June 16, 2011, Santa Fe Springs, CA – Parts Unlimited rider Steve Rapp put on an outstanding performance this past weekend in the AMA Pro Vance & Hines XR1200 Series at Barber Motorsports Park, clinching the pole position on Saturday, then leading nearly every lap of Sunday’s race, edging out Richie Morris Racing’s Chris Fillmore across the finish line by a margin of .157 seconds, with Tyler O’Hara on the GP Bike Parts XR1200 coming in third for his first podium finish in the series.
Like last year, the weekend started out with rainfall, but by the time the XR class took to the track on Saturday, the riders were able to run in dry conditions to get the most out of their identically prepped Harley-Davidson XR1200s. In qualifying, Rapp put on a clinic, clicking off quicker and quicker laps throughout the session, setting the fastest lap on his last run with a 1:36.715 to take the pole. J&P Cycle’s Michael Beck turned a lot of heads on the pit wall as well, setting the second quickest time of the session with a 1:36.879. The only other rider to drop into the 1:36 range in qualifying was Shawn Higbee riding the HOG Racing entry, with Fillmore finishing out the front row of the grid, fourth quick.
Michael Beck looked really determined to fight for the win on Sunday, pacing the field in the morning warm up. And as the field pulled away at the start, Beck led briefly, but coming back onto the front straight at the end of lap one, he got caught in a viscous tank slapper that flipped him off the bike onto his back, tumbling along the track, out of the race. Fortunately, Beck was able to walk away with just some bruising.
As the race continued on, Rapp and Fillmore started to gap the rest of the field. Fillmore struggled with some front-end push, but was still able to keep in touch with Rapp through the race. Behind the leaders O’Hara and Travis Wyman on the Harv’s Harley-Davidson XR had a great battle for third place until the last lap. Drag Specialties’ Michael Barnes finished fourth with Michael Corbino on the Revolution Performance Bruce Rossmeyer’s Daytona Racing XR1200 rounding out the top five.
Corbino’s teammate Kyle Wyman finished in sixth, while Floridian David Estok in his first XR race since Daytona came in seventh. Latus Motors Racing’s Chase McFarland finished a solid eighth and the Sassaman brothers capped off the top ten with Payton beating Brett to the line.
Chris Fillmore continues to lead the championship, having finished on the podium at every race so far this year, with Steve Rapp starting to close the gap with 119 points. Both riders have scored two victories a piece this season, so the battle for the championship is certain to remain intense for the duration of the season. Next up, the XR1200 Series will be at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, July 8-10 for the Honda Supercycle Weekend.