Last year's AMA West Coast Moto Jam was the first time I shot motorcycles on a road course, but once was all it took to get me hooked. Infineon Raceway is a great place to shoot any kind of race, but its turns and hills are really perfect for shooting bikes. It's important to have a plan before shooting at Infineon because all the things that make it a great track make it a physical and mental battle to shoot races. Turns 2-4 are 160 feet higher than the start-finish line, and a lap is more than 2 miles on the track, longer if you're walking around the outside. And unlike the other races at Infineon, three additional tracks are set up, a flat dirt track outside of turn 8, a hilly motocross course above turn 7, and a supermoto track at the go-kart center.
After looking at my pictures from last year and deciding what I needed to add, (inside turns, multiple bikes entering turns, and some dirt track racing) I drove up to Sonoma for the mandatory safety meeting and qualifying in each of the three classes: American SuperBike, Daytona SportBike, and and Pro SuperSport. I don't know enough about the ins-and-outs of motorcycle racing to comment on the action, so here are the pictures:
Josh Hayes won Saturday's SuperBike race and took second on Sunday:
Tommy Hayden surprised Hayes to take the win on Sunday:
Jason DiSalvo took both Daytona SportBike races:
Likewise, Benny Solis won both SuperSport races:
Danny Eslick finished third in Daytona SportBike on Saturday and second on Sunday:
Jake Holden took second in Daytona SportBike on Saturday, but crashed out on Sunday.
PJ Jacobsen finished fourth in both Daytona SportBike races.
Ben Bostrom rides for Michael Jordan's team, and it' still weird to see the Jumpman logo on something other than basketball gear. His mechanics even wear Jordan shoes in the garage.
Elena Myers shocked everyone last year with a SuperSport win at Infineon when she was just 16. Her win made her the first woman ever to win an AMA race, and also the youngest rider to win. This year, she couldn't overcome a broken wrist she suffered last month, and pulled out after Friday's practice.
There were still a handful of women racing after Myers withdrew, including Shelina Moreda and Jennifer Lauritzen.
In the WTF department, Oscar Covarrubias's shout out to snipers on his race leathers:
Between races, I hiked out to the dirt tracks. The flat track would have been a lot cooler if it was muddier, but still interesting, especially from the hill above:
They were running vintage motocross in the hills above Infineon, and I experimented with making landscape pictures that just happened to have riders in them:
So it was a pretty successful weekend overall, and I'll use it to refine my strategy for shooting Indy Cars in August and AMA next year. I'm skipping NASCAR at Infineon, so I'll be back up for NHRA drag racing in July.