San Jose BMW Wins SunTrust MOTO-ST Series Race at VIR DANVILLE, Va. -- The No. 46 San Jose BMW R1200 of Brian Parriott of Calistoga, Calif. and Nate Kern of Conshohocken, Penn. scored their first SunTrust MOTO-ST Series victory of the season in...
San Jose BMW Wins SunTrust MOTO-ST Series Race at VIR
DANVILLE, Va. -- The No. 46 San Jose BMW R1200 of Brian Parriott of Calistoga, Calif. and Nate Kern of Conshohocken, Penn. scored their first SunTrust MOTO-ST Series victory of the season in the VIR 500k at Virginia International Raceway Sunday.
The pair finished 23.028 seconds ahead of the No. 6 Aprilia USA Aprilia Tuono 1000R ridden by Ty Howard of Weatherford, Tex. and Troy Green of Dallas in the three-hour race around VIR's 3.27-mile full course. Parriott and Kern completed 86 laps at an average speed of 98.71 mph.
The No. 46 BMW led all but one lap on its way to victory, despite a late race stop-and-go penalty for having equipment outside the team's pit stall on its final stop. That allowed the No. 6 Aprilia to gain time in the closing laps.
"My strategy at the beginning was to get the holeshot and take off, and I managed to do that," said Parriott. "At the end I knew Ty was clawing back time. I knew he'd be coming and I needed to put in some hot laps."
The San Jose BMW team won last October's inaugural Eight Hours At Daytona, the debut event for the SunTrust MOTO-ST Series, and led most of this year's season opener, also at Daytona.
"I didn't have one of my best days," said Kern. "But Brian went out and showed everybody why we won at Daytona last year."
With the runner-up finish, the No. 6 Aprilia USA team moved into first place in the Buell Motorcycle Company SuperSport Twins (SST) Team point standings after three of six events with 99 points. The No. 46 San Jose BMW squad jumped from fifth into a tie for second with the No. 32 Vallely Racing Suzuki team, which placed third at VIR, with 84 points.
The No. 6 Aprilia lost valuable time during the race's only full course caution period near half-distance, when Howard dropped a lap behind the No. 46 BMW.
"We got hung up in traffic a few times early in the race and Brian got a gap on me," Howard explained. "Then I was a little late coming out of the pits during the caution flag and that put us a lap behind."
The No. 32 Vallely Racing Suzuki SV1000S shared between Mike Himmelsbach of Quakertown, Penn. and Matt McBride from Toronto, Ontario finished one lap behind the winners.
Fourth place was taken by the No. 21 Ducati 749 ridden by Gustavo Laya, of Miami, Fla. and Rodolfo Ramirez from Sunrise, Fla. while fifth spot went to the No. 69 RightsForBikers.com Suzuki SV1000S of Mark Crozier from Palm Coast, Fla. and Nathan Dressman of Berkley, Mich. These two teams waged a furious battle for the spot in the closing laps of the race, which was resolved in favor of the Ducati when Crozier had to pit for fuel with five minutes remaining.
Brian Kcraget of Danville, Va. and Melissa Berkoff from Washington, D.C. captured the Sport Twins (ST) class win on their Speedwerks.com Suzuki SV650 after a dominant performance.
The team's only setback came when Kcraget fell while trying to retake the class lead from Jimmy Filice on the No. 9 Pair-A-Nines Kawasaki EX650.
"I made the pass but was too hot into the next corner and got into the grass," Kcraget said. "I slowed the bike down but fell, but I was able to get back up. I was riding a little upset after that."
Filice, from Modesto, Calif., and Jay Springsteen of Lapeer, Mich. settled for second after winning the opening two events of the year on their Kawasaki. Third in ST went to the No. 79 GoBigRacing Suzuki SV650 shared by Ross Millson of Hamilton, Ont. and Keene, Ont. rider Paul Glenn.
The No. 9 Kawasaki team leads the ST standings with 102 points, leading the No. 79 Suzuki squad at second with 92 points.
The battle for the BMW Grand Sport Twins (GST) victory turned into a war of attrition as only the winning No. 8 Richie Morris Racing Buell XB12 of Shawn Higbee and Clint Brotz managed to avoid problems.
Higbee, from Oconomonoc, Wis. and Brotz, from Elkhart Lake, Wis. finished five laps clear of the No. 77 Touring Sport Ducati Supersport 1000DS of Peter Friedland of Columbia, S.C., Brad Phillips from Greer, S.C. and Frank Shockley of Greenville, S.C. Third place went to the No. 89 RightsForBikers.com Ducati PS1000LE of John Linder of Tampa, Fla., and Chris Boy and Jason Edmonds, both of Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
The No. 77 Ducati was in the thick of the lead fight before a split oil cooler put it behind, while the No. 89 Ducati came back from a crash by Edmonds at the halfway point.
"The other guys had some bad luck but we kept our head down and kept a steady pace," Higbee said. "Our pit stops were a lot better this weekend and that helped us on the track."
With the victory the No. 8 Buell extended its lead in the GST team standings to four points over the No. 77 Ducati, 100-96.
This year's SunTrust MOTO-ST Series will continue with the Road America 500K, July 7-8 at Road America, the Iowa Speedway 500K at Iowa Speedway July 12-14, and the 8 Hours At Daytona Finale, October 19-20 at Daytona International Speedway.