Category Archives: ESP

Underdogs Jake Holden and Evan Steel Performance Prepare to Race in 2012

No The Throttle TV

February 23, 2012 Original article at On The Throttle

With round one at Daytona quickly approaching, teams and riders are busy gearing up for the 2012 AMA Pro Racing season. Rider Jake Holden and the team at Evan Steel Performance (ESP) are no exception, working hard in their backyard “fun factory” during the offseason.

At the end of a dirt road in Tucson, Arizona, sits Evan Steel Performance, a small motorcycle service and repair shop owned by Evan Steel and Phil Allison. The shop, which began with a dyno and a trailer in 2005, now doubles as headquarters for building Jake Holden’s BMW S1000RR, which the team will race this season in the AMA Pro National Guard Superbike class.

Holden moved to Arizona four months ago to join the ESP team. Since the move, he’s been spending nearly every weekend enjoying what he calls the “fun factory” of local tracks—the Mussleman Honda Circuit, MC Motorsports Park, and Arizona Motorsports Park. “I couldn’t ask for more,” he says.

Holden is no stranger to the AMA paddock. He turned pro in 1999 and has regularly competed in the AMA series, finishing third overall in two AMA Pro national championships, achieving 14 AMA Pro national podiums, three pole positions, four track records, and several top-five finishes. Allison, who first met Holden in 2004, describes him as “one of the best talents in the paddock.”

The ESP team has been competing in the AMA Pro series for the last 7 years, earning kudos with some of the fastest trap speeds, several front row starts, and numerous podiums. And, they’ve been doing it all on a bootstrap budget.

A tight budget makes the BMW S1000RR a perfect fit for this privateer team. The bike, already stocked with a 193 horsepower, lightweight engine, saves the team from having to purchase costly upgrades while keeping them competitive on the track.

They are, after all, racing to win. “I believe we can go there and get a trophy. That’s what we’re trying to do,” says Steel.

With Holden on board, both Allison and Steel are confident about the season ahead. “He’s an incredible rider, and he’s very much a professional rider,” says Steel. Allison agrees, “I think we could win some superbike races with him.”

Allison and Steel currently divide their time between working at the shop and racing, trying to earn enough money to make it to as many AMA rounds as possible. They hope to garner enough sponsor support for a dedicated racing division, giving them the ability to devote all their time to competing. ESP is currently seeking a title sponsor.

The team has a huge amount of local support from the motorcycle community, all of whom want to see them go racing and do well. This passionate crowd helps by pitching in money and parts. Their current sponsors include Iron Horse Motorcycles, GPR, Driven, KyleUSA.com, Marshall’s photography and Web Design, Ohlins, OTL Magazine, Hotbodies, KurveyGirl.com, U.S. Mega-Max.com, Intuition, Carrozzeria USA, XCEL Trackdays, GB Racing, ASMA, Leo Vince, Sidi, Shoei, Ballistik Apparel, Supernova Cycles, Mid Town Bar and Grill, and War Paint by Steve Wellman.

As a team that’s known for doing a lot with a little, Allison explains it best, “hard work and the desire to be at the front—that’s what we do.”

XCEL Trackdays and Jake Holden/ESP

Xcel Trackdays

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Jake Holden Riders Clinic’s is now available at selected XCEL Trackdays events, with spots available for a maximum of two students per day. The training will be for the full trackday, and will include bike set-up and suspension help from Evan Steel of ESP. Students will receive a full day of advice, filming, bike adjustments, and riding with Jake Holden. A and B group trackday riders or regional racers are Jake’s focus for the XCEL trackdays. (Street riders, beginner trackday riders and Supermoto riders are encouraged to attend Jake Holden Rider Clinics held at the Mussleman Honda Circuit in Tucson AZ.)

At every clinic, the goal is to help students become better riders on the street or track. Many riders make the same mistakes repeatedly, Jake’s techniques encourage necessary changes for safety or for speed. Using notes, video footage, examples and advice on how to work on problem areas, students will become better, safer riders, and have the tools to practice on their own.

