Elkhart Lake, WI (June 9, 2008)- The No. 8 Bruce Rossmeyer's Daytona Racing Buell 1125R ridden by Shawn Higbee and Steve Crevier clinched pole and took the overall and Buell Motorcycle Company SuperSport Twins class wins at the MOTO-ST Road America 500K in Elkhart Lake, Wis. June 7. It was the first major North American professional road racing win for the Buell 1125R.
Unpredictable and rapidly changing weather conditions delayed the start of the originally scheduled 3-hour race by more than an hour and ultimately reduced its length to 1 hour and 40 minutes. Tire choice was a gamble, with the formation of a dry racing line hampered by sporadic light drizzle throughout the race that favored teams that chose intermediate or full-wet Pirellis. But the Buell pulled to the front on Lap 17 of the 36-lap race and pulled away to a 31-second lead over the second place No. 6 Aprilia USA/Lloyd Brothers Motorsports Aprilia Tuono 1000R.
"I don't have a lot of rain experience at this track," said Higbee. "We were a little conservative early and after about 10 laps a dry line started to appear. Then it started drizzling just as I was getting happy with the track and I think that was a defining moment. I backed it down a lot and from then on the race seemed to go our way."
Canadian Steve Crevier, who joined the Bruce Rossmeyer's Daytona Racing team at the Road America round, echoed his teammate's comments about the weather: "It was crazy out there," the six-time Canadian Superbike champion said. "We thought about going to a slick tire on the final stint, but didn't want to take the chance in case we got downpour."
In the BMW Motorcycles GrandSport Twins (GST) class, the No. 70 James Gang/Hoban Brothers Racing Buell XB12R sponsored by Harley-Davidson/Buell of Appleton and ridden by Paul James and Jeff Johnson took third place and jumped to the lead in the GST class standings after the first three rounds, taking over the points lead from the No. 7 Ritchie Morris Racing/Hal's Harley-Davidson/Buell XB12R ridden by Clint Brotz and Dan Bilansky, which retired early with a rear wheel bearing failure. The No. 70 now leads the GST class with 92 points followed by the No. 7 with 88. The James Gang/Hoban Brothers team also earned the Roaring Toyz Best Looking Team award.
"Tire choice was critical," said Paul James. "We made the call to switch to DOT tires during our final pit stop, but the Pirelli rain tires the class leaders used appeared to hold up for the whole race distance, and in hindsight those were the better choice. But it's great to have a solid finish on our home track, and I always knew we had the best-looking team!"
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