Weather-condensed weekend puts pressure on GEICO Honda riders Ulrich, Zemke
LEXINGTON, Ohio -- With rain shortening the Buckeye SuperBike Weekend presented by Dunlop into a one-day show, GEICO Motorcycle Honda SuperBike rider Chris Ulrich picked up a pair of top-10 finishes, an eighth and ninth, in his return to the AMA Pro Road Racing Superbike Series at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.
"It was a unique day, for sure, having a really compact schedule," Ulrich said. "There wasn't much valuable track time yesterday, so today we only really had the warm-up. We made a couple of changes, mainly focusing on the electronics in the morning. The first race Sunday, the bike was really hard to get a rhythm going and difficult to ride. I was able to soldier through and got ninth. However, the lap time really wasn't where it needed to be compared to the guys I wanted to be running with.
"We were able to look at a few things before the second race that helped to position my bike better in the middle of the corner and apex out. The overall pace of the second race was substantially quicker, but I was able to go consistently 1.2 seconds faster.
"We're still a little bit behind the eight ball when we unload these days. We need to keep working on positioning the bike better to allow us to get up where we need to be fighting with that next group in front of me."
GEICO Motorcycle Honda SportBike rider Jake Zemke had even less time on the track than teammate Ulrich. Limited on-track time paired with engine issues set the veteran behind early on, but Zemke was able to rally to a 10th-place finish in the first Daytona GoPro SportBike race of the day.
"We only had a total of nine laps completed in practice going into the first race," Zemke said, "eight yesterday and one in the warm-up this morning before we had something let go in the motor. I had actually gotten a really good start in the first race and was in fourth going into the first turn.
"There was a little contact between Danny Eslick and Jake Gagne that caused Gagne to checkup. When he did, I was on his rear wheel and had to roll out of the throttle for a split second. That allowed about four or five guys to get around me before we got to Turn 2. From there, a few more guys got by me down the back straightaway and I was as far back as 12th.
"I was able to make a few passes and get by a couple of guys in the end to get back to the top 10. It's not really what we were hoping for this weekend, but the good thing is that I'm OK and the bike will be fixed and ready to go before New Jersey."
Unfortunately, after bouncing back from a last-minute engine replacement, Zemke's troubles continued at Mid-Ohio during Race 2. A Lap 4 wreck due to fluid on the racing surface collected Zemke, ending his day much earlier than he would have liked with a 21st-place finish.
"We were back around 10th again from the start," Zemke said. "Our bike was really good once the tires get worn down, so I was just biding my time. I was going to try to get by Blake Young and get up there to battle with Eslick and Bobby Fong.
"I think something let go on Dane Westby's bike and put fluid on the track. I saw Eslick go down after Westby was already out in the gravel trap. I tried easing my way into the corner and not go in too hard. It didn't matter though; I didn't even get the thing leaned over and I hit where the fluid was. You couldn't see where it was on the track, so I ended up just folding the front and piling into the fence.
"It looked like everyone was OK, which is the important thing. Unfortunately, the wreck broke the frame on the GEICO Honda, so we were done for the day."
Both GEICO Honda teams will use the valuable off time to get ready for the season-finale Kawasaki Devil's Showdown, Sept. 13-14, at New Jersey Motorsports Park in Millville, NJ.
More, from a press release issued by Triumph Motorcycles (America):
SPORTBIKE TRACK TIME’S JASON DISALVO TRIUMPHS AT BUCKEYE SUPERBIKE WEEKEND
Second Win on the Season and Second Podium Finish of the Day for Triumph Motorcycles
LEXINGTON, Ohio – Jason DiSalvo piloting the #40 Sportbike Track Time/Castrol/Triumph Daytona 675R won the second AMA GoPro Daytona SportBike race of the weekend at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. He started third on the grid and took the lead on lap 10 claiming the checkered flag by a 0.638 seconds margin.
"My hats off to the crew and Triumph and Castrol! We’ve all been working so hard all year long to develop the Daytona 675R, and I’m really happy to be able to pay them back with a win today,” said DiSalvo. “Thanks to all the people who have stood behind this program over the years.”
With his victory and Bobby Fong on the #50 Latus Motors Racing/Castrol/ Triumph finishing fifth, two Triumph Daytona 675Rs were in the top five in the race’s final results on the 15-turn, 2.4-mile road course in Lexington, Ohio.
DiSalvo’s win was Triumph’s second on the season since Danny Eslick won the Daytona 200 in March. In the first AMA GoPro Daytona SportBike race of the day at Mid-Ohio, Eslick riding the #69 Riders Discount Racing/Triumph took third place making it two podium finishes on the day for Triumph.
