The Daytona H.D. Buell team of Richie Morris Racing had a bittersweet Saturday night at Iowa Speedway.
The team won the GST race, but suffered a devastating loss with the injury of rider Shawn Higbee. With approximately 30 laps remaining RMR riders Shawn Higbee and Dan Bilansky had a 3 lap advantage and were on their last fuel load. Shawn had another rider under him and contact was made. The result was Shawn hitting the wall and the bike exploding. The race was red flagged and called. Brian Kcraget of SpeedWerks Suzuki was also injured in the Malay.
“It is the worst feeling I have ever felt. Shawn is not only my rider, he is my friend. It was just a racing accident with a bad outcome. I am staying with him at the hospital in Des Moines until he is released, then we will discuss the future. My guess is you will see him back on the bike in Daytona next spring” said Morris. Higbee’s injuries include a compound femur, broken pelvis, and broken shoulder. Brian Kcraget is still in an induced coma, but the outlook is positive. Information will be updated on the team’s website richiemorrisracing.com. The Daytona H.D Buell team is leading the SunTrust Moto-ST points chase going into the last race of the season at Daytona International Speedway in October.
Please visit www.richiemorrisracing.com
More, from revised results issued by MOTO-ST Monday morning:
Overall Race Results:
1. Aprilia USA 2 (Ty Howard/Try Green/Henry Wiles), Aprilia Tuono 1000R, SST, 163 laps
2. Team Rightsforbikers.com Suzuki 69 (Mark Crozier/Nathan Dressman), Suzuki SV1000S, SST, 163 laps, -43.261 seconds
3. Team Motorrad Touring Sport BMW (James Chance/Brad Hendry), BMW R 1200, SST, 163 laps, -48.955 seconds
4. Pair-A-Nines Kawasaki 9 (Jay Springsteen/Jimmy Filice), Kawasaki Ninja 650R, ST, 160 laps
5. Vallely Racing Suzuki 33 (David Hudson/David Loikits), Suzuki SV1000S, SST, 160 laps, -3.308 seconds
6. Team Old Pros Racing Aprilia (Paul Schwemmer/Brett Ray), Aprilia Tuono 1000R, SST, 160 laps, -35.799
7. Team Florida Ducati (Armando Ferrer/Gustavo Laya), Ducati 749R, SST, 160 laps, -40.676 seconds
8. Speedwerks.com Suzuki (Brian Kcraget/Scott Ryan), Suzuki SV650S, ST, 159 laps
9. Team Rightsforbikers.com Suzuki 16 (Justin Filice/Robert Fisher/Nicole Hoffman), Suzuki SV650, SST, 158 laps
10. James Gang Racing Buell (Paul James/Jeff Johnson), Buell XB12R, GST, 157 laps
Richie Morris Racing Buell (Shawn Higbee/Dan Bilansky), Buell XB12R, GST, disqualified (technical infraction)
More, from a press release issued by Buell, which apparently has not heard that the team was disqualified for failing to make a dyno run:
RICHIE MORRIS RACING WINS MOTO-ST ROUND AT IOWA
Higbee Injured in Crash that Brings Early End to the Race
NEWTON, Iowa (July 16, 2007) The Richie Morris Racing/Daytona Harley-Davidson/Buell team was declared the winner of the Grand Sport Touring (GST) class in the Iowa Speedway 500K, the fourth round of the SunTrust MOTO-ST Series, following a crash with about 40 minutes remaining in the scheduled three-hour endurance race that resulted in a red flag.
Higbee and his teammate, Dan Bilansky, were leading the GST class by three laps aboard a Buell XB12R Firebolt at the time of the accident. Higbee was entering the banked turn two when he crashed into the outside retaining wall of the racetrack, which incorporates portions of the Iowa Speedway 7/8-mile oval and a road-course section in the infield for a total distance of 1.3 miles. News reports listed Higbee in serious condition after being transported by ambulance to Mercy Medical Center in Des Moines. His condition was upgraded to fair on Sunday evening. The incident also involved SpeedWerks.com Suzuki rider Brian Kcraget of Danville, Va., who was following Higbee and reportedly crashed after striking debris from Higbee’s motorcycle. Kcraget was reported to be in critical condition after being transported by helicopter to the same hospital.
