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2012 NEWS
Narbonne, Westby and Buroker Notch Daytona Victories In Michelin Pro Series Action

Michelin Team Pro Series Round 8
Sanctioned by ASRA
October 21, 2012
Daytons International Speedway
Daytona Beach, FL

Daytona Beach, FL – The Michelin Pro Series finished the run to the 2012 National Championships at the famed Daytona International Speedway on October 21. With all six class championships in doubt, the action was fast and furious all the way ti the checkerd flag.

Shane Narbonne put bookends on his weekend by not only winning the Michelin Team Challenge on Friday, he also pulled off the Michlin Pro SuperStock win with is MOB Racing Suzuki. Reese Wacker, on the Wacker Racing Suzuki, finished in second,, .119 seconds behind and  Dave Loikits took third place on his Loikits Industries Suzuki.

For the Michelin Pro SportBike final, it was Dane Westby on his Suzuki taking home the trophy, followed by Stefano Mesa on a Yamaha. Third place was newly crowned AMA Pro XR1200 champion Michael Barnes on a Yamaha, showing the crowd he can still ride fast on anything you put under him.

ThunderBike brought a real surprise as Ray Hofman took the lead early on in his hunt for a second championship but the steady push forward fron Robert Buroker overcam the jack rabbit start of Hofman. At the end it was Buroker on a Ducati 748 by .311 seconds over Hofman's Ducati 749. The third positin went to David Hanning on his Ducati 749, making it a perfect day for the brand in Michelin Pro ThunderBike.

In in Amateur action it was Brad Plemmons taking the win in SuperStock, Carl Soltisz in SportBike and  Ervin Kollek capturing the ThundeBike trophy.

For complete results click here.  For final point standings, click here.
MOB Racing Takes Final 2012 Victory At Daytona
Round Eight Michelin Team Challenge Series
Daytona International Speedway
October 19, 2012

Daytona Beach, FL –  With the drop of the green flag it was clear that the final chapter of the 2012 Michelin Team Challenge belonged to Shane Narbonne and the MOB Racing Suzuki.  Narbonne finished the 44 lap event in less than 90 minutes and bested 45 of the 47 bikes by more than one complete lap.

While MOB Racing took the GTO and Overall victories, two teams in the championship hunt for those classes could not have had any more contrasting results in the final. Eric Helmbach of the Chester Auto Repair Team needed a good finish and a lot of help from his fellow competitors to overcome the 14-point lead of Thrashed Bike Racing and he got it. Walt Sipp on the Trashed Bike Racing Buell suffered a mechanical failure that took them out of the event after just 9 laps, relegating them to 43rd place, well out of points paying positions. Helmbach on the other hand, kept his head down and pushed the Chester Auto Repair BWM home in 3rd Overal, second in GTO and  successfully defended his Overall Michelin Team Challenge Championship for the second year. Thrashed Bike finished 2nd in the championship 12=points behind. Thrashed Bike Racing was able to secure their first Michelin Pro Series GTO Championship thanks to the dominating performance of MOB Racing. By keeping Chester Auto Repair out of victory lane, MOB Racing secured the title for Thrashed Bike Racing. 

Team Westby's Suzuki 600 took the GTU field by storm and even came within striking distance of  MOB Racing's Suzuki 1000 at times. Dane Westby was the only other rider to finish all 44 laps of the final. Westby topped the TPL Racing Ducati  and Melissa Paris on the MPH Racing Suzuki by 2 laps to finish off the Michelin Team Challenge GTU season. GTU Championship contenders XRay Racing (Christian Meekma and Ray Hofman) and RnR Repsol had a simple task, beat the other team to secure the 2012 title. Both teams used all their strategy and talent to get the job done and it was the RnR Repsol team of Rick Beggs and Terry Taylor that got the job done. Their 6th place finish secured the 2012 Michelin Team Challenge GTU Championship by a single point over XRay.