Triumph Motorcycles is the British motorcycle marque that produces a wide range of sport, cruiser, adventure and touring motorcycles. From the storied Bonneville to the class-leading Speed Triple and Daytona 675R, Triumph offers a blend of design, character and performance that result in truly distinctive motorcycles. First established in 1902 and now located in Hinckley, Leicestershire, England, Triumph has always set the pace for category-winning machines. The company is solely owned by Bloor Holdings Ltd., and Triumph Motorcycles America, its North American operations, are based in Atlanta. To see the full range of Triumph motorcycles, visit www.TriumphMotorcycles.com">www.TriumphMotorcycles.com>.
More, from a press release issued by Proforma:
CONNER BLEVINS RACES TO FIRST CAREER PODIUM FINISH IN AMA PRO SUPERSPORT RACES AT MID-OHIO
Privateer Conner Blevins had the best weekend of his short pro career with a third place in the second of the two AMA Pro SuperSport races at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course on Sunday, this after a close fourth place finish earlier in the day in Race One. With Saturday’s scheduled program rained out on the notoriously slick-when-wet course, all of the weekend’s final races were run on Sunday. Conner was third fastest on his Kawasaki ZX-6R in the short morning warm-up, and was confident going into both races.
Race One – Sunday
With no qualifying sessions on Saturday, AMA Pro officials set the grid from current points, placing Conner 13th on the grid for Race One. With a good start, Conner was in eighth place after the first lap, and had moved into fourth place by lap seven of the shortened 11-lap race. “I had a good pace going behind Kaleb (De Keyrel) and Wyatt (Farris), and I felt like they were holding me up a bit,” Conner said. “I got around Kaleb, then went to pass Wyatt on the last lap but just couldn’t make it stick. I’m happy with fourth and looking forward to the second race.”
Race Two – Sunday
The grid for Race Two was set from best lap times in Race One, so nineteen-year-old Conner was gridded fourth (inside of Row Two). He shot off the line and went immediately into third place. “Off the start I instantly went into third, and the bike was working really well,” Conner said. “I hung with Dustin (Dominguez) and Hayden (Gillim) until mid-race, then made a couple of mistakes and decided to run my own race and not charge so hard. I checked my gap to fourth a couple of times, and managed it to the end.”
On the podium, Conner made sure to thank his dad Robert Blevins, who builds and tunes Conner’s ZX-6R. “We had a rough start to the season, but my dad has gotten the bike working really well now.” said Conner. “Also, the new tires that Dunlop brought this weekend were great, lots of grip and they looked really good at the end of the races.”
Conner Blevins’ next event of the 2014 AMA Pro SuperSport championship series is the season finale at the Kawasaki Devil’s Showdown at New Jersey Motorsports Park in Millville, New Jersey on September 13-14, 2014.
For the 2014 season, Conner is proud to be sponsored by Excel Machine Racing, Kawasaki USA, Dunlop Tires, Speedmob, Arai Helmets, Ajax Kawasaki, HT Moto, Lone Star Track Days, Moto Liberty, Ohlins Suspension and Bazzaz.
For more information, contact Conner Blevins at email@example.com or visit Conner on Facebook at www.facebook.com/conner.blevins.
More, from a press release issued by Team Hammer:
BUSY ROBERTS RACES TWICE, SHOWS IMPROVEMENT AT MID-OHIO
M4 SportbikeTrackGear.com Racing's Joe Roberts faced a steep learning curve in his first weekend at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course -- and that was before inclement weather forced the entire program to be pushed to Sunday.
With effectively just a single day to learn the track and take part in two Daytona SportBike races, Roberts and the Team Hammer crew put their heads down and went to work.
17-year-old Roberts continually improved throughout the day. He posted the 17th best time in the warm-up session at 1:33.974, finished 16th in Sunday's opening DSB race (posting a fast lap of 1:31.806), and then closed out the weekend with a 14th-place run in the following race, dropping his time down to 1:31.719.
At the end of an intense day, Team Hammer Crew Chief Keith Perry said, "Joe came in here never being here before and this place is known to be a pretty tough place to get accustomed to the first time. I thought he had really good progress throughout the weekend and he definitely looked the best in the last race.
"Everything was crammed into one day; that makes it really tough on somebody to be able to do a whole lot their first time here with all that going on. But I thought he did a great job and he looked better and better. His last race was for sure his best. It's just too bad he couldn't get another day or two and see what he could do, but it is what is. We'll learn from today and keep going."
