Aprilia USA Wins SunTrust MOTO-ST Series Season Opener at Daytona DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- Aprilia USA/Lloyd Brothers Motorsports remains the team to beat in the SunTrust MOTO-ST Series following their second straight victory in the Daytona 300...
Aprilia USA Wins SunTrust MOTO-ST Series Season Opener at Daytona
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- Aprilia USA/Lloyd Brothers Motorsports remains the team to beat in the SunTrust MOTO-ST Series following their second straight victory in the Daytona 300 at Daytona International Speedway on Sunday.
Ty Howard of Weatherford, Tex. and Mike Himmelsbach of Quakertown, Penn. rode the No. 1 Aprilia Tuono 1000R to a 4.573-second victory over the No. 75 Touring Sport Ducati 848 of Camarillo, Calif.'s Doug Polen and Columbia, S.C. racer Peter Friedland in the 108-lap race around Daytona's 2.90-mile road course.
The Aprilia USA/Lloyd Brothers Motorsports team won the Buell Motorcycle Company SuperSport Twins (SST) Team championship in last year's SunTrust MOTO-ST Series. Although the team also won the Daytona season opener, Howard was not part of the winning crew.
"I've been here so many years and it seems I've always been the fastest guy, but I never seem to finish up front," Howard said. "It's great to finally be here in victory lane."
The No. 4 BMW Motorcycles of Atlanta BMW R1200 of Englishman Richard Cooper and Marietta, Ga.'s Nate Kern finished third overall and in SST.
Howard took the lead on lap 96 when Polen had to make a final stop for fuel with the Ducati. He then cruised to the finish, easing up in the final laps as he tried to conserve gas.
"We were more or less out of gas on the stop before, so I backed it down at the finish just to be safe," Howard added. "With that sort of lead there was no sense in pushing it."
The No. 75 Ducati ran near the front all race with Polen doing most of the riding. But teammate Friedland, making his debut in the SST class, couldn't match the pace of the former World Superbike Champion.
Polen didn't push it in his final stint, hopeful that the leading Aprilia would have to make a final stop for a splash of fuel.
"I didn't know how far they could go," he said, "so I just ran the same sort of lap times I had been doing all race."
Polen did set the fastest lap of the race at one minute, 45.350 seconds, earning the No. 75 Ducati team the Performance Under Gear Performer of the Race Award.
Cooper grabbed third on the BMW in the waning laps when the No. 6 Aprilia USA/Lloyd Brothers Motorsports Aprilia 1000R ridden by Henry Wiles ran into fuel trouble. Cooper and Kern were riding a back-up R1200 after their primary bike was destroyed in a crash on Saturday morning.
"As soon as I had him [Wiles] in my sights, that was it," Cooper said. "I think I could have caught him anyway. The bike was faultless."
Wiles and teammate Zac Chapman of Weatherford, Tex. salvaged fourth place.
Fifth went to the No. 18 Roadracingworld.com Suzuki SV1000S of Chris Ulrich of Lake Elsinore, Calif., Cory West of Vista, Calif. and Boca Raton, Fla.'s Michael Barnes. The team had to make an extra pit stop early in the race due to a brake lever problem.
The sister No. 3 Roadracingworld.com Suzuki crashed out of the race on lap 30 in the most serious incident of the afternoon. Rider Robertino Pietri of Caracas, Venezuela suffered a broken scaphoid on his left hand in the incident.
The No. 20 Wagner Motorsports Racing Ducati 1000 SS shared by Mark Reynolds of Woodstock, Conn. and Boston's Gus Holcomb won the BMW GrandSport Twins (GST) class after the top two finishers on the road were penalized for exceeding the class horsepower limit of 90 hp.
The No. 70 James Gang Racing/Hoban Brothers Buell XB12R of Minneapolis rider Jeff Johnson and Paul James of Waukesha, Wis. claimed the runner-up position and third went to the No. 7 Richie Morris Racing Buell XB12R of Elkhart Lake, Wis. racer Clint Brotz and Tripp Nobles of Macon, Ga.
The No. 43 Cycle Dynamics Kawasaki EX650 of James Rispoli of Attica, N.Y. and Atlanta's Ted Cobb claimed the Sport Twins win after a good battle most of the way with the defending champion No. 9 Pair-A-Nines Kawasaki EX650.
The win was an emotional one for Rispoli, whose mother died recently.
"I want to dedicate this race to my mom," he said. "She was always there for me. She'd love to be here, she was so into the racing."
Jay Springsteen of Lapeer, Mich. and Modesto, Calif.'s Jimmy Filice finished second on the No. 9 Kawasaki, 19.460 seconds behind the No. 43 Cycle Dynamics bike.
Third in class was the No. 66 M4 Avteq Racing Suzuki SV650 ridden by Russ Wikle of Huntsville, Ala. and Dallas rider Ryan O'Donnell.
Contingency awards also went to the No. 8 Bruce Rossmeyer's Daytona Racing Buell team, which picked up $250 from Roaring Toyz for having the best looking team, and the No. 86 SpeedWerks.com Suzuki squad, which won the Lucky 13 from Czaia & Gallagher, P.A. for finishing 13th in the overall results.
The No. 17 Mid-Illini Motorsports/Repsol Suzuki won $250 from PIAA for gaining the most positions during the course of the race.
The SunTrust MOTO-ST Series continues with the VIR 500k at Virginia International Raceway on April 27.