PICKERINGTON, Ohio) -- Cory West, of Eureka Springs, Ark., is the 2004 AMA Superbike Rookie of the Year. West rode a privateer Suzuki GSX-R1000 backed by Bridgestone in the series this year and scored a solid 15 top-20 finishes in the 18-race series. His best result came in the Daytona 200 in March where he scored an impressive 13th.
“I had an invitation to go the (AMA Pro Racing Awards) banquet in Las Vegas, but I wasn’t going to go because I didn’t have anything to receive,” West said upon learning of winning the Rookie of the Year Award. “I guess I’ll have to get my tickets now.”
West, who comes from a family with a rich tradition in motorcycle racing, started his career as an amateur flat track racer. He scored regional and national amateur titles as a flat tracker before moving on to road racing where he earned regional championships in WERA road racing.
West first got his AMA Pro Racing license in 2001 at the age of 16. He raced in the AMA 250 Grand Prix Series that year and was ranked 10th at the end of the season. In 2002 West concentrated on the Formula USA Series where he finished fifth and in 2003, with the help of Kenny Roberts, he raced in the Spanish national road racing series. He returned to the AMA this year and is considered one of the up-and-coming riders in AMA Superbike racing.
“When I took 13th at Daytona that was way above everyone’s expectations and got our season of to a really good start,” West explained. “My goal was to finish inside the top 15 this year. I ran top-10 much of the year until I crashed and had a DNF at Laguna. Still everything went really well this year and with a season of Superbike under my belt I’m ready to take another step next year in the series.”
The Rookie of the Year honor is just the latest accomplishment of West’s family. His great grandfather was a motorcycle dealer. His great uncle Leroy Winters was an AMA National Enduro Champion and ISDT Gold medal winner and is now enshrined in the Motorcycle Hall of Fame. Another great uncle Robert Winters won the Lightweight race at Daytona in 1966 and his father Marvin West was a pro AMA flat tracker and Superbike racer.
West’s 2004 racing program was backed by Bridgestone, AGV, Arai, D&D Exhaust, Factory Pro, Penske, Cycle 1, Booze Bross, R&R and Westco Racing. He is planning to return to AMA Superbike in 2005 and hopes to earn a ride with a factory or factory-backed team.
West now places his name alongside other AMA Superbike Rookies of the Year such as Steve Wise, Doug Chandler, Thomas Stevens, Scott Russell, Tommy Hayden and Jamie Hacking.
About AMA Pro Racing
AMA Pro Racing is the leading sanctioning body for motorcycle sport in the United States. Its properties include the THQ AMA Supercross Series, the AMA Motocross Championship, the AMA Superbike Championship, the AMA Progressive Insurance Flat Track Championship and the AMA Supermoto Championship. For more information about AMA Pro Racing, visit www.amaproracing.com.