Mixed Fortunes for Ducati at Brainerd International Raceway
The Western Hemisphere’s fastest superbike racers are back…and the red team is having a wee bit of fun on the track.
Ducati Sporting Director Paolo Ciabatti flew across the ocean from Italy for the July 30th event, with Loris Baz (Warhorse HSBK Racing Ducati New York) and Kyle Wyman (Panera Bread Ducati) clipping some close calls for MotoAmerica at the Brainerd International Racetrack.
Baz nipped the heels of Yamaha racer Jake Gagne, completing 18 laps of the 2.5-mile track, finishing a scant 0.280 seconds from Jake Gagne during the free practice, with the distance closing to 0.128 seconds in Qualifying 1.
Not only that, Baz took the potential for his first MotoAmerica career victory to the track Saturday and smashed his 11th victory – a win streak record previously held in joint success by four-time AMA Superbike Champion Josh Hayes and five-time MotoAmerica superbike champion Cameron Baubier.
“Thursday and Friday, we were still fast, but it wasn’t the bike that I had all year,” explains Baz.
“So yesterday we kind of changed some stuff up, and it felt more like my bike again. I was just fortunate I got off to a good start. I was spending the rear tire all the way into turn one. It was weird having a pole position on the inside, so you’re entering that turn one from the inside on the dirty stuff, and that thing was just bugging me. I managed to get a good couple of laps in there and was just keeping an eye on my pit board.”
“Hats off to the Yamaha Fresh N’ Lean Attack Team because this is awesome. I’m trying not to think about any streak or how many wins we got or whatever. This weekend is behind us. Now we’ve got to go to Pittsburgh and get to work because it’s going to get tougher and tougher.”
Despite his courage and ridiculously high pain tolerances in the face of high speeds, Wyman had to withdraw following excessive elbow pain from those seven shiny titanium screws installed after his unfortunate incident at race two of Road America.
“I did about 40 laps yesterday, but I had an incident where I saved a high side that broke apart the scar tissue from the plate, which was not all that fun”, says Wyman.
“I kept riding yesterday, but my arm was very sore overnight with lots of inflammation and swelling. Today I was just trying to get up to speed, but I’m not riding at the level I would like, and I’m not able to sustain the pace for as long as I need to. It’s not an ideal situation at all, so it’s best to call it and come back swinging at Pittsburgh in two weeks.”
Wyman hopes that he will be able to get back to the usual run of things by round seven of the 2021 MotoAmerica SuperBike Championship, which will be held at the Pittsburgh International Race Complex on August 13-15.
Here are the stats of the weekend at Brainerd:
FP1 Final Standing
P1 – Jake Gagne (Yamaha) 1:30.651
P2 – Loris Baz (Ducati) 1:30.931
P3 – Cameron Petersen (Suzuki) 1:31.431
P4 – Mathew Scholtz (Yamaha) 1:31.435
P5 – Bobby Fong (Suzuki) 1:31.610
P9 – Kyle Wyman (Ducati) 1:34.221
Qualifying 1 Final Standing
P1 – Jake Gagne (Yamaha) 1:30.572
P2 – Loris Baz (Ducati) 1:30.700
P3 – Cameron Petersen (Suzuki) 1:31.222
P4 – Bobby Fong (Suzuki) 1:31.433
P5 – Mathew Scholtz (Yamaha) 1:31.614
Keep your eyes peeled for the next rounds, and make sure to stay tuned here at WebBikeWorld on all things two-wheeled.