Westby, GEICO Motorcycle Honda crew hard at work at Laguna Seca
NEWS July 19, 2013
Photo by Brian J Nelson
Courtesy of Geiger Media:
MONTEREY, Calif. (July 19) - The prestigious Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix is under way at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca and GEICO Motorcycle Honda rider Dane Westby has gotten off to a solid start, earning the No. 6 position on Friday's provisional grid in the GoPro Daytona SportBike category.
Riding late Friday afternoon as the temperatures rapidly dropped, Westby completed the 11-turn, 2.2-mile circuit with a best time of 1:28.681. He'll have another chance to improve on that number Saturday morning as action in the GEICO Motorcycle AMA Pro Road Racing Series continues within the parameters of the international Moto GP race schedule.
"The qualifying session went well, much better than the practice round," Westby said. "I thought they had put a soft tire on the back, but it was actually just a brand-new medium (compound) and we went about a second faster, so we were pleased with that.
"We came here with some setup changes we worked on during this past week and just kept chipping away in practice and the first qualifying session and it yielded a second gain, so that was good.
"We're going to work on the slipper clutch a little more. I'm having to drop down to first gear in the last turn, which this bike really isn't designed to do, but I think it's going to get bunched up there during the race, so we need to make the adjustment now and I'm going to have to change the way I ride through that area to be competitive. I'm glad we get another session to see how it reacts."
Westby admitted this weekend is special because the top American riders get a chance to share the stage with the best riders on the worldwide circuit.
"It's cool to hear those big GP bikes roaring around the track," Westby said. "I do try to sneak out and watch what I can, although they keep us pretty locked away over here. It's interesting to see the lines they are taking through the various parts of the course.
"The thing I like the most about weekends like this is the passionate fan base they attract. I probably notice that more than anything else. As you ride around the track and see all the people stacked up deep everywhere, it's a neat deal for us. It adds to the excitement, for sure."
Saturday's action in the GoPro Daytona SportBike class is limited to one 40-minute qualifying session from 9:05-9:45 a.m. That will set the field for the 20-lap race, which is scheduled for 11:15 a.m. on Sunday.
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