Inclement Weather At Road America Makes For Surprises
Cody Wyman (34) beats Joe LiMandri Jr. and Kayla Yaakov to the finish line in the SportbikeTrackGear.com Junior Cup race on Sunday.
Photo by Brian J. Nelson
It’s always been said that rain in road racing is always the great equalizer. On Sunday at Road America that saying was put to the test as inclement weather settled in on Elkhart Lake making for a wet racetrack for the majority of the day. At day’s end, there were two first-time winners after an action-packed day of racing.
SportbikeTrackGear.com Junior Cup – Wyman Gets It Done
The first race of the day was in SportbikeTrackGear.com, and the battle at the front was fierce despite sections of the track being fully wet, slightly damp, and even a little bit dry at the same time.
Dunlop rain tires were the order of the day, and the frontrunners seemed to be unfazed by the challenge. Alpha Omega Kawasaki rider Cody Wyman won by just .024 of a second over SportbikeTrackGear.com Kawasaki rider Joseph LiMandri Jr. Altus Motorsports Kawasaki rider Kayla Yaakov looked to be headed for her first MotoAmerica victory until both Wyman and LiMandri Jr. executed perfect draft passes to overtake Yaakov just before the finish line. Wyman took the checkers .026 of a second ahead of Yaakov, and LiMandri Jr. nipped Yaakov by just two milliseconds.
“It was good to come back and get a good finish,” Wyman said. “It’s great to be riding (in Twins Cup), as well. Having a blast. Just having so much fun racing motorcycles again. I know I’m a little seasoned, you could say, but I do feel like I’m riding the best of my life on different motorcycles, riding all types of different stuff. Really enjoying myself.”
Supersport – Local Boy Makes Good
Oshkosh b’gosh, in Supersport, it was Oshkosh, Wisconsin, rider Jason Farrell who absolutely dominated the eight-lap race aboard his Farrell Performance Kawasaki. As Farrell himself said, he’s raced at Road America more times than he can count, so he used his knowledge of the track to win on Sunday, despite the rain, by just under 10 seconds over 3D Motorsports LLC Suzuki rider Luke Power, the Australian finishing second for his very first podium in the MotoAmerica series.
Championship points leader Josh Herrin finished a safe third aboard his Warhorse HSBK Racing Ducati NYC Panigale V2 and stretched his point lead to a gaudy 51 points over second-place Rocco Landers and 52 points over third-place Tyler Scott.
“I haven’t raced a motorcycle, mind you, since August last year at Brainerd,” said Farrell. “This is my home track, so it’s kind of like muscle memory for me just showing up here. I’ve done a lot of laps around here. I was a little behind in qualifying. I think I was P10. I thought I was P6, then I went to P10. Times were pretty close. I knew I had about a second and a half. We made some adjustments to the bike. We got up into P4 and P6. I knew we would be right in there. We did the warmup lap, and I was like, all right, ‘I’m there.’ So, I was ready to dice it up with these guys. The bike was good. We softened the springs up when the rain came. Checked on weather. Went out in practice. I’m kind of glad I went out in practice. I saw Josh (Herrin) didn’t go out. I know what it’s like when you first go out in the rain. You’re kind of like, ‘I’ve got to get that feel.’ I remember the first two laps around the track, I was kind of a little bit behind. Then all of a sudden, I started getting my groove and I started feeling good in practice. Then I felt good for the race. I was ready to go. It all worked out for me real good.”
Mission King Of The Baggers – Wyman, Travis Wyman
Weather caused Sunday’s Mission King Of The Baggers race to be moved to later in the day, and the length of the race was also reduced to a four-lap sprint. H-D Screamin’ Eagle factory rider Travis Wyman took it all in stride and won the first Baggers race of his career. He bested his teammate and defending class champion Kyle Wyman by just under one second. Third place went to Mission Foods/S&S Cycle/Indian Challenger Team’s Jeremy McWilliams, the legendary Ulsterman racing for the first time at Road America.
“For me, (this win) is probably at least in the top three,” said Travis Wyman. “I never won a race on a Harley, ever. All those years on XR1200s, I podiumed. I was second and third in the championship. To get a win here, and especially at Road America, and see how many Harley fans and how many people from the factory are out here, it was a big moment, for sure.
“I told (my brother) Kyle on the way over here, I was so nervous with the track conditions. I hate the wet/dry conditions. I figured at best I was going to be fifth or sixth in this race. But, as soon as I got a decent start and was right with the guys, I couldn’t really fully draft on the straightaway with Jeremy (McWilliams) or Tyler (O’Hara), but I felt really, really strong in the infield. I haven’t felt that comfortable on this bike probably since we were at Daytona in the first practice. I felt really strong. So, to have kind of the slew we had at the last round at Atlanta and the testing that we did to come back here and get a win, I still don’t even believe this is real. This is incredible.”
Royal Enfield Build. Train. Race – Buyck Again
Royal Enfield’s Build. Train. Race. program wrapped up the weekend, and 13 women took to the track for a four-lap sprint aboard Continental GT 650s that they race-prepped themselves. Kayleigh Buyck, who won BTR’s first round at VIRginia International Raceway, also won the race at Road America, but she had to win a battle with Crystal Martinez who was second and just .172 of a second behind Buyck. Jennifer Chancellor rounded out the podium in third, but she was more than 11 seconds adrift of Buyck and Martinez.
A crash at the end of the race led to a red flag, which Buyck and Martinez didn’t obey. As a consequence, their results were upheld, but they were docked all the points that they collected for their finishes.
“The battle is what I enjoy,” Buyck said. “It’s hard to lead. Last time, I just kind of got… I don’t know what happened. I started hurting from the crash, so this time I just want to keep my head down and push it the whole way through. Then Crystal got around me, so I knew to just stay back until coming up that last hill, try to get a draft and get her at the line.”
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