Westby Charges to Second in Road Atlanta Opener
NEWS April 21, 2012
Photo by Brian J. Nelson
Courtesy of M4 Suzuki:
M4 Broaster Chicken Suzuki's Dane Westby charged his way up through the field in Saturday's AMA Pro GoPro Daytona SportBike contest at Road Atlanta to score a runner-up finish.
Westby, who started from the outside of Row 2, found himself shuffled to the bottom of the top ten at the opening of the 20-lap contest. No stranger to dicing his way forward through the pack, Westby picked off a rider on each lap aboard his GSX-R600, arriving in fifth on lap 4.
He continued his steady climb from there, laying claim on second position at the race's halfway point.
While several seconds out of first at that point, the Oklahoman kept the race leader, teammate Martin Cardenas on the GEICO Suzuki, honest at the front, closing the gap down to 3.5-seconds at one point before finally accepting a hard-earned second-place result.
"I just tried working on the guys up front," Westby explained of climb. "I didn't get that great of a start; someone from the third row got ahead of me. I had to work on those guys, work on those guys.
"By the time I got up there, Martin was pretty far away. I couldn't see him over Turn 3 or a couple other corners. Maybe if I had been up there at the start it would have been easier on me.
"The guys on the pitboard kept giving me the +0 -- they wanted me to catch Martin so I was really on the stick the whole time."
Meanwhile, SuzukiScoopFans Sportbike TrackGear.com M4 Suzuki's Elena Myers made a rocket start from the third row in the day's earlier AMA Pro Motorcycle-Superstore.com SuperSport contest. Starting from the ninth on the grid, Elena immediately slotted into third as the pack entered Turn 1 for the first time.
18-year-old Myers fought a pack battle for fourth position throughout much of the race but her wrist, still on the mend from surgery less than a month ago, didn't allow her to push to her potential to the checkered flag. She ultimately finished in eighth position and within sight of fourth.
In the Superbike class Team Venezuela's Robertino Pietri finished the race in 13th aboard his GSX-R1000 after qualifying for the race on third row in 11th.
Chris Ulrich had a disappointing afternoon on the M4 Broaster Chicken Suzuki GSX-R1000. Ulrich was forced to retire from the race due to a mechanical issue -- the first in two full seasons.
Westby, Myers, Pietri, and Ulrich will all be back in action on Sunday at Road Atlanta for the second half of the weekend's AMA Pro Road Racing doubleheaders in SportBike, SuperSport, and Superbike.
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