2011 AMA West Coast Moto Jam

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:

Josh Hayes - 2011 AMA West Coast Moto Jam

Josh Hayes - 2011 AMA West Coast Moto Jam

Tommy Hayden surprised Hayes to take the win on Sunday:

Tommy Hayden - 2011 AMA West Coast Moto Jam

Jason DiSalvo took both Daytona SportBike races: Jason DiSalvo - 2011 AMA West Coast Moto Jam

Likewise, Benny Solis won both SuperSport races:

Benny Solis - 2011 AMA West Coast Moto Jam

Danny Eslick finished third in Daytona SportBike on Saturday and second on Sunday:

Danny Eslick - 2011 AMA West Coast Moto Jam

Jake Holden took second in Daytona SportBike on Saturday, but crashed out on Sunday.

PJ Jacobsen finished fourth in both Daytona SportBike races.

PJ Jacobsen - 2011 AMA West Coast Moto Jam

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.

Ben Bostrom - 2011 AMA West Coast Moto Jam

Ben Bostrom - 2011 AMA West Coast Moto Jam

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.

Elena Myers - 2011 AMA West Coast Moto Jam

There were still a handful of women racing after Myers withdrew, including Shelina Moreda and Jennifer Lauritzen.

Shelina Moreda - 2011 AMA West Coast Moto Jam

Jennifer Lauritzen - 2011 AMA West Coast Moto Jam

In the WTF department, Oscar Covarrubias's shout out to snipers on his race leathers:

Oscar Covarrubias - 2011 AMA West Coast Moto Jam

Tyler Odom - 2011 AMA West Coast Moto Jam

Tony Kasper - 2011 AMA West Coast Moto Jam

Matthew Sadowski - 2011 AMA West Coast Moto Jam

Nicholas Hayman - 2011 AMA West Coast Moto Jam

Tyler O'Hara - 2011 AMA West Coast Moto Jam

SuperSport - 2011 AMA West Coast Moto Jam

Greg McCullough & Sebastiao Ferreira - 2011 AMA West Coast Moto Jam

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:

Flat track dirt bikes - 2011 AMA West Coast Moto Jam

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:

AHRMA vintage motocross - 2011 AMA West Coast Moto Jam

AHRMA vintage motocross - 2011 AMA West Coast Moto Jam

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.