MOTO-ST: Daytona finale pre-race notes

Richie Morris Racing Set to Rock and Roll Their Way to Victory DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (October 9, 2007) -- Geared up and ready to go, Richie Morris Racing is set to rock and roll at the SunTrust MOTO-ST Series final race of the 2007 season --...

Richie Morris Racing Set to Rock and Roll Their Way to Victory

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (October 9, 2007) -- Geared up and ready to go, Richie Morris Racing is set to rock and roll at the SunTrust MOTO-ST Series final race of the 2007 season -- the 8 Hours At Daytona, October 19-20 at Daytona International Speedway.

"We're definitely pumped and extremely motivated," says team owner Richie Morris who fields the No. 8 Daytona Harley-Davidson/Ocean Deck Buell XB12 in the BMW GST Class. "We are going in with a seven point lead in team points and our goal is to come out with the class championship. In addition, Shawn Higbee is first in the GST rider point's battle and we want to snag that title too."

Boasting the talents of Higbee, Dan Bilansky and Clint Brotz, there is no doubt that this team can do precisely what they set out to do.

"This should be a really good event for us," says Higbee who is fully recovered from the crash he sustained in mid-July at Iowa Speedway. Suffering a compound broken femur, a dislocated shoulder and broken shoulder bone, plus a hip joint fracture, Higbee wasn't about to have to sit out this race. "In the beginning the doctors didn't think it was possible," explains Higbee. "But I beat their expectations. This is not the first time, I've broken bones and luckily I tend to recover pretty fast. I've done a lot of physical therapy and am bicycling every day. Come race day, I'll definitely be good to go."

A test technician and development rider for Buell, Higbee, who hails from Oconomowoc, Wis., has been racing for the past 18 years and has earned numerous victories and titles, including the 1998 Harley-Davidson World Championship. "Racing, including motorcycles, go-karts and cars are pretty much my passion," he explains. "My dad raced stock cars so I've been around racing most of my life. My priority is definitely to win and that's what the 8 Hours At Daytona will be all about."

Filled with same determination is teammate Bilansky. A resident of Waukesha, Wis., Bilansky has been riding since he was six and competing for the past seven years.

"I'm really excited about this final race of the season," says Bilansky. "Shawn and I have been teammates at every race with the exception of Virginia and that time our other teammate Clint (Brotz) worked with Shawn. The team has three firsts, Daytona, Virginia and Road America, plus a third at Homestead and a sixth at Iowa. A first at Daytona would sure be a great way to end the year and an awesome addition to our list of credits."

A firm believer in being in shape, Bilansky can often be found mountain biking or motocrossing. "I think that being in top condition is one of the most important keys in being successful in competition, especially in endurance racing," he explains. "Your physical shape and mental conditioning work hand-in-hand and being fit really helps me."

Brotz, the third member of the team for the 8 Hours At Daytona Finale is from Elkhart Lake, Wis. Racing for the past 16 years, Brotz knows what it takes to win and is well-versed in all the aspects of the famed Daytona International Speedway road course.

"I've always liked racing at Daytona," he says with obvious enthusiasm. "It is my kind of track. And, this time it is really special and I'm honored to be part of this team. Daytona is Richie Morris' hometown and being sponsored by Bruce Rossmeyer's Daytona Harley-Davidson, the world's largest Harley dealer, makes it doubly exciting."

An avid outdoorsman, Brotz, who is an arborist, loves snowboarding, mountain biking, motocross and scuba diving. "I don't like being inside," he says, "which is why I became an arborist. It keeps me outside, plus I'm doing something I enjoy."

When not racing or working, Brotz can be found traveling. "I like learning about different cultures and seeing different countries," he says. I've been to Australia and Europe. In fact, in the 90's I went to Barcelona and went to Kenny Robert's riding school. Funnily enough, the instructor was Jim Filice. In addition, my dad got me hooked on skin diving and I've been lucky enough to go to a number of places with him. He does a lot of underwater photography and I feel very lucky to be included many of his diving trips."

Three strong riders, an excellent motorcycle and a dedicated team, Richie Morris Racing is ready to take their place on the starting grid and ride to victory when the SunTrust MOTO-ST Series 8 Hours At Daytona gets underway at Daytona International Speedway.

And, not only will the battle rage in the BMW Grand Sport Twins class, but also in the Buell Motorcycle Company SuperSport Twins class (SST) and in Sport Twins (ST), as a full field of riders take to the track in this season's grand finale.

The SunTrust MOTO-ST Series is organized and sanctioned by Professional Motorsports Productions (PMP) of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, and the Grand American Road Racing Association (Grand-Am), based in Daytona Beach, Fla., provides the series with administrative and commercial support. Learn more about MOTO-ST at www.moto-st.com.

-credit: garra

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Series Other bike
Drivers Shawn Higbee