Jul 31, 2013
© 2014, Roadracing World Publishing, Inc.
From a press release
issued by Derek Keyes' publicist:
FIM Endurance World Championship/Coca-Cola Zero Suzuka 8 Hours: Derek Keyes (38) in action on the Team 38 PS-K Kawasaki ZX-10R at Suzuka. Photo courtesy of Kawasaki Motors Japan.
Kawasaki Team 38 PS-K Gets Revenge at Suzuka!
2013 is a very special year for Kawasaki Team 38 because it is the team’s 38th anniversary and after last year’s disappointing DNF at Suzuka the team vowed revenge on this year’s 8 hour race!
The days leading up to this year’s 8 hour race went nearly perfect for Team 38. Both Syohei Karita and Derek Keyes put in their best ever laps around Suzuka during qualifying to put the team 24th on the starting grid! There would be a little trouble come Saturday’s practice session where an electrical issue plagued the team. After some quick diagnostics the problem was found, but the team took no chances and worked late into the evening checking every sensor and electrical component on the race machine to ensure there would be no issues for Sunday’s 8 hour race.
The team’s hard work paid off as there were no mechanical issues at all during the entire 8 hours! At the start of the race Syohei Karita bogged the bike off the line and was 39th after the first lap but by the end of his stint he worked the Team 38 Kawasaki Ninja® ZX™-10R up to 22nd position. Derek Keyes took over for the 2nd hour and was up to 17th at the end of his stint and after Shigeru Yamashita’s stint the team found itself in a race long battle for 15th position.
With about half an hour to go the rain began to fall and Derek Keyes pitted to get a set of rain tires installed. The drama continued as the track dried out with less than 10 minutes to go to the finish! The team kept Derek out on rains, not wanting to waste time in the pits changing back to slicks. He did a solid job managing the rain tires on the drying track and brought home the Team 38 Kawasaki ZX-10R in 16th position!
Kawasaki Team 38 PS-K is very pleased with the solid finish and would like to thank all of the team sponsors, crew members and riders for all the hard work put in for this year’s 8 hour race! We look forward to the future and hope we can continue to successfully challenge the Suzuka 8 hour race!
Derek Keyes: “I’m very happy with our result! These guys put in a lot of hours making sure the bike was perfect and it was! Not a single issue during the race! I’m honored to be a part of this team with these guys. They have so much passion for racing, and I’m just happy to be involved with it all! The race was difficult. The first stint was really hot, and I was feeling pretty beat after my first hour. The second stint was easier as it cooled off a little and the tires seemed to go the entire hour without falling off too much. I got to be the lucky guy in the end to deal with the rain and then the drying track! I pitted for rains because the track got wet enough to see spray, and I didn’t want to chance a crash so close to the end. Then it dried out and being so close to the end I just stayed out and dealt with the rain tires getting hot. That was a new experience for me, but I’m just glad I brought it home in one piece! 16th is a great finish for us, and I’m really happy with that result! I have to thank everyone for all the support this year!”
More, from a press release issued by Jimmy Merck's publicist:
JIMMY MERCK EIGHT FOR EIGHT AT MILLER MOTORSPORTS PARK
Atlanta, Georgia’s Jimmy Merck overcame challenges this past weekend at Miller Motorsports Park in Utah during WERA’s doubleheader weekend onboard his Vesrah-sponsored GSXR 600, with eight sprint race podiums, including three wins, in as many starts.
WERA held its fourth round of the National Challenge Series presented by Lucas Oil this past weekend. A full day of practice Friday and a matching race schedule for both Saturday and Sunday made for an action packed weekend, including some challenging race conditions on Sunday. Merck and his team left out of Georgia Tuesday evening with a plan of arriving at Miller Thursday evening to participate in practice on Friday. With racing, things rarely go to plan.
Departing Georgia and arriving in Ohio to pick up a couple motors as well as the motorhome went smoothly. Departing Ohio and heading West – somewhere in Nebraska a deer decided to run into the side of the motorhome, and about two hours later a wheel bearing locks up. Two days….yes days later, the motorhome is repaired and Merck is back on the road. After safety-wiring a suspect turbo actuator, Merck and his crew arrived at Miller at 5:30 AM Saturday morning with no sleep!
After limited practice time Saturday morning, it was game on. Up first was 600 Superstock Expert, where after a great start Jimmy crossed the line in third place, .2 seconds behind for his first podium of the day! Next up was 750 Superbike Expert, and Merck improved to a second place finish in as many starts. With a quick tire change, 600 Superbike competitors made their way to the grid, with Merck finishing with another second place, nipping at the leader’s back wheels. For the final race of the day, 750 Superstock Expert, Merck put the hammer down and came out with the win, making it four podiums in four races for the day. Not bad with no sleep and limited practice!