The Richie Morris Buell had completed 160 laps when the race was declared complete after two hours, 23 minutes, and was awarded the GST class victory (eighth overall). The James Gang Racing/Hoban Brothers Buell XB12R sponsored by Hal’s Speed Shop and Buell of Appleton and ridden by Paul James and Jeff Johnson completed 157 laps and took second place in GST (11th overall). Third place in GST went to the Touring Sports Ducati team of Brad Phillips and Frank Shockley, which completed 156 laps (13th overall). MOTO-ST has not released the official points scoring for the Iowa Speedway event.
The overall MOTO-ST win and first place in the Buell Motorcycle Company SuperSport Twins (SST) class went to Aprilla USA Team 2 and riders Ty Howard, Henry Wiles and Troy Green, who covered 163 laps on an Aprilla RSV1000 Tuono. Aprilla USA Team 2 leads the Buell Motorcycle Company SST team standings with 169 points. Fourth overall and first in the ST (Sport Twins) class was the Pair-A-Nines Kawasaki EX650 of Jimmy Filice and Jay Springsteen. According to Iowa Speedway, paid attendance for the MOTO-ST race was estimated at 11,495.
The next and final race on the 2007 SunTrust MOTO-ST schedule is the 8-Hours at Daytona Finale, October 19-20, at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Fla.
More, from a press release issued by Team Motorrad:
Team Motorrad, competing in the SunTrust MOTO-ST series as Touring Sport BMW Xplor, successful landed their BMW R1200S in the final podium position after a tough but rewarding race at Iowa Speedway on Saturday July 14th. James Chance of Savannah, Georgia shared riding duties with new member to the team, Brad Hendry of Denver, Colorado. The duo worked their way up from 9th position at the start to finish in the 3rd spot, briefly running as high as the 2nd overall position. James and Brad were turning consistent fast lap times from the first practice session on, and according to Team Owner Ivan Messina, were able to sort out some of the problems that had previously handcuffed the team. “We had some handling issues over the last few races that we were able to solve with James and Brad running together. Since they are about the same weight and share a similar riding style, we were able to come to a better chassis setup than what we previously had been using. Brad also rides a BMW R1200S in the MRA series, and graciously shared some of the chassis numbers he has been using to beat 1098 Ducati’s over the last few months.” Cogent Dynamics, the team’s suspension tuner, also helped by working on the factory equipped Ohlins shocks over the break between VIR and Road America.
Team Motorrad also had the fortune to receive pit crew help from Gina’s BMW of Iowa City, Iowa. “Gina’s sent three of their mechanics over to lend us a hand, and it really shows how close the BMW community is. I have to thank Karl Leitz, Andy Merlino, and Keith Murphy from Gina’s for all of the assistance they provided us over the weekend. Since we don’t have a permanent crew, volunteers like them are invaluable to us”, said Ivan.
The fuel economy of the Team Motorrad R1200S played a role in the team’s success at Iowa, only burning about 3.5 gallons of fuel per hour on the short 1.3 mile circuit. With the 4.5 gallon MOTO-ST fuel limit, this left plenty of fuel in reserve for the team, and allowed them to employ a two-stop strategy, something they had not previously done in a three hour event. “The stock motor we have in the bike helped with the mileage” Ivan said after the race. “We had a problem with some overheating at Road America that led to us changing our built motor out for a stock spare in the few hours between morning practice and the race there last Sunday. Although the stock unit is about 6 horsepower down on our prepared motor, I think it helped us today.”
Since the race ran past sundown, MOTO-ST required that teams use on-bike lighting for the brief darkness, although the track lighting system at Iowa speedway did not seem to warrant additional lights. “PIAA came through for us again, providing a headlight so that we would be in compliance with the lighting rule for the race” said Ivan, “I don’t think we really needed the lights here, but it does provide another aspect for the fans to enjoy. It would be nice to see more night races on the schedule.”
The team will spend the next two months preparing for the season finale in October. “Now that we have a podium under our belt, it gives us some great momentum going into Daytona in October” said Ivan. “We will be there ready to go with a package that has taken some time to come together, but has certainly been worth the wait.”