Aug 28, 2001
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Synergy Honda's Marc Palazzo had high praise for Air Fence after he highsided into a section of Alpina Air Module placed in front of a concrete wall at Pocono International Raceway Sunday.<BR><BR>Palazzo was racing for seventh with Dianetics' Stoney Landers and Cycles 128's Jim Lester late in the 18-lap Pro Sportbike race when Palazzo highsided his Honda CBR600F4 exiting turn five, coming out onto the NASCAR tri-oval on the final lap. Palazzo was thrown into one of the 20 sections of Alpina Air Module provided for the event by the Roadracing World Air Fence Fund.<BR><BR>"I thank everybody for that Air Fence Fund," Palazzo said as he prepared to race in the first Unlimited Superbike race, shortly after his crash. "I'm glad I put some money in it because that thing worked great. I wouldn't be racing right now if it wasn't for that Air Fence, that's for sure. I decided to go with a little softer tire, and it was getting a little greasy at the end. I was catching Stoney Landers. I was getting him to within a couple of bikes of me, and I really wanted to get a good drive on that straightaway. It tossed me over the high side and right into the fence. The Air Fence was great, Arai helmets are great, and Pilot/Gaerne leathers held up and now I'm racing again because of all of those things."<BR><BR>The Sportbike race was red-flagged and called complete after Palazzo's crash. Palazzo was credited with 22nd in the Pro Sportbike race because he caused the red flag, but placed sixth and seventh in the two Unlimited Superbike races on his Honda CBR929RR.<BR><BR>The Alpina Air Module was tested once again in the Aprilia Challenge Cup final when Blackman's Cycle's Shannon Silva lowsided in turn five. Silva was unhurt and continued in the race to finish 11th.<BR><BR>Formula USA continued the program, started in 1999, of removing steel Armco barriers at Pocono and replacing them after the event, at F-USA expense. The worst injury over the four-day event, according to F-USA National Safety Director Roger Lyle, was a broken leg suffered by a rider who crashed in the run-off area outside turn one.<BR><BR>The run-off areas at Pocono are very rough and uneven. Some riders who rode off the track under some sort of control then crashed in the rough run-off area.