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Feb 15, 2001

Apparently Tray Batey Likes Aprilia RSV Mille R

Former Formula USA Champion Tray Batey showed up at Talladega Gran Prix Raceway in Talladega, Alabama for a WERA Regional race, jumped on Mike Himmelsbach's Blackmans Racing RSV Mille R for the first time last Sunday morning, and came within 0.1-second of his own track record, which stands at 58.336.<BR><BR>Batey won two races, A Superstock and B Superstock, and finished second in Formula One. Himmelsbach won the Heavyweight Twins race on the same bike.<BR><BR>The Blackmans crew showed up with Himmelsbach and Chris Carr on Friday, the two riders working together to sort out the new Mille R and also an Aprilia Cup Challenge RS250. Batey elected to show up later, saying "I've been down there a whole lot, so I thought I'd just show up Sunday instead of Friday. Mike called me back and said I should show up Saturday, but by the time I arrived it was Saturday afternoon. I didn't get on the bike until Sunday morning."<BR><BR>Batey said he was surprised that he went as quickly as he did on the bike, especially since the Blackmans crew later dynoed the machine and found that it made about 116 horsepower. "If I had known the bike was going to be turning those kind of times, I would have really tried to break the record," Batey said. "I knew the bike was under 120. To get into the 58s and not even have 120 horses, I was pretty pleased."<BR><BR>Batey's victory in B Superstock was marred by a last-time incident involving Batey's former Arclight Suzuki teammate, Lee Acree, who crashed after a last-lap pass by Batey. "He kept leaving openings about three places per lap," Batey said of Acree. "In two or three turns he would go in tight, then go wide, leave a little opening, then pinch it off as he came down to get a drive out of the corner. On the last lap in turn four, all of the sudden I had a big opening and I rolled on through. I had my front axle about even with his and out of the corner of my eye I saw him jerk, and I thought, cool, he's seen me. I never felt him, never felt any wiggle, and there were no marks on the bike. But when I took the checkered flag and looked back to give him a thumbs up, he was gone. I came around and there were a bunch of skid marks in the turn, and when I got back to the pits I found out he had crashed."<BR><BR>Acree was very understanding when he talked about the incident afterwards. "It was definitely a tight pass, but it was clean," Acree said. "I knew we might touch, but I thought it would be bodywork. Unfortunately, his pipe nicked my handlebar. The bike has a bent footpeg and that's it. I know there was nothing malicious about it."<BR><BR>Carr had planned on racing the RS250 but went home after the bike broke Saturday morning. After Himmelsbach won the Heavyweight Twins race by 17 seconds on the Mille R, Batey adjusted the control positions and won the A Superstock race and came within 0.1 seconds of the Talladega track record he set last year on a Suzuki GSX-R750 on slicks. Batey then went on to win in B Superstock and to place second in Formula One behind Larry Denning on a Yamaha YZF-R1. The Blackmans Aprilia Batey rode was equipped with Pirelli tires, a racing exhaust and a racing E-PROM chip.<BR><BR>Batey and Himmelsbach will contest the entire Formula USA Unlimited Superbike Series on the Mille Rs, with Carr riding a third bike at the spring and fall Daytona races in the series. Himmelsbach will also ride an Aprilia RS250 in the Aprilia Cup Challenge Series.<BR>