing World article about her. She has a trainer/ coach named Ken Hill. Don’t know anything about him. She might never be the BEST, but, she has a very good chance of being the best woman, and beating quite a few men.

      • Cataclysm says:

        Ken Hill raced at national levels, and was one of the instructors at Freddie Spencer’s school. He was extremely fast, smooth, and an extremely good instructor. I had the chance to follow him for a few hot laps on the last day of classes, and it was just incredible to ride fast behind him and watch.

  5. brinskee says:

    It would be awesome to see video of her run. Very, very cool – and guy or girl, she has to be one of the youngest ever aboard a full GP racer! Lucky kid. :)

  6. xootrx says:

    The history of motorcycling in America is filled with stories of women (of all ages) doing amazing things. Young African-American women riding cross country (during an age when that was not considered the wisest thing to do), women forming their own clubs, and even women racing. We just don’t hear enough about it. Maybe if we did, this sort of thing wouldn’t be such a novelty. In any case, I hope she is successful, and gets to pursue her first love, without getting distracted by all those offers to pose in a swimsuit.

  7. Freddie says:

    AWESOME………. You go GIRL. Our sport is growing, she will be taking the spotlight form
    Danica very soon !!!!!

  8. windy says:

    Congrats,Elanea. She was not the first female to win a AMA Pro roadrace. Check the AMA records,I think it was Sherry Friduss,riding a MotoGuzzi in Superbike in the Eighties.

    • Freddie says:

      You are so right I remember watching Sherry at Moroso in West Plam Fla. very good rider. She had a very bad crash and broke her leg think she was riding a TZ250, don’t think she did much racing after that.

  9. kv says:

    Not bad for a girl.

    Or anyone else for that matter. Good on ya, Elena.

  10. craigj says:

    Please please please let her stay in AMA at a competitive level. Please let her continue to develop skills into regular podium and Top5 finishes … because if not, she’s going to be lumped in with Danica as “a chick who races” freak show. I’d hate to see her there just ‘cuz she’s hot, making her money doing magazine covers, instead of someone who’s there to race and deserves the support.

    • Don says:

      I wonder what that makes the men who regularly finish below Danica, because there’s quite a few of them. I don’t think she’d be getting quite so much flak if she wasn’t a pretty woman. She’s just trying to maximize her income during the relatively short career of a professional athlete, just like any other athlete. It says more about our culture than it does about her. IMHO.

      • Tim says:

        I couldn’t agree more, Don. She has an Indy Car victory under her belt as well, and she’s had leads in the Indy 500. How many men would kill to have that on their resume? It’s not like she’s ever had the best car, either. I’d love to see what she could do with a competitive car.

  11. Stinky says:

    An old duffer in the garage other day talked about getting on a GP bike for laps. I wasn’t very supportive saying we couldn’t even get the throttle to the stops on a 600 much less these animals. To see this young girl ride it smoothly and carefully makes me smile. Kudos to Suzuki for letting it happen! Hope she gets to race many years. I’ll be cheering her on. We could sure use some variety in our racing.

    • Tom says:

      “…Plus five more top-five finishes on her way to an impressive fifth overall in the 2011 AMA Pro SuperSport West Division – despite missing two rounds due to injury.”

      Ahh, age. We envy the brave young. This phenomenal racing gal has three capabilities we old geezers don’t have: smoothness, quick reflexes, and ability to quickly recover from injuries. As we hurl down the front straight, we see the pavement fly past us, we imagine our body and bike parting ways at 190 mph and the months of convalescence that await us…

  12. tla says:

    EM kicks azz and gives the sport a vital boost. This is the kind of diversity I like.

  13. Martin says:

    Only 17! She needs to be in Moto2 or 3 next year. Forget AMA.

  14. bartman50 says:

    I agree with both of the above posts. Not only do I applaude this young talent, but I also love the confidence to take it to another level. You know, everybody out there is fast, but having the (girls version of) huevos to make the most of this opportunity shows she has what it takes to challenge the status quo. So guys, don’t play the smack down that all us guys do to each other when competing with each other, with this gal. Give her her chance to play.

  15. T. Rollie says:

    Having two daughters of my own, they can be fearless. But this takes it to another level. I wish her lots of success for years to come!

  16. Kjazz says:

    Wow! Simply…..WoW!!!!!