The GMB Now Racing team came to Daytona with a 15-point lead for the 2012 Michelin GTL Championship and only need to finish 5th or higher to secure the title. Clayton Fisk's team did even better, GMB Now won the class by a 6 lap margin over 1023Motors.com with Ryan Hobbs and Jason Carter aboard. Jim Doyle's G-Baby Racing finished in 3rd making it a Suzuki SV650 sweep of the season finale. With the win, GMB Now Racing wins the championship by 24-points over G-Baby Racing.

Congratulations to all the 2012 Michelin Team Challenge Series Champions! Thank you for a great racing season!

For complete results click here. For final 2012 point standings click here.
Wacker Surprises Bemisderfer, Miller and Sipp Move Forward With Victories

Michelin Team Pro Series Round 7
Sanctioned by ASRA
September 23, 2012
Virginia International Raceway
Alton, VA

Alton, VA – The Michelin Pro Series enjoyed a near perfect weather weekend at Virginia International Raceway for the run to the 2012 National Championships. With all six class championships in doubt, it was time to see who could rise to the top and take the points lead into the final round at Daytona next month.

In Michelin Pro SuperStock class favorite and 2011 National Champion Tim Bemisderfer sat in second place on the grid eyeing his second straight title as the green flag set the field in motion. Scott Carpenter got the holeshot with Bemisderfer second off the line as the 9 lap battle began. Bemisderfer on the Vesrah Suzuki lead the first lap followed by Carpenter on the Ron Ayers/KWS Suzuki and Reese Wacker on his Wacker Racing Suzuki. Wacker, who started from last the last row, came around to complete lap 2 as the leader followed closely by Bemisderfer and Carpenter. As the leaders were working on lap 4, Bemisderfer ran off the racing surface in turn 7 while battling with Wacker, losing 4 positions in the process. That miscue allowed Wacker to pull away unchallenged for the win in Michelin Pro SuperStock. Carpenter came under pressure from Lloyd Bailey for second place on lap 5, eventually giving up the spot to the LB Racing Suzuki on lap 6. Following Bailey and Carpenter to the flag was the BMW of Eric Helmbach in fourth and Bemisderfer in fifth. By virtue of his 5th place finish, Bemisderfer now leads the championship standings by 5 points over Florida’s Robbie Bright going into the final race.

With the front runner’s only 5 points apart coming into this race, the Michelin Pro ThunderBike final seemed to be the best race of the day on paper. Walt Sipp, the current point leader, and Ray Hofman, the defending National Champion, were set to duke it out on a neutral track to see who could hold the advantage going to Daytona. On the start it was Hofman trying to prove a point as he edged in front of Sipp and came back to lead lap one. Alas, the lead was short lived as Hofman’s Ducati lost traction and tossed the Wisconsin rider to the track surface. As the field finished its second lap, fluid left behind by the Ducati could not be cleaned up in time and the race was stopped.  After a 10-minute stop, the race resumed and Sipp wasted no time in taking his Bison Racing Buell back to the front in convincing fashion.  Sipp led the remaining 7 laps to take the victory followed by the Ducati’s of Bob Robbins and Doug Stufflebeam.  This victory gives Sipp a 21-point lead heading for Daytona.

For the Michelin Pro SportBikes it was Mark Miller looking for 2 wins in the month of September and he did not disappoint. After pole sitter Nick McFadden  on the Vesrah Suzuki took the holeshot, it was all Miller as he pushed his Mar Del Auto Wholesaler’s Yamaha to the front and pulled away. Miller led McFadden by 12.415 seconds at the checkered flag and third place Daniel Heverly on the MDM Honda finished 9 seconds back of McFadden. The win gives Miller a 6-point lead over Florida’s Robbie Bright with one round left in the championship chase.

In Amateur Michelin action, Maryland’s Pulak Datt clinched the Amateur SportBike Championship by finishing second to Mike Faillice’s Metric Devil Moto Yamaha. Amateur SuperStock win went to Jason Brigmon on his Superbikesupply.com Honda 1000 and Brad Plemmons stretched his point lead in the class to 12 by finishing second to Brigmon. The Amateur ThunderBike victory belongs to Thomas Hall on his TH3 Racing Ducati as point leader Benjamin Loyle finished fourth. Loyle’s point lead has shrunk to just 18 points with one round left in the 2012 Michelin Championship.

