MOTO-ST: Road America - hometown teams spotlight

Hometown Teams Look to Shine at Road America DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- When Round 3 of the SunTrust MOTO-ST Series swings into gear at Road America June 6-7, four local Buell teams will be looking to shine at their hometown track. Ready to fight...

Hometown Teams Look to Shine at Road America

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- When Round 3 of the SunTrust MOTO-ST Series swings into gear at Road America June 6-7, four local Buell teams will be looking to shine at their hometown track.

Ready to fight the battle for victory in the Buell Motorcycle Company SuperSport Twins class (SST) is Bruce Rossmeyer's Daytona Racing team headquartered in Elkhart Lake, Wis. Managed by Richie Morris, this team debuted the new Buell 1125R at the season opener in Daytona.

"We suffered a couple of minor teething problems at the first two rounds," explains Morris. "But I think we have things sorted out now and Road America should be a good race for us. Piloting our Buell this time out will be Shawn Higbee and Steve Crevier who is subbing for Mike Smith who has a broken right wrist. It is unfortunate that Mike will miss his first chance to ride the 1125. He rode our XB12 in the BMW GrandSport Twins class at Virginia International Raceway and was a huge factor in the win. However, we are definitely lucky that Steve is available. He is an outstanding rider and is familiar with the bike. I know he and Shawn will be a good combination."

"I am really looking forward to this round," says Higbee, who is fully recovered from the crash he sustained in mid-July 2007 at Iowa Speedway. Suffering a compound broken femur, a dislocated shoulder and broken shoulder bone, plus a hip joint fracture, Higbee returned to racing last October at the 8 Hours At Daytona. "In the beginning the doctors didn't think it was possible," explains Higbee. "But I beat their expectations and I am good to go. I am looking forward to running with Steve and think we can score a good finish."

A test technician and development rider for Buell, Higbee, who hails from Oconomowoc, Wis., has been racing for over 18 years and has earned numerous victories and titles, including the 1998 Harley-Davidson World Championship. "Racing, including motorcycles, go-karts and cars are pretty much my passion," he explains. "My dad raced stock cars so I've been around racing most of my life. My priority is definitely to win and that's what I'm hoping for at Road America."

Also looking forward to a top finish is Crevier. A resident of Maple Ridge, B.C., Crevier, who will celebrate his 43rd birthday this month, is the most successful racer in Canadian Superbike history. He also has four national 600cc crowns to his credit and was the AMA 600cc Supersport champion in 1998. Just a week ago Crevier produced one of his most impressive performances, taking his Deeley Harley-Davidson Canada/Ruthless Racing Buell 1125R to a third place debut finish in the opening round of the Paris Canada Superbike Championship.

Flying the Hal's Performance Advantage banner, Richie Morris Racing will also field a Buell XB12R in the BMW GrandSport Twins with riders Clint Brotz and Dan Bilansky. Currently leading the points chase with 65 points, this duo has taken a third at Daytona and the win at VIR.

A resident of Waukesha, Wis., Dan Bilansky has been riding since he was six and competing for the past eight years. A firm believer in being in shape, Bilansky can often be found mountain biking or motocrossing. "I think that being in top condition is one of the most important keys in being successful in competition, especially in endurance racing," he explains. "Your physical shape and mental conditioning work hand-in-hand and being fit really helps me."

Teammate Clint Brotz, is from Elkhart Lake, Wis. Racing for the past 16 years, Brotz knows what it takes to win and is definitely well-versed in all the aspects of Road America.

An avid outdoorsman, Brotz, who is an arborist, loves snowboarding, mountain biking, motocross and scuba diving. "I don't like being inside," he says, "which is why I became an arborist. It keeps me outside, plus I'm doing something I enjoy."

However, Richie Morris Racing will have to battle it out in GST with James Gang Racing of Waukesha, Wis., who will be fielding two teams for this round.

Sitting in second place, just three points out of the lead, the No. 70 Buell piloted by Paul James and teammate Jeff Johnson so far has taken a second at Daytona and a third at VIR.

"Both Jeff and I really like racing at Road America," says James, and we have both logged numerous hours on the track. It is always good to race at home and wining on your hometown track is definitely the best."

"Road America is one of the premier tracks in the country, says Johnson. "It has lots of lines for passing, sweeping turns and elevation changes. I have over 50 races there. It is absolutely my favorite track to ride."

In addition, James Gang Racing will also be running a second Buell with two-wheel aces Greg Avello and young gun Chris Quillman. Avello has two prior SunTrust MOTO-ST Series GST podiums to his credit, while Quillman's MOTO-ST debut will mark his first race on a Buell motorcycle as well as his first ever endurance race. The 21-year-old tested the team's backup Buell Firebolt XB12R for the first time at Blackhawk Farms on May 31st and impressed everyone with his ability to quickly adapt to the new ride.

"Endurance racing is entertaining for the riders, the team and the fans," sums up James, who is the director of product communications for Buell and Harley-Davidson. "And this series offers a huge potential. It is both well run and organized and we are pleased to be part of it. It is truly a team sport and everyone is involved which really makes it fun."

-credit: motost

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About this article
Series Other bike
Drivers Shawn Higbee , Steve Crevier , James Paul , Mike Smit