Aprilia USA/Lloyd Brothers Motorsports on Pole in New Jersey
MILLVILLE, N.J. (August 29, 2008) -- Aprilia USA/Lloyd Brothers Motorsports claimed their third "Destination Daytona Pole Award" in qualifying for the Thunderbolt 500k, round six of the SunTrust MOTO-ST Series, at New Jersey Motorsports Park in Millville, N.J.
Ty Howard of Weatherford, Tex. turned the session's best time of one minute, 27.372 seconds on the No. 1 Aprilia Tuono 1000R (92.707 mph) on his fifth lap. Howard will share the machine with Mike Himmelsbach of Quakertown, Pa.
"I like this track a lot. It is a little dusty, but other than that, it is great," said Howard. "We can probably go faster without traffic but I think the pace will probably have to be around a 1:28 to make the tires last. If we go much faster, we can burn them up in 15 to 20 laps and that won't do."
Second quickest was the No. 25 Team Hooters Aprilia Tuono 1000R of Anthony Fania (Frenchtown, N.J.), Mike Luke (New Smyrna Beach, Fla.) and Benny Carlson (West Bend, Wis.). Carlson positioned his team with a one minute and 31.250 second lap (88.767 mph) around the 2.25-mile circuit.
"The track is good, a little slick because it is so green," said Carlson. "We made a couple of changes to the suspension right after practice and I think we are good to go. We took our first podium finish at the last race in Topeka and we liked it so much that we want to do it again."
The No. 8 Bruce Rossmeyer's Daytona Racing Buell 1125R of Shawn Higbee and Dan Bilansky turned the third fastest lap. Oconomowoc, Wis. 's Higbee set a lap of one minute and 31.639 seconds (88.767 mph).
After completing 26 minutes of timed qualifying, Doug Polen crashed his No. 75 Touring Sport Ducati 848 causing a red flag to end the session. Despite having the second fastest qualifying lap of one minute, 28.510 seconds (91.515 mph), the No. 75 bike was unable to complete post-qualifying tech therefore losing position and forcing the team to the back of tomorrow's starting grid.
Fourth fastest in the qualifying session was the No. 83 Bruce Rossmeyer's Daytona Racing Buell XB12R of Bryan Bemisderfer (Greencastle, Penn.), Dan Bilansky (Berlin, Wis.) and Clint Brotz (Elkhart Lake, Wis.) which turned the circuit in 1:32.379 (87.682 mph), but the team will start from the back of the class for using an ineligible rider during today's sessions. Fifth fastest was the No. 89 Scuderia Mannheimer Gammacril Ducati 749 of Fabrizio Guerra (Milan, Italy) and Federico Mannheimer (Bergamo, Italy), who turned the circuit in 1:35.292 (85.002 mph).
Justin Filice of Daytona Beach, Fla. will be starting from the GST class pole aboard the No. 69 RightsForBikers.com Ducati PS1000LE after turning the class' fastest lap in qualifying for the fourth time this season. Filice also paced practice earlier in the day, and completed his fastest lap in this evening's qualifying session in just 1:30.354 (89.647 mph). He is sharing the No. 69 machine with Rodolfo Ramirez of Sunrise, Fla.
"The bike was good. We changed the rear sprocket from a 40 to a 39 and we will probably pre-load the front tomorrow, but other than that we are pretty well set," said Filice. "We have a full crew this weekend, so things should be good. I won't have to be changing tires and that is a good thing. The team says they are not going to feed me or Rodolfo anything tomorrow so we are extra light and can easily take the win."
Starting from the outside pole in GST will be the No. 20 Wagner Motorsports Racing Ducati PS1000LE of Mark Reynolds (Woodstock, Conn.) and Hylnur Atlason (New York City, N.Y.) and starting third will be Jeff Johnson (Minneapolis, Minn.) and Walt Sipp (Kansas City, Mo.) aboard the No. 70 James Gang Racing/Hoban Brothers Buell XB12R.
M4 Avteq Racing once again finds themselves atop the ST class charts, as Dustin Dominguez of Newalla, Okla. turned the circuit in 1:30.391 (89.611 mph). Dominguez will share the No. 66 Suzuki SV650 with Kyle Martin (Dallas, Texas) and Ryan O'Donnell (Lewisville, Texas). The team's sister No. 67 machine scored the pole and victory in the last round of MOTO-ST competition, the Heartland Park 500k presented by Hooters in Topeka, Kan.
"The track is good. It is definitely a little slick, but fun," said Dominguez. "I picked it up pretty quick, but wished we had more time for practice. Our bike handled great. The crew did an awesome job and all we have to do is put on new tires and we will be good to go."
The M4 Avteq team is currently tied with the second-qualifying No. 9 Pair-A-Nines team of Jay Springsteen (Lapeer, Mich.) and Jimmy Filice (Daytona Beach, Fla.) in the ST Team Championship point standings heading into this round (157-157). The duo paced the early practice session aboard their Kawasaki EX650. Third fastest in the session was the No. 50 Eagle Racing Suzuki SV650 of Kevin Lehman (Grand Haven, Mich.), Eric Konigsberg (Kalamazoo, Mich.) and Guy Bartz (Lake Mills, Wis.) but the team was disqualified following post-race technical inspection for exceeding the maximum fuel capacity. Instead, starting third tomorrow will be the local team of Eric Helmbach (Califon, N.J.), Eric Wilson (Flanders, N.J.) and Alex Shaw (Hackettstown, N.J.) aboard the No. 42 Grease Monkey Racing Suzuki SV650.
The green flag for tomorrow's Thunderbolt 500k at New Jersey Motorsports Park will fly at 3:00 p.m. and is scheduled to go 3 hours or 138 laps.