Jake Zemke Will Join John Hopkins in British Superbike

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Photo by Tim White, TSWPhoto

Former national champion Jake Zemke is the latest in a long line of top riders to leave the AMA Pro Road Racing series. Third overall in American SuperBike in 2010 with Jordan Suzuki and polesitter for this year’s Daytona 200 on a Project 1 Atlanta Yamaha YZF-R6, Zemke has inked a deal to race a WFR Honda CBR1000RR in the Pirelli-spec British Superbike Championship in the Evo class—equivalent to now-defunct AMA Superstock—beginning with the fifth round of the series, June 17-19, at the 1.3-mile-long Knockhill Racing Circuit in Scotland.

A highly competitive seat on one of the three WFR machines became available when current Evo-class points-leader Alex Lowes replaced injured Stuart Easton on the MSS Colchester Kawasaki Superbike squad. Former AMA, MotoGP and World Superbike racer John Hopkins is competing in the series on a Samsung Crescent Racing Suzuki GSX-R1000. Hopkins has won one race and is currently second overall in points behind former SBK pilot Shane Byrne.

This past May at Infineon Raceway, I spent a half-hour in the media center with Zemke. Rather than sitting at home waiting for the phone to ring, the 35-year-old Californian had been actively in talks with individual teams and manufacturers, as well as series higher-ups, in hopes of putting together a competitive AMA effort for the current season. None materialized.

Zemke is scheduled to test the WFR Honda at a track day on Monday, June 13.