Roadracingworld.com Wins SunTrust MOTO-ST 8 Hours At Daytona Finale
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- The No. 18 Roadracingworld.com Suzuki SV1000S won the SunTrust MOTO-ST Series 8 Hours At Daytona Finale at Daytona International Speedway on Saturday night while the No. 6 Aprilia USA squad locked up the Buell Motorcycle Company SuperSport Twins (SST) class despite a 13th place class finish.
Chris Ulrich of Lake Elsinore, Calif., Cory West of Vista, Calif. and England's Gary Mason shared the winning Suzuki, which completed the 234-lap race 25.838 secs. ahead of the No. 46 San Jose BMW BMW R1200S shared by Brian Parriott of Calistoga, Calif., Atlanta rider Nate Kern and Richard Cooper of England.
"This is just so fantastic for the team," said Ulrich, who also won the second round of the SunTrust MOTO-ST Series at Homestead-Miami Speedway. "The drive home is going to be a lot better. I knew Cory could do it, and I knew Gary Mason could do it. When you've won at Daytona you've really done something."
The No. 6 Aprilia Tuono 1000R started from pole and was in the thick of the lead battle early in the race. But at the one-hour mark Ben Thompson of Anchorage crashed in turn 1 soon after taking over from lead rider Ty Howard. The Aprilia was able to resume after repairs were made but just past the three-hour mark Henry Wiles crashed the Tuono and the bike was retired. The No. 6 Aprilia finished the season with 187 points to the 159 of the No. 69 RightsForBikers.com Suzuki team.
"This isn't the way I expected to be up here," said Howard at the presentation of the championship trophy. "We put it all on the line today but it didn't quite work out for us. "In an eight-hour event it doesn't matter who's fastest, it's who crosses the line first at the end of those eight hours."
The No. 18 Suzuki team spent most of the race battling with the No. 46 BMW. Mason took the lead for the last time when he beat the BMW out of the pits during a full course caution period on lap 174. The No. 46 BMW stayed close until just over 45 minutes from the end of the race, when Cooper collided with another bike on the infield portion of the course. Cooper was able to pick up the bike and continue but the BMW had suffered damage, including a torn front fender. Parriott took over the final stint but steadily lost ground to the Suzuki.
"Our ride had really been problem free," Parriott said. "We had what it took to win, but after what happened I was just happy to bring it home."
The No. 69 RightsForBikers.com Suzuki SV1000S of Mark Crozier (Palm Coast, Fla.) and Nathan Dressman (Berkley (Mich.) placed fourth overall. The No. 33 Vallely Racing Suzuki SV1000S shared by Frank Trombino (Kleinburg, Ont.), David Loikits (Northampton, Penn.) and Matthew McBride (Mississauga, Ont.) was fifth in the race and claimed third in the final standings with 149 points.
Aprilia USA rider Troy Green of Dallas won the SST Rider championship with 179 points.
The No. 77 Touring Sport Ducati Ducati Supersport 1000DS of two-time World Superbike champion Doug Polen (Camarillo, Calif.), Peter Friedland (Columbia, S.C.) and Frank Shockley (Greenville, S.C.) survived a broken clutch with 20 minutes to go to win the BMW GrandSport Twins (GST) class and beat out the No. 8 Richie Morris Racing Buell squad to the Team title, 188-183. Shockley also took the Rider points title.
The No. 8 Buell of Shawn Higbee (Oconomonoc, Wis.), Dan Bilansky (Waukesha, Wis.) and Clint Brotz (Elkhart Lake, Wis.) was running third in the early going but lost time when it threw its chain just past the three-hour mark and eventually finished eighth in class.
"Everything was flawless the whole race until those last 20 minutes," Friedland said. "I guess it was too good to be true, but that's racing. Doug Polen helped us get out front and that was our strategy, to get a good lead straightaway."
The No. 89 RightsForBikers.com Ducati PS1000LE of John Linder (Tampa, Fla.), Chris Boy (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) and Jason Edmonds (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) finished second after closing up a three-lap gap to the No. 77 Ducati when it hit trouble. The No. 70 James Gang Racing Buell XB12 of Paul James (Waukesha, Wis.), Jeffrey Johnson (Minneapolis, Minn.) and Walt Sipp (Kansas City, Mo.) completed the top three.
The No. 9 Pair-A-Nines Kawasaki team clinched the Sport Twins Team title at Daytona despite suffering a blown engine on its Kawasaki EX650 while leading the class by a lap. The team had enough of an advantage that it was still classified seventh and beat the Go Big Racing Suzuki team, which finished second in the race, by five points in the standings, 187-182.
The No. 79 Suzuki SV650 of Ross Millson (Hamilton, Ont.), Karl Daigle (Granby, Que.) and Paul Glenn (Keene, Ont.) took over the lead when the No. 9 Kawasaki broke but Daigle crashed in turn 1 with only 10 minutes remaining. That allowed the No. 87 SpeedWerks.com Suzuki SV650 of Hawk Mazzotta (Carmel Valley, Calif.), Scott Ryan (Lemant, Ill.) and Brian Kcraget (Danville, Va.) to claim the race win.
"It was definitely a surprise," said Kcraget, who was coming back from serious injuries suffered at the previous event in July. "We had some bad luck at the beginning of the race but we were able to battle back. To be on top at Daytona is a little better ending than I had to my last race."
The No. 66 M4 Avteq Racing Suzuki SV650 of Russ Wikle (Huntsville, Ala.), Kyle Martin (Dallas, Tex.) and Ryan O'Donnell (Dallas, Tex.) finished second, three laps behind the winners, while the No. 79 Suzuki was classified third.
Jay Springsteen and Jimmy Filice from the No. 9 Kawasaki team tied for first place in the ST Rider standings with 187 points each.
MOTO-ST president Roger Edmondson announced at the Riders Meeting on Friday plans for a six to eight race 2008 season, beginning back at Daytona International Speedway in March.