Roadracingworld.com Suzuki wins MOTO-ST at Homestead HOMESTEAD, Fla. -- Clever pit strategy and consistency on the track helped the No. 18 Roadracingworld.com Suzuki SV1000S of Chris Ulrich and Michael Barnes take the victory in the Homestead...
Roadracingworld.com Suzuki wins MOTO-ST at Homestead
HOMESTEAD, Fla. -- Clever pit strategy and consistency on the track helped the No. 18 Roadracingworld.com Suzuki SV1000S of Chris Ulrich and Michael Barnes take the victory in the Homestead 500K at Homestead-Miami Speedway on Saturday.
Barnes, from Boca Raton, Fla., and Ulrich, of Lake Elsinore, Fla., each ran double stints in the three-hour race, the second round of the SunTrust MOTO- ST Series, allowing the pair to gain time on their pursuers. The pair also saved time in the pits by making only one tire change, and eventually finished 52.857 secs. ahead of the No. 6 Aprilia USA Aprilia Tuono 1000R ridden by Ty Howard of Weatherford, Tex. and Troy Green from Dallas.
Ulrich and Barnes completed 117 laps of the 2.21-mile Homestead-Miami Speedway at an average speed of 89.563 mph.
"We saved a bunch of time in the pits," said Barnes. "The tires were incredible the whole race and the bike ran flawless the whole race."
The victory was especially sweet for the team after finishing second in both of the previous SunTrust MOTO-ST events, last October's inaugural Eight Hours At Daytona and March's Daytona USA 300. The team also claimed first overall in the Buell Motorcycle Company SuperSport Twins (SST) class.
"It's great to finally win an endurance race for my Dad," said Ulrich, whose father John runs the Roadracingworld.com Suzuki team. "I kind of had it easy. The crew did a good job and Mike got me a lead to work with."
The No. 6 Aprilia, winner at Daytona's season opener last month, started from pole position and led the first 26 laps before giving up the advantage to the No. 18 Suzuki at the first round of pit stops.
"We hate to lead that many laps and finish second," said Howard. "We had a great game plan but we came up a little short to a team with more endurance experience than us."
Third place went to the San Jose BMW R1200 of Calastoga, Calif.'s Brian Parriott and Nate Kern from Conshohocken, Penn. after a dramatic final 20 minutes. Parriott was running in third but had to pit due to problems with the bike's gearshift, losing the final podium spot to the RightsForBikers.com Suzuki SV1000S of Palm Coast, Fla.'s Mark Crozier and Nathan Dressman from Berkley, Mich. But with just 10 minutes to go Parriott repassed the Suzuki, and Crozier and Dressman settled for fourth.
Fifth place went to the Vallely Racing Suzuki SV1000S shared between Josh Day of Orlando, Fla. and Mike Himmelsbach from Pottstown, Penn.
Victory in the BMW Grand Sport Twins (GST) class went to the RPM Motorsports/Keesee Racing Ducati Supersport 1000DS of the father/son duo of Todd Keesee from W. Melbourne, Fla. and Kyle Keesee of Palm Bay, Fla. They finished a lap clear of the No. 77 Touring Sport Ducati Supersport 1000DS ridden by Pete Friedland of Columbia, S.C., Brad Phillips of Greer, S.C. and Frank Shockley from Greenville, S.C.
"It was a long race. I was not expecting that," said 17-year-old Kyle Keesee, who is in only his second season of motorcycle competition.
Third place in the GST class was the No. 8 Richie Morris Racing Buell XB12 shared by Shawn Higbee of Oconomonoc, Wis. and Dan Bilansky from Waukesha, Wis., which lost three laps early on with brake trouble.
The duo of Jay Springsteen from Lapeer, Mich. and Jimmy Filice of Modesto, Calif. scored their second straight victory in the Sport Twins (ST) class aboard the No. 9 Pair-A-Nines Kawasaki EX650. They finished a lap in front of the No. 79 GoBigRacing Suzuki SV650 of the Canadian team of Ross Millson of Hamilton, Ont. and Paul Glenn of Keene, Ont.
"The tires worked so good, we had no problems with anything," said Springsteen, who will celebrate his 50th birthday on Sunday. "Jimmy and I were both really consistent with our times."
The ST podium was rounded out by the No. 23 Edge Racing Suzuki SV650 of Tim Luporini of Roselle, Ill., Chris Mayerle of Itasca, Ill. and Don Rankin of Mundelein, Ill.
Following this weekend's event, this year's SunTrust MOTO-ST Series will continue with the VIR 500K, April 27-29 at Virginia International Raceway, 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.