Aprilia USA Team Fastest in SunTrust MOTO-ST Series Practice at VIR ALTON, Va. -- Ty Howard of Weatherford, Tex. dominated the opening practice session for the third round of the SunTrust MOTO-ST Series at Virginia International Raceway ...
Aprilia USA Team Fastest in SunTrust MOTO-ST Series Practice at VIR
ALTON, Va. -- Ty Howard of Weatherford, Tex. dominated the opening practice session for the third round of the SunTrust MOTO-ST Series at Virginia International Raceway Friday.
Riding the No. 6 Aprilia USA Aprilia Tuono 1000R Howard scorched around the 3.27-mile VIR track in two minutes, 0.945 seconds for an average speed of 97.32 mph, topping his nearest challenger by 2.581 seconds. Venezuelan Gustavo Laya was a distant second aboard the No. 21 Team Florida Ducati 749 at 2:03.526 and Conshohocken, Penn. racer Nate Kern recorded the third best time of 2:03.944 on the No. 46 San Jose BMW R1200.
Howard was quickest virtually throughout the hour and a half long session on the No. 6 Aprilia USA entry, which has a share of first place in the Buell Motorcycle Company SuperSport Twins (SST) Teams point standings.
"The Aprilia was great almost right off the truck," said Howard, who will share riding duties with Troy Green of Dallas, Tex. in Sunday's MOTO-ST 500K at Virginia International Raceway. "We started on new tires and we still set our fastest times at the end of the session. I think we made one gearing change."
Laya dropped his times late in the session to move up to second in the overall rankings and in the SST class.
"We're getting used to the track," said Laya's teammate Rodolfo Ramirez of Sunrise, Fla. "Laya's been here before so that helped a bit. We're still trying to figure out the gearing, get a little more speed on the backstraight."
Kern also turned his quickest laps on the San Jose BMW late in the session after teammate Brian Parriott of Calistoga, Calif. rode the bike in the early part of practice.
The Vallely Racing Suzuki SV1000s were fourth and fifth in the session. Frank Trombino of Toronto recorded the fourth best time of 2:05.143 on the No. 33 Suzuki, while Mike Himmelsbach of Quakertown, Penn. turned a 2:05.724 on the No. 32 SV1000.
Brian Kcraget of Danville, Va. led the way in the Sport Twins (ST) class with a fastest lap of 2:07.274 aboard the No. 87 Speed Werks.com Suzuki SV650. Lapeer, Mich.'s Jay Springsteen was second quickest at 2:09.169 riding the No. 9 Pair-A-Nines Kawasaki EX650 and Ben Walters was third quickest in ST at 2:13.716 on the No. 17 Blue Ridge Performance Kawasaki EX650.
Pete Friedland of Columbia, S.C. paced the BMW Grand Sport Twins (GST) competitors at VIR with a time of 2:11.007 aboard the No. 77 Touring Sport Ducati Supersport 1000DS. Oconomonoc, Wis. racer Shawn Higbee clocked the second best time in GST with a 2:12.773 riding the No. 8 Richie Morris Racing Buell XB12 and Brad Phillips of Greer, S.C. was third in class with the other Touring Sport Ducati entry, No. 38 with a time of 2:13.290.
The SunTrust MOTO-ST Series competitors will be back on the track at 7:30 Saturday morning for a one hour, 45 minute practice session. The three-hour MOTO-ST 500K at Virginia International Raceway gets the green flag at 9:00 a.m. Sunday.
Following this weekend's event, this year's SunTrust MOTO-ST Series will continue with the Road America 500K, July 7-8 at Road America, the Iowa Speedway 500K at Iowa Speedway July 12-13, and the 8 Hours At Daytona Finale, October 19-20 at Daytona International Speedway.
MOTO-ST is organized and sanctioned by Professional Motorsports Productions (PMP) of Toronto, Ontario, Canada and the Grand American Road Racing Association, based in Daytona Beach, Fla., provides the series with administrative and commercial support. The MOTO-ST advisory board features some of the most respected individuals in the world of motorsports, including Hall of Fame members, respected motorcycle racing journalists and renowned officials from various forms of road racing. Learn more about MOTO-ST at www.moto-st.com.
Tickets to Round 3 of the SunTrust MOTO-ST Series may be purchased at the gate.