For complete results click here.

Carpenter, McFadden and Kcraget Capture Pole Positions At VIR for Michelin Pro Series

Michelin Team Pro Series Round 7
Sanctioned by ASRA
Virginia International Raceway

Alton, VA – First on the track for the Michelin Pro Series qualifying was SuperStock and Scott Carpenter left no doubt he was serious as he put his Ron Ayers/KWS Suzuki 1000 on the pole for Sunday’s final. Next to him will be fellow Suzuki riders Tim Bemisderfer, Paul DeCouto and the BMW of Eric Helmbach. Carpenter credited his Michelin tires as the advantage he needed hold off Bemisderfer for the pole.

In Michelin Pro SportBike it’s Nick McFadden of Owensboro KY on his Suzuki 600 that will start from pole position on his Kawasaki 600. Joining McFadden on the front row is Dan Heverly on a Honda 600, Jon Couch on his Suzuki 600 and the final spot went the Kawasaki 600 of Matt Brown.

The last session to roll out was the Michelin Pro ThunderBike and it was no surprise when Virginia resident Brian Kcraget appeared on the top of the qualifying board. Kcraget put his Dunlop-shod TOBC Suzuki 650 on the pole ahead of current championship leader Walt Sipp’s Buell by just over 2 seconds. Third spot went to the Ducati rider Robert Buroker and rounding out the front row is Darrell Emerson on his Suzuki 650.

For the Amateur Michelin classes, it was Brad Plemmons on pole for SuperStock, Anne Roberts topped the SportBikes and Ervin Kollek was fastest in ThunderBike.

For complete qualifying results click here.

Miller, Hofman and Bemisderfer Advance in Michelin Pro Series Standings At NJMP Thunderbolt
Round Six Michelin Pro Series
New Jersey Motorsports Park
ThunderBolt Circuit
September 2, 2012

Millville NJ - The Michelin Pro Series came to the Thunderbolt Circuit at NJMP with all six class championships up for grabs and left with even more riders in the mix for the 2012 ASRA National Championships.

In Michelin Pro SportBike it was Mark Miller Jr. on his Yamaha 600 that took the holeshot and never looked back. David Gomes, also on a Yamaha 600, held off Nick McFadden on a Suzuki 600 to claim second and McFadden cruised home in third. With the victory, Miller, the 2010 ASRA SuperBike Champion,  is just twelve points behind class leader Robbie Bright with two rounds left to go in the championship chase.

The hottest contest coming into the event was the battle for the 2012 Michelin Pro ThunderBike Championship between defending Champion Ray Hofman and class veteran  Walt Sipp, the current point leader in the title chase. Sipp, who has three victories to Hofman’s one this season, was called for movement before the green flag and earned a stop and go penalty for the infraction. So instead of the great battle  that was anticipated, Hofman, on a Ducati 749, was able to cruise to a 10.961 margin of victory over Sipp’s Buell 1200. Even after completing the stop and go, Sipp was able to finish second with Bob Robbins on a Ducati 750 finishing in third. With two rounds to go, Sipp’s lead is now just 5 points over Hofman with a possible 70 points available before the end of the season.

As the Michelin Pro SuperStock machines took the green flag it rain was on the radar but had not reached the racing surface yet and Tim Bemisderfer took off trying to beat the impending showers. The idea looked brilliant until lap seven when the light mist turned into light rain forcing the front runner to back off the throttle allowing Lloyd Bayley  to pass him just before the checkered flag. The joy for Bayley was short lived as officials imposed a 1-lap penalty for a grid infraction and failing to respond to the penalty flag. That moved Bemisderfer to the front, followed by John Palmer and Eric Helmbach. The win puts Bemisderfer into third place for the championship, 5 points behind Jason Farrell and 2 points behind Robbie Bright with just 2 rounds remaining.

The Michelin Pro Series made its annual stop at the NJMP Thunderbolt Circuit and the complete results can be found here.
Wet Summit Point Event in the Books
Round Seven Michelin Team Challenge Series
Summit Point Motorsports Park
August 26, 2012

Summit Point WV –First it was the competition then it was the weather that tried to keep the Chester Auto Repair team from making it three victories in a row in the 2012 Michelin Team Challenge Series.

