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Celtic Racing Enjoys Podium Finish & Solid Results At Daytona
Celtic Racing is pleased to report a successful visit to Daytona for the opening round of the AMA Pro Road Racing 2013 season. National Guard Celtic Racing's Corey Alexander rode hard in Saturday's AMA Pro Road Racing SuperSport race and finished a strong third place on his #5 Suzuki GSX-R 600. Teammate James Rispoli finished seventh in the Daytona 200 in his first attempt competing in the historic race, enjoying a race long battle in the lead pack on his #43 National Guard Celtic Racing Suzuki GSX-R 600. Caroline Olsen worked hard all week with limited practice laps and cold weather to finish twenty-fifth in Saturday's SuperSport race on her #44 Celtic Orient Express Racing Suzuki GSX-R 600.
In SuperSport, both Corey Alexander and Caroline Olsen saw limited practice and qualifying time at Daytona. Cold ambient and track temperatures, combined with a heavily packed SuperSport field and several red flags reduced the number of pre-race laps dramatically. Alexander worked carefully to secure eleventh place on the starting grid. In Friday's SuperSport race, Alexander's bodywork was damaged by another rider and Corey was forced to ride the entire race using his knees to keep the bodywork in place at speed - an incredible show of grit and determination! Corey would finish fourteenth under these challenging conditions on Friday. Saturday's race saw Alexander at the front for several laps in a hotly contested race for the finish among seven riders. Ultimately Corey would capture third place and a podium finish! Alexander stated that "after a long off-season recovering from an injury I am very excited to conclude my rough weekend at Daytona with a podium finish. I felt like we had the speed all weekend to win, and we finally put the pieces together for the second race. My National Guard Celtic Racing bike ran phenomenally well all weekend and I can't thank my crew and everyone supporting the team enough. Hopefully there are many more podium finishes to come this season, but only at the top step of the podium in the future!" Corey's personal sponsors include: Hudson Valley Motorcycles, Arai Helmets, Spidi Leathers, XPD Boots, and AMMO NYC.
James Rispoli moved into the Daytona Sport Bike class for the 2013 season after back to back SuperSport championships in 2011 and 2012. This was the first time Rispoli had raced in the Daytona 200, and despite limited track time before the race, James was able to qualify in tenth position - only a few tenths behind the fifth fastest qualifier. Rispoli has been training hard in the off season, to prepare for his 2013 season, and the test of endurance that comes with racing in the Daytona 200. All the work by the Celtic crew and Rispoli's smart riding would help him bring home a strong seventh place finish for the team. Rispoli said that "to start the season with a 7th at Daytona, and to be running the top guys in the U.S. is an amazing feeling. Daytona didn't give us a lot of track time, and we didn't get the kind of draft we were looking for in practice and qualifying, so we didn't post up a good lap time and ended up P-10 on the grid. I knew going into the race I had to get a good start and get on with the lead group if I was going to have a shot at a good result. I got a pretty good start and for the first 19 laps I ran in the top five. The first pit stop was clean but I could tell in the second stint I couldn't get the bike to turn the way I wanted it to, so I just rode as best as I could until the second pit stop. The second stop we had a bit of a problem but the boys still got me out, and I was on my way into 7th about five seconds on Rapp. For the last 15 lap sprint race I closed the gap to Rapp until we just ran out time. The team is working well together, overall a great weekend! James' personal sponsors include AGV Helmets, Dainese Leathers, Monster Energy, and Techmount.
Caroline Olsen, in her AMA SuperSport debut, rode carefully and wisely, trying to maximize her track time despite cold track conditions and an abundance of red flags in her practice and qualifying sessions. There was a great deal for Olsen to learn in a very limited time frame before each of the races. Additionally, the SuperSport field was fifty-two riders deep, adding traffic to the mix as well. Olsen was able to qualify in thirty-sixth position, gaining experience and speed with each lap. In both races, Olsen rode well, and improved from her qualifying position in each race to finish twenty-seventh on Friday, and twenty-fifth on Saturday. Caroline's enthusiasm was only strengthened with the results and stated "Daytona was awesome! The track was new and challenging, but the team was working great. I'm happy with the overall first weekend with Celtic Orient Express Racing, knowing we have a lot of potential together. I'm already looking forward to the next race at Road America." Caroline's personal sponsors include Arai Helmets, Cato Composites, and LOXY.