Courtesy of AMA Pro Racing:
MILLVILLE, NJ (September 4, 2011) – The top two AMA Pro Vance & Hines XR1200 title contenders again squared off in yesterday’s qualifying in preparation for today’s final race of the season at New Jersey Motorsports Park. When the smoke cleared, points-leader Chris Fillmore had captured his fifth pole position of the year, while rival Steve Rapp had to settle for the second spot on the grid.
Despite a disappointing AMA Pro National Guard SuperBike outing prior to the XR1200 qualifying session, Fillmore posted a determined fast-lap aboard his Bruce Rossmeyer’s Daytona Racing GEICO Revolution Performance machine. The bonus point for pole position increased his lead to 13 points heading into this afternoon’s 12-lap race.
“It’s definitely tough for me to go from the KTM [SuperBike] to the Harley,” said Fillmore, “[though] I think the hardest part is going from the Harley to the SuperBike — everything happens so fast. Like Steve says, you can tell when these XR1200s are at the limit, and fortunately, we went a little bit quicker than these guys because we were at the limit. I know what I need to do now; it’s kind of a points-game for me right now. I’m looking to wrap up the championship, so we’ll gladly start on pole.”
Rapp entered the fray late in the session, posting the class’ second-best time on his Parts Unlimited XR1200. Rounding out the front row of today’s grid will be Rapp’s Vance & Hines teammate, Michael Beck (J&P Cycles), and Indianapolis Race 1-winner Tyler O’Hara.
“It kind of went like it always does,” said Rapp. “I didn’t get any practice this morning, so I used the early part of the qualifying session to get up to speed and make sure the bike is balanced. Then I go out with new tires and do the best I can. I wasn’t sure where Chris was at … I ride as hard as I can and when the Harley is at its limit, it lets you know, and my bike was definitely giving me the signs that it was at the limit. I didn’t want to do anything stupid, so I took what the bike would give and made sure I’m ready for [the race].”
Live coverage of today’s 12:30 ET AMA Pro Vance & Hines XR1200 season finale will be available on SPEED 2. Broadcasts of today’s AMA Pro Road Racing action, including XR1200 highlights, kick off on SPEED at 10 p.m. ET.