Higbee and Crevier Win Road America SunTrust MOTO-ST Series Race ELKHART LAKE, Wis. (June 7, 2008) -- Shawn Higbee of Oconomowoc, Wis. and Maple Ridge, B.C. rider Steve Crevier rode the No. 8 Bruce Rossmeyer's Daytona Racing Buell 1125R to a...
Higbee and Crevier Win Road America SunTrust MOTO-ST Series Race
ELKHART LAKE, Wis. (June 7, 2008) -- Shawn Higbee of Oconomowoc, Wis. and Maple Ridge, B.C. rider Steve Crevier rode the No. 8 Bruce Rossmeyer's Daytona Racing Buell 1125R to a convincing victory in the third round of the SunTrust MOTO-ST Series at Road America on Saturday, June 7.
After starting from pole the No. 8 Buell took the lead for the final time on lap 17 of the 36-lap race and pulled away to a 31.278-second victory over the No. 1 Aprilia USA/Lloyd Brothers Motorsports Aprilia Tuono 1000R of Weatherford, Tex. rider Ty Howard and Mike Himmelsbach of Quakertown, Penn. in the SunTrust MOTO-ST Series Road America 500k.
The No. 6 Aprilia USA/Lloyd Brothers Motorsports Aprilia Tuono 1000R ridden by Blanchard Mich.'s Henry Wiles and Bryan West of Austin, Tex. completed the podium overall and in the Buell Motorcycle Company SuperSport Twins (SST) class.
The win was the first of the season for the No. 8 Buell team and the bike's first finish after mechanical failures had taken it out of the opening two rounds of the series.
"Definitely at the first two rounds we were happy the bike was so competitive but clearly we had some bugs to work out," Higbee said. "I think we proved something this weekend."
Lightning storms in the area forced a delay to the start of the race, which was shortened from its originally scheduled three hours or 78 laps. Higbee and Crevier completed the 36 laps in one hour, 39 minutes and 11.533 seconds.
The race was run in challenging weather conditions with rain falling on and off through most of the event.
"I don't have a lot of rain experience at this track," said Higbee. "We were a little conservative early and about 10 laps in a dry line started to appear. Then it started drizzling just as I was getting happy with the track and I think that was a defining moment. I backed it down a lot and from then on the race seemed to go our way."
Crevier was making his debut with the team and came back from a big practice fall on Friday to share in the victory.
"It was crazy out there," the six-time Canadian Superbike champion said. "We thought about going to a slick tire on the final stint, but didn't want to take the chance in case we got another downpour."
Howard and Himmelsbach won the opening two rounds of the 2008 SunTrust MOTO-ST season and despite their second place finish at Road America managed to extend their lead in the SST Teams point standings over the No. 75 Touring Sport Ducati 848, which finished fourth in the hands of Camarillo, Calif.'s Doug Polen and Brian Stokes of Kingston, Ga.
The No. 1 Aprilia now has 102 points to the 92 of the No. 75 Ducati.
"Unfortunately our strength is going three hours," said Himmelsbach. "I'd like to see what we could have done over a full race. This team is good at adapting to the conditions. We didn't have any issues. We pretty much had a smooth race."
Howard set the fastest lap of the race at 2:30.778 (87.623 mph) on lap 30 as he tried to catch the leading Buell and earned the Performance Under Gear Performance of the Race Award.
"We kind of stayed conservative at the beginning," said Howard, who won at Road America last year. "The most important thing was to make sure we stayed upright and make sure we beat the people we needed to beat [in the standings]."
The No. 6 Aprilia is now third in the SST standings with 83 points.
"This was my first time racing in the rain and I had no idea what to expect," Wiles said. "The track was pretty good towards the end but with my inexperience I wasn't sure what to expect with the tires."
Fifth place in SST and overall went to the No. 25 Team Hooters Aprilia Tuono 1000R of Australian David Anthony, Benny Carlson of West Bend, Wis. and New Smyrna Beach, Fla.'s Mike Luke. The team started at the back of the SST grid after failing to set a time in qualifying on Friday.
Another strong run came from the No. 55 Crozier Motorsports Ducati 848 of Mark Crozier from Fort Valley, Ga. and Clarkson, Mich. racer Nathan Dressman, which claimed sixth in SST despite being delayed at the start of the race.
The No. 10 HMC KTM 990 Super Duke R ridden by Detroit's Chris Fillmore and Australian Troy Herfoss led four laps in its SunTrust MOTO-ST Series debut but crashed out near half distance.
Sixth overall and winner of the BMW GrandSport Twins (GST) division was the No. 59 RightsforBikers.com Ducati PS1000LE ridden by Justin Filice of Modesto, Calif. and Armando Ferrer from Caracas, Venezuela.
Filice rode a strong opening stint with his dad Jimmy Filice on the No. 9 Pair-A-Nines Kawasaki EX650 on the wet track to put the No. 59 Ducati in the class lead.
"I have to give a lot of credit to my dad," Justin Filice said. "He led me around early on and showed me some spots I could use a little more throttle."
Second in class went to the No. 77 Touring Sport Ducati PS1000LE of Columbia, S.C.'s Pete Friedland and Frank Shockley of Greenville, S.C., which finished 18.559 seconds behind the winner.
Third in GST was the No. 70 James Gang Racing/Hoban Brothers Buell XB12R of Paul James of Waukesha, Wis. and Jeff Johnson from Minneapolis. The No. 70 Buell took over the lead in the GST Teams' standings with 92 points to the 88 of the No. 7 Richie Morris Racing Buell team, which was forced to retire its XB12R with mechanical troubles.
The No. 70 Buell also claimed the Roaring Toyz Best Looking Team Award.
Defending Sport Twins class champions Jimmy Filice of Daytona Beach, Fla. and Lapeer, Mich.'s Jay Springsteen scored their first win of the season on the No. 9 Kawasaki. The pair finished eighth overall and over a lap clear of their nearest challenger, the No. 66 M4 Avteq Racing Suzuki SV650 ridden by Cory Burleson of Harrison, Ark., Dustin Dominguez from Newalla, Okla. and Dallas rider Kyle Martin.
Filice dedicated his win to the late racing legend Stormy Chisler, who raced against Filice and Springsteen in flat track competition.
"What a great race," Filice said. "This is my first ever time on the Road America podium. It is also great to win at the same race as my son. This is his first ever road race win and I am so very proud of him. A good friend of Jay's and mine, Stormy Chisler, passed away last week and I want to dedicate this win to him. I know he was up there watching over us."
The No. 9 Kawasaki team now leads the ST Teams' standings with 97 points to the 90 of the No. 66 Suzuki team.
The No. 9 Kawasaki team also won the PIAA Award for gaining the most positions in the race, while the No. 66 Suzuki squad picked up the Czaia & Gallagher Lucky 13 Award for finishing 13th overall in the race.
The SunTrust MOTO-ST Series continues at Barber Motorsport Park in Barber, Ala. July 20-21.