Kyle Wyman Blog - Red Bull Indianapolis GP
NEWS August 27, 2012
Photo by Brian J Nelson
(August 27, 2012) - There are few things more satisfying than winning.
That was a lie - there is nothing more satisfying than winning, however there are a few things I've learned this season. I've learned how to race, head to head, lap after lap against strong competitors in the AMA Pro Vance & Hines XR1200 Series. I've learned how to operate a race team, from activating sponsors to deciding which rental car company to use. It's been an incredible season for me in 2012, and it just keeps getting more and more exciting.
This past weekend, I learned at Indianapolis that victory comes in many different forms. There's the hard earned bar-banging scrap to the end as we had at Barber this year between myself and Tyler Ohara, the strategic and mentally strenuous drafting battle on the high banks of Daytona, and now there's even one where my twisted pile of parts, once originating in Milwaukee, ends up being the winning motorcycle.
On Saturday at Indy, I experienced some of the most emotionally dynamic few hours of my life. 5-laps into the XR1200 race at the famed brickyard, an oil line on one leader's motorcycle gave way, producing an un-rideable surface in turn 10, and one that caught out myself and four other riders. One moment I am tipping into the corner, picking up the throttle. The next moment I see a red motorcycle on the ground ahead of me from my view in second place. For one more moment I am visualizing myself in the lead, presuming the rider made a mistake and threw away his chances of Indy glory.
In the same amount of time that those thoughts rushed through my head, four more events occurred. The front end lost traction, the rear end lost traction, my body rushed to the ground and my quarter ton iron steed slid across the track at a dangerous rate of speed. The best description I can give for the crash site in turn 10 at Indy was a bowling alley, except the stopped motorcycles and riders were the pins and each coming victim of the oil was another bowling ball. I could only watch as one motorcycle slammed into mine, producing the loudest noise I've ever heard through the damping of a helmet and earplugs.
The moment that I'll remember for the rest of my life was the few seconds after all of us as riders were able to grasp what happened.
Myself, Tyler Ohara and my teammate Michael Barnes were essentially laughing our asses off as we trekked through the gravel trap towards each other for a group hug amidst the pile of wreckage. I think it was mainly the fact that in the first seven races of the season, the three of us had shared the podium celebration in some particular order at every single event, but now we found ourselves together again, yet under quite different circumstances. The contrast between two states of mind is actually hilarious... for lack of a better description. Being alone in the helmet, shield down, focusing all of our attention on the task at hand mid-way through the race was the first, and then the situation 30 seconds later - man, it's just hilarious. I don't know what mental illness we have as motorcycle racers, but it sure gives us the ability to shrug off what may appear to others as complete and utter disaster.
As I analyzed the wreckage and counted the parts of my motorcycle that were now best suitable for a scrap yard, the last thing going through my mind was that I would eventually be deemed the winner of the race. Being that it was the first of five rounds in the XR Showdown for the overall championship, I couldn't be more grateful for how it all ended up.
Sunday we were able to come away with a runner-up finish, with Tyler taking the top spot. He was on a mission after Saturday, taking his deficit in the points chase and making the most of it. For me, I was content to let him take that two second lead and defend my spot in the championship.
For now I'll keep writing my blogs from airplanes as I travel the country and play the guessing game as to where I'm waking up each morning when I look around a random hotel room. Thanks for reading, and we'll see you at New Jersey Motorsports Park!
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