With temperatures in the 80’s’s and no real rain in sight it seemed to be perfect conditions at the start for the teams entered in the ASRA sanctioned event and Eric Helmbach wasted no time in getting the Chester Auto Repair BMW out front of the 23 bike field. On lap 10, it was LB Racing’s Lloyd Bayley pushing his Suzuki to the point with Chester Auto in tow, only to have the positions reversed 2 laps later. This would be the battle for the lead until the red flag came out on lap 39 for rain.  Unfortunately for the Thrashed Bike Racing team, Walt Sipp suffered a vicious high-side in turn ten just after the red flag was called for and the third place machine was in shambles on the ground. The teams were given a 10 minute window to change tires and the race was called back to the grid for the restart. The field had not completed a lap before another rider went down in an impact area and the event was stopped for a second time.

After the second restart, both Chester Auto and LB Racing took some time to get used to the wet conditions and miraculously the Thrashed Bike crew finished repairs and rejoined the race only 2 laps down to the leaders. Helmbach quickly got comfortable with the conditions and took off as the leader and never looked back. Bayley and the LB Racing Suzuki chose discretion over valor and backed off a few notches and finished the race in second Overall, second in GTO behind Chester Auto Repair. Thrashed Bike Racing finished third in GTO, fourth Overall for their efforts. Thrashed Bike now leads Chester Auto by 14 points in the chase for the Overall Michelin Team Challenge Championship.

The GTU class witnessed strategy play a key role in victory for the RnR Repsol Kawasaki. Rick Beggs, RnR Repsol team captain, decided to pit late in the race so by staying out, his plan provided the team with a 1 lap lead over the class at the red flag on lap 39. This allowed the team to refuel during the break so it was only an 11 second stop on lap 45 to meet the mandatory green flag pit stop requirement. This strategy along with the unfortunate crash from Thrashed Bike, allowed the team to secure the GTU class win along with third place Overall.

Meanwhile the battle for second in the GTU class between the XRay Racing Yamaha, ridden by Christian Meekma and former Team Challenge Solo Champion Ray Hofman and the Angry Peaches Honda, with Allison Fournier and Dan Heverly aboard, was heated as the two teams literally raced nose to tail up to the red flag at lap 39. Even after the restart it looked to be a close race to the end but on lap 41 Angry Peaches lost a lap while making repairs to their machine. That allowed XRay to breathe easier and take second place 1 lap ahead of the third place Angry Peaches Honda.  XRay Racing now holds just a 1 point lead in the 2012 GTU Championship for the Michelin Team Challenge Series over 2010 GTU champions RnR Repsol Racing.

For the GTL class, another new team pulled off a win in 2012, TOBC 3 Racing with Brian Kcraget and Darren Emmerson aboard.  The season long battle between GMB Now Racing and G-Baby Racing for dominance in the GTL class took a back seat as the TOBC 3 team used Kcraget’s knowledge of Summit point to build a 1 lap lead in the first 15 laps then worked hard to maintain the advantage to the end.  The GMB Now Suzuki with Clayton Fisk and Max Grant sharing the riding the riding duties did what they needed to do by holding off Team LMB Again at the checkered flag to take second place and open up a 15 point lead going into the final round at Daytona. The G-Baby Racing team, second in the championship to GMB Now, held on to fifth place, forcing the championship to be decided at Daytona on October 19th.

  With all four of the 2012 Michelin Team Challenge Championships up for grabs, the 29th Annual CCS Race of Champions will be just that, a race for the championships. The final round will be October 18-21 at the famed Daytona International Speedway.

For complete results click here.