The price for a full day of instruction during the XCEL trackday is $599.59 including track day and suspension/set-up help.

Jake Holden XCEL Trackdays Schedule
March 25 AMP
April 14/15 Inde
May 12 Inde
May 19 AMP
June 9 Inde
Sept 29/30 Inde
Oct 27 Inde

Sign up for Jake’s clinic at the XCEL trackdays website, www.xceltrackdays.com, or for more information go to www.evansteelperformance.com or e-mail Jake@evansteelperformance.com

ESP Signs Jake Holden to Ride BMW’s Potent S1000RR in AMA Pro National Guard SuperBike

From a press release issued by Evan Steel Performance:

TUCSON, Ariz. (November 18, 2011) – ESP is proud to announce they have secured the services of multi time AMA Pro race winner Jake Holden to race their BMW S1000RR’s in the AMA Pro National Guard SuperBike class for 2012. Holden started racing at a young age in dirt track, before moving on to a successful road racing career. Jake has finished third overall in two AMA Pro national championships, the 2008 Superstock class and the 2010 Vance & Hines XR1200 class. He has 14 AMA Pro national podiums, 10 of which were achieved on a 1000cc motorcycle, including three wins. In addition Jake has earned three pole positions, four track records, one of which was in the SuperBike class, and many top-five finishes in SuperBike. He was also an excellent substitute rider for John Hopkins and Ben Bostrom in 2010 on their factory supported SuperBikes. He joins the ESP crew, which ran BMW’s in the 2011 AMA Pro National Guard SuperBike series with success, including two front row qualifying efforts, a top five finish, and numerous top 10 finishes. ESP has numerous AMA Pro podiums and wins, including winning the 2009 AMA Pro Motorcycle-Superstore.com Supersport East championship, as well as one SuperBike pole position. Additionally ESP has achieved success in the Canadian national road racing series, with wins, podiums, race lap records, and third overall for the 2009 season in the Pro Sportbike class.

Jake Holden: “I am really excited to be back in the SuperBike class, especially on a BMW. The bike is so fast, and fun to ride. The S1000RR has more motor than anything I have ever ridden; 2012 is gonna be good! I have moved down to Arizona so I will be close to the ESP shop, and with the weather out here we should be able to test quite a bit over the winter. I have been riding a lot of supermoto at the Mussleman Honda Circuit, a kart track in Tucson, as well as testing on the ESP boys’ S1000RR to make sure I’m ready to go when the season starts. I’m really looking forward to working with Phil and Evan; they have the drive and desire to build a competitive team. It’s going to be tough to beat the factory teams, but we’re eager for the challenge. I love being the underdog!”

Evan Steel: “We’ve tested with Jake several times now and I’m really impressed with his professionalism, focus, and speed. His past results and level of experience make him the most successful racer to have ridden for the ESP team to date. I am really happy to welcome him on board, and the whole ESP crew is eager to work with Jake. He is a calm and determined rider, and his work ethic suits our team very well. I’m hugely excited to be running a BMW again; the S1000RR is an amazing platform for a privateer team to launch from. Phil Allison will be our primary engine builder as always, and we are welcoming Grant Guerrero onto the team as a chassis mechanic. Tom Savoca is returning, this time to help with management and logistics. Dave Ciesielski from U.S. Mega-Max will be continuing to help with geometry and chassis set up, as well as welding and machining. I’m proud that Jake chose to ride with us; I feel we have an incredibly strong team for 2012.”

ESP would like to thank their loyal sponsors, GPR, Speedcell, Driven, KyleUSA.com, Ohlins, OTL magazine, Hot bodies, KurveyGirl.com, U.S. Mega-Max.com, Carrozzeria, TGP Racing, XCEL Trackdays, RunGP, ASMA, Cortech, Sidi and Shoei. For sponsorship inquiries contact Evan@evansteelperformance.com. We will be announcing title sponsorship shortly- stay tuned!

For more information about the team go to evansteelperformance.com or check out the facebook pages for Evan Steel Performance and Jake Holden.