The AMA Pro Supersport race at Daytona was won by 18-year-old Elena Myers last Saturday. Myers made history as the first female rider to win the event, or any professional race, at Daytona National Speedway.
“It came down to the four of us,” said Myers of the race's final moments. “I didn’t want to lead out of the chicane, but even though I braked early, they all braked harder. When I came out of the chicane, I left my bike in fourth gear. But I never saw any of them. They wouldn’t pass me. So, at that point, I figured I’d just go for it. It was a drag race to the line.”
This marks the second national win for Myers after a victory at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, California two years ago. That win was the result of a shortened race due to a red flag, so this time Myers proved she could beat other professional racers in the long run.
Myers has been racing in the AMA Pro Road Racing Series for three years, riding a Suzuki in the 600 cc class.
Her mother Anita was there to cheer her on during the race. “Everything has to be right to win,” said Anita. “The right crew is as necessary as her physical conditioning. The biggest difference now, for her, is endurance. Her performance doesn’t trail off during a race. She does a lot of cardio, rowing, cycling, running. She trains with Nathan Loyal, who trains bicyclists.”
Myers, who lives in Northern California, has been racing motorcycles since she was 8 years old. “It started out as a hobby and a family event,” said Anita. “But she quickly showed that she has talent. She started on a pocket bike, then she became really competitive and got a 125 two-stroke, then a 650 when she was around 12 years old and then a 600 at 14.”
Myers' crew chief, Eric Gray, had this to say, “We’re still learning how to speak the same language, but we’ve quickly established rapport. I told her, ‘They’re going to chump you going into the chicane on the last lap.’ But she turned it on them. They hesitated too long. I’m impressed by her racecraft. You can’t ever doubt her motivation to win.”