November 21, 1993 |
Mountain View, California
|Current team||Castrol/Triumph/Apex Manufacturing|
Elena Myers (born November 21, 1993 in Mountain View, California) made history in 2010 as the first female to win an AMA Pro Racing sprint road race. She is also the first woman to win a professional motorsports race of any kind at Daytona International Speedway, on March 17, 2012.
Myers might be the youngest female ever to enter the AMA racing circuit. In 2007, at age 13, she was under contract with Kawasaki Team Green three years before she was old enough to obtain a drivers license.
Myers began riding at age eight, with the help and encouragement of her parents. She began with pocketbike racing, then progressed to mini bikes, then to supermoto. At age 11 (2006), Myers raced on John Ulrich's Team Roadracing World in the United States Grand Prix Racers Union (USGPRU) National Series 125 cc (7.6 cu in) class and won her first race, riding a 1997 Honda RS125 GP. She then gained sponsorship assistance from Kawasaki and Road RacingWorld.com's "Kids: Don't Smoke!" program. She also had a sponsorship from Umbrella Girls USA, a modeling agency for paddock girls.
In 2008, riding a Kawasaki Ninja ZX-6R, she won a Western-Eastern Roadracers' Association (WERA) national race, and had several podium finishes. She was racing as amateur against adults since age 11, but as professional competes in league for teenagers.
When she was 11, John Ulrich promised to take Myers to Daytona International Speedway when she was 16, the minimum age to turn pro. As promised, she made her professional debut at Daytona on March 11, 2010.
Myers' first AMA Pro Racing victory came during Race 1, Round 4 of the 2010 season of the AMA Supersport Championship (AMA Supersport West series) at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, California, on 15 May 2010. On lap 10 of 18 scheduled laps, the race was called after being red flagged twice due to crashes, securing first place for Myers. The race was not allowed to run its full distance because cleaning up the track and restarting would have put the day's program too far behind schedule. Myers described the time between the first and second red flags by saying, "I got a good restart off the front row and made some moves. I felt like I was getting a little bit closer to the leader with about eight or nine laps to go. I came around the next lap and the red flag was shown again." (The AMA Supersport West series is limited to riders ages 16–21 riding close to stock 600 cc (37 cu in) displacement sport bikes).
Elena Myers achieved her second professional career win at Daytona International Speedway in SuperSport Race 2, on March 17, 2012. She won the race by .240 seconds, coming in first among a group of four closely packed riders on the final lap. After the race, Myers said, "It was a phenomenal race. I stayed up there and led a little bit, then stayed behind just to see how much I could be behind and still catch up. Everyone's bikes were really fast but mine was too.
Her father was her coach and mechanic in the early years, but now has a reduced role. "I look forward to showing up and just watching from the stands," he said. Currently, Myers gets advice from AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame inductee Jimmy Filice, and racer Chris Ulrich of Team RoadRacing World is a mentor. She is also receiving instruction from Jason Pridmore's STAR Motorcycle School. Team owners are Richie Morris and John Ulrich.
In 2010 she had several more sponsors, including Pirelli. Myers' family realized that being female helped her get noticed. Some of the advertisements created by her sponsors Kawasaki and Pirelli emphasize her youth and gender to draw attention. Suzuki colored their home page pink in honor of her victory riding their GSX-R600 motorcycle.
Myers, at 5 feet 3 inches (1.60 m) tall and weighing 116 lb (53 kg), is aware of the perception that women lack the upper body strength for 600-class motorcycles with minimum weights of 365–385 lb (166–175 kg), says that, "it's more of a mental game." Virginia Meyers, Elena's grandmother, was worried about the risks but was reassured after seeing her ride. She had crashed several times as of 2007, the worst injury up to then being a broken finger. In a 2008 crash she was pinned under her bike, and suffered burns, a concussion, and a lacerated spleen. Of that crash, she said, "I wanted to go out and train so much. They told me to wait six weeks, and I waited three." On the morning of her victory at Infineon Raceway, she had taken shots of cortisone and Lidocaine for foot pain. Her parents, aware of the risks, won't allow her to go too far, while still pursuing her goals, explains her mother, Anita Myers, "she's very well balanced and just trying to take advantage of the opportunities that she has."
Myers goals are to graduate to the AMA Daytona Sportbike Championship class, which would normally be the result of winning the AMA Pro SuperSport Championship. In the longer term she has her sights on the premier motorcycling class, MotoGP. Kawasaki's senior media relations coordinator Jeff Herzog said in 2007, "I think she's the fastest female road racer in (the United States), and she hasn't had a chance to stretch her wings yet."
Elena Myers graduated from high school on February 11, 2011. During high school she was a straight A student. She took independent studies through California's Liberty High School District, at Independence High School in Brentwood, California. While still in school, Myers said that not going to a traditional high school meant that, "I miss out on dances and stuff, but who cares about that — I race motorcycles!"
Myers lives in Discovery Bay, California, and trains at the Stockton Motorplex, where she first began on pocket bikes, at the San Joaquin County Fairgrounds, which is managed by her father, Matt. Matt Myers is a former amateur motorcycle racer who ran the Stockton Mini Road Racing Club.
