Aprilia Team Takes Third SunTrust MOTO-ST Series Win MILLVILLE, N.J. -- The No. 1 Aprilia USA/Lloyd Brothers Motorsports Aprilia Tuono 1000R of Ty Howard (Weatherford, Texas) and Mike Himmelsbach (Quakertown, Pa.) was in an exceptionally...
Aprilia Team Takes Third SunTrust MOTO-ST Series Win
MILLVILLE, N.J. -- The No. 1 Aprilia USA/Lloyd Brothers Motorsports Aprilia Tuono 1000R of Ty Howard (Weatherford, Texas) and Mike Himmelsbach (Quakertown, Pa.) was in an exceptionally familiar spot atop the podium in the SunTrust MOTO-ST Series. The team claimed its third victory of the year in the Thunderbolt 500k at New Jersey Motorsports Park, the sixth round of the seven-race series.
The winners completed 119 laps of the 2.25-mile circuit in three hours, 46.211 seconds.
The No. 75 Touring Sport Ducati 848 of Doug Polen (Camarillo, Caif.) and Ryan Gordon (Fairplay, S.C.) finished two laps behind the No. 1 Aprilia to take what should have been a second place finish. However the bike did not pass post-race technical inspection as it was equipped with a wheel not originally fitted to their Ducati 848, thus pushing the team to the back of its class, officially.
As a result, Shawn Higbee of Oconomowoc, Wis. and Dan Bilansky of Berlin, Wis. claimed the second place finish aboard their No. 8 Bruce Rossmeyer's Daytona Racing Buell 1125R, matching today's finish position to their starting grid position.
Finishing off the top three was the No. 7 Richie Morris Racing Buell 1125R ridden by Bryan Bemisderfer of Greencastle, Pa. and Clint Brotz, of Elkhart Lake, Wis. completing 114 laps, five laps behind the leader.
"We had a solid run on our second stint which was really good," Himmelsbach said. "The circuit's great. We've got great traction and there's lot of room to move around for passing. It's a lot of fun and very technical."
After passing the No. 8 Buell on the opening lap to take first position, The No. 1 Aprilia USA/Lloyd Brothers entry remained there for approximately 20 laps until falling as far back as third. An early pit stop on lap 26 brought new tires, fuel top up and a rider swap for the team, putting Himmelsbach on board.
"I think a lot of it had to do with the two slow warm up laps; the tire temperatures dropped," said Howard of the early stop. "They had about two pounds less than we had originally put in. We started lower than usual and maybe went a little too low. We kind of planned on having a 15-20 lap stint at the end so we just had it at the beginning I guess."
Despite finishing second overall, The No. 8 Bruce Rossmeyer's Daytona Racing Buell could have had slightly better luck in the pits. On the team's first pit stop, on lap 36, the 1125R failed to re-start. A battery change left the team four laps behind the leader upon re-entering the race. Overshooting the pit on a late, last minute fuel grab on lap 108 added to the drama as well.
"It was nice to be come back. We were down quite a ways after we got hung up in the pits. I threw my head down after that to see how strong the bike could be." said Higbee. "I thank the crew and I'm really happy with the Buell 1125R."
Heading into the final round of the season, the 8 Hours At Daytona on Oct. 18, the No. 1 Aprilia team now has 197 championship points to the 181 points of the No. 75 Touring Sport Ducati team. The No. 8 Buell squad remains third in the standings with 174 points.
Finishing fourth in the SST class was the No. 89 Mannheimer Gammacril Racing Ducati 749 ridden by Fabrizio Guerra (Milan, Italy) and Federico Mannheimer (Bergamo, Italy).
Completing the top five was the No. 40 White Eagle Racing Suzuki SV1000S of Wojciech Kasperuk (Seymour, Conn.) and Robert Zoldak (Bloomingdale, N.J.).
Finishing first in the GrandSport Twins was the No. 69 RightsforBikers.com Ducati PS1000LE of Justin Filice (Modesto, Calif.) and Rodolfo Ramirez (Sunrise, Fla.). However during post-race technical inspection the bike was unable to complete its required dyno run due to an engine complication. This moved the No. 69 Ducati to last in its class, but the team is still third in championship points with 174.
As a result, the No. 59 RightsforBikers.com Ducati PS1000LE handled by Jason Edmonds (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.) and Garrett Rick (Naples, Fla.) was given the first place finish. After starting from the rear of the GST grid their efficiently run race placed them fourth overall and six laps ahead of the second place finisher.
