Area fans will have some local rooting interest in the Triumph Superbike Classic. Team Hammer, one of the stalwart squads in the AMA Pro paddock, is based in Athens.
Team Hammer is closing in on its 50th AMA Pro win. It currently has 49 victories, four championships, and 115 podium finishes. Additionally, it has 133 Overall National Endurance wins and 13 National Excellence championships over the years.
The team is competing in its 32nd consecutive racing season, so it is safe to say it knows something about big-time racing.
“I think the team is functioning at a very high level,” said Alabama native Keith Perry. “We have some awesome guys at the shop, and they are putting out some awesome equipment for some talented riders. We’re enjoying this run, and we’ll keep working hard to maintain it.”
The team fields riders under the M4 Suzuki banner and through Team Hammer Contract Services. Former Daytona Sportbike champion and current points leader Martin Cardenas has seen all of his American success on Team Hammer bikes. Cardenas won last year’s Saturday AMA Pro Superbike race at Barber, and he clinched the 2010 Daytona Sportbike crown at Barber the year before.
This season, he’s won three GoPro Daytona Sportbike races on the GEICO Suzuki fielded by Team Hammer Contract Services.
His DSB teammate Dane Westby is one of the hard chargers in this class, too. His #5 M4 Suzuki is usually near the front in the thrilling middleweight class. He won at Mid-Ohio last season and has been strong throughout 2012.
In the National Guard Superbike class, Team Hammer fields M4 Suzuki’s Chris Ulrich and Robertino Pietri on the Team Venezuela bike. Superbike vet Ulrich always brings a professional approach to his trade and has been the team’s development rider for years. Pietri also has some MotoGP duties at selected races.
Perry said it came naturally for an Alabama-based team to develop an affinity for the scenic track at Barber. Earning some big-time victories along the way helped, too.
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