Hendry Takes Premier Class Win At MRA Season Opener

Hendry Takes Premier Class Win At MRA Season Opener

© 2024, Roadracing World Publishing, Inc. From a press release issued By MRA:

Hendry and Behmer Secure First Premier Class Wins of 2024 Season

Byers, CO – The opening round of the 2024 Motorcycle Roadracing Association (MRA) Championship Series took place at High Plains Raceway over the weekend of May 11-12th on their 1.86 mile North Course. The weather this weekend was less than ideal for racing as the temperatures hovered around 50 degrees for much of Saturday and Sunday.

New for the 2024 season, the MRA has added an Amateur GTO payout class to the Saturday race schedule, adding more incentive and excitement during the weekend.  Racers must qualify on Saturday morning to participate in the class, adding a new strategic element to the weekend. Tim May-Ellis took the inaugural pole position with a time of (1:19.687), followed by Dylan Unger (1:21.228) and Vinh Nguyen (1:22.012). The race kicked off later Saturday afternoon and was dominated by May-Ellis after he jumped out to an early lead, and never looked back. Unger and Nguyen exchanged positions for much of the race, but ultimately Nguyen secured second, and Unger rounded out the podium in third.

The Race of the Rockies Qualifying on Sunday went well despite the 49 degree temperature and moderate winds. Brad Hendry, continuing his excellent form from last year, qualified on pole with a time of (1:15.237). Gage Mollman qualified second with a time of (1:16.272) followed by Nathan Entz (1:17.040).

As the Race of the Rockies premier class race grew near, the weather started to look a bit ominous. Clouds rolled in, bringing moderate rain and cooler temperatures, causing the racers to scramble to get on their rain tires. The race was delayed 45 minutes to give ample time for the tire changes, ensuring the safest possible conditions. Many racers opted out, causing the grid to shrink down to just eight riders.

The start of RoR GTO saw Hendry jump out to an early lead. Jeremy Ross was right on Hendry’s tail for the first lap, but during lap two, Ross had an incident on the exit of turn 13, ending his race. With Ross out, Hendry settled in and pulled out to a commanding lead, clicking off consistent 1:30’s on a very wet track. Dustin Pfeiffer found some excellent speed during the second half of the 16-lap race as he grew more comfortable on his rain tires. Pfeiffer set the fastest lap of the race with a (1:26.701), easily making his way to second position. Unfortunately, Pfeiffer ran out of laps before he could catch up to Hendry, finishing nine seconds off the lead. Rounding off the podium in third position was Mollman, who was struggling for traction with his DOT road tires.

In RoR GTU, Justin Behmer got an excellent start and led the entire race. Behmer, riding a Twins Cup spec bike, had excellent pace in the wet, leading many of the bigger GTO bikes for much of the race. Salvatore Rizzo, last year’s RoR GTU class champion, stayed in second place for the entirety of the race. The battle for third place was between Dennis Stowers and Kevin Caputo. Caputo held third position for the first six laps, until Stowers made a pass on the back straight. Stowers opened a slight gap, but Caputo was determined to get on the podium. As the race went on, Caputo chipped away at Stowers and executed a clean pass with only a lap and a half to go. Caputo got his head down and never let Stowers get close enough to retaliate. Caputo claimed third position, earning his first ever premier class podium!

Next up, the MRA heads to Pueblo Motorsports Park in Pueblo, CO for Round 2 on May 25-26 for a full weekend of racing including the SuperStreet event on Saturday afternoon. SuperStreet gives street riders the opportunity to experience motorcycle road racing with minimal cost and preparation. See https://www.mra-racing.org/superstreet/superstreet-information for details.

The MRA welcomes racers from other clubs across the nation. If you’re a currently licensed racer, we have several reciprocity agreements in place along with very competitive pricing on license & entries to our 28 classes. Click here for MRA membership & entry information.

The Motorcycle Roadracing Association is dedicated to promoting safe and competitive motorcycle road racing events for enthusiasts in Colorado and the surrounding area. For more information go to http://www.mra-racing.org/.

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