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May 8, 2002

Team Stargel Aprilia's Version Of What Happened At Sears Point

From a press release:<BR><BR>Team Stargel Aprilia Perseveres At Sears<BR><BR>This past weekend brought the third round of the AMA 250GP season at Sears Point Raceway. The team entered the weekend having thought they had eliminated an electrical gremlin that cost them a shot at a win previously at Fontana. Unfortunately, this same problem once again reared its head, causing engine failures on both Friday and during the first lap of Saturdays qualifying session.<BR><BR>Chuck Sorensen kept his wits about him, removed the transponder from his Aprilia RSV250 and ran from turn three back to the pits. He arrived, much to the surprise of his crew, with less than five minutes remaining in the session. Team owner, Rocky Stargel, asked Terry Csyz and Tom Knudson of Tom Colin Racing if they would allow Chuck to ride their Aprilia RSV250 backup bike in qualifying. They graciously agreed, and with five minutes left in the session, Sorensen managed to secure seventh place on the grid.<BR><BR>The team dodged a bullet and had a second row grid position, but as of late Saturday, did not have a running motorcycle to compete with. With some invaluable assistance from Roland Cushway, the TSA crew worked feverishly building a totally new Aprilia RSV250. They ended their 'workday' at 2:30 a.m. Sunday morning, with no real idea how this unproven machine would perform.<BR><BR>If the team thought they have experienced enough drama leading up to the race, then the race itself was the culmination of it all. Sorensen worked his Aprilia though the pack until he passed then leader, Roland Sands. The two traded the lead and raced at a dizzying pace driving each other faster still. On lap 15, Sorensen cemented the win by uncorking a lap of 1:34.8! To put this in perspective, this lap time was over a full second faster than any competitor in the Superstock class, within .478 of the top time in Supersport, and would have landed him in the top 10 of the Superbike race.<BR><BR>After the race, Sorensen was asked where this win stacked up over the course of his career. He had this comment:<BR><BR>"This win was special because of the trials the team was put through before the race, and the fact this is my home track, with all my family and friends in attendance. I feel this race was one of my best performances to date in AMA competition. I think I might be coming into my prime as far as my riding is concerned."<BR><BR>Team Stargel Aprilia would like to thank the supporters who make their efforts possible: Aprilia USA, Aprilia Italy, FGF Corse, Dunlop, Performance Powersports, VP Racing Fuels, Castrol, EBC Brakes, Shoei, Helimot, Held Gloves, Daytona Boots, Fox Racing, Smith Sport, TC's Specialized Graphics & Regina Chains.<BR>