Byers, CO – The fourth race of the 2023 MRA Championship Series took place at High Plains Raceway over the weekend of July 15-16th on their 2.55-mile Full Course configuration. This was a special weekend as the MRA conducted their 14th Annual 4-hour endurance race on Saturday. The event saw many out-of-town racers drive hundreds of miles to try and steal victories and capture the prize money that was up for grabs. The 4-hour endurance race was unfortunately cut short by 50 minutes as a storm brought lightning and hail into the area. Team Racing for Ray Ray took the victory in the Pony Express category (multiple riders, multiple bikes) with 99 laps completed, team Mother Lovers won the True Endurance category (multiple riders, one bike) with 96 laps, and team Legion’s Lance won the Titanium Butt category (one rider, one bike) with 86 laps.
The Race of the Rockies (RoR) Qualifying on Sunday was conducted under excellent conditions as temperatures were around 75 degrees for most of the morning. Ray Thornton claimed pole position with a best time of (1:47.58) followed by Anthony Norton (1:47.792) and Mike Applegate (1:48.428).
The start of RoR saw Applegate get the holeshot going into Turn One, followed by Brad Hendry and Norton. Applegate was looking strong as he got an excellent drive down the backstraight, however somewhere between Turns Five and 10 he made a mistake and dropped back to sixth position. Hendry led the pack after lap two and was followed closely by Norton and Thornton. By lap six Hendry had opened a three-second lead on the trailing pair, and it looked as if he had the pace to break away. By lap 11 Thornton had passed Norton and was slowly chipping away at Hendry’s lead, dropping the gap to less than half a second. Thornton was hot on Hendry’s tail by lap 13 and was piling on the pressure. With only a few corners left in the race, Hendry made a mistake and unfortunately crashed out of the lead giving Thornton his fourth consecutive RoR win of the season. Rounding out the podium was Norton in second and Applegate in third.
In Race of the Rockies GTU, Jeremiah Downing took the lead from the start and never looked back as he consistently clicked off 1:49’s on his 600. For the entirety of the race he was followed by John Borst, who was running some impressive lap times but couldn’t quite match the blistering pace of Downing. Justin Behmer carved his way through the pack and ended up in third place. Behmer had the pace to secure a second-place victory but ran out of laps before he got the chance to put a move on Borst.
Next up, the MRA heads to Pueblo Motorsports Park in Pueblo, CO for Round 5 on July 29-30 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 20 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/.