MOTO-ST: VIR qualifying summary

San Jose BMW Looks to Close the Points Gap ALTON, Va. - Filled with the determination and motivation that breeds true champions, top-ranked motorcycle pilots Brian Parriott and Nate Kern are ready to put their San Jose BMW in the front of the ...

San Jose BMW Looks to Close the Points Gap

ALTON, Va. - Filled with the determination and motivation that breeds true champions, top-ranked motorcycle pilots Brian Parriott and Nate Kern are ready to put their San Jose BMW in the front of the field, April 27-29 when Round 3 of the SunTrust MOTO-ST Series thunders off the Startline.

With two out of six events completed, San Jose BMW sits just 18 points out of the lead in the Buell Motorcycle Company SuperSport Twins class and is hungry to close the gap. "We moved from 12th to 4th at Homestead," smiles Parriott, "now we want to get to first."

Hitting the 3.27-mile VIR track for this morning's practice, Parriott posted a time of 1.59.502 for an average speed of 98.51 mph on the No. 46 BMW. "This is the first time motorcycles have raced the whole course since the track reopened in 2000," continues Parriott. "And, that pretty much puts everyone on equal footing. The track is awesome and should be a really good race. Hopefully the third time out will be the charm that will get us to Victory Lane."

At Round One at Daytona, the San Jose BMW team, who took top hours at the inaugural 8 Hours At Daytona, led 60 of the first 65 laps and looked to be a shoe-in for the win before an engine problem took them out of the race with just 14 laps to go. In the second round at Homestead, they landed on the Podium despite suffering a variety of electrical problems.

"Our on board lap timer wasn't working, our electronic shifter was amuck and our communications went down," explains Parriott. "At one point our spark plug cap even came off. Although I managed to get it back on, it remained loose, adding yet another worry to our day. We actually made three extra pit stops to try and fix the problems, so all in all, it was a good day. Now, we're set for an even better day."

For the second straight day Ty Howard was quickest in practice at VIR on the Aprilia USA Aprilia Tuono 1000R with a time of 1:58.666. Howard also set the pace in Friday afternoon's opening session of the weekend.

The Aprilia USA team picked up the win at Daytona after the San Jose BMW faltered, with Italians Federico Aliverti and Giancarlo De Matteis riding. Howard and his teammate Troy Green were second at Homestead and the Aprilia USA squad has a share of the lead of the point standings.

"I think I've still got a little bit in the tank," said Howard after Saturday practice. "We've also knocked about 20 seconds off our rear tire change on pit stops, so we're feeling good about that."

Mike Himmelsbach was third in practice Saturday on the No. 32 Vallely Racing Suzuki SV1000 with a time of 2:02.001.

Fastest in the BMW Grand Sport Twins class was the No. 8 Richie Morris Racing Buell XB12 ridden by Shawn Higbee with a time of 2:07.365.

Pacesetter in the Sport Twins class was the No. 87 Speedwerks.com Suzuki SV650 of local rider Brian Kcraget with a time of 2:06.985.

Sunday's VIR 500K gets the green flag at 9:15 a.m.

In addition to VIR, the SunTrust MOTO-ST Series will also include the Road America 500K, July 7-8 at Road America, the Iowa Speedway 500K at Iowa Speedway July 12-14, 2007 and the 8 Hours At Daytona Finale, October 19-20 at Daytona International Speedway.

-credit: garra

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About this article
Series Other bike
Drivers Brian Parriott , Shawn Higbee , Brian Kcraget