Jim Farley looked delighted with the back of a racing Suzuki GSX-R1000R.
Ford CEO James “Jim” D. Farley is no stranger to motor racing, but he’s certainly more used to the four-wheeler variety. So when the MotoAmerica Series visited Road America last weekend, a rare opportunity presented itself to Jim Farley. His good friend Wayne Rainey, the legendary motorcycle rider who is also president of MotoAmerica, has aligned Farley with the Dunlop ECSTAR Two-Seat Superbike ride program. Offered at every MotoAmerica event, the ECSTAR Two-Seat Superbike program invites racing fans to sit behind a professional racer as they ride the racing circuit at over 160 mph. Needless to say, Farley jumped at the chance to call for a hot lap and based on his reaction, the experience did not disappoint.
From the meeting room to the back of a bike
As Ford Motor Company’s top dog, Jim Farley has access to race cars the public can only dream of, including his very own GT40. He enjoys the thrill of going fast, but it usually does in cars and trucks. So seeing Road America in the back of a racing Suzuki GSX-R1000R was certainly a new thrill. And if there’s anyone who understands the allure of motorcycle racing, it’s Farley’s friend Wayne Rainey. Having won the 500cc World Championship three times, plus a Daytona 200, Rainey knows how motorcycle racing is different from all other motorsport and as president of MotoAmerica he wants to introduce as many people as possible to two-wheeled racing.
For his Road America tour, Farley teamed up with former AMA racer Chris Ulrich who had competed in Road America on a number of occasions on a GSX-R1000. Ulrich’s familiarity with the bike and the track was immediately apparent as he let it all hang out. Before their turn, Ulrich prepared Farley for the extreme bank angles and the need to keep up with his lead through the corners. A passenger on a motorcycle, even at highway speeds, should associate with the rider and never struggle with the urge to lean. Otherwise, the contact patch that keeps the bike in the corner can come loose and disaster strikes. From the footage, Ulrich didn’t hold back and Farley followed around every corner.
Farley finished his tour completely amazed at what the bike could do
Considering the boos and howls audible during the tour, it really looked like Jim Farley was having fun there. Upon their return, Farley seemed utterly amazed at what it takes to ride a high speed racing bike. In particular, Farley found the bank angles amazing and was blown away by the grip of the tires. Impressing someone with Farley’s automotive credentials is no small feat. That’s not to say that MotoAmerica and the Dunlop ECSTAR Two-Seat Superbike riding program made Farley a convert to a motorcycle, but it seems he’s at least open to the idea now.
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With this cash flow, it is no surprise that he has invested an incredible amount of money in the collection of classic and rare cars.
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