Team Hammer now eyes the season finale at New Jersey Motorsports Park with high expectations.
Perry said, "New Jersey is good for Joe. He's been there. He's tested there. He got to go there about a month ago with a test bike, so he should be in good shape there. We looking forward to getting there and continue the development."
The 2014 AMA Pro Road Racing season will conclude at NJMP on September 13-14.
About Team Hammer: In 2014, Team Hammer, Inc. is competing in its 34th consecutive racing season, and is marking its eighth year of offering technical and logistical support through its Contract Services Department. Riders on Team Hammer-prepared racebikes have earned 59 AMA Pro National race wins; 135 AMA Pro National podium finishes; 5 AMA Pro Championships; 133 Overall National Endurance race wins; 13 National Endurance Championships and assorted other race wins and titles.
More, from another press release issued by Proforma:
HAYDEN SCHULTZ BATTLES TO NINTH AT MID-OHIO IN AMA PRO VANCE & HINES HARLEY-DAVIDSON XR1200 SERIES
With the Mid-Ohio round shortened to a Sunday-only event due to a rain-out on Saturday, Hayden Schultz had only the cool morning warm-up to get reacquainted with the track he’d only ridden once before. In the race, he found himself racing with Gage McAllister and Nick Hansen for seventh place on the fast, undulating track. A mechanical glitch foiled Hayden’s attempt at a last-lap pass, and he had to settle for ninth place in the end.
AMA Pro officials used the current point standings for grid positions, and Hayden got a good start from the third row. He ran in tenth place at the end of the first lap, but started to move forward with McAllister and Hanson, each taking their turn at the front of their three-rider pack. Hayden passed Nick and was setting Gage up for a pass when the bike went into a false neutral in one of the final corners and caused Hayden to nearly crash. Nick passed him and Hayden had to settle for ninth place at the finish. “I was comfortable racing with the guys,” Hayden said after the race. “Then on the last lap I had a shot at seventh place by passing Gage, and the bike just went into neutral and I nearly high-sided when I put it back into gear. Nick got back past me and there was no time left.”
Hayden slips to ninth place in the season point standings.
Hayden’s next event of the 2014 AMA Pro Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson XR1200 series is the double header during the Red Bull MotoGP weekend at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, Indiana on August 8-10, 2014.
Hayden is proud to receive support from Indian Motorcycles of Lafayette (IN), Lenny Albin/Nitron USA, Chili Pepper Racing, Arai, AXO, Racer Gloves, TCX Boots, Silkolene, Leatt, Leo Vince, Speedmob, Moto Skiveez, Spy Optic, Lenny Albin/Nitron USA and Anthony & Joanne Cardarelli.
To learn more about Hayden Schultz, visit him on Facebook at www.facebook.com/hayden.schultz.
More, from a press release issued by Harley-Davidson:
O’Hara Wins AMA Pro Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson Race at Mid-Ohio Back-and-Forth Five-Rider Battle Settled on Final Lap
MILWAUKEE (July 21, 2014) – Tyler O’Hara (Josh Chisum Racing/Bartels’ H-D) won a thrilling five-rider battle to earn his second victory of the season in the AMA Pro Racing Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson series race Sunday at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio.
O’Hara, who last prevailed at the season opener at Daytona International Speedway in March, started in the second spot on the grid after persistent rain on Saturday forced all on-track action to be postponed to Sunday, resulting in a shortened schedule and eliminating qualifying sessions. As a result, grid positions were determined by season points, putting Danny Eslick (Ruthless Racing/Trev Deeley Motorcycles), O’Hara and Benny Carlson (Suburban Motors H-D/Suburban Speed) on the front row, with defending champion Steve Rapp (Suburban Motors H-D/ Aerostar Global) starting in the sixth position.
At the drop of the green, O’Hara, Eslick, Carlson, Rapp and Kyle Wyman (KWR/Millennium Technologies) jumped from the front of the 17-rider field to a commanding lead over the pack, but there was never much daylight between them as they traded the lead multiple times throughout the 11-lap contest.
Each rider led at least one trip around the scenic 2.4-mile course, but the final order wasn’t settled until the final lap when O’Hara forced his way around Carlson and Eslick elbowed his way past Rapp to take second place, causing the veteran champ to sit up and fall to the back of the lead pack. Carlson salvaged the third step of podium followed by Wyman and Rapp.
“[The win] feels really good,” O'Hara said. “We’ve been off the box the last three races in a row. This weekend was a turning point for me. Every weekend from here on out we’re battling for every point. We have three races left and I expect nothing less than to just battle every weekend.”
