Overcoming adversity, GEICO Honda riders Ulrich, Zemke rally for top-10 finishes
NEWS June 1, 2014
Photo by Geiger Media
Courtesy of Geiger Media:
ELKHART LAKE, Wis. (May 31, 2014) - After getting his first podium finish during the last Superbike Shootout, GEICO Motorcycle Honda rider Chris Ulrich was ready to repeat at the second AMA Pro Road Racing Series event of the season. However, mechanical issues mired him back in the pack, but Ulrich overcame to finish eighth in the first race of the Subway SuperBike Doubleheader.
"Well Saturday didn't start the best but we rallied back," Ulrich said. "We discovered a small problem with the electronics this morning on the bike we've been riding. I really like that bike because it has some different components on the chassis and it was the bike we ran our best time on. Unfortunately, it developed a small misfire, and we diagnosed it and thought we had it fixed. I went out on the parade lap and another problem surfaced, so we had to come in and start on a spare bike instead.
"P8 was OK for today, but I think we can improve for tomorrow. We're going to go back and see what's going on with the bike. I have no doubt that my guys are going to fix it, and if it can't be we will throw those parts on another bike and race tomorrow. All things considered, with the circumstances right before the race, the team did a really good job to rally back from that adversity to grab a top 10."
Unfortunately, GEICO Motorcycle Honda Sportbike rider Jake Zemke's day was filled with adversity as well. After a first-lap bobble dropped him to 12th, he fought his way back up to his initial starting position of ninth, but a late-race red flag restart caused issues and Zemke managed to bring the GEICO Honda home 10th.
"We got a halfway-decent start," Zemke said. "I just had bikes going around me left and right down the straightaway. Getting down into Turn 5, I just ran out of racetrack. I could have made the corner with no problem, but riders from the inside drifted up and I had to put it out on the curbing. That issue put us back a ways at the start."
Zemke was able to benefit off others' slipups in Saturday's race, but he also knows that they will need more performance-wise to improve in round two Sunday.
"We're definitely down a bit on motor, so I couldn't get by anybody. The only way I was moving up positions is when other people were making mistakes. Even the restart after the red flag, we got out there and couldn't make any forward progress with any of the other riders in the group."
"The boys have been exhausting themselves trying to find some more power for the bike, and right now we're kind of up against it. We'll put our heads together and see if we can't find the horsepower fairy for Sunday."
Racing action continues with practice sessions starting at 9:40 a.m. PT, followed by the final 12-lap GoPro Daytona Sportbike race at 2 p.m. and the final 13-lap Pro Superbike race at 3 p.m.
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