Westby Fights for Daytona SportBike Win, Finishes Close Second in Alabama
NEWS June 23, 2012
Photo by Brian J. Nelson
Release Courtesy of Team Hammer:
M4 Suzuki's Dane Westby backed up Friday's run to provisional pole by battling for the victory and earning a podium finish in Saturday's AMA Pro Daytona SportBike race at Barber Motorsports Park.
Westby's recent efforts to improve his starts paid off when he fired off the front row of the grid in third aboard his GSX-R600. That strong launch allowed the Oklahoman to dice in the lead four-rider group throughout the 21-lap contest waged under brutally hot conditions.
Westby and his M4 crew made a late call to opt for the softer compound rear tire and 'the Wolverine' did well to make that tire last. He charged up into third from fourth on lap 16 and then slotted into second a lap later with a hard-braking maneuver into Turn 4. Westby made a final push for the win on the last lap but was only able to take control of the lead momentarily with another braking move, but was unable to hold the tight line on the drive out.
The M4 Suzuki ace ultimately took the checkered flag just 0.242-seconds off the victory.
Westby continues to hold third in the points with 167 points on the strength of three podium finishes this season.
"It was pretty slick out there and the guys were riding good. The M4 Suzuki was going really good for me. It was getting the traction even though it was really greasy out there. We decided to go with the soft tire at the last minute by group decision and it turned out to be the right decision. I think they would have got away in the beginning and I don't think there was enough time in the medium tire to catch back up once their tires went off, so that was a good decision. I was pretty strong on the brakes but they were getting me a little on the gas. We'll get him next time."
Elena Myers came out strong in Saturday's AMA Pro SuperSport race. The popular Suzuki SportbikeTrackGear.com GSX-R600 pilot moved up quickly from her third-row starting position (9th, 1:31.520) to take control of a five-rider scrap for fourth early in the race. Myers fought through the heat and humidity to take a seventh-place effort aboard her GSX-600. Elena remains in third in the West Region points race with 127 points.
M4 Suzuki's Chris Ulrich and Team Venezuela's Robertino Pietri were engaged in a black-white-and-red fight over 10th position in the opening stages of Saturday's AMA Pro Superbike race.
Ulrich made a move past Pietri on lap 7 of 21 but crashed out of the race unhurt in the hard-braking Turn 4 when he hit a sealer-covered seam in the pavement. Pietri continued on and eventually took the checkered flag in 11th.
Westby, Myers, Ulrich, and Pietri will be back in action on Sunday to conclude the AMA Pro Road Racing weekend at Barber Motorsports Park.
In 2012, Team Hammer, Inc. is competing in its 32nd consecutive racing season and marks its sixth year of offering technical and logistical support through its Contract Services Department. Riders on Team Hammer-prepared racebikes have earned 52 AMA Pro National race wins; 119 AMA Pro National podium finishes; 4 AMA Pro Championships; 133 Overall National Endurance race wins; 13 National Endurance Championships and assorted other race wins and titles.
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