PICKERINGTON, Ohio (March 1, 2005) — With just a few days until Bike Week 2005 takes over Daytona Beach, Fla., millions of two-wheel enthusiasts are counting the hours until the start of American motorcycle racing’s biggest event. If you’re not among the lucky that will watch the action in person, SPEED Channel will once again be your home to catch the entire slate of racing.
Highlights from this year’s broadcast schedule include eight and one-half hours of live road racing coverage from Daytona International Speedway, starting with the Repsol Lubricants Superstock race on Thursday, March 10, and culminating with the 64th Daytona 200, beginning Saturday, March 12, at 2 p.m. SPEED Channel will also air same day coverage of the Daytona Supercross by Honda on Friday, March 11.
“There are several major rites of spring — the swallows returning to Capistrano, the buzzards to Hinckley, Ohio and motorcycles to Daytona Beach,” said Rick Miner, SPEED Channel’s Sr. VP of Programming/Production and Executive Producer. “There is no greater icon in the world of motorcycles than Bike Week in Daytona Beach and SPEED Channel is honored to be a part of it.”
AMA Pro Racing’s Vice President, Director of Communications, Kerry Graeber agreed. “With events like the Daytona 200 and Daytona Supercross by Honda, Bike Week is really part of the American motorcycling culture, said Graeber “We’re pleased that SPEED Channel and AMA Pro Racing can continue bringing all the racing action of Daytona to millions of homes across the country.
Tuesday, March 8
SPEED Channel’s coverage from Daytona begins with 2 Wheel Tuesday, hosted by Greg White (9 p.m. EST). The hour-long show will prepare viewers for the week ahead with previews of the upcoming AMA events and interviews with the sport’s top competitors.
Thursday, March 10
Road racing fans can tune in Thursday, March 10, beginning at 3 p.m. EST for three straight hours of live programming. Coverage starts with the final portions of Daytona 200 qualifying before switching into race mode with the Repsol Lubricants Superstock final at 3:45 EST. Last year’s Repsol Lubricants Superstock Series championship was the closest title hunt in the paddock as Aaron Gobert edged Yamaha teammate Jamie Hacking by just three points. Beginning at Daytona, the 2005 edition could prove to be just as close, with Yamaha, Kawasaki and Suzuki all fielding factory efforts.
The Pro Honda Oils Supersport Championship presented by Shoei is set for live coverage at 4:45 EST. The race will be Tommy Hayden’s first as a defending series champion, following last year’s Supersport season crown.
The three-hour block concludes with recaps of the Daytona 200 and AMA Superbike Championship qualifying sessions.
Friday, March 11
Beginning at 11 p.m. EST on Friday, March 11, SPEED Channel will carry three hours of same day coverage from the Daytona Supercross by Honda. Under Daytona’s tri-oval lights for the first time last year, Yamaha’s Chad Reed added his name to the who’s who list of Daytona Supercross winners. This year, fellow Supercross stars Ricky Carmichael, Kevin Windham, Mike LaRocco and others will join Reed for another shot at the most grueling race on the schedule.
Saturday, March 12
Race fans can settle in for nearly a full day of action on Saturday, March 12, with five and one-half continuous hours of live coverage from Daytona International Speedway beginning at 11 a.m. EST.
Kicking off Saturday’s action is the opening round of the AMA Superbike Championship presented by Parts Unlimited. With the deepest field in years, five-time series champ and Yoshimura Suzuki rider Mat Mladin will have to hold off teammates Aaron Yates and Ben Spies, American Honda’s Miguel Duhamel and Jake Zemke, Erion Honda’s Kurtis Roberts and Ducati Austin’s Eric Bostrom and Neil Hodgsonn for a shot at this year’s title. Look for Attack Kawasaki’s Josh Hayes, Diablo Performance Racing’s Steve Crevier and Francis Martin, Michael Jordan Motorsports’ teammates Jason Pridmore and Steve Rapp, and others to join the mix as well.
During a break in the on-track action, at-home viewers will get to see taped coverage of the AMA Ford Quality Checked Flat Track Championship race from Thursday, March 10. Six-time AMA Grand National champ Chris Carr will lead a competitive field as he looks to become the first four-time winner at Daytona Beach’s Municipal Stadium.
The Daytona 200 kicks into high gear beginning with the pre-race show at approximately 1:30 p.m. EST. The SPEED Channel announcer team will update fans with rider interviews, race facts and up-to-the-minute news before the 64th edition of the Daytona 200 gets underway at 2 p.m. EST. A win by Honda’s Miguel Duhamel could etch his name next to yet another record by tying Scott Russell’s mark of five career victories in the big race.
Tuesday, March 15
2 Wheel Tuesday (9 p.m. EST) will bring viewers recaps of all the action, including race results, interviews, event observations and more.
About SPEED Channel
SPEED Channel is the nation’s first and foremost cable network dedicated to motor sports and the passion for everything automotive. From racing to restoration, motorcycles to movies, SPEED Channel delivers quality programming from the track to the garage. Now available in more than 68 million homes in North America, SPEED Channel is among the fastest growing sports cable networks in the country. For more information, please visit www.speedtv.com.