Farrell, Ortega and Hofman Take it Home at Blackhawk Farms

Michelin Team Pro Series
Sanctioned by ASRA
July 22, 2012
Blackhawk Farms Raceway
South Beloit, IL

Jason Farrell showed why he is the lap record holder at his home track of Blackhawk Farms Raceway by besting his former team mate and fellow Kawasaki rider Brian Hall in the Michelin Pro Series SuperStock final. The duo left the start line in lock step but by the end, Farrell had worked his Farrell Performance  ZX10 to a 5.593 second lead over Hall on his Schaumburg Audi Kawasaki. Third place was the Southeast Sales KTM ridden by 2011 ASRA SportBike Champion Joel Spalding.

In the most bizarre finish of the day, Dan Ortega’s victory on the MdRacingStp.com Yamaha was saved by a red flag on lap 7 of the 9 lap final in Michelin Pro SportBike. Ortega, who took command of the race on lap 2 and seemed  to be pulling away for an easy win over the field, started to have a  mechanical problem at the beginning of lap 7. This allowed Ricardo Valdez, Kevin White and Dave Ebben to come storming past Ortega’s ailing Yamaha in short order. Unfortunately, the fifth place rider Christian Meekma, had taken a tumble on the outside of turn seven bringing out the red flag before the entire field had completed the seventh lap. With the race declared official and scoring reverting to lap 6, the last full lap before the red flag, Ortega was declared the winner with Valdez, White and Ebben finishing out the top four positions.

The Michelin Pro ThunderBike class turned in the most competitive event of the day as the top three riders spent the first 8 laps playing cat and mouse with each other separated by mere tenths of a second. While current point leader Walt Sipp led from the first lap, local hot-shoe and 2011 ASRA ThunderBike Champion Ray Hofman shadowed Sipp’s  Bison Racing Buell until the white flag and them made his move. Sipp went wide in turn 6 and Hofman on the Sam’s Well Drilling Ducati put his track knowledge to work, diving under Sipp to take the lead. Not to be defeated so easily, Sipp tried to retake the lead using the outside line in turn 7 since Hofman  was protecting the inside, but he couldn’t make it work allowing Todd Evans to charge up into second place on his 2 Boss Performance Buell.

In Amateur action,  it was Carl Soltisz taking both ASRA SportBike and SuperStock wins on his Yamaha R-6 while Bob Schneider won ThunderBike on his Buell 1200.

For complete results, click here. For current point standings, click here.
Chester Auto Repair Makes it Two in a Row at NJMP-Thunderbolt

Round Six Michelin Team Challenge Series
New Jersey Motorsports Park

July 15, 2012

Millville, NJ –The weather and the competition was hot at New Jersey Motorsports Park as the Chester Auto Repair team made it two victories in a row in the 2012 Michelin Team Challenge Series. With temperatures in the 90’s and humidity to match, it was real test for men, women and machines to finish the 65 lap feature event at the Thunderbolt Circuit.

The Chester Auto BMW, piloted by Eric Helmbach, won both the Overall and GTO classes by 58.846 seconds over DLNQNT Racing Suzuki, ridden by John Palmer and Ryan Manotti, with Walt Sipp on the Thrashed Bike Racing Buell finishing on the final podium position, 1-lap down to the top two teams.

The GTU class witnessed another new team winning in 2012, TOBC Racing with Jon Couch and Scott Harwell putting in the riding chores. The TOBC Suzuki bested the Angry Peaches Honda, with Allison Fournier and Dan Heverly aboard, by 42.215 seconds after 63 laps. Finishing in third position was the XRay Racing Yamaha, ridden by Christian Meekma and former Team Challenge Solo Champion Ray Hofman, 7.073 seconds back of second place Angry Peaches.

It  has been a season long battle between GMB Now Racing and G-Baby Racing for dominance in the GTL class and that was the prediction for this event as they lined up beside each other for the start. Only 6 turns into the race G-Baby Racing Suzuki took an off track excursion and cost themselves momentum. Out front, the GMB Now Suzuki with Sean O’Sullivan and Max Grant sharing the riding after Clayton Fisk was injured, put their head down and extended their advantage while G-Baby was still sorting out whether there were problems with their machine. This allowed the Absolute.com Suzuki to move into second chasing GMB in the early stages. The young gun trio of Erik Callan, Brandon Tullock and Eziah Davis joined with Team Captain Keith Culver to keep the Absolute.com entry up front, even taking the lead on lap 7 from GMB Racing. Then on lap 17, Absolute.com Racing hit pit lane and GMB took command of the event from there. The G-Baby Racing Suzuki continued to push on and took advantage of the three more pitstops made by Absolute.com to move back to the runner-up position at the half-way point.  The G-Baby team held on to take second by 36.912 seconds over the third place Absolute.com squad.

