KLR Group Harleys go 1-2 in first round of qualifying at Devil's Showdown
NEWS September 9, 2012
Photo by Brian J Nelson
Courtesy of Geiger Media:
MILLVILLE, N.J. (Sept. 8, 2012) - KLR Group riders Michael Barnes and Kyle Wyman qualified within a tenth of a second of one another at the top of the provisional ladder of the American Red Cross Devil's Showdown at New Jersey Motorsports Park. Barnes posted a best lap of 1:30.145, with championship points leader Wyman a tick behind in 1:30.277 on his identically prepared Spyke's Harley-Davidson XR1200.
"I went out with new tires and did a few quick laps and got the No. 1 spot," Barnes said. "I didn't want to use up all my good rubber because I knew some guys would take their shots towards the end so I came in and waited for about 15-20 minutes.
"Kyle came in with about eight minutes to go and the guys started switching his tires. When they took the warmers off I saw they were new so he had been riding with his tires from this morning's practice. I knew right then he would pick up a bunch so I suited up and we went out together. We both ended up improving quite a bit, by more than half a second, and that was good enough to put us 1-2 on the sheet. It's very satisfying."
Barnes had finishes of fourth and fifth during the first two XR Showdown races a couple of weeks ago in Indy and fell 21 points behind Wyman in the standings. He says that lackluster effort after earning podium finishes in all of the regular season races changed his attitude.
"I'd gone to Indy with some high hopes of earning big money and starting the championship chase off on a strong point," Barnes said. "I struggled with the front tires and ended up off the box for the first time all year.
"This last week I did a little soul-searching and said, 'You know what, I just need to win races.' I'm not going to worry about the championship because maybe I have too many points to make up, so there's no more pressure. The best way to put a smile on my face now is to win and if I do that enough then we'll see where the chips fall by the end of the year."
Beaming with pride for his new teammate's accomplishment, Wyman said he was happy to earn the first and second positions for the KLR Group and Gaston Kearby.
"No matter what order we're in, for me and Michael to go 1-2 for everyone that supports this team is awesome," Wyman said. "I feel like I didn't have near the lap I wanted so to be this close to the pole knowing I have the pace but also knowing I can do more is very reassuring.
"We have another qualifying session in the morning and with all the weather we're expecting overnight there's no telling what we'll have in store for us. No matter what, we'll be ready."
The second and final session of professional qualifying in the AMA Pro Vance & Hines XR1200 Series is scheduled for 8:30 a.m. with the Devil's Showdown race on tap for 12:30 p.m. at New Jersey Motorsports Park.
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