Dec 11, 2012
© 2014, Roadracing World Publishing, Inc.
by David Swarts
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AMA Pro racer Benny Solis traveled to Mexico seeking sponsorship opportunities and cultural enlightenment and came away with two pole positions and a race win during a Racing Bike Capital Championship event held December 8-9 at Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez in Mexico City.
"I went down there to meet with potential sponsors who wanted to see me race and shake hands," Solis told Roadracingworld.com. "Also, I wanted to actually learn the culture a bit and have fun. Both my parents were born in Mexico, but I personally have never visited the country. I figured it would be a great opportunity to knock out two things at one time, which is why I went down early."
On December 8, 18-year-old Solis captured pole position for Race One by lapping the 2.75-mile former Formula One circuit in 1:52.034 on his Dunlop-shod NC Racing/Red Bull Yamaha YZF-R6. That outpaced the time of 1:52.299 turned in by Yamaha-mounted Ricardo "Richie" Escalante.
Later that day, Solis and Escalante battled throughout the 12-lap first race. Solis was leading on lap eight of 12 when he said he made a mistake and nearly crashed, allowing Escalante to grab the lead.
"Richie got by me again and started to turn fast laps," said Solis. "I wanted to push more, but I also wanted to finish my first race. So I ended up in second, which was OK, but my team and I knew we could win on Sunday if we got a little better setting."
Solis said he worked together with his mechanic Harry Lizarraga and suspension tuner Randy Acevedo, of In House Suspension, and came up with a setting that was more comfortable on Sunday, December 9. With the new setup, Solis was able to take pole position for Race Two with a time of 1:51.822, just edging out Escalante and his time of 1:51.999.
Solis and Escalante slugged it out to the end of Race Two, and this time Solis was able to come out on top by a scant 0.332 second.
"It was the second-to-last lap, and my goal was to lead the last lap and stay in front out of the last turn," said Solis. "Exiting the last turn, we both came out with really fast drives, because the straight is long and I wanted to get past him on the straight. As we exited the last turn, we both drifted wide and he hit the dirt. I nearly ran into the back of him because I was on the same line, but luckily, I didn't hit him or the dirt and took the lead. After that, I just pushed hard through the whole lap and I was able to lead out of the last turn and win."
Racing Bike Capital Championship Series
Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez
Mexico City, Mexico
December 8-9, 2012
600cc Expert Qualifying Session One Results:
1. Benny Solis (Yam YZF-R6), Dunlop, 1:52.034
2. Ricardo Escalante (Yam YZF-R6), Dunlop, 1:52.299
3. Nahun Alvarez, 1:53.153
4. Jonathan Gomez, 1:53.288
5. Pablo Escalante Urban, 1:53.314
6. Dirk Sanchez, 1:55.110
7. Yahir Sanchez, 1:56.477
8. Uri Acevedo, 1:57.792
9. Socrates Juliaras, 1:57.974
10. Cesar Cirigo, 1:59.345
600cc Expert Race One Results:
1. Ricardo Escalante (Yam YZF-R6), Dunlop, 12 laps, 22:28.660
2. Benny Solis (Yam YZF-R6), Dunlop, -2.798 seconds
3. Nahun Alvarez, -27.829
4. Pablo Escalante Urban, -65.185
5. Dirk Sanchez, -65.309
6. Uri Acevedo, -72.977
7. Jonathan Gomez, -72.997
8. Cesar Cirigo, -103.442
9. Cesar Trasvina, -109.367
10. Axel Castillo, -1 lap
600cc Expert Qualifying Session Two Results:
1. Benny Solis (Yam YZF-R6), Dunlop, 1:51.822
2. Ricardo Escalante (Yam YZF-R6), Dunlop, 1:51.999
3. Pablo Escalante Urban, 1:53.213
4. Nahun Alvarez, 1:54.235
5. Jonathan Gomez, 1:54.794
6. Dirk Sanchez, 1:55.738
7. Homero Richards, 1:55.997
8. Socrates Juliaras, 1:56.399
9. Yahir Sanchez, 1:56.594
10. Carlos Procuna, 1:57.822
600cc Expert Race Two Results:
1. Benny Solis (Yam YZF-R6), Dunlop, 12 laps, 23:05.907
2. Ricardo Escalante (Yam YZF-R6), Dunlop, -0.332 second
3. Jonathan Gomez, -28.710 seconds
4. Nahun Alvarez, -32.592
5. Dirk Sanchez, -51.227
6. Homero Richards, -56.015
7. Pablo Escalante Urban, -73.004
8. Carlos Procuna, -79.896
9. Uri Acevado, -80.286
10. Brayan Almazan, -80.873