Higbee and Buell Fastest in SunTrust MOTO-ST Series Qualifying ELKHART LAKE, Wis. (June 6, 2008) -- Wisconsin rider Shawn Higbee and the Bruce Rossmeyer's Daytona Racing Buell team bounced back from a practice crash to claim pole position in...
Higbee and Buell Fastest in SunTrust MOTO-ST Series Qualifying
ELKHART LAKE, Wis. (June 6, 2008) -- Wisconsin rider Shawn Higbee and the Bruce Rossmeyer's Daytona Racing Buell team bounced back from a practice crash to claim pole position in qualifying for the Road America SunTrust MOTO-ST 500k on Friday.
After his teammate Steve Crevier was involved in an accident late in the 90-minute practice session Higbee jumped on the team's back-up No. 8 Buell 1125R and scorched around the 4.0-mile Road America track in two minutes, 27.086 seconds (97.902 miles per hour) to claim the Destination Daytona Pole Award and the top starting spot for Saturday's third round of the SunTrust MOTO-ST Series.
"This has been a strange weekend," said Higbee, who hails from Oconomowoc, Wis. "We had to revert to the 'B' bike, and we weren't happy with it, but right before the session we made some adjustments to the suspension and we were OK."
Last year's Road America winner Ty Howard of Weatherford, Tex. qualified second fastest with a time of 2:27.443 on the No. 1 Aprilia USA/Lloyd Brothers Motorsports Aprilia Tuono 1000R and Camarillo, Calif.'s Doug Polen will start Saturday's race third on the grid aboard the No. 75 Touring Sport Ducati 848 after recording a time of 2:28.640.
Howard was quickest through the first half of the 20-minute qualifying session before Higbee went to the top of the timing charts with a 2:27.143, which he then lowered right before the end of the session.
"I still think the 'A' bike's a little quicker," Higbee said. "But the suspension came into it's own the longer we went into a stint. The tire wear was good too."
Howard, who along with teammate Mike Himmelsbach of Quakertown, Penn. has won the first two races of the SunTrust MOTO-ST Series, was frustrated with his qualifying result, saying that he had unintentionally towed the No. 8 Buell up the front straight.
"The bike was good but I was not able to lay down a good lap," Howard said. "It seemed the wind was different in every corner in every lap, and every lap I seemed to mess up somewhere."
Howard did feel confident of repeating his Road America victory of 2007 and scoring a third straight 2008 victory with Himmelsbach.
"We let Mike do a long stint in the practice session and the tire held in really good and the fuel mileage was better than what we got last year," he said. "And Mike has been right on the pace. He's right there with me."
The No. 1 Aprilia USA/Lloyd Brothers Motorsport team leads the No. 75 Touring Sport Ducati team by six points in the Buell Motorcycle Company SuperSport Twins (SST) standings coming into Road America. The No. 75 Ducati has finished second in each of the first two races of the 2008 season.
"We were making some changes, trying to improve the front end grip," said Polen, who will be teamed with Brian Stokes of Kingston, Ga. and Powder Springs, Ga.'s Ryan Elleby in Saturday's race. "It's still marginal, so we'll just try to improve it some more for tomorrow."
Fourth fastest overall and in the SST class was the No. 6 Aprilia USA/Lloyd Brothers Motorsports Aprilia Tuono 1000R of Blanchard, Mich.'s Henry Wiles and Bryan West of Austin, Tex. with a time of 2:29.926.
An impressive fifth went to the KTM HMC KTM Super Duke 990 R of Goulburn, Australia's Troy Herfoss and Detroit racer Chris Fillmore, which set a time of 2:30.220. The team is making its SunTrust MOTO-ST Series debut this weekend at Road America.
After setting the quickest time in practice, the No. 25 Team Hooters Aprilia Tuono 1000R of Mike Luke, Benny Carlson and David Anthony crashed twice in the qualifying session and failed to record a time.
Pole position in the BMW GrandSport Twins (GST) class went to the No. 59 RightsforBikers.com Ducati PS1000LE shared between Justin Filice of Modesto, Calif., Sunrise, Fla. rider Rodolfo Ramirez and Armando Ferrer of Caracas, Venezuela, which turned a lap of 2:35.866.
Second fastest was the No. 70 James Gang Racing/Hoban Brothers Buell XB12R of Waukesha, Wis.'s Paul James and Minneapolis rider Jeffrey Johnson with a 2:37.174 and the third starting spot in GST will go to the No. 77 Touring Sport Ducati 1000 SS of Columbia, S.C. rider Peter Friedland, Frank Shockley of Greenville, S.C. and Greer, S.C.'s Brad Phillips, which turned a lap of 2:38.233.
The No. 86 SpeedWerks.com Suzuki SV650 of Carmel Valley, Calif.'s Hawk Mazzotta and Lemant, Ill.'s Scott Ryan was fastest in the Sport Twins class with a time of 2:36.387.
Second on the ST grid went to the No. 67 M4 Avteq Racing Suzuki SV650 of Lewisville, Tex. rider Ryan O'Donnell and Kyle Martin of Dallas with a time of 2:37.749 and third was taken by the No. 9 Pair-A-Nines Kawasaki EX650 ridden by Modesto, Calif.'s Jimmy Filice and Jay Springsteen of Lapeer, Mich. with a 2:38.623.
The Road America 500k gets the green flag at 3:30 p.m. Saturday. The race is scheduled for 78 laps or three hours.
The SunTrust MOTO-ST Series 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. Learn more about MOTO-ST at www.moto-st.com.