Tough Day at Mid-Ohio for Team Hammer
NEWS July 14, 2013
Photo by Brian J Nelson
Courtesy of Team Hammer:
July 14, 2013 - Team Hammer closed out the GEICO Motorcycle AMA Pro Road Racing weekend at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio with a couple more top-10 finishes to its credit.
Sunday's Daytona SportBike race was delayed about an hour when a three-corner section of the racetrack was covered in oil dumped by a spectator's bike during the fan ride. SportBike competitors were given an additional 10-minute practice session to assess the reduced traction and to see where absorbent material had been spread on the pavement. That session was followed by the race, which was shortened from 21 to 15 laps.
GEICO Motorcycle Road Racing's Dane Westby managed to not crash after being bumped by another rider and thrown up and out of the seat on the first lap of the race, but lost touch with the lead pack. Westby salvaged what he could, ultimately backing up the previous day's sixth-place finish with a seventh-place ride aboard his Team Hammer-prepared CBR600RR.
M4 Broaster Chicken Racing's Benny Solis also fought to a place in the top 10. The young pilot earned his fourth-straight top-10, finishing 10th.
Broaster Chicken/MPH Racing's Melissa Paris guided her Team Hammer Contract Services-prepared Honda CBR600RR to 18th on the day.
Meanwhile, M4 SportbikeTrackGear.com Racing's Chris Ulrich won a close fight for 13th in Sunday's 21-lap AMA Superbike final on the still-oily racetrack. Ulrich got a bad start and then ran off the track, completing the first lap down in 17th position before working his way forward.
After the race Ulrich explained, "That was a funny race with strange conditions. The start did it; obviously qualifying back on the fourth row isn't exactly the best place to be at the start of the race. The launch was OK and I moved past a few people, but I left the door open a little bit in the Keyhole turn and a couple of guys got by me that maybe shouldn't have.
"But the bigger issue today was that we took a chance and switched to the optional harder front tire--which we hadn't tried in practice--because the conditions had changed. It took about 10 laps for the tire to come in and for me to get used to it. When it eventually started working well I charged forward and made passes, and even went quicker than I had qualified on the second-to-last lap.
"We learned a couple things and we're sorting out the bike and electronics, which has not been easy. Going forward, we're going to roll off the truck with a better set-up, and once we can do that, then we can improve in qualifying. If you qualify a row forward, that's obviously less work you have to do in the race. Ideally you want to be on the first two rows of the grid; in our situation right now, we need to shoot for the first three rows, work hard and carry on. Top 10s are still the initial goal and we're getting closer, but we want to do way better than that. As hard as the crew is working, we're going to get a handle on the electronics and set-up and keep moving forward."
Team Hammer packed up and immediately headed to Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca where the AMA Pro Road Racing series will share the spotlight with the MotoGP World Championship at next weekend's Grand Prix.
About Team Hammer: In 2013, Team Hammer, Inc. is competing in its 33rd consecutive racing season, and is marking its seventh year of offering technical and logistical support through its Contract Services Department. Riders on Team Hammer-prepared racebikes have earned 56 AMA Pro National race wins; 132 AMA Pro National podium finishes; 5 AMA Pro Championships; 133 Overall National Endurance race wins; 13 National Endurance Championships and assorted other race wins and titles.
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