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Nov 8, 2017

WERA Grand National Finals: Even More From The Races At Barber Motorsports Park

Matt Burdett (377). Photo by Lee Fields/Active Shooter Photography, courtesy of Matt Burdett.

Burdett Wins Four Regional Championships in 2017

WERA’s 45th Annual Grand National Finals were hosted at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, AL this past weekend as the culmination of the WERA National Challenge series on Sunday as well as the winner-take-all Grand National Finals for the Sportsman series on Friday and Saturday.

Teams were greeted with fabulous weather for Thursday morning’s practice session. Matt and his crew arrived at Barber and got moved in, but had personal business to attend to. His Suzuki GSX-R600 was ready for battle with fresh Pirelli rubber mounted.

Friday brought mild temperatures again, with two 8-lap sprint races in the afternoon for Matt – C Superstock and C Superbike. With two practices in the morning and setting a personal best time, it was game on for the winner-take-all races. And then the skies opened with rain. C Superstock was race 4, so the chess game begins – rains? DOT’s? With one race to spare, the decision was made to run full rain tires. At the drop of the flag, the track was drying, but still had standing water in a few turns and slippery sealer and curbing. After watching competitors slide around, a reserved Burdett crossed the line in 3rd with his first podium finish of the weekend.

Next up was C Superbike, with a completely dry track. 3rd off the line, the dicing began. In T5 Burdett pulled a pass that put him in the lead until lap 2. Running consistent 31’s and having a blast, Matt crossed the line in 2nd a mere 1.086 off the winner.

Saturday’s weather was gorgeous, and Matt’s GSX-R600 was on rails. The first National event of the day, 600 Superstock – WERA National, was race 3 with a starting position of 11th. Some great battles ensued and another personal best lap time (31.9) for the weekend. At the checkered flag, Matt came in 3rd and on the box again!

The second race of the day for Burdett was WERA Pro 600 Superbike Expert, with a shortened 7 lap race. After three podiums, confidence was high! With a great launch, Matt did a 33.6 first lap flyer, and led the first couple laps. After getting passed, a glance down revealed oil on Burdett’s boot. Not good! Instead of risking a crash or oiling the track, Matt pulled in, disappointed, but ran is fastest lap of the weekend with a 31 flat!

Never underestimate the power of the paddock and the WERA racing family – there was one race to go (AMA 600 Superstock). After tearing the bike down, the problem was identified as a defective water pump. Swapping said water pump was not an option for this 5-lap sprint race. Another competitor and friend offered his R6, and upon entering their pit, all efforts were focused on getting this R6 set up for Burdett. Learning the bike on the warm-up lap, Burdett rolled up to the grid beyond appreciative. After getting the holeshot with the drop of the flag, Burdett put his head down. Adjusting to the bike, and after getting passed, Matt put it on the box with a 3rd place finish and a 32.2 laptime. Awesome!

Saturday evening saw wrenches turning and replacing the defective water pump (thanks MARMO!). Final touches and setup, along with some fresh Pirelli rubber had the team prepared for Sunday’s final race of the weekend for Burdett, the 8 lap Featured AMA 600 Superbike race.

Starting on pole, confidence was high being back on the familiar GSX-R600. All the hard work was catching up, and Burdett was flat out tired. After a tough race with great conditions, Burdett crossed the line in 2nd, six seconds back. Another podium to close out the weekend!

Burdett started off the year with his 2006 GSX-R600 and tenacity. 30 race starts, 28 podiums, and 4 Regional Championships. None of this would have been possible without his wife, Stacey along with so many others.

“It takes so many people to make the plan come together – Huey with Marietta Motorsports. He not only mapped the bike with an amazing performance improvement, but also was available the entire weekend. His staff (Clyde and Jesse) – the bomb and so much thanks for your support. Ohlins USA – Ken Hall / Mike Himmelsbach – cannot thank them enough. These results would have not been possible without them. Nick and Kristy Skirvin – thank you so much for your support and not taking no for an answer when you graciously offered your R6. All of my friends who came out to support – Tim Debusk, Isaiah Debusk, Shane Richardson, Thom Foxx, Caleb Odom, Nicole Karamichael, Todd Baldwin, Aaron Hernandex, Chad Brambilla, and Mark and Dawn Merical – sincere thanks! The corner workers, photographers, and all support staff – thank you! And of course WERA and the AMA for putting on the best roadracing series in America! Sincere thanks!!!”

Matt is proud to work with Pirelli and Podium Motorsports (James Bock), Vesrah (Akihito Tamura, Hironori Orita, Tamotsu Sato), BD Racing (Mitch Williams), Sportbike Track Time, AXO, On-Target Racing, Vortex, Bell Motorcycle Helmets, Pop Shadow Decals, Spy, Armor Bodies, Chicken Hawk, Motul, MARMO, CayloR-Made Motorsports, and his continuously supportive wife Stacey and family.

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