Show Me The Money: Jacobsen Wins Pole At The Brickyard For AMA Pro Vance & Hines XR1200 Series Races
NEWS August 17, 2012
Photo by Brian J Nelson
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (August 17, 2012) - Coming into Indianapolis, the AMA Pro Vance & Hines XR1200 Series had been strictly a three-man affair at the front. Every single step on the podium, pole position, and lap leader point in the lead-up to the $60,000 XR Showdown that kicks off with this weekend's Red Bull Indianapolis GP doubleheader had been hoarded by a group of three fast riders -- Tyler O'Hara, Kyle Wyman, and Michael Barnes.
However, the allure of competing in GEICO Motorcycle AMA Pro Road Racing at the famed Brickyard alongside the superstars of the MotoGP World Championship (not to mention the generous $50,000 purse offered this weekend) has attracted to the fray some new combatants with the ability to upset the order.
That was made abundantly clear in Friday's qualifying session as P.J. Jacobsen (MOB Racing/K Tech/Orient Express) claimed the pole in emphatic fashion. Jacobsen, who took his maiden XR1200 win in his class debut at New Jersey Motorsports Park in 2010, threw down a blistering time of 1:54.984, almost a second-and-a-half ahead of his nearest competitor.
"It's great to be here -- Indy is a famous place," Jacobsen said. "I just can't thank my team, MOB Racing/K Tech/Orient Express, enough and everyone who put me here. It's good because I have a little break, being over from the BSB, so it's good to be here with the AMA to just have some fun.
"I was surprised by the gap; I thought it was going to be a little bit closer than that. But Kyle, Tyler, and 'Barney' have been riding real hard all year -- I've been watching the video -- so I'm not counting them out at in the race tomorrow or Sunday. It's going to be fun."
KLR Group/Spyke's Harley-Davidson/Vesrah Racing's Kyle Wyman, who was second, wasn't discouraged by Jacobsen's speed, instead viewing the fleet wild card as an opportunity to improve his Showdown standing.
Wyman explained, "P.J.'s riding really well, but this is really a points battle for the XR Showdown. P.J. is not in that battle so he can race his own race. If he ends up mixing it up with us, if I have an opportunity to put some points between myself and some of the other Showdown competitors, I'm going to do that. I'm just focused on the points battle and earning that #1 plate at the end of the year."
JCR/Srubblade/Bartel's Harley-Davidson's Tyler O'Hara returns to the venue where he officially arrived as an AMA Pro pole and race winner one year ago. The Californian has since built upon that success and established himself a genuine title threat in 2012, as evidenced by his three wins, four poles, six lap leaders points, and perfect podium record this season.
O'Hara was in fine form again today, grabbing the third (and final) slot on the front row for the 10-lap finals.
"Qualifying was good," he said. "I put in some fast laps at the beginning by myself. Front row is the goal. I'm excited P.J. is in the mix. He's not in the chase. He's riding well and it makes it a little bit more exciting for everyone."
Meanwhile, the third of the usual suspects - Michael Barnes -- found himself shuffled down to sixth in qualifying, also trailing Ben Carlson (Suburban Harley-Davison) and Gerry Signorelli (Kuryakyn/Racing for a Wish).
Barnes is making his second team transition of the season, running as teammate to Wyman under the KLR Group/Spyke`s Harley-Davidson /Vesrah Racing banner this weekend.
While Jacobsen excelled despite his long layoff from XR competition, a couple of the other big name entrants making AMA Pro Vance & Hines XR1200 Series season debuts suffered somewhat pit up against the series' deep field on Friday. Former AMA Pro National Guard SuperBike star Steve Crevier (MotoSport Plus Harley-Davidson) and AMA Pro GoPro Daytona SportBike contender Bobby Fong could only manage 13th and 14th in qualifying respectively, but have the skills to advance up the order come race day.
Row 3 will feature Barrett Long (Longevity Racing), Travis Wyman (Harv's Harley-Davisdon), and Michael Corbino (XP Motorsports).
With the ten XR Showdown qualifiers all even at 1000 points, the AMA Pro Vance & Hines XR1200 Series championship stretch run officially kicks off with Saturday's 10-lap shootout.
The doubleheader action will air live on SPEED2 and be broadcast on SPEED Sunday, August 19 at 6:00 p.m. ET/3:00 p.m. PT.
For tickets to the Red Bull Indianapolis GP, please visit http://secure.brickyard.com/Tickets/RedBullIndianapolisGP.aspx.
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