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Sep 16, 2013

More From This Past Weekend's Various Motorcycle Road Races

FIM MotoGP World Championship: Hector Barbera (8) and Hiroshi Aoyama (7).
Good GP of Hiroshi Aoyama: third in CRT and two new points after finishing fourteenth

Héctor Barberá abandons due to set-up problems

Misano, 15 September 2013. It was a difficult weekend for the Avintia Blusens team in which their riders did not share the same fate. The team arrived at Misano having pinned many hopes on the new pneumatic valve engine with the one they expected to shorten differences and, despite the fact that the performance seems to be really good, the lack of an ideal bike set-up prevented them from obtaining the expected results. Barberá, who had at his disposal the new engine, had a lot of chattering throughout the weekend. So much that in the race he saw himself forced to retire on the twenty-second lap.

It was not easy either for the Japanese Hiroshi Aoyama who had engine problems that delayed the work programme on Friday, and today he fell in the warm-up. However, Hiroshi overcame the difficulties and did a very good race that led him to be the third best rider of CRT and score two new points after finishing in fourteenth place. A good job of the Avintia Blusens rider.

Now, the team is getting ready to race at home again at the Grand Prix Iveco of Aragón on 28 and 29 September.

8 Héctor Barberá: (NC): Definitely it has not been a good weekend. Despite having used for the first time the new engine, we have not been able to obtain any advantage of it because of the problems we have had with the bike. It is true that I like the engine and it feels better, both in acceleration and speed, but the presence of an excessive chattering has deprived us of the chance of achieving a good result. During the race I have tried to minimise the problem by trying different ways to ride, but it has been impossible. The riding was increasingly more difficult and I have chosen to stop in my pit-box to avoid a possible fall. Tomorrow we have test and we have to find out what has happened.

7 Hiroshi Aoyama: (14th, +1.15.528): I am happy because we have obtained a good result by working the right way. Yesterday I said that in the qualifying I could have been a bit faster, but the time we lost on Friday in the pit-box took a toll on us, although I was convinced of being able to do a good race if we were a little lucky. Today, despite the fall in the warm-up, we have improved and we have been constant. Initially I have ridden cautiously, because the morning?s fall has taken away some confidence from me, but little by little I have won security and I have been able to get a good pace. I am satisfied with the result. We have scored again and I have been the third best CRT again. I want to thank my mechanics for the effort made during the weekend and, above all, this race is dedicated to my technician Tom Jojic and his family, supporting them at these hard times they are going through.

More, from a press release issued by QMMF Racing Team:

West battles from 19th to eleventh, Sucipto fights, falls and still scores race finish

QMMF Racing Team riders Anthony West and Rafid Topan Sucipto had an exciting Grand Prix of San Marino with thrilling battles and results that boosted everybody’s confidence for the last five races of the season.

West started from 19th position on the grid but started to hunt down his rivals straight away, taking 14th position on the first lap and working his way up steadily up through the point rankings. With new-found confidence in the front end of his Speed Up bike, he even had a top ten finish within his reach, but ran wide when another rider clipped his rear wheel. In the end, West saved eleventh place, which was a great result after a string of difficult races.

Young team-mate Rafid Topan Sucipto also put up a strong fight, defending his position against six other riders in the initial stages of the race. The teenager from Indonesia could realistically have scored 24th place, but fell and lost two positions to take 26th. However, his lap times and his fighting spirit were strong indications of better times to come in near future.

Anthony West – 11th place

“If I look back how the last few races have been going until now, I am happy with today’s race and I think it is a good result. The direction we are going with the bike is also good. Recently, I had a lot of problems with the bike, but I also had a lot of problems with other issues outside of the racetrack that affected me. The first day here at Misano was still difficult, but yesterday in the morning session, I started to feel really good with the front of bike. We lost this feeling a little bit again in qualifying, so I couldn’t qualify as well as I expected and I knew it was going to be a tough race. But I had more confidence than on Friday. I knew I would be able to fight from the start of the race to the end. I felt really strong and I was able to catch riders and pass them all the time, which I wasn’t able to do in the past. There was only one difficult situation in the race, which probably cost me a top ten result. I passed Simón under brakes and as I was going into the corner, he tried to turn in as well and clipped my back wheel. I ran wide off the track and lost three positions and a lot of time. When I came back onto the track, I thought I had a flat tyre, because initially, I had no rear grip. When I realised the tyre was okay and when I started to get grip again, I also got back to doing good lap times and caught the guy that was in front of me. Too bad we ran off, because my final position could have been better. But 11th still is a strong result and I am happy for the team and for the fact that they keep believing in me. I have been a bit angry the last few races and probably not very easy to work with, so I want to thank the team for continuing and keeping me motivated to push on!”

