MotoAmerica: Riders Test At Brainerd’s Competition Road Course

MotoAmerica: Riders Test At Brainerd’s Competition Road Course

© 2021, Roadracing World Publishing, Inc. By David Swarts.

Several MotoAmerica riders and teams traveled straight from this past weekend’s event at Road America to Minnesota to test Tuesday and Wednesday, June 15-16, at Brainerd International Raceway (BIR) in preparation for the July 30-August 1 event at the track.

The test – held during a Zalusky Advanced Riding School (ZARS) & Track Day — was attended by: Calishine Racing’s Aden Thao and Owen Williams; Fresh N’ Lean Attack Performance Yamaha’s Jake Gagne and Josh Herrin; Jackson Blackmon Racing’s Jackson Blackmon; M4 ECSTAR Suzuki’s Wyatt Farris, Bobby Fong, Sean Dylan Kelly, Sam Lochoff, and Cameron Petersen; North East Cycle Outlet Racing’s Benjamin Smith; Scott Powersports KTM’s Tyler Scott; Warhorse HSBK Racing Ducati New York’s Loris Baz; and Westby Racing’s Jack Roach and Mathew Scholtz, among others.

Fresh N’ Lean Attack Performance Yamaha paid for exclusive sessions during the event, while most of the other riders rode during normal track day sessions.

For most, if not all of the riders, it was their first time riding on the 2.5-mile, 13-turn Competition Road Course MotoAmerica will race on later this summer.

In the past, AMA Pro Road Racing competed on BIR’s 3.1-mile, 10-turn Donnybrooke Course with its nearly-mile-long front straightaway and ultra-high-speed Turn One, but AMA Pro Road Racing stopped coming to BIR in 2005. Then in 2008, BIR combined sections of the original road course with some sections of new pavement to create the new Competition Road Course.

The new course does not use the drag strip front straightaway, making it useable in wet and dry conditions, and the elimination of the wall-lined final corner and the super-fast Turn One theoretically improves safety.

Official lap times were not available from the test.

“Obviously, we’ve heard about the really fast first couple of turns,” Gagne, the MotoAmerica Superbike Championship point leader, told, “but there’s a chicane they added that’s really slow and funky. It’s also a track day today, so they have some cones set up in the track. That is a little weird.

“The whole old section of the track, the part that they used to run, that part is really awesome. The [new] infield stuff is really small, really tight, kind of funky, and there’s some walls here and there. It’ll be interesting to see what it’s like when we come back to race here, but it’s weird. It’ll be a weird track to race at, that’s for sure.”

There will be another opportunity for MotoAmerica riders to test at BIR as there will be another ZARS track day event at BIR June 26-27 with exclusive sessions for MotoAmerica racers.

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