Monterey, CA – The 2020 CSRA season concluded in fine fashion Sunday at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca during the Heritage Cup race run in conjunction MotoAmerica. Mark Miller riding the Superbikes Only! Suzuki to a commanding win in the Open class and Curtis Adams riding the Terry Tinny Performance Motors built Adams racing Honda in the 750cc class.
Chilly conditions greeted the superbike riders in the morning warmup as riders circulated and tried to get some heat into the tires during the early morning Monterey weather. As the qualifying session started at 10am, the call was made by CSRA Race Director JT Kieffer that track conditions had progressively deteriorated over the morning the session would be an optional warmup and the practice times from the prior day would be counted as their qualifying efforts.
Track conditions were much better for the final on track action of the day as the 19 riders were greeted with a mid-60’s air temperature and a mid-70’s track temperature which are perfect for air cooled superbikes. Tensions were high as this race was being broadcast live on MotoAmerica’s Live Plus streaming service and the competitors were keen to provide the racing action/entertainment that had been lacking during the previous Heritage Cup exhibition events.
From pole position Mark Miller (Suz) out dragged Kevin McKee (Kaw), Andrew Gray (Guz), Eric Kondo (Kaw), Paul Kieffer (Suz) and the rest over the top of turn one and into turn two with a two-class pack followed closely behind. Amazingly, Curtis Adams (Hon) had worked himself up from the 7th row (from the 750cc class) of the grid to slot into 5th position exiting turn two and was nipping at the heels of the larger displacement bikes who started in front of him. Tom Montano (Guz) riding as part of the Team Guzzi Nerd (more like a Wrecking Crew) was still learning his way on a fresh build by “Head Nerd” Andrew Gray. Mark McKinney (Suz) had made an incredible start as well from the north 40 as he is the current standard bearer of the 750cc class so he was a force to be reckoned with and was working hard to make up time from his handicapped starting position.
As the pack came around to complete the first lap it was Miller with a clear advantage over Adams, and McKee, Kondo, Montano, Dave Crussel (Kaw), and McKinney in the top 7. Battles were racing all up and down the field as small skirmishes broke out but the win in each class was never in doubt from there on out as the two leaders were clearly the fastest of their respective classes.
As the laps wore down a few riders started to get more comfortable with the track conditions and drop their lap times and improve their standing in the overall after a couple of folks dropped out with mechanical issues.
All in all, it was a safe and professional weekend that was universally lauded by the MotoAmerica leadership as a very professional and well-run group. The group received enormous praise for their Race Director JT Kieffer as well as the Technical team lead by FIM Senior Technical Steward All Disciplines Certified, David Worthington. Additional praise to the other members of the technical team Jeff Hecox, and Austin Lefevre.