Rafid Topan Sucipto – 26th place

“On one side, I am happy with the race, because my lap times got better again and I was able to put up a fight. But obviously, I am not happy about the fact that I crashed. I managed to ride on and to finish the race, but without the fall, I would have continued to push and probably scored 24th place instead of 26th!”

More, from a press release issued by GEICO Motorcycle Road Racing:

GEICO Honda rider Westby finishes
sixth in second half of doubleheader
MILLVILLE, N.J. (Sept. 15) - Dane Westby guided the GEICO Motorcycle Honda to a sixth-place finish in Sunday's GoPro Daytona SportBike race, the second half of the New Jersey Lottery Devil's Showdown doubleheader in the GEICO Motorcycle AMA Pro Road Racing Series.

Westby raced strong all weekend and showed the ability to work his way through the pack in both races at New Jersey Motorsports Park.

"It's not easy starting back on the third row," Westby said. "It helps you get a fire under you, but then there's a lot of guys to pass and the front guys are gone by the time you get around them all. Not being able to catch up with the front group is what I dealt with both days. We've got to qualify better, that will solve that issue right there."

Westby had two starts on Sunday. After the initial start of the race, he had worked his way forward to the eighth spot when another rider went down causing a red-flag situation while AMA officials checked the track for oil and debris.

After the second restart, Westby rode smart and took advantage of some attrition to work his way up to a four-way battle for fourth with Honda teammate Benny Solis, Jason DiSalvo, and Jake Zemke, a situation similar to Saturday's race.

Westby and Solis fought back and forth for several laps, which mimicked Sunday's warm-up session.

"We went around a few laps together in practice just to exchange notes," Westby said. "It really made a difference. When the race came we were riding along, having a great time. I just had a little problem with the bike at the end and wasn't able to give them anything for the last lap."

On the last lap, Solis and DiSalvo were able to use the draft to get around Westby before the finish.

"We've got one more race to go," Westby said. "Laguna Seca is a fun track and the crowd is good. I'm looking forward to the chance to ride this GEICO Motorcycle Honda one more time."

Westby leaves New Jersey Motorsports Park in seventh place in the points. He is 10 points behind James Rispoli and Jake Lewis, who are tied for fifth.

Up next is the season finale for the GEICO Motorcycle AMA Pro Road Racing Series on Sept. 29 at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in Monterey, Calif.

More, from a press release issued by Team Hammer PR:


Team Hammer improved on Sunday to finish the penultimate round of the 2013 GEICO Motorcycle AMA Pro Road Racing season.

GEICO Motorcycle Road Racing's Dane Westby built on his fifth-place finish in Saturday's Daytona SportBike race, running nose to tail with M4 Hotbodies Racing's Benny Solis in Sunday's multi-rider fight for fourth place; both Westby and Solis aboard CBR600RR Hondas prepared by Team Hammer.

Westby held fourth with Solis a close fifth in the run to the white flag. But Westby mistook the white flag for the checkered flag and slowed down after crossing the line, instantly dropping back to seventh and handing fourth to Solis. Westby quickly realized his mistake and fought back into sixth at the actual checkered flag.

Solis, who had qualified 16th for the SportBike double-header and finished 10th on Saturday, earned a hard-earned fourth in Sunday's 23-lap race, securing the position at the line by a 0.04-second margin.

After the race an elated Solis said, "That's my best DSB result yet. It feels good. The guys were pushing really hard and I could hear their bikes behind me. It was fun and I learned a lot from Dane when we went out and worked together in practice, which helped me a lot in the race."

Californian Solis is looking forward to the upcoming season finale at Laguna Seca, anxious to capitalize on his improving form. "I love that Laguna Seca is the final race. The last time we were there we struggled a little bit because this whole season I've been trying to find the right set-up and chassis balance to suit my style. We hadn't hit on it and I crashed a lot trying to go fast. At Miller and afterward, we've made a lot of improvements. Now that the bike feels more settled for me I think we'll be good at Laguna. We have to work even harder since it's the last race, but I'm excited that the bike feels as good as it does now."

