Jun 17, 2002
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From a press release:<BR><BR>Buell Firebolt Scores first national roadrace victory<BR><BR>Eric Wood Tops Formula USA Sportbike Field at 79th Annual Loudon Classic<BR><BR>Loudon, NH (June 16, 2002) - Eric Wood rode the new Buell Firebolt XB9R to its first national roadrace victory in the Formula USA Honda Pro Oils Sportbike final held at New Hampshire International Speedway. The race was Wood's first outing aboard the Kosco Buell/Innovative Motorcycle Research Firebolt, and the first appearance of the team in the highly competitive horsepower and weight restricted class.<BR><BR>"This was a great start for the Firebolt," said Wood, of Mansfield, Mass. "We just got this bike two weeks ago and ran a club race last weekend to warm it up. The Firebolt has a lot of potential and we're only going to get stronger as the season goes on."<BR><BR>Facing a 45-bike field filled with Suzuki, Honda, Yamaha and Kawasaki riders, Wood was running a strong second when race leader Scott Greenwood (Suzuki) faltered on lap 19 of the 20-lap feature. Wood stormed into the lead and beat Suzuki riders Michael Barnes and Larry Pegram to the checkered flag.<BR><BR>"The Buell's tractability and drive off the corners really worked for me at Loudon," said Wood. "In some turns I was able to put the Buell in places where the four-cylinder bikes couldn't go. The Firebolt has the chassis dynamics of a Grand Prix bike, and the smooth power delivery of the V-Twin engine was really easy on the back tire. As the race worn on, I think my tire was holding up better and I was able to pull away from the field."<BR><BR>"The Firebolt was designed to be the best backroad bike ever," said Erik Buell, Chairman and Chief Technical Officer of Buell Motorcycle Company. "Loudon is a technically challenging track, just like the backroads we designed the Firebolt to dominate on. My congratulations go out to Eric Wood and the entire Kosco Buell and Innovative Motorcycle Research Team."<BR><BR>The Formula USA Sportbike class features production-based motorcycles limited to a maximum of 115 horsepower and a minimum of 365 pounds. The Buell Firebolt XB9R is powered by a fuel-injected 984cc V-Twin.<BR><BR>The fourth round of the Formula USA National Road Race Series will take place at Mosport International Raceway at Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada, July 19-21.<BR>