The next round of the AMA Pro Vance & Hines Harley Davidson series will be a doubleheader August 8-10 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway during the FIM Red Bull Indianapolis GP.
Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course Race Results:
1. Tyler O’Hara (Josh Chisum Racing/Bartels’ H-D), 11 laps
2. Danny Eslick (Ruthless Racing/Trev Deeley Motorcycles), +0.173 second
3. Benjamin Carlson (Suburban Motors H-D/Suburban Speed), +0.477 second
4. Kyle Wyman (KWR/Millennium Technologies), +0.551 second
5. Steve Rapp (Suburban Motors H-D/ Aerostar Global), +1.143 seconds
6. Ryan Kerr (Thunder Roads Magazine), +19.229 seconds
7. Gage McAllister (Folsom H-D), +27.825 seconds
8. Nicholas Hansen (Aerostar Global/Suburban Motors H-D), +28.988 seconds
9. Hayden Schultz (Chili Pepper Racing/H-D of Bloomington), +30.033 seconds
10. Josh Chisum (Josh Chisum Racing/Bartels’ H-D), +35.547 seconds
11. Darren James (Trev Deeley Motorcycles), +41.143 seconds
12. David Estok (Thrashed Bike Racing/Arrow Aviation), +49.961
13. Joe Rozynski (Sirius XM/Sound-Waves), +1:12.208
14. Sam Rozynski (Sound-Waves.com/Sirius XM), +1:12.264
15. Paul James (Hoban Cycle/Spectro Oils), 10 laps
16. Shelina Moreda (Chili Pepper Racing), +10.155 seconds
17. Jerrett Martin (CPL Systems/Aggressive Insurance), 8 laps
AMA Pro Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson Series Points
1. Eslick, 120
2. O’Hara, 114
3. Carlson, 97
4. McAllister, 84
5. Rapp, 73
6. K. Wyman, 69
7. Hansen, 60
8. Kerr, 55
9. Schultz, 53
10. Chisum, 50
Harley-Davidson Motor Company produces custom, cruiser and touring motorcycles and offers a complete line of Harley-Davidson motorcycle parts, accessories, riding gear and apparel, and general merchandise. For more information, visit harley-davidson.com.
More, from a press release issued by Millennium Technologies/Kyle Wyman Racing:
Millennium Technologies rider Kyle Wyman shines through rain-affected Mid-Ohio event
MACEDON, N.Y. (July 21) -- Millennium Technologies rider Kyle Wyman earned impressive results in both the Daytona Sportbike and Harley-Davidson series races, all held on Sunday at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.
Wyman faced a long day at the office when weather forced AMA Pro Racing to reduce the weekend to a one-day format. He raced both Daytona Sportbike races in one day, finishing 11th and 7th respectively, with a 4th place finish in the Harley-Davidson race in between.
"That was certainly the longest day I've ever had in racing," Wyman said. "Three races is a lot for one day, but I really didn't mind it all that much. I had a ton of fun in both classes, especially in race two on the DSB bike. We finally found a great setup and I was very comfortable."
Wyman's 7th place result was his first top-ten finish since round two at Road America in June, and his best finish since his breakthrough 6th place in the Daytona 200 in March.
"I feel like we are on a climb back towards the front." Wyman added. "We had a little bit of a slump mid-season, but I feel New Jersey in September will be my strongest track on the schedule. I can't thank Millennium Technologies enough for standing behind me and supporting me in such a big way this season. I want to reward them with a pair of top-5 finishes at the end of the year."
The AMA Pro Harley-Davidson series race from Mid-Ohio was a barn-burner, as always. Wyman found himself in a scrap of five riders, all fighting for the top spot on the podium. Ultimately he could only muster a 4th place result, his first time finishing a race off the podium in two seasons.
"I was definitely disappointed to not be riding over to the podium after the race," said the 24-year old. "I've either been on the podium or in the gravel trap every race the past couple seasons, so I really am ready to get to the next race and redeem myself. Next up is the doubleheader at Indianapolis, a place I've won before and a huge race for us on the Harleys. I can't wait for that one."
Wyman improved to 8th place in the AMA Pro Daytona Sportbike series points standings, and remains in the 6th position in Harley-Davidson points standings after Mid-Ohio.
The next event will take place at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, August 9-11. The event will include only the AMA Pro Harley-Davidson series as a support race for MotoGP.
To follow Kyle's career, visit www.facebook.com/kylewymanfans
To build a bike as fast as Kyle's, visit www.mt-llc.com