Motoette -in forward motion

Day two ~ WSBK at Miller Motorsports Park


The impressive entrance to Miller Motorsports Park

I took a leisure morning on Saturday and started to make my thirty minute trek up hwy 80 towards Tooele at about 11am. My NMP friends had been on the track since 7:30am and I missed them at lunch, so I would not be seeing them until the Superbike and Supersport practice rounds were complete for the day, which was at 5:45pm. When I first arrived at Miller, I decided to go over to garage E-10, where Melissa Paris told me she would be with her two R6’s. I made my way over there, but caught a glimpse of her and her husband, Josh Hayes walking away as I was walking up. I obviously had missed out on my timing.

I went with the decision to wait until her first practice laps of the weekend were over and then try again. I thought this would enhance my interview after Melissa came off the track. So, I planted myself in the Stansbury grandstands at turn 15 and watched her and the rest of her Supersport contenders make their laps. This proved to be a good position to be in as a spectator. Turn 14 (Windup), was a tight S turn entering into turn 15 (Release) with a wide bank to the left and then down the strait. It also was where the rider came off the track into the pits, I loved this spot! The Stansbury Grandstands were also where all the BMW Motorrad ticket holders’ seats were, and that included me!

In my credulous observation, I noticed Melissa was pitting quite a bit, especially in the first couple of laps. But, with every pit, she would exit noticeably stronger in her riding skills, which brought a smile to my face. After all, she was the only female racing at this event and to me, she represented all female riders and what we can do.

After the 45 minute practice, I immediately made my way back over to E-10, I had much better timing with the exception of Speed TV arriving right before I did! I reintroduced myself to her and she politely told me I could have a few minutes with her after her quick interview with Speed. I had no problem with this because it gave me a chance to see her do other interviews and also to watch and listen to what kind of questions Speed was asking. It was very interesting!

AMA Pro Racer Melissa Paris in her E-10 garage

What I found to be so funny, was before Melissa was to give her interview to Speed, she wanted to fix her hair! Being a hair stylist and also a girl, I could totally relate to this, but the Speed guys just looked at her, then at each other with this perplexed look on their faces. I couldn’t help but laugh!

After her 5 minutes with Speed TV, it was my turn. Another improvised interview for me, all in a two-week span! I have to tell you, I have been so impressed with Melissa not only in her riding skills as an established professional racer, but in her, as a person. When I did my first interview with her via email back in March, she was so articulate in her answers. It was the first interview where I didn’t edit a thing, I literally sent exactly what she sent me to my chief editor, and it was perfect! She has always been wonderful in responding to my emails as well, and when I asked her if I could come by and see her at Miller, she didn’t hesitate to say yes. To me, Melissa is a true professional, in every sense of the word.

Our interview went well, and at the end I asked her if she had tried out the Style Saver Scarf I sent her? At this point I told her I owned a salon and the concept was based on my profession and as a rider. When I told her I was a hair stylist, her face lit up and I could tell this was an area of beauty she liked! I had noticed when I saw her at Infineon, she had gone from a brunette to a blond, and I commented on how great she looked and this just took us into some heavy girl talk, which I found delightful. I had a great conversation with her, (interview) for about 10 minutes and then left her to get on with why she came in the first place…to race!

Supersport coming out of Windup into Release

I spent the rest of the day hanging with my BMW homies at turn 15 and did some wandering around the grounds. As I walked up to a stunt show that was coming to an end I looked to my left and saw a familiar face from the recent past. I said to the stranger, “Is your name Paul?” The tall middle-aged man said “yes.” And as he said yes he recognized me. It was Paul Nielsen from The Moto World, a friend I met on Twitter and became friends with. I thought of Paul as a mentor, getting me started into the interview realm. Paul is an expert at doing pod casts on his Website, The Moto World. we had several conversations and I considered him a friend. But he had just disappeared off of Twitter one day, and I never heard from him again. He was a little stand offish at first, when I asked him what happened , but I thought better of it and just dropped the subject. Some things are just better left unsaid. We talked for about 10 or 15 minutes, catching up on what we both had been up to, talking shop. He was attending Miller to do several pod cast interviews with the racers. I asked him if it would be possible to shadow him while he did one, to get some tips from a pro? He said no problem and to meet him at Josh Disalvos’ garage tomorrow when the first Superbike practice goes out.

Paul Nielsen of

According to my schedule the first Superbike practice was to be a 8:30am. I had some difficulty with this arrangement being I had commitment to marshal trackside the next day! I would worry about it when the time came, after all, this weekend just seemed like everything was falling into place, as it should and I needed to trust in it.

The rest of the day I spent watching the practice rounds until my NMP friends were done with their long day on the track. It was cold the first day, with not a lot of action and the guys were still tired from the long ride into town the day before. They looked exhausted when I met them at the Medic building. So I gave Jordan the keys to my SUV rental and he drove Ann, Paul and I back to the hotel a few miles away.

We ended up at the hotels indoor Jacuzzi soaking our tired bodies talking about our day. After, I decided it might be prevalent to write out my interview with Melissa Paris for Moto Race Reports asap. I felt it was an interview that needed to be up fairly quickly given the element of live action as a racing event, so I stayed up until midnight transcribing my taped recording. It ended up not being posted until the following Tuesday! I really felt let down at first, but soon got over it.  I’m still learning it’s not always about me!


June 3, 2010 - Posted by | American Motorcycle Association, BMW motorcycles, BMW S1000RR, Infineon Raceway, melissa paris, miller sports park, Moto Race Reports, motorcycle racing, motorcycles, Road Atlanta, superbike, supersport, West Coast Moto Jam, yamaha YZF R6

1 Comment »

  1. GREAT article (once again) and great seeing the picture of Paul..

    And yes, I could totally see you changing an interview with a racer into a discussion about hair ;-P

    Comment by Rob | June 3, 2010 | Reply

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