MOTO-ST: Birmingham final summary

Touring Sport Ducati Doubles Up in the SunTrust MOTO-ST Series Race at Barber Motorsports Park BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (July 20, 2008) -- Touring Sport Ducati put on a power performance in SunTrust MOTO-ST Series action at Barber Motorsports Park on...

Touring Sport Ducati Doubles Up in the SunTrust MOTO-ST Series Race at Barber Motorsports Park

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (July 20, 2008) -- Touring Sport Ducati put on a power performance in SunTrust MOTO-ST Series action at Barber Motorsports Park on Sunday morning. The No. 75 Touring Sport Ducati 848 of Ryan Elleby and Ryan Gordon overcame heat and avoided adversity en route to the win the Buell Motorcycle Company Super Sport Twins (SST) class in the Barber 500K.

Adding to the celebration following the two hour and thirty minute race around the 16-turn, 2.3-mile road course was the team's win in the BMW GrandSport Twins (GST) class by Frank Shockley (Greenville, S.C.), Brad Phillips (Greer, S.C.) and Peter Friedland (Columbia S.C.) on the No. 77 Ducati PS 1000LE. Touring Sport Ducati is the reigning MOTO-ST GST class champion, but this was their first-ever victory in the series' elite SST division.

The Sport Twins (ST) class winner was No. 66 M4 AVTEQ Racing Suzuki SV650 team of Dane Westby (Tulsa, Okla.) and Kyle Martin (Dallas, Texas).

SST

Following the race, during which the leading teams circled the Barber Motorsports Park circuit a total of 93 times, it became clear that the winning No. 75 Touring Sport Ducati was on the receiving end of a few lucky breaks. Or more correctly, lucky 'brakes.'

Both the second finishing No. 1 Aprilia USA / Lloyd Brothers Motorsports Aprilia Tuono 1000R team of Ty Howard, Mike Himmelsbach and Zac Chapman and the third finishing No. 8 Bruce Rossmeyer's Daytona Racing Buell 1125R had brake pads pop out during their stops, costing each approximately 30 extra seconds in the pits. At the finish, Elleby (Powder Springs, Ga.) came home just 39 seconds in front of runner-up Howard (Weatherford, TX). All three teams led at different times throughout the race, but for the final 31 laps, it was all Elleby on the Ducati 848.

"We went out there today, put our heads down and did the best we could," said Elleby in victory lane. "We ran the pace we knew we could and it worked out really well for us and here we are out front. I started the race and once the fuel light came on -- actually it came on just as the pace car was coming out, so that really worked out well -- we came in. [Ryan] Gordon hopped on at that point and did his stint, and then I jumped back on. When we came for fuel the last time, I stayed on the bike and threw on a new rear tire."

In the lead-up to the team's final pit stop, during which they took on gas and a new Pirelli rear tire, Elleby built up a sizable lead and was able to re-emerge from his stop with a 13-second lead, with just 30 minutes to go in the race.

"I added to the lead over the rest of the race," continued Elleby, following his first race with the Touring Sport Ducati SST team. "My team came on telling me to slow down and cool it the last five or six laps. But I was having a blast; a lot of fun out there. This is a great series and a lot of fun. This is the team's first win of the season in SST. I rode for them in the middle-weight [GST] class at Daytona, but this was my first time riding this [SST] bike. They've been just short of the win, so I'm glad I could come in and help them out."

Ty Howard was content with his runner-up result, albeit somewhat frustrated that brake trouble spoiled what would have been a close battle for the win. "We hit the pits early and the only issue was that we struggled a bit early in traffic. The tire kind of went off a bit sooner than I thought it would, so I just kind of paced myself from there. After we pitted it felt really good and the second stint was really good."

Howard continued, "I just kept adding to our lead and my times were pretty good. After that, we came in-- and a brake pad fell out. It wasn't anybody's fault; it just happened. It cost us about 30 seconds and that was pretty much the difference. Other than that, it would have been a close finish. But when I saw there were 15 minutes left and I was 30 seconds back, there wasn't much you could do."

Polesitter Shawn Higbee (Oconomonoc, Wis.) led the first five laps, and then again late in the race, but the No. 8 Bruce Rossmeyer's Daytona Racing team was also bitten by brake trouble in the pits.

