Solis Eighth in Mid-Ohio AMA Pro Daytona SportBike
NEWS July 13, 2013
Photo by Brian J Nelson
Courtesy of Team Hammer:
July 13, 2013 - Team Hammer came away with a pair of top-10 race results on Saturday of the GEICO Motorcycle AMA Pro Road Racing weekend at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.
GEICO Motorcycle Road Racing's Dane Westby and M4 Broaster Chicken Racing's Benny Solis improved upon their qualifying positions to finish sixth and eighth, respectively, in the hotly-contested, 21-lap Daytona SportBike race.
Westby, a two-time winner at the 2.4-mile circuit, opened his race from the outside of Row 2 after being taken out by another rider and crashing late in final qualifying. The Oklahoman regrouped and ultimately battled with the second group, running as high as fourth en route to a solid sixth-place result on his Team Hammer-prepared Honda CBR600RR.
Solis, meanwhile, worked his way forward from his third-row, 10th-position starting slot to finish eighth. The result continued the Californian's upward climb, as he's taken progressively stronger finishes in his last four races.
"I got my best result of the season so far, so that's good," up-and-comer Solis said. "We're moving forward little by little, but I definitely want to be in that front pack that keeps breaking away from me. Today I noticed where they were pulling me. I was trying my best not to let them pull me. We're trying to improve the bike's set-up and made some more changes after the race, and we're going to test it in the morning. If it works, the race will be better and if it doesn't then I'll just have to ride around it. Now I know where I can improve and where we can improve the set-up of the bike, and that's the goal for tomorrow."
Broaster Chicken/MPH Racing's Melissa Paris rounded out the day for the squad in the SportBike race by finishing 17th on her Team Hammer Contract Services-prepared Honda CBR600RR.
Superbike pilot Chris Ulrich also demonstrated encouraging progress. Ulrich and his crew made a major change to his M4 SportbikeTrackGear.com Racing CBR1000RR prior to the race and the decision paid off. The Californian ran in 14th during the contest's opening stages before systematically working his way up to 11th.
After the race, Ulrich admitted, "After final qualifying we decided to change to a link with a different motion ratio for the race. It was a 100% Hail Mary, but we thought we knew what it was going to do after we computer-modeled it. So we did that and it worked in the race.
"We got a good start and moved forward. We still need to work on some things, but that's a step in the right direction. We finally figured out the amount of support that I need for the bike -- big springs. Once we'd gotten to that point and accepted it, it's starting to work. We're making progress on that end. We're still struggling a little with the electronics we have to use--getting the hang of the position on engine braking to suit the grip level and changing the TC maps is definitely another deal. We've been fiddling with that and learning there.
"But as far as the race goes, I moved up four positions in the race and that was positive. I made some passes and made some moves and put together a good string of laps. Am I happy? No -- I need to be going quicker and finishing better, but we're getting there."
Team Hammer will conclude the Mid-Ohio AMA Pro Road Racing event on Sunday with the second-half of the weekend's Daytona SportBike and AMA Superbike doubleheaders.
About Team Hammer: In 2013, Team Hammer, Inc. is competing in its 33rd consecutive racing season, and is marking its seventh year of offering technical and logistical support through its Contract Services Department. Riders on Team Hammer-prepared racebikes have earned 56 AMA Pro National race wins; 132 AMA Pro National podium finishes; 5 AMA Pro Championships; 133 Overall National Endurance race wins; 13 National Endurance Championships and assorted other race wins and titles.
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