Sunday brought strange weather, with rain on different parts of the track at different times. Many competitors chose DOT’s over rains, with varying results. With a fresh set of Dunlop’s and a good night’s rest, 600 Superstock Expert was up. After some great battles, Jimmy crossed the line in second place to start off the race day. 750 Superbike Expert started with some rain on the track. Merck chose to stick with DOT’s – a choice that paid off with another second place finish in as many starts. With some adjustments to the suspension clickers, John McGarity gave Merck some additional confidence for the last two races of the day.
Lining up for 600 Superbike Expert race, the weather decided to throw more challenges at the competitors. Merck rose to the occasion in the sketchy conditions, crossing the line first and almost five seconds ahead of the closest competitor. With the track drying and conditions getting better, lap times were ready to drop. 750 Superstock Expert, the last race of the day, saw some great action. Jimmy put his head down clicking off the fastest time of the session and went on to win by over six seconds – two wins for the day!
Jimmy is currently first in points Nationally in both B Superstock and B Superbike, and second in points for both C Superstock and C Superbike. “I will finish out the season strong – stay tuned!” exclaimed Merck.
Jimmy would like to personally thank his sponsor Dan Covington of Truck System Technologies (TST) who offer top of the line tire pressure monitoring systems. Jimmy would additionally like to thank John McGarity for dialing the chatter out of his bikes and expert suspension tuning!
Jimmy is proud to work with Mark and Tony with Vesrah, Vesrah Brakes, Nielsens Enterprises, Dunlop and Race Tire Services, Graves Exhaust, Livengood, Traxxion Dynamics, Penske, Maxima Oils, Shoei Helmets, Pilot Leathers, Chris with MPH, DID Chains, Bazzaz, Spiegler Brake Lines, Vortex Sprockets, Pit Bull, Cycle Gear, his father Jimmy SR, and girlfriend Bobby.
More, from a press release issued by Bodhi Edie's publicist:
Roadracing World 2013 Young Gun, seventeen-year-old Canadian Superbike rider Bodhi Edie (Warman, SK) was ready for his first WERA round at Miller Motorsports park July 27 and 28, after racing the Utah Sportbike Association (UTAHSBA) rounds at Miller during June and July. Edie had good results, with back to back wins in the two expert Superbike classes at the previous UTAHSBA round in June.
After Friday’s practice sessions, Bodhi said, “Practices went well, the [bike] set-up is good, and we’re excited for this weekend’s races. There are lots of riders here that I haven’t raced before, so it should make for some good competition. With the AMA round here next weekend, a lot of fast guys are here for this round to prepare, so I’m looking forward to some good battles.”
With the WERA race classes gridding based on season points, Edie had his work cut out for him with starting from many rows back in both the Formula one and A Superbike classes.
“The first race of the day was awesome. I got a good start and went through a few riders in the early laps, ending up taking second place behind Jeremy Toye (CA),” said Edie. “The second race I made my way up to third, then there was a red flag and full restart, so I “got” to do it all over again! On the restart, I got a bad start and was seventh after the first lap, but after some good battles, I got up to second, behind Toye again. No complaints, I ran a 1:54.25, my fastest lap of the weekend to that point, so I just hoped to improve on that on race day two.”
After the second of the weekend’s doubleheader race days, Edie said, “That was a crazy day! We had bike problems in the morning warm up, but thanks to my team and Mike Bradshaw we got everything dialed in for racing this afternoon. The first race I got a good start and was running in third place, but hit a false neutral going into turn one and ran off track. I managed to keep it upright and rejoined the race but finished 12th. The second race was fantastic. I got a good start and made a few passes, ending up second to Toye again. By the time I got up to the front, he always had such a gap stretched out that I didn’t get to battle for a win, but the racing to get to second was great. I ran my fastest time of the weekend in that race, a 1:54.20, so I was very happy with that.
“In terms of plans for the rest of the season, I was really hoping to run the Superbike class at next weekend’s AMA round in Miller, but they’re pretty hard and fast on the age rule that says I can’t do that under age 18. So I’m happy to take the skills I’ve developed racing at this fabulous facility (Miller) home to Canada to the final three rounds of the CSBK national series at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park and Mont Tremblant in August.”
Edie Racing thanks Ffun Motorsports, Motovan Corp, JDS Decals, Novakoski Quality Collision, Choo-It, and Chuck Antle and family. Special thanks to BMW Motorrad Canada for their support in the upcoming final rounds of the CSBK series.