MRA Round 5 at Pikes Peak International Raceway, Thornton and Dear own Race
of the Rockies
Fountain, CO – Colorado’s Motorcycle Roadracing Association (MRA)
continued its 2021 championship series with the latest round 5 at Pikes Peak
International Raceway over the weekend of August 7-8.
Pikes Peak International is a small (1.3 mile) track frequently used for a
huge diversity of various events. During Thursday track inspection some
last minute repairs to the surface were identified & coordinated between
PPIR management and the MRA officials. The repairs were made by PPIR staff
on Friday morning and were in place and ready for full on racing by that
evening. Since PPIR is based on a 1 mile oval, the MRA deploys its full
complement of soft barriers including a number of sections supplied by the
Roadracing World Action Fund. The MRA corner worker crew headed up by
Dakota Bell worked tirelessly to make sure the barriers were 100% functional
throughout the weekend. The coordination between MRA staff, PPIR
management, and the MRA corner crew was exemplary this weekend. Hats off to
everyone involved from these teams.
On Saturday, the Formula 40 GTO/GTU is frequently a preview of what will
come in Sunday’s Race of the Rockies. This time, it was Mike Applegate who
led from the front with times in the 0:57-0:58sec range leaving the rest of
the field behind. Ray Thornton and James Wilkerson scrapped for the
remaining podium position with Thornton coming out ahead.
Sunday’s Race of the Rockies qualifying provided some interesting surprises.
Overnight, Thornton found about 1.5 seconds somewhere out on the track and
qualified on the pole with a 0:57.213. Also showing up this weekend was
long time MRA fast guy Dave Lambert who took the middle front row position
with a 0:57.695. Filling out the front row, Nyles Gourlie nicked
Applegate’s best time with a 0:57.697. For the GTU class, Jared Dear put
his Kawasaki ZX-6R on second row with a 0:58.424, a full second faster than
any of his competition.
For the RoR race, Thornton set a scorching hot pace on the first lap
(0:57.080) and accomplished the very difficult task of a pole to flag win.
That’s not to say Thornton wasn’t challenged as Lambert and Applegate
shadowed Thornton for virtually the entire race. Unfortunately for
Applegate, he got a little twitchy at the start and was meat balled. The
MRA has implemented a time penalty for jumped starts (vs. a stop-n-go) which
Applegate was well aware of this while working at chasing Thornton and
Lambert. The trio worked their way through traffic with Lambert making a
huge effort on the last couple laps to catch Thornton but came up short by
0.8 seconds. So at the end it was Thornton followed closely by Lambert and
Applegate rounding out the podium.
During RoR interviews, Lambert confessed that this was his only opportunity
to come race with the MRA this year due to work constraints. Applegate also
mentioned that he kept in mind the time penalty he had during the race so
even passing Lambert and Thornton wouldn’t have made any difference unless
he could have shook them off by more than the penalty.
Race of the Rockies GTU saw a similar performance to Thornton’s by Jared
Dear. Dear got a fantastic start from the second row and laid down
consistent 0:59-1:00 laps to not give the rest of the GTU field anything to
shoot at. Dear diced with a few of the liter bikes, but PPIR is a venue
that rewards high corner speed over raw horsepower. Suffering a little from
a tough start, Dennis Stowers also laid down a number of strong 0:59’s in
pursuit of Dear but wasn’t able to get enough of them to catch up. Finally,
Scott Morrison rocketed up from row 4 with his own handful of 0:59’s to
clear away from the rest of the GTU field and claim the final podium
For Round 6, the MRA returns to High Plains Raceway where we’ll be using the
HPR North Course configuration. Also featured again will be the MRA’s
SuperStreet class and race program for only $100. For more information on
SuperStreet and to sign up, go to
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/.