LeoVince has joined GYTR as title sponsor for Melissa Paris. After finishing 21st on her Yamaha R6 at the 2009 Daytona 200, the highest finish ever for a woman, she qualified for and competed in the World Supersport event at Miller Motorsports Park on May 31st. This marks the first time a woman has ever raced a World Supersport race. "We are excited to add Melissa to the group of woman riders that we support, including Elena Meyers who is currently tearing it up in the WERA roadracing series," states Tim Calhoun, Executive VP of LeoVince USA. LeoVince is also supporting three teams competing in the World Superbike series.
"Miller is one of my favorite tracks and the opportunity to race the World
Supersport race there was too good to pass up. We are going to do our best.
It's not a factory effort but with the help of LeoVince, GYTR and the rest of my sponsors, I am confident Mark Rozema at Markbilt Racebikes will prepare a great ride for me. I am really looking forward to it," said Paris.
UPDATE: Paris became the first woman to qualify for a World Supersport event by qualifying in the 27th position at Miller (in fact, a female Canadian racer also entered failed to qualify). Paris was running well in the race, but unfortunately suffered what appeared to be a mechanical issue with the R6 and was forced to retire on the 7th lap.
Besides the Miller World Supersport race, Paris will race her Markbilt R6 in middleweight CCS/ASRA events around the country and other selected AMA Pro events this year. She also rides a 250 in the USGPRU East Coast Championship, contending for the championship. Paris won the 250GP finale at Miller last year.
At age 21, less than a year after learning to ride, Melissa entered her first race at Streets of Willow Springs aboard a CBR600RR. By the end of the season she had achieved expert status and switched to the 125GP class. In 2006, she secured her first 125GP win at Roebling Road. For 2007, Melissa competed in the WERA National Challenge Series and WERA National Endurance Series. In 2008, Melissa competed in the USGPRU 250GP class aboard a Honda RS250.