Courtesy of AMA Pro Racing
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (June 8, 2012) – Tyler O’Hara seemed primed to make a Hayes-like statement in the AMA Pro Vance & Hines XR1200 Series. Coming off a rare runaway win the weekend prior in Utah, the Bartel’s Harley-Davidson pilot claimed the pole at Road America by a massive one-second plus margin.
However, despite his best efforts, the ample drafting opportunities at Road America prevented him from making a second escape and he found himself caught up in a strategic affair that also involved teammate Michael Barnes and KLR Group/Vesrah Racing’s Kyle Wyman.
The three men have been fixtures at the front this season, sharing all available podium placements in ’12 while divvying up the wins, poles, and lap leader points among them.
On the final lap, all three men executed their preferred strategies. Wyman wanted to lead through his weakest section and take advantage of his strength in the final segment with clear air in front of him. Barnes thought it best to attempt a late draft to the flag, while O’Hara figured he could pull off a double-draft to leap from third to first after testing the feat earlier in the race.
Wyman was proven right, while Barnes picked up second (and the race’s fast lap honors), while O’Hara rounded out the podium.
“It’s good to get the first win for our title sponsor, KLR Group, who came on after Daytona,” Wyman said. “It was a good race. I knew it was going to be the three of us dicing it up. I figured out that I was pretty quick through the last few corners of the racetrack but very weak in the Carousel. I figured if I could be out front at the end of the Carousel I’d be all right to the finish. I knew I could get a good drive out of the last corner. I led the whole last lap and it worked out to plan.”
Barnes said, “I really owe that fastest lap to chasing these guys. I didn’t really have anything in the draft and that’s what I’m really disappointed about because I felt I had something on the last lap. I got a really good run off the last corner and had Kyle set up for a draft. I had to get around Tyler, because I didn’t have anything for drafting from third, even to get into second. I took my chances and it paid off 50%. I got halfway there.”
O’Hara explained, “The first couple of laps I tried to put my head down and break the draft, but with these three long straightaways it’s kind of hard to break the draft and Michael and Kyle were there the whole time. About halfway through I did a couple passes at the line to see what I needed to do, if I wanted to lead or sit in the back. I felt like I was the guy to beat today, I was sitting on them the last few laps and I was going to try to do a double-draft like I did earlier at the line, but they came out of the last corner good. No excuses — I didn’t get the job done today.”
Wyman’s brother, Travis Wyman, finished in fourth on the Harv’s Harley-Davidson entry, while Wisconsin local (and former AMA Pro Supermoto national champion) Ben Carlson came home in fifth on the Surburban Harley-Davidson-backed XR1200.
The Road America result tightens the points race heading to Barber Motorsports Park. O’Hara is still out in front at 138, but Wyman is right behind at 129 and Barnes lurking in third at 123.
Top 10 Finishers from Road America Race 1:
Kyle Wyman (HAR)
Michael Barnes (HAR)
Tyler OHara (HAR)
Travis Wyman (HAR)
Benjamin Carlson (HAR)
Gerry Signorelli (HAR)
David Estok (HAR)
Michael Corbino (HAR)
Darren James (HAR)
Nicholas Hansen (HAR)
AMA Pro Motorcycle-Superstore.com SuperSport West Point Standings:
Tyler OHara – 138
Kyle Wyman – 129
Michael Barnes – 123
Michael Corbino – 74
David Estok – 70
Gerry Signorelli – 69
Travis Wyman – 65
Darren James – 63
Josh Chisum – 49
Nicholas Hansen – 41
Year-End Award Updates
Darren James has now logged 684.44 miles in 227 laps and leads the chase for the $2,500 Sunoco “Go The Distance” Award.
Current Sunoco “Go The Distance” Award Standings After Round 5:
Darren James – 684.44
Gerry Signorelli – 663.78
David Estok – 606.79
AMA Pro Road Racing heads to Birmingham, Ala. for the Triumph Superbike Classic at the highly-acclaimed Barber Motorsports Park June 22-24. Tickets can be purchased at www.barbermotorsports.com.
AMA Pro Racing is the premier professional motorcycle racing organization in North America, operating a full schedule of events and championships for a variety of motorcycle disciplines. Learn more about AMA Pro Racing at www.amaproracing.com.