Meet the STAR School Coaches

Learn from the best in the business!

Jason Pridmore

Head Coach

Jason Pridmore has been one of the motorcycle industry stand-out personalities for over two decades. His championship-winning ways in racing, coupled with his disarming personality off the track, have kept him in the hearts and minds of enthusiasts throughout the world.

What makes Jason so unique is the way he connects with others. Having been involved in motorcycle education and training since he was 14 years old, “JP,” as most call him, has the type of personality that causes many to want to just be around him. He is outgoing and compassionate while maintaining and air of expertise in his field.

JP has an extensive resumé off the motorcycle track as well. He has been doing television, magazine, and online video work in the powersports industry for the past 15 years. Pridmore has done color commentary and race interviews for Speed TV; motorcycle testing and analysis for various global motorcycle magazines; and on camera Internet video for MotoUSA.

Jason’s racing career highlights include titles such as: 2012 FIM World Endurance Champion (to go along with his 2003 title), U.S. based AMA Pro 750 SuperSport Champion in 1997, and Formula Extreme Champion in 2002. Jason has provided track riding tips, racing tips, and keen insight to not only motorcycle students registered for Pridmore’s STAR Motorcycle School (15 years in the running), but he has also provided this service to many past and current AMA pro racers. In addition, Pridmore offers one-on-one coaching/consulting to racers and non-racers throughout the year.

Mark Gallardo

Body Position Expert

The way that Jason tells it, Mark was just some guy that came up to him at the races and said “Dude, you’re blowing turn 5 every time”. Fast friends since he attended his first Reg school in 1995, Mark’s talent and enthusiasm for the sport made him the only choice when Jason thought it was time for STAR.

Mark is married to Nita who has been putting up with him for over 25 years. They have four children: Michelle, Mark, Melissa and Matt.

Mark had his first race in at the Streets of Willow in November of 2002, winning 4 of 8 races entered on a STAR School Suzuki SV650. He didn’t race again until November of 2003, where the pattern continued. At that point, he decided to rest on his laurels – having made his point.

James Rispoli

  • WERA regional Championships
  • Supermoto
  • 18 Dirt Track National, 2 Grand Championship and 2 Short Track Titles
  • AMA Dirt Track Amatuer 250cc and 450cc Champion
  • 650cc Bonneville AMA National Land Speed Record Holder
  • AMA Pro Singles Flatrack
  • 2011 AMA Pro SuperSport Eastern Division Champion, National Overall Champion and Young Gun Award
  • 2012 AMA Supersport Champion
  • 2013 AMA Daytona Sportbike
  • 2014 BSB SuperSport

Benny Solis

Built, ran and raced in own TeamH35, Daytona Sportbike SBS and AMA. 5 top 10 finishes. Training has always been my priority as it is the reason why I preform the way I do on the track. My goal everyday is to be a better rider than yesterday, which is why each day I am dedicated to work hard on my fitness, riding, and mentality. I’ve recently learned a lot more than I ever expected, from 2 time MotoGP world champion, Jorge Lorenzo. I am very lucky to have met Jorge and his father, Chicho. They have taken me under their wing and this preseason I will be living and training with Jorge full time. This will ensure that my fitness and riding are at the top level and better than they ever have been.

Wyatt Farris

Teaching methods that have had the most impact- Everything across the board… I believe there’s always room for improvement. After starting to work with Jason, Mark and the Star staff in December on 2013 I have become a safer, more productive and well-rounded rider. I can honestly say I and the rest of the Star instructors practice what we preach.

Caroline Olsen

No stranger to the American scene, the 2011 Norwegian Superstock 600 champion registered two seasons of AMA Pro SuperSport duty in 2013 and 2014, scoring her first top-15 result in AMA action at Mid-Ohio in ’14.  She notched up a pair of top-10 finishes in Superstock 600 competition at NJMP, including a sixth-place run that saw her clock the race’s third-fastest lap.

