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Apr 2, 2013

Benny Solis Breaks 600cc Lap Record, Survives Huge Highside At Chuckwalla Valley Raceway

AMA Pro Daytona SportBike racer Benny Solis (3). Photo by Brian J. Nelson.
AMA Pro Daytona SportBike racer Benny Solis is recovering at his home in North Hollywood, California after suffering a fourth-gear highside crash during a Chuckwalla Valley Motorcycle Association (CVMA) race March 31 at Chuckwalla Valley Raceway (CVR) in Desert Center, California. Solis was looking to stay sharp in between AMA Pro rounds by racing a Honda CBR600RR he borrowed from a friend in the CVMA event, and things were going very well for Solis. He won an Open (1000cc) Supersport race and even set a new 600cc lap record for the clockwise direction of CVR, eclipsing J.D. Beach’s mark of 1:47.662 with a 1:47.518 on his borrowed machine. Minutes later, however, it all went wrong for Solis. “It was in the Open Shootout,” Solis told Roadracingworld.com Tuesday. “I had just gotten into the lead that lap, but then in the bowl I had just a little bit too much gas for the lean angle and it came around on me pretty quick. “It was a big crash. I think that’s the fastest turn on the track. Where I highsided is at the point where you’re almost wide open and you’re kind of picking up the bike. I normally pick up the bike a little sooner, but that time I think I just got a little too confident and left it leaned over for maybe a half-second more than I should have and it came around on me. “The good thing is we set the new lap record on the new U.S. Dunlop [rear] slick. Dunlop was real happy, too. “I think that’s another reason why I crashed. I got that lap time in the first race, and I didn’t feel like I was on my limit. My first lap of that race was a 1:47.52, which was just off the record I had set and Chad [Lewin] was in front of me slowing me down in a couple of areas. Then I passed him and I was like, ‘OK, clear track. I feel good. This should be a low-1:47 or a high-1:46, if I’m lucky.’ So I pushed a little bit harder everywhere, and I just went a little bit past the limit in the bowl and I crashed. I think I just got too excited.” Lewin had a front-row seat for the spectacular crash, and his GoPro camera captured the incident in high-resolution. The clip shown here was custom-edited by Solis for Roadracingworld.com's exclusive use.

Solis’ crash destroyed his friend’s Honda and resulted in a 45-minute ambulance ride back toward Palm Springs to the hospital, where he was treated and released. “I’m OK,” said Solis. “It’s all just bruising. Nothing is broken, which is fine. I actually feel much better now than I did the first day when I was at the hospital. I couldn’t really speak or breathe properly because I bruised my lung, but now I can speak a little better and breathe a little better. The main issue now is my whole tailbone and my right hip and butt cheek, because I landed on it pretty hard. So it hurts to walk around and move and stuff like that. But I’m getting better now. Every day I’m in the bath tub with hot water and this Epsom salt they gave me. I do it two or three times a day now. And they gave me some medication, so I’m feeling better.”