The 2011 AMA Pro Racing package will be diminished compared even to recent years as the economy throughout much of the US is still in dire straights – no matter what the TV pundits are telling us, people are still suffering. And, those people are not buying many motorcycles either. This leaves the AMA Pro Racing paddocks a bit empty as both sponsors and manufacturers are holding back and are not putting much effort into supporting the series.
This situation is rather disappointing given that the principles in charge of the AMA Pro Racing operation have finally figured out how to run a motorcycle racing competition properly; many people, both inside and outside of race teams, have been complimentary of the 2010 season. Even with this dire situation, though, next season will see the return of a legend in the US racing world, Eraldo Ferracci, who is now set up to work with Celtic Racing for the 2011 season. Excitement is sure to follow him.
Ferracci’s last foray into the AMA circus was back in 2007 when he put Matt Lynn and Luca Scassa on MV Agusta machines. He has also had a presence at the New Jersey Motorsports Park (NJMP) rounds recently as it is very closeto his HQ in Willow Grove, Pennsylvania. This will be Ferracci’s biggest project in a decade, though, and he will be working very closely with Barry Gilsenan, Celtic Racing team owner. Gilsenan had been looking for a ride for young roadracing phenom P.J. Jocobsen, and when he met with Farracci, he set it up so that Mr. Ferracci could witness Jocobsen on track. It worked brilliantly, and the two signed up to work together for the 2011 AMA Pro Racing Daytona SportBike Championship.
Ferracci will be providing a Ducati 848 EVO for the effort. An early test was the first time Jacobsen had ridden a V-twin outside of two Harley-Davidsons he had raced previously – you can imagine the learning curve! The bike itself is not yet ready for prime time, but it will be when the season begins. Plans are already on for another test with the 848 and Jacobsen to be held at NJMP during 17 – 18 January. That seat time should help the young racer get used to the Italian machine’s very distinct character.
Celtic Racing is bringing in something it has not had before in Eraldo Ferracci, top-level experience working on and with factory-sponsored teams. P.J. Jacobsen brings with him youth, global racing experience, and a desire to win at each and every event. Celtic Racing has also had plenty of experience, but mostly in running a privateer effort with some very professional racers – Chaz Davies, Michael Laverty, Kenny Noyes and Alistair Seeley. With these three interests – Celtic, Ferracci and Jacobsen – working together for AMA Pro Racing Daytona SportBike glory, the remaining entrants had better stay focused!
Written by Dan Evon, Courtesy of AllAboutBikes.com