Pirelli’s MX Manager Josh Whitmire Interview

Rome, Ga. – With nine Monster Energy® Supercross races in the record books, Pirelli’s MX Manager Josh Whitmire discusses Team Pirelli’s success as the championship season heads to Daytona this weekend.
Over the weekend a record 10 riders qualified for the main event usuing Pirelli’s Scorpion MX Tire. In the Eastern Regional AMA Supercross Lites class, Bud Select Honda’s Billy Payne, of Simi Valley, Calif., cracked the top 10, finishing eighth in the main event and qualified by finishing third in the last chance qualifier (LCQ).
Bad Boy Honda’s Jake Marsack, of Berlin, Mich., lead the field on Pirelli riders in the premier AMA Supercross class. Marsack, who currently sits 19th in points, finished 15th overall after transferring to the main event from the LCQ.
Whitmire had plenty to talk about after the impressive weekend of racing.
1) How has Pirelli’s involvement in AMA Supercross developed from last year to this year?
Pirelli is very committed to Supercross Racing in North America.  In other parts of the world we are very successful in off road racing and plan to transfer that experience to American Supercross.      
2) The Blose brothers, Michael and Chris, race for one of the Pirelli-sponsored Fun Center Suzuki team, how is it to work with two brothers who race against one another each week in the same class?
I am very pleased with the Fun Center Suzuki team and how professional their program is.  The Blose Brothers have been great to work with from day one.  Depending on witch brother has the best lap times during practice that is the tire set up they both choose.  Their trust and respect for one another helps them, and us, on race day.
3) What are some of the highlights of the 2008 Monster Energy Supercross season?
The first half of the 2008 Monster Energy Supercross season has been great for Pirelli.  I am very happy with the direction things are going, regarding our program.  We have a great group of guys racing on Scorpion MX Tires and continue to put riders into the main events each week,  finishing as high as 4th in the Supercross division.  
4) What are the goals the Pirelli has established for the 2008 season
Our goals in North America are not based on race results.  I feel if we have a solid infrastructure and show constant support to the off road market, results will follow in the future.  We are still learning in AMA Supercross, but with our racing technology I am sure we will be a major player in the future.
5) What type of tire will Pirelli showcase on the east coast?
Pirelli is much different than our competitors at the Supercross Level.  We develop and race the same tires that our customers can buy at their local Parts Unlimited Dealer.  On the east coast you will see our riders competing on the new Scorpion MX range of tires that were developed for the North American market.
AMA Supercross Class Results, Indianapolis
Chad Reed, Tampa, Fla., Yamaha
Josh Hill, Yoncalla, Ore., Yamaha
Andrew Short, Smithville, Texas, Honda
Ryan Dungey, of Belle, Plaine, Minn., Suzuki
Kevin Windham, Centreville, Miss., Honda
Travis Preston, Hesperia, Calif.,  Kawasaki
Paul Carpenter, Ithaca, N.Y., Honda
Nathan Ramsey, Menifee, Calif., Yamaha
David Vuillemin, Murrieta, Calif., Suzuki