The American SportBike Racing Association (ASRA) is the parent organization to the Championship Cup Series (CCS), the largest amateur motorcycle road racing organization in the United States with 4,000 licensed riders. ASRA sanctions eight Michelin Pro Series and eight Michelin Team Challenge road racing events for 2011.  The CCS Series sanctioned 47 events for 2012 at popular tracks around the united states. Tracks include Daytona International Speedway, New Hampshire Motor Speedway, Homestead Miami Speedway, Heartland Park Topeka, and Virginia International among other fine venues. In 2012 ASRA and CCS provide riders with access to millions of dollars of sponsorship awards through participation in its sanctioned events.

For complete results click here.
89th Loudon Classic Finishes With New SportBike Winner.
89th Annual Loudon Classic
New Hampshire Motor Speedway
June 17, 2012

Michelin Pro Series racing ended the racing action at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway with   Tyler Sweeny winning his first ASRA/Michelin Pro Series event. Check out the qualifying times by clicking here and complete race results by clicking here. .
89th Loudon Classic Qualifying in the Books
89th Annual Loudon Classic
New Hampshire Motor Speedway
June 17, 2012

Michelin Pro Series Qualifying ended the morning sessions at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway and you can check out the times by clicking here.
Summit Point Cyclefest Underway!
Summit Point Cyclefest 
Summit Point, WV 
May 27, 2012

The 2012 Memorial Day CCS Summit Point Cyclefest got off to a blazing start with ambient temperatures hovering near 90 degrees and 193 riders on hand for the competition.  Sunday's feature class riders took to the track today for Michelin PRO and USGPRU qualifying.  Michelin PRO Qualifying times are here.
USGPRU Qualifying times are here.
Martinez/Farrell Performance Regains Form at Blackhawk Farms Raceway

Michelin Team Challenge Series
Sanctioned by ASRA
May 19, 2012
Blackhawk Farms Raceway
South Beloit, IL

Jason Farrell and the Martinez/Farrell Performance GTO team returned to their home track Blackhawk Farms Raceway, looking for redemption after their runner-up finish to Thrashed Bike Racing at Carolina last month. Farrell, the lap record holder at BHF, started the race just as you would expect by taking the lead from the green flag and slowly inching away from the field for the first couple of laps. Abruptly on lap 3 of 75, Farrell dove onto pit road with a front brake issue and the crew jumped into action. It took 30 seconds for the crew to troubleshoot the problem as a clearance issue between the throttle and the brake lever then Farrell was able to rejoin the race as one of the last bikes on the lead lap.

With the Martinez/Farrell Performance machine in the pits, it was the Chimichanga Racing Yamaha 600 with Ricardo Valdez aboard that assumed the point. Valdez, having a 30 second lead over Farrell, settled into the 1:11 lap time range with an eye on the next 71 laps to the checker. Farrell, knowing the damage was done, put his head under the bubble and started reeling off laps in the 1:10 range and began moving back up through the field. By the 20th lap, the Martinez/Farrell Performance Kawasaki 1000 had moved back into second place but still trailed Chimichanga Racing by the length of the front straight. On lap 28 Farrell moved back into the lead and started to work on gapping second place with an eye on his first scheduled pit stop.

On lap 42, Chimichanga Racing pitted giving Martinez/Farrell Performance the full lap needed to insure they would be able to complete their stop and retain the Overall lead. Even though Chimichanga Racing was able to regain the lost lap, the GTU class winner was unable overcome the pace set by GTO and Overall winner Martinez/Farrell Performance. The RnR Repsol Team of Rick Beggs and Terry Taylor brought their GTU machine home in third place Overall and second in GTU.

