PHOTOGRAPHY BY ANDREA WILSON
Plain and simple: Jake Zemke loves to race motorcycles. And now the former Daytona 200 winner and former AMA Superbike winner will get a chance to do it again as he’s inked a deal that will see him aboard a Riders Discount Triumph 675 beginning this weekend at Miller Motorsports Park in Toelle, Utah.
Zemke will team with Joey Pascarella for the remaining three rounds on the AMA schedule and the Paso Robles resident is looking forward to getting on the Triumph.
“It’s really good in stock from and I’m really looking forward to seeing what we can do working within the AMA rules for DSB and see how many things we can improve on the base package which is already good,” Zemke said. “We really want to get the thing up there and put it up on the podium and get to the front. Which is going to be tough in that class especially coming in at this point in their season where everybody’s pretty dialed in. But I’m definitely up for the challenge. I’m really looking forward to it.”
Zemke’s had a few one-off rides this year when he filled in for an injured Garrett Willis on the Desmo Veloce Ducati for the Daytona 200 and when he rode a privateer Kawasaki at Laguna two weeks ago. Zemke had been talking with the Riders Discount team early in the season, but adding a second bike to the effort doesn’t happen over night.
“Obviously it takes money to make these things happen,” Zemke said. “It’s not just as easy as throwing some bikes together and showing up at the races. There’s definitely inherent costs with tires and fuel and crew and getting me to the track and building the bikes. So it was a lot to undertake in a lot of different areas. Luckily, everyone at Riders Discount was a 100 percent behind it as well as the folks at Triumph so I’m really happy to jump on the 675 for the last three races.”
Zemke tested the bike earlier in the year at Autobahn on the outskirts of Chicago.
“It won’t be the first time I’ve been on the bikes, but it will be the first time that I have a chance to actually dial the thing in for myself, get it set up the way I like it,” Zemke said. “It will definitely be a challenge. We’ll be behind a little bit, but I think that the Triumph is a good overall package so I think we shouldn’t have too much trouble getting the thing changed to the way I like it.”
He’s also pumped to making his debut on the bike at Miller Motorsports Park.
“I love going to Miller,” he said. “Obviously, I’ve had some good results there in the past. I’m looking forward to going there and see what we can do. Like I said, if I can get comfortable on the bike straight away I think we’ll definitely shoot for the top end of the field. But as we all know it’s a tough class and the guys up at the front are really hauling right now and they’re dialed in – they’re three-quarters or two-thirds of the way through their season. They’re pretty well dialed in. So we’re definitely going to be playing catch up, but we are definitely going to rise to the challenge.”