"There was something unusual with the rear brake caliper; I think the brake pad popped out of the carrier," lamented Higbee, after the race. "It [the brake pad] was really hot and they had a hard time getting it back in. It cost us a little bit. It seemed like eternity when you're sitting there.

"Otherwise, the Buell was running strong. Fuel strategy really played into this race. We were really close to a two-stop strategy. We ended up pitting early to take advantage of the yellow but it may have cost us our two-stopper because at the end we had to come in and that wasn't planned. But that's the fun and challenge of endurance racing."

The No. 25 Team Hooters Aprilia Tuono 1000R team of Benny Carlson (West Bend, Wis.) and Mike Luke (New Smyrna Beach, Fla.) and the No. 6 Aprilia USA / Lloyd Brothers Motorsports Aprilia Tuono 1000R of Zac Chapman (Weatherford, Texas), Henry Wiles (Blanchard, Mich.) and Ty Howard were fourth and fifth, respectively.

Following the fourth event of the 2008 SunTrust MOTO-ST Series season, the No. 1 Aprilia USA / Lloyd Brothers Motorsports team holds a seven point lead over the No. 75 Touring Sport Ducati team.

GST

The BMW GrandSport Twins (GST) class featured spirited action early in the race, but after a while it became clear that barring trouble, the victory was the No. 77 Touring Sport Ducati 848 team's for the taking.

"I started on the bike and we chose not to pit when the pace car came out (36 minutes into the race)," said Frank Shockley (Greenville, S.C.), who was the team's anchor during the race. "We were in the lead and I figured we'd go ahead and run it because we already had our stops down and we knew we'd have to do two no matter what. I stayed out as long as I could and around the one-hour mark, I started to get a little tired and I let the guys know I was coming in.

"Other than that, everything went like clockwork. It was one of those days where everything gelled. We only made one mistake and we got a penalty [10 seconds when Pete Friedland (Columbia, S.C.) went over the wall too soon during the rider change]. We made him do his 10 push-ups. The bike was setup really well and the tires held up well. On the middle-weight bike [GST] we can do the whole race on one set."

Discussing the wins in SST and GST, Shockley said, "For both our teams to win today is a dream come true. We couldn't have planned it any better. I'd like to thank everyone for making this happen."

The No. 69 RightsForBikers.com Ducati PS1000LE team of Jason Edmonds (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.), John Linder (Tampa, Fla.) and Rodolfo Ramirez (Sunrise, Fla.) finished second, ahead of the No. 70 James Gang Racing / Hoban Brother Buell XB12R duo of Jeff Johnson (Minneapolis, Min.) and Paul James (Waukesha, Wisc.).

After four events, the No. 70 James Gang Racing / Hoban Brothers team holds a slim, one-point lead over the No. 77 Touring Sport Ducati team.

ST

The Sport Twins (ST) class win was the first ever for the No. 66 M4 AVTEQ Racing Suzuki SV650 team. Lead rider Dane Westby (Tulsa, Okla.) was the class' top qualifier on Saturday at Barber Motorsports Park and held that form on Sunday.

The win by the M4 AVTEQ team was the first for the team, which only joined the MOTO-ST Series for the final race of the 2007 season at Daytona International Speedway.

"I just tried to get a little distance between me and the other guys at the beginning, so I put in my hardest ride because I knew that Pair-A-Nines (No. 9 Pair-A-Nines Kawasaki EX650) would be coming," said Westby, after the race. "I didn't really expect the No. 34 guys (Cycle Dynamics Kawasaki EX650) because they're new and I didn't really know anything about them. They sure made us sweat at the end. I'm glad that we pulled it out."

The No. 34 Cycle Dynamics team of Robert McLendon (Pensacola, Fla.) and Timothy Sanders (Snellville, Georgia) finished second of the ST teams, ahead of the No. 9 Pair-A-Nines duo of Jimmy Filice (Modesto, Calif.) and Jay Springsteen (Lapeer, Mich.).

After four SunTrust MOTO-ST Series events, the No. 9 Pair-A-Nines Kawasaki teams leads the No. 66 AVTEQ Racing Suzuki team by two points (127 to 125).

The series next race will take place August 16-17 at Heartland Park in Topeka, Kansas.

-credit: stmoto-st

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About this article
Series Other bike
Drivers Shawn Higbee , James Paul , Ryan Elleby , Dane Westby