- Myers, Elena, "About Me", ElenaMyers.com, archived from the original on 2006-12-05
- Lieback, Ron (17 May 2010), "10th-Grade Myers: AMA Female History", Ultimate MotorCycling, retrieved 2010-05-18
- Abrams, Henny Ray (15 May 2010), "Myers Makes History; Elena Myers becomes first female AMA road race winner", CycleNews, retrieved 2010-05-18
- "Elena Myers Talks AMA Infineon Results", Ultimate MotorCycling, 15 May 2010, retrieved 2010-05-18
- Highfill, Bob (18 May 2010), "Daughter's feat is a tearjerker", The Record (Stockton), retrieved 2010-05-18
- Pashelka, Curtis (15 May 2010), "Elena Myers, 16, becomes first female to win in AMA Pro Racing`", Silicon Valley Mercury-News, retrieved 2010-05-18
- Harley, Bryan (15 May 2010), "Myers Makes AMA History in Infineon SuperSport", Motorcycle USA, retrieved 2010-05-18
- Martin, Chris (15 May 2010), AMA SBK: All Hayes’ Way; Josh Hayes walked away with this first Superbike victory of the season while Elena Myers claimed a historic win in the SuperSport class, Speed.tv, p. 3, retrieved 2010-05-18
- Staff, Myers First Woman To Win At Dayton, National Speed Sport News, retrieved 2012-04-12 
- Staff, (19, March 2012), Elena Myers is First Female to Win at Daytona, Rider Magazine, retrieved 2012-04-12 
- M4 Suzuki, (18, March 2012), Elena Myers Wins DAYTONA!, AMA Pro Road Racing.
- Dreier, Hannah (6 April 2010), "Discovery Bay teen motorcycle racer gathering speed", Contra Costa Times, retrieved 2010-05-18
- Linesburgh, Scott (17 August 2007), "Teen motorcycle racer is the growing queen of speed; Discovery Bay girl, 13, a fast learner", The Record (Stockton), retrieved 2010-05-18
- Riders: Elena Myers, American Motorcyclist Association, 2009, retrieved 2010-05-21
- "Elena Myers", Team.RoadracingWorld.com, Lake Elsinore, California: Team Roadracing World, 2010, retrieved 2010-05-18
- Earley, Charleen (31 May 2002), "Low riders / Minimoto racers get big thrills out of tiny bikes", The San Francisco Chronicle, retrieved 2010-05-18
- Ets-Hokin, Gabe, "Racer Girl: Elena Myers", Motorcycle.com, retrieved 2010-05-18
- Linesburgh, Scott (3 March 2010), "Teen to realize dream in professional debut; Elena Myers, 16, will make history as youngest female pro to race at storied Daytona track", The Record (Stockton) (Stockton, California: San Joaquin Media Group)
- Four cylinder motorcycles such as the Honda CBR600RR, Kawasaki Ninja ZX-6R and Yamaha YZF-R6 are limited to 600 cc (37 cu in) engine displacement, but larger displacements are permitted for V-twins such as the 849 cc (51.8 cu in) Ducati 848 and 1,124.9 cc (68.65 cu in) Buell 1125R. See AMA Supersport Championship and About: AMA Pro SuperSport, American Motorcyclist Association, 2009, retrieved 2010-05-20.
- M4 Suzuki, (18 March 2012), Elena Myers Wins DAYTONA!, AMA Pro Road Racing.
- Wilson, Derek (15 May 2010), "Myers raising eyebrows with impressive day", Vallejo Times Herald, retrieved 2010-05-18
- Kelly, Godwin (5 March 2010), "Q&A with Elena Myers", The Daytona Beach News-Journal, retrieved 2010-05-18
- "Suzuki Goes Pink Over Elena Myers", UltimateMotorcycling.com, 20 May 2010, retrieved 2010-05-20
- Elena Myers, Facebook "Today, I graduated from High School. Words cannot explain how EXCITED I am!!!!"
- Miles, Matthew (November 2006), "Go fast girl; Is Elena Myers the next Valentino Rossi?", Cycle World 45 (11): 100–105
- Official website
- Events: SuperSport Rider Standings, American Motorcyclist Association, retrieved 2010-05-21
- Riders: Elena Myers, American Motorcyclist Association, 2009, retrieved 2010-05-21
- Audio and video
- Elena Myers - 2005 Racer Promo Video (.wmv, .mov), Vision Wells, retrieved 2010-05-18
- Casber, Scott (25 May 2010), "Show for May 25, 2010 – Elena Myers, Tyler O’Hara, Darryl VanNieuwenhuise, Casey Lytle, Justin Barcia" (.mp3), Pit Pass Radio - Motorcycle Talk Show, retrieved 2010-05-30
- Kelly, Godwin (4 March 2010), "Elena Myers: A 16 Year Old Blur On Two Wheels" (Adobe Flash), The Daytona Beach News-Journal, retrieved 2010-05-18 (interview transcript)
- Williams, Dave, Elena Myers Wins AMA Pro Supersport at Infineon Raceway (Adobe Flash), OnTheThrottleTV, retrieved 2010-05-20
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