Wyman leads the charge of the championship hopefuls in Indy
NEWS August 17, 2012
Photo by Brian J Nelson
Courtesy of Geiger Media, on behalf of KLR Group:
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (August 17, 2012) - KLR Group rider Kyle Wyman began his championship charge Friday by qualifying No. 2 for this weekend's double-header of AMA Pro Vance & Hines XR1200 Series races at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The races are being run as part of the Red Bull Moto GP.
Wyman competed the 16-turn, 2.75-mile circuit in 1:56.396 to lead the three-bike attack out of the Kyle Wyman Racing paddock. KLR Group teammate Michael Barnes was sixth with a best of 1:57.272 after crashing halfway through the session. Michael Beck, who has joined the team for this event with sponsorship from Parts Unlimited, was 10th quickest with a 1:58.403.
"We all had a really good session," Wyman said. "My KLR Group Harley is working really well and we're all excited to be here. It's such an awesome facility. It's similar to Daytona, where you come in and your heart skips a beat because it's so overwhelming with all the grandstands and everything.
"Spyke's Harley-Davidson and our race shop are right up the road so the crew guys are able to go back and forth each day to the track from their homes, so it's pretty relaxing for them. Everybody's really comfortable; it's a good environment for us."
This weekend's races are the first two of five that will determine the 2012 champion. Only the top 10 riders from the first seven events are eligible, with all 10 having their points reset prior to this event.
Wyman, Barnes and Tyler O'Hara populated every podium in the regular season with Wyman and O'Hara both winning three times. Friday, O'Hara earned the third spot on the grid with a 1:56.767. The pole went to Patrick Jacobsen (1:54.984), who is not in the championship picture.
"We are the quickest of the regulars," Wyman said. ""P.J.'s riding really well, but this is really a points battle for the Vance & Hines XR1200 Showdown. P.J.'s not in that battle so he can race his own race. It really won't affect 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 totally focused on earning that No. 1 plate at the end of the year."
Barnes was riding well and was ranked third when he high-sided his bike in the final turn. He was uninjured but his Spyke's Harley-Davidson was too damaged for him to continue. He eventually slid three spots to sixth place overall, giving him a second-row starting spot.
"The main thing hurt is my ego," Barnes said. "The bike was running great. It was just one of those things. The guys will fix everything and we'll be good to go."
Although he admitted to being a little rusty on the Parts Unlimited Harley-Davidson, Beck was pleased with his progress through the day.
"I got a lot better from practice to qualifying and we ended up 10th so that's not bad," Beck said. "There's still plenty of work to do but I'm feeling more comfortable every lap."
There is one more warm-up session at 8:15 a.m. Saturday followed by Race 1 at 4:20 p.m. Wyman already has a race plan in place.
"There are two really long straightaways here," Wyman said. "You kind of hope before you go out that everything is going to work out in your favor, timing-wise, with some of the other riders, and that you can use them for a draft. I didn't have an opportunity to do that today, although P.J. said he did on his big lap. My fast time came on a lap all on my own. I think working the draft will be a big factor. We'll see who does it best."
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