Mar 14, 2013
© 2013, Roadracing World Publishing, Inc.
by David Swarts
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Dane Westby and his GEICO Motorcycle Road Racing Honda CBR600RR. Photo by Brian J. Nelson, courtesy of GEICO Motorcycle Road Racing.
Keith Perry, the longtime Team Manager for Team Hammer, said this past off-season has been one of the toughest for his team but the effort resulted in one of the best pre-season tests his team has ever had.
Team Hammer fields the M4 Motorcycle Road Racing team of Benny Solis (Daytona SportBike) and Chris Ulrich (Superbike) and provides technical service support to GEICO Motorcycle Road Racing’s Dane Westby (Daytona SportBike) under contract to Chris Ulrich Racing LLC and MPH Racing's Melissa Paris (Daytona SportBike). All of the riders are using Honda machinery in 2013, and that’s a big departure for Team Hammer, which has spent the last 32 years working with Suzukis.
That new deal with Honda wasn’t finalized until January of 2013, resulting in a mad thrash by Team Hammer to get eight racebikes built and ready to test prior to coming to Daytona International Speedway this weekend.
“We’ve been going pretty hard for the last two months,” Perry told Roadracingworld.com. “For the last month it’s been 12-14-hour days every day.”
A lot of that time was focused on getting their new, 2012-model CBR600RR Daytona SportBikes to what they felt was a competitive level.
“We’ve done 600 dyno runs on our 600s. We’ve burned up 35 gallons of race fuel just doing dyno runs,” said Perry. “But we had the engine up to the same horsepower level as the Suzuki [GSX-R600] within the first two weeks.”
All of that work, however, resulted in the team’s one and only pre-season test (March 11 at Jennings GP, in Jennings, Florida) going very well.
“Considering how many motorcycles we had to build in a short amount of time, and working with a new brand of motorcycle, I couldn’t believe how smoothly the test went,” said Perry. “Dane [Westby] was one second quicker than he was on the Suzuki at the same track, same tire, same test last year. I feel good about that, and I feel there’s more to come.”