Willow Springs International Raceway
Round 3 of the Moto West Grand Prix series saw the triumphant return of Tuned Racing to the Big Willow course. Fresh off a podium finish at the GEICO Motorcycle SuperBike Shootout at Sonoma, Bryce Prince was ready for action. Jason Aguilar had unfinished business at Big Willow after a practice crash last September, while on his fastest pace lap ever, cost him a championship last season. Mike Pond made his return to competition after hand surgery, and was anxious to show the younger riders that he belonged on the podium too.
In the 600 Superstock race, Jason Aguilar wasted no time. Getting the holeshot, Jason proceeded to run a personal best 1:24.16 lap time to pull away to a convincing win in the windy conditions. 750 Superbike saw Mike Pond back on the podium with a 3rd place finish on his Tuned Racing Supersport spec Yamaha R6. Open Superbike had a stacked field including AMA Superbike pros WSMC and MWGP #1 plate holders. Surprisingly, Bryce Prince got the holeshot, and led the first lap until the power of one of the litrebikes got to the main straightaway on lap 2. Bryce managed to hold off the rest of the litrebikes for a 2nd Place finish, running a 1:23.221.
The marquee race of the day, Formula 1, featured the big bikes of some AMA Superbike pros, including a bunch of local fast guys. A Ducati 1199 Panigale, grabbed the holeshot and slowly pulled out a gap. Right behind, Bryce Prince was locked in a fierce battle. Jason Aguilar was able to make a pass in Turn 3 on the first lap for 4th place. “When the first place Panigale pulled off the track after 8 laps, I realized that I could podium,” Jason said. Meanwhile, Bryce was now battling for the win with a BMW rider. The two riders were locked together for the entire race. Bryce was able to make a move in Turn 4 for the lead, but could not make it stick, settling for a hard earned 2nd place against the big bikes. Jason was able to round out the podium in 3rd place. On the podium, all three riders commented on how the high winds made it the “scariest Formula 1 race ever.”
The 600 Superbike race saw Bryce take the win, with Mike Pond finishing 3rd. Mike Pond continued his successful return to competition with a 2nd Place finish in 750 Superstock. Jason was able to grab the lead in Turn 1 of the Open Superstock race and take his second win of the weekend.
Tuned Racing riders accumulated nine podium finishes in nine races in this tune-up for the next two weekends. May 24-25 will see Tuned Racing back in action at the GEICO Motorcycle Superbike Shootout Arai Mountain Nationals at Miller Motorsports Park, in Tooele, Utah. The following weekend, May 30-June 1, will see the team’s return to AMA competition at Road America for the Subway SuperBike Doubleheader.
Tuned Racing thanks all its sponsors for their support:
Tuned Industries, Graves Motorsports, Dunlop Motorcycle Road Racing Tires USA , SolarMax Technology, Galfer Brakes, Worxxx Performance and Machine, Drive Systems USA, Torco Advanced Lubricants, Motoyard.com, Let’s Ride Trackdays, Zero Gravity Racing Corporation, Dynojet, VNM Sportgear, EFSigns.com, SBKPaint.com, Optimal Racing Bodywork, SpeedAngle, Shorai Batteries, ACT Leathers , NEXX-USA, and Onyx Oil Service.
Jason Aguilar also thanks his personal sponsors: RS Taichi, Moto Liberty, AXO, Vortex Racing, Impact Safe-T Armor, Spider Grips, HT Moto, GPR Stabilizers, and Chicken Hawk Racing.