Michael Gilbert

Michael broke through to make himself one of the elite riders in MotoAmerica Superstock 600 last year when he took the victory in Jersey Motorsports New Park. Gilbert started riding when he was three years old and grew up racing motocross. At the age of 12, he transitioned to road racing, and in 2015, he had his debut MotoAmerica Superstock 600 season, placing sixth overall.

Jon Nichols

Co owner of Nichols Mfg and Nichols Sportbikes Service with Lettie Nichols for 34 years. Machinist, Welder, and Mechanical Designer. Married to Lettie Nichols, 3 children, Mike, Joe and Lisa. Daughter-in-law Nora and grandsons Anthony and Alex. Hobbies-working on motorcycles and cars, spending time with my grandsons, going RVing with the family and friends, 2 up riding with my wife. Met Jason in 1993 and joined the staff at Star in 1999. Favorite track motorcycle Suzuki GSXR 750. Favorite street motorcycle Ducati 1200 Multistrada.

Patricia Fernandez

Patricia races in the MotoAmerica Superstock 600 class on purpose built short circuits, although she has also raced in the Daytona 200 & in one off short circuit races overseas in both Australia, America & Ireland. In 2014 she made her debut at the Ulster Grand Prix. In 2016 she was recognized by the organizers of the UGP as ‘The fastest ever female road racer’ with a special gold medal, after her 118.264 mph average lap of the Dundrod Circuit on a 600 during the second Supersport race of the 2016 UGP. 

Conner Blevins

Oklahoma native Conner races in the competitive MotoAmerica Superstock 600 class and has been with STAR School for the last 2 years.

Tyler Olmstead

Teaching methods that have had the most impact- Jason and the STAR coaches have a progressive teaching method. Skills are introduced in a way that makes sense for a rider’s current ability, incrementally taking them to the next level with their riding. Jason breaks down complex techniques into simple steps, with a focus on rider efficiency and reducing risk. Working with Jason has made me much more efficient with my lines, downshifting and body position, which allows me to ride fast without riding hard. I feel relaxed and confident, even when riding at my limit. I have never had to scare myself or risk my safety to improve, and this is due to Jason’s unique approach.

Corey Alexander

In 2011, during his first full season as a professional racer, Corey Alexander won his first AMA Pro race at Miller Motorsports Park. Corey would go in to secure numerous top five finishes in the 2011 season, and finished an impressive third in the AMA Pro SuperSport West Championship. Corey is now one of the top motorcycle racers in the United States having finished in the top 5 in the AMA Supersport Championship for 4 years consecutively racking up race wins, numerous pole positions, and winning the 2013 AMA Supersport East Championship by the narrowest of margins. At the start of 2014 things could not be looking more positive for 20 year old Corey Alexander. He set pole and swept both races at Daytona to kick off the season only to be plagued by a broken collarbone just before the second round of the year. After another race win and podium while still injured Corey struggled through the remaining rounds. Corey is currently racing in the MotoAmerica Superstock 1000 championship, having earned two podiums in his first round.

Mark Bothe

Mark hails for the infamous town of Portlandia, has been a pharmacist for more than 25 years, graduated from Oregon State University and dies a little bit every time his Beaver football team loses to the Ducks. His favorite saying is, “the only thing as good as a Beaver win, is a Duck loss.” Mark was invited to teach with the Star School back in 2011, been racing motorcycles since 2007 and has been riding since his wife taught him how to ride a motorcycle way back in 1984. His big passion, when not riding motorcycles, is riding and racing bicycles. His wife is a crazy mountain bike racer and they like taking trips in their Ford 4x4 van with their bicycles to see some great roads and trails in the Pacific Northwest. Greg LeMond summed it all up best, “It never gets easier, you just go faster.”

Roger Middleton

I started riding motorcycles with friends on weekends and I was hooked. I have invested most of my free time in becoming a better rider through attending various riding schools. I have found the learnings from Jason Pridmore’s STAR School to have the increased my ability to control the motorcycle and become a much smoother rider. With every school I instruct at today, I find myself still working on technique. There is so much to take in and I feel fortunate to have the knowledge I have gained.

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