Crozier Motorsports and Touring Sport Ducati Win Moto-GT at VIR
NEWS August 15, 2009
ALTON, Va. (August 15, 2009) - Prevailing in a race that was high in both attrition and drama, the No.
14 Crozier Motorsports Triumph Daytona 675 of Mark Crozier and Dave Estok and the
No. 77 Touring Sport Ducshop Ducati PS1000LE of Ryan Elleby and Corey Rech
extended their respective AMA Pro SunTrust Moto-GT Championship leads with a
pair of victories Saturday at the Suzuki Big Kahuna Nationals at Virginia
Both teams steered clear of the major trouble that befell the majority of their competitors to score victories that could prove to be pivotal in their championship bids with two races left in the season. The Crozier team scored its second overall and GT1 class victory of the season after first hitting the top podium spot in May at Barber Motorsports Park. This weekend the team recovered from Crozier's lowside incident in Friday's qualifying session to take the win.
"We knew we had some ground to pick up so we made some changes to the bike," Crozier said. "We were really trying to put down a good lap time and with the championship thing every point counts. I had my head down and just lost the front and kind of ran out of talent and didn't hold it. It created some extra work for the crew, but we learned a lot from that, and they worked really hard to put it back together. Today we still didn't have the speed of some of the other guys, but it was a day of attrition and it was kind of a Tortoise and the Hare thing."
Estok brought the winning Triumph to the checkered flag.
"Mark brought us into the lead and he was the attrition man today," Estok said. "He worked his tail off today and did two stints in a row. He gave me the bike with a lap lead and from there my only job was to not crash."
The No. 14 team now has an 11 point lead in the GT1 standings, 140 - 129, over the No. 41 Liberty Waves Racing/Kowgo.com Buell 1125R of Eric Pinson and Eric Haugo, which finished second at VIR two laps behind the leaders.
"We just tried to stay on our path," Pinson said. "With our crew and everybody, this thing was just flawless. The Buell was just working great and I want to thank all those Liberty Waves people. Without these guys we wouldn't be able to do anything."
The GT1 championship leaders were aided by several setbacks for some of their top competitors. The pole-winning Westby Racing team of Dane Westby and Dustin Meador (No. 13 Westby Racing Yamaha YZF-R6) retired with apparent mechanical issues while leading in the first 15 minutes of the race. The new team had gone a perfect two for two with victories in the last two rounds at Mid-Ohio and Topeka. From there, Josh Day and Dominic Jones (No. 27 Four Feathers Racing Yamaha YZF-R6) led until just before the race's halfway mark only to retire after a lowside incident in Turn 3. The No. 14 took the lead at that point and stayed up front until the checkered flag.
Third place in the GT1 class went to Paul Schwemmer and Brett Ray (No. 37 Old Pros Racing Aprilia RSV1000R). The result also boosted the No. 37 team to third in the GT1 standings with 112 points.
The No. 77 Ducati continued to be the class of the field in GT2 and joined the winning No. 14 GT1 team in overcoming its biggest challenge before the green flag even dropped. Elleby was caught up in a lowside incident in this morning's warm-up session, but the Touring Sport Ducshop team quickly got the No. 77 back in race-winning form.
"We had a little boo boo this morning," Elleby said. "Everything went well, the guys hustled really hard all weekend to get the bikes in perfect condition like they always are. It was a good long, hard race. It was definitely a roller coaster, with a lot of incidents going on. I'm glad we could finish it up, stretch the lead out a little bit and have a little room to breathe."
Rech won his third-consecutive race with the Ducshop team and his second straight on the No. 77 Ducati. His run was hardly trouble free, however, and a minor lowside incident in the middle of the race left the Ducati with bent handlebars.
"The race went well," Rech said. "Ryan rode the first stint and everything was going good. The front tire got a little shag after Ryan got off it and I went through a turn and just tucked the front. That was about the biggest thing I had a problem with. We had a bent handlebar but it bent right back to where I could ride it. The Ducshop is a really good team, they put a lot of time in the bikes and I have a good teammate."
Despite the setback, the No. 77 team still finished an impressive third overall and one minute ahead of second place GT2 riders Kenny Rodriguez and Trey Yonce (No. 10 East Coast Powersports Suzuki SV650), who were fourth overall. Fernando Ferreyra and Robertino Pietri (No. 63 Coatzymoto International Racing Ducati PS1000LE) finished third in GT2 and rounded out the overall top five.
The No. 77 Ducati team has taken commanding control of the GT2 championship standings and now has a 44 point lead, 202 - 158, over Jay Springsteen and Scott Ryan (No. 9 Pair-A-Nines Kawasaki EX650). Springsteen was among the half dozen riders to lowside Saturday and went down a little over 20 minutes into the race while running second. The team rebounded to finish a solid seventh overall and fourth in GT2, three laps behind the winners. The No. 64 TeamHurtByAccident.com Ducati PS1000LE team, which finished fifth in GT2 at VIR with John Linder and Robert Fisher, remains third in the standings with 115 points. None of the riders involved in the on-track incidents were injured.
Two rounds remain in the 2009 AMA Pro SunTrust Moto-GT season. Next up is the New Jersey Superbike Championship Weekend, which includes the SunTrust Moto-GT race on Saturday, September 5 at 11 a.m. ET. Highlights from Saturday's SunTrust Moto-GT race can be seen tonight on SPEED at 8 p.m. ET (5 p.m. PT).
More from a press release issued by Touring Sport Ducati:
Touring Sport Ducshop Ducati Breaks VIR Curse
Touring Sport Ducshop Ducati took their fourth consecutive win at Virginia International Raceway today, strengthening their lead in the Suntrust MotoGT2 endurance championship. Rider's Ryan Elleby and Corey Rech rode the championship leading #77 PS1000LE to a class victory and to third overall despite crashing both in practice and the race.
The team's VIR curse* continued right to the checkered flag. Frank Shockley crashed the #38 bike in yesterday's qualifying session and the team worked hard to get it ready for today's race. Elleby then crashed testing some suspension changes during this morning's practice and all attention turned to getting the #77 bike race ready, leaving no time for the #38 bike and Shockley and Pete Friedland had to sit out the race. Elleby started the two hour race and had secured more than a lap lead on second place Coatzymoto Int. Racing by the time he handed the bike to Rech. Shortly into his stint Rech crashed but was able to pick the bike up and return to the pits. By the time the team fixed the damage and returned him to the race they were in second place. It took just a lap for Corey to regain the lead and held it to the checkered flag.
"This was the hardest race we've ever ridden," said team owner Frank Shockley as he watched his two riders on the podium. "I can't believe we had so much trouble but the sportsmanship in the paddock pulled us through. I want to say a big thank you t