Josh Hansen, Murrieta, Calif., Yamaha
15. Jake Marsack, Berlin, Mich., Pirelli/Honda
16. Eric Sorby, Lake Elsinore, Calif., Pirelli/Honda
18. Jeff Gibson, Blacklick, Ohio, Pirelli/Kawasaki
AMA Supercross Class Season Standings
Chad Reed, Tampa, Fla., Yamaha, 209
Kevin Windham, Centreville, Miss., Honda, 175
Andrew Short, Smithville, Texas, Honda, 143
Tim Ferry, Largo, Fla., Kawasaki,  137
Davi Millsaps, Cairo, Ga., Honda, 127
Nathann Ramsey, Menifee, Calif., Yamaha, 114
Joshua Hill, Yoncalla, Ore., Yamaha, 106
Nick Wey, Dewitt, Mich., KTM, 84
David Vuillemin, Murrieta, Calif., Suzuki, 84
Mike Alessi, Victorville, Calif., Suzuki, 84
19. Jake Marsack, Berlin, Mich., Pirelli/Honda, 41
Eastern Regional AMA Supercross Lites Class Results, Indianapolis
Trey Canard, Elk City, Okla., Honda
Ryan Villopoto, Poulsbo, Wash.,  Kawasaki
Nico Izzi, Saint Clair., Mich., Suzuki
Ben Coisy, Manosque, France, Honda
Ryan Sipes, Vine Grove, Ken.,  KTM
Branden Jesseman, New Brighton, Pa.,  Kawasaki
Tyler Bowers, Danville, Ken.,  Yamaha
Billy Payne, Simi Valley, Calif., Pirelli/Honda
Matt Goerke, Lake Helen, Fla., KTM
Martin Davalos, Cairo, Ga., KTM
13. Travis Sewell, Westville, Ind., Pirelli/Suzuki
16. Michael McDade, Raleigh, N.C., Pirelli/Honda
17. Jimmy Albertson, Ozark, Mo., Pirelli/Suzuki
18. William Browning, Rushville, Ohio, Pirelli/Suzuki
19. Leighton Little, Lewiston, Idaho, Pirelli/Honda
22. Shane Sewell, Westville, Ind., Pirelli/Kawasaki
Eastern Regional AMA Supercross Lites Class Season Standings
Trey Canard, Elk City, Okla., Honda, 50
Ryan Sipes, Vine Grove, Ken., KTM,  36
Martin Davalos, Cairo, Ga., KTM, 33
Nico Izzi, Saint Clair., Mich., Suzuki, 33
Tyler Bowers, Danville, Ken., Yamaha,  31
Branden Jesseman, New Brighton, Pa.,  Kawasaki,  30
Ben Coisy, Manosque, France, Honda,  29
Jake Moss, Australia., Yamaha,  28
Josh Grant, Riverside, Calif., Honda, 23
Ryan Villopoto, Poulsbo, Wash.,  Kawasaki,  22
Billy Payne, Simi Valley, Calif., Pirelli/Honda,  20
15. Jimmy Albertson, Ozark, Mo., Pirelli/Suzuki, 10
17. Travis Sewell, Westville, Ind., Pirelli/Suzuki, 8
20. Michael McDade, Raleigh, N.C., Pirelli/Honda, 5
Western Regional AMA Supercross Lites Class Season Standings
Jason Lawrence, Carlsbad, Calif., Yamaha, 135
Ryan Dungey, Belle Plaine, Minn., Suzuki, 129
Austin Stroupe, Corona, Calif.,  Kawasaki,  113
Brett Metcalfe, Murrieta, Calif.,  Kawasaki,  112
Tommy Hahn, Alvord, Texas,  Kawasaki,  101
Dan Reardon, Murrieta, Calif., Honda, 95
Justin Brayton, Murrieta, Calif., KTM, 85
Robert Kiniry, LaFayette, N.Y.,  Kawasaki,  71
Wil Hahn, Decatur, Texas, Yamaha, 69
Billy Laninovich, Lake Elsinore, Calif., KTM,62
15. Chris Blose, Phoenix, Ariz., Pirelli, Suzuki, 52
17. Jeff Northrop, Murrieta, Calif., Pirelli, Honda, 39
18. Michael Blose, Phoenix, Ariz., Pirelli, Suzuki, 33
19. Michael Willard, Thornville, Ohio, Pirelli, Honda, 29
Pirelli Tire North America specializes in manufacturing and marketing high-performance tires for passenger vehicles, motorcycles, ATV’s and motorsports.  An industry leader in technology and quality, Pirelli operates its highly advanced Modular Integrated Robotized System (MIRS) in Rome, Georgia, to better serve the American OEM and Replacement markets.  For more information please visit:  www.us.pirelli.com