"We had a really good ride. It's really a whole team effort. " said Edmonds. "We brought the 59 bike in at a good place (for points)."
The No. 70 James Gang Racing Buell XB12R ridden by Jeffery Johnson of Minneapolis, Minn. and Walt Sipp of Kansas City, Mo. placed second. A broken rear shock on lap 100 forced the No. 70 Buell to pit for repairs but the bike still maintained its position.
Third on podium in GST was the No. 77 Touring Sport Ducati PS1000LE of Frank Shockley (Greenville, S.C.) and Brad Phillips (Greer, S.C.), who finished just 35.081 seconds behind the James Gang members after sneaking up on them during their time lost due to repairs.
Merely two points separate the No. 77 Touring Sport Ducati from the No. 70 James Gang Racing Buell heading into the final round at Daytona.
Center on the podium for the Sport Twins class was the No. 86 SpeedWerks.com Suzuki SV650 of Scott Ryan (Lemant, Ill.), Brian Kcraget (Danville, Va.) and James Rispoli (Attica, N.Y.). After a smooth run the bike completed 116 laps, finishing just three laps behind the winning Aprilia USA machine and second overall in the race.
"There were some family issues with the team and we had to bow out of a couple of rounds," explained Ryan. "We knew we could put it all together here. It's a team effort, and the team came together really well for us. "
Third place overall and second in the ST class went to the No. 67 M4 Avteq Racing Suzuki SV650 put to work by Cory Burleson (Harrison, Ariz.), Ryan O'Donnell (Lewisville, Texas) and Kyle Martin (Dallas, Texas).
The No. 66 M4 Avteq Racing Suzuki SV650 of Dustin Dominguez (Newalla, Okla.), Ryan O'Donnell (Lewisville, Texas) and Martin closed out the podium finishers for the ST class.
The No. 66 M4 AVTEQ Racing Suzuki SV650 leads the No. 9 Pair-A-Nines Kawasaki EX650, which retired on lap 61 due to ongoing electrical problems, by eight points (187-179) in the ST Teams standings. The No. 67 Suzuki sits third with 165.
The No. 1 Aprilia USA / Lloyd Brothers Motorsports team claimed the Performance Under Gear Performer of the Race Award for setting the fastest lap of the race, a 1:27.428 on lap 66. The No. 59 RightsforBikers.com Ducati squad got the PIAA Lights Award for improving the most positions in class, rising from sixth on the grid to first in the race. The Czaia & Gallagher Lucky 13 Award went to the No. 77 Touring Sport Ducati team for placing 13th overall.
Team Hooters Aprilia won the Roaring Toyz Award for Best Appearing Squad and will receive a $250 check from Roaring Toyz.
The SunTrust MOTO-ST Series' last stop for the 2008 season takes place October 17-18 in Daytona Beach, Fla. for the 8 Hours At Daytona.
TEAM (SST): 1. No. 1 Aprilia USA/Lloyd Brothers Motorsports - 197; 2. No. 75 Touring Sport Ducati - 181; 3. No. 8 Bruce Rossmeyer's Daytona Racing - 174; 4. No. 25 Team Hooters Aprilia -- 161; 5. No. 6 Aprilia USA/Lloyd Brothers Motorsports -- 109
MANUFACTURER (SST): 1. Aprilia 199, 2. Ducati 187, 3. Buell 174, 4. Suzuki 128, 5. BMW 51 TEAM (GST): 1. No. 77 Touring Sport Ducati - 186; 2. No. 70 James Gang Racing / Hoban Brothers - 184; 3. No. 69 RightsforBikers.com - 174; 4. No. 7 Richie Morris Racing - 142; 5. No. 20 Wagner Motorsports Racing -- 138
MANUFACTURER (GST): 1. Ducati - 207; 2. Buell - 189; 3. Bimota -- 80 TEAM (ST): 1. No. 66 M4 AVTEQ Racing - 187; 2. No. 9 Pair-A-Nines - 179; 3. No. 67 M4 Avteq Racing - 165; 4. No. 42 Grease Monkey Racing - 150; 5. No. 17 Mid-Illini Motosports / Repsol -- 146 MANUFACTURER (ST): 1. Suzuki - 202; 2. Kawasaki -- 184; 3. Ducati 88
COMPETITORS' NOTE: PENALTY ANNOUNCED
Following the Thunderbolt 500k, SunTrust MOTO-ST Series officials have announced that No. 86 of the ST class will be fined $100 for failing to display one of the required "SunTrust MOTO-ST Series" patches on its leathers.