MPH Racing's Melissa Paris started 22nd but again improved on her grid position, adding to Saturday's 16th with a Sunday 17th on her Team Hammer Contract Services-prepared Honda CBR600RR.

M4 Broaster Chicken Racing's Chris Ulrich finished 14th in Sunday's AMA Pro Superbike race after earning 13th the day before, but went faster in the Sunday race despite continuing electronics issues.

Team Hammer will complete the 2013 GEICO Motorcycle Road Racing season on September 27-29 at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca as AMA Pro shares the spotlight with the Superbike World Championship.

About Team Hammer: In 2013, Team Hammer, Inc. is competing in its 33rd consecutive racing season, and is marking its seventh 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 a press release issued by Geiger Media on behalf of AMSOIL:

AMSOIL EBR riders work though growing pains on second day of Devil's Showdown

MILLVILLE, N.J. (Sept. 15) - There are times in racing when progress presents a whole new set of challenges, and that was the situation encountered by the AMSOIL EBR National Guard SuperBike team this weekend at the New Jersey Lottery Devil's Showdown.

Before this weekend of GEICO Motorcycle AMA Pro Road Racing at New Jersey Motorsports Park, the crew for both Geoff May and Aaron Yates found some more power, but it caused a ripple effect to other parts of the bike.

For May it impacted his tire wear. On Sunday, he finished seventh and it took all he could muster to hold on to that spot.

"Tire longevity was a problem for us all weekend," May said. "It got us yesterday. We made a change at warm-ups that made it a little bit better. It made it to where I could ride the bike harder longer, but I knew with eight laps to go the thing was going to be shot."

May focused on going as hard as he could early to get his Team Hero/AMSOIL EBR as far ahead in the pack as he could.

"I got a rippin' start and was riding up in fourth or fifth," May said. "I tried to stay with that lead group as long as I could. I knew I couldn't hold their pace the whole race. I had a good battle with Chris Fillmore later on but just didn't have anything for him at the end."

May said the team will focus on adjusting the setup so it's less abusive to the tires.

"We've got more grip and more power," May said. "Now we've got to find a better tire package so we make the tire last. The other guys up front aren't having the problem. You look at their tires after the race and they look mint. We're missing something and we've got to look at the data and make a fix."

Yates finished 11th on his AMSOIL/Hero EBR. His team had to make a switch to an older engine, which was lower on power and didn't quite mesh with the bike's setup.

"My bike was consistent throughout the race," Yates said. "I was having problems getting the other motor to shift into fifth gear. The other motor didn't quite accelerate the same. The bike worked well changing direction and getting around the racetrack.

"I just got hung up behind a couple of guys and wasn't able to maintain my roll speed through the turns like I needed to and get the rpms on the engine high enough to suit the gearing. That held me up and I wasn't able to be close enough at the end of the straightaways to make a move on anyone."

The AMSOIL EBR team has one more chance at a podium finish at the Sept. 29 season finale of the GEICO Motorcycle AMA Pro Road Racing Series at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.

More, from a press release issued by Yamaha Racing:

Lowes Takes Steps Closer to Title Victory with Turkish Podium

Yakhnich Yamaha World Supersport rider Sam Lowes took his Yamaha YZF-R6 another step closer to the 2013 World Supersport Championship title yesterday with a second place finish at the Turkish round of the series.

Starting from second on the grid, Lowes began yet another intense battle with arch-rival Kenan Sofuoglu, played out over the entire race to the finish line. The young British rider was able to lead the race for 12 laps before countless position changes at the front ended with Sofuoglu as the rider who crossed the finish line first, Lowes just four hundreds of a second behind in second place.

Championship leader Lowes now sits on 205 points, 49 ahead of Sofuoglu with just two rounds remaining. The pair will meet to do battle again on October 6th in Magny Cours, France before heading to the final race of the season in Jerez, Spain on October 20th.

Sam Lowes
“Initially I was sure that I could win the race, but when I saw Kenan’s pace and determination I realised that we would have to hold off on deciding the championship until we get to Magny Cours, he was brilliant in the race. The team and Yamaha did a great job again with the bike and I’m confident we can come out fighting in France!”