In GTO, Martinez/Farrell Performance took the win followed by the C&H Racing Honda in second with Southern Sales KTM rounding out the top three. C&H was piloted by Dennie Huff and Branden Cretu while Southern Sales had multi-time ASRA National Champion Joel Spalding sharing the riding chores with John Erdman. Carolina winner Trashed Bike Racing had a flat and then rear wheel bearing problems to end any chance of consecutive victories for Walt Sipp and Tim Ivanoff. TBR finished in fifth position after replacing two rear wheels.

After placing two GTU machines in the top three overall, Chimichanga Racing and RnR Repsol, it was XRay Racing finishing third in GTU and fourth Overall. Christian Meekma and Ray Hofman of XRay Racing now lead the class championship by just 5 points over RnR Repsol at the half-way point of the 2012 season.

The GTL class has become a two team battle after 4 of the 8 rounds, with the GMB Racing team of Clayton Fisk and Max Grant winning at BHF followed by G-Baby Racing in second place. Now the G-Baby Racing squad of Jim Doyle and Nicole Ayers hold a narrow 4-point lead now in the 2012 GTL Championship.

For complete results, click here.

The next round of the Michelin Team Challenge Series sanctioned by ASRA will take place on June 17 at Virginia International Raceway during the 12th Annual Festival of Speed. 

Sipp Claims Round 3 Michelin Team Challenge in Carolina for Thrashed Bike Racing 

Kershaw, SC
April 15, 2012

Reliability and pace kept Buell rider Walt Sipp in position to take the overall and GTO class victory in Round 3 of the Michelin Team Challenge at Carolina Motorsports Park.  In the GTU class RnR Repsol riders Rick Beggs and Terry Taylor took their #4 Kawasaki to the GTU class win.  In GT Lights Clayton Fisk and Max Grant rode the GMB Now Suzuki to the win over G-Baby Racing's Jim Doyle and Nicole Ayers.  This was the first win for GMB Now and the first time this year G-Baby has not won the GT Lights class.

It is no secret that improvised teams with a local hot shoe can steal a round from the series regulars.  In 2012 it looks like several of the more seasoned teams have built stability into their formula for winning.  There are still teams thrown together for a couple rounds of fun, which is a great idea in itself.  But several more serious teams have settled on a similar rider pairing formula for the entire 2012 season.

Tim Ivanoff and Walt Sipp at Thrashed Bike are one example of combining a reliable team owner/rider with one fast privateer for the entire season.  Another example is Kawasaki equipped Martinez/Ferrell Performance.  They pair two reliable riders, Ferrell being a very fast privateer, with perennial Team Challenge owner and champion Calvin Martinez for a run at the championship.  

Bucking that formula and each taking different approaches are RnR Repsol and Chester Auto Repair.  At RnR Repsol Rick Beggs runs two bikes sharing riding with Terry Taylor, Jason Gibbens and Rachel Sasse.  The lineup makes for a known quantity in planning the team's year.  But multiple Team Challenge Champion Eric Helmbach goes it alone on the Chester Auto Repair BMW.  Then there is another fairly new team owner in the series, Christian Meekma, who formed XRay with well-known ASRA champion Ray Hofman, Hofman playing the role of the fast rider.  There are more teams and more formulas.  These are just a few worth noting.

All this might suggest that on any given weekend you have a recipe for racing drama. and Round 3 was no exception.  Beautiful weather, a few clouds and moderate temps welcomed 110 riders to Carolina Motorsports Park this weekend.  A total of 594 entries peppered classes in CCS and the Michelin Team Challenge.

Overall & GTO
In this event Walt Sipp rode the Thrashed Bike Buell 1125 to victory while teammate/owner Ivanoff managed the pit operation for the team.  Having finished fourth and third in the first and second rounds respectively the win was a welcome result for the team's preparation as they work to make their two Buell's more reliable.

Leading early in the race, and perhaps the favorite to win the Overall and GTO after taking the first two rounds at Roebling and Heartland Park, was the Martinez/Ferrell Performance Kawasaki 1000.  But a late-race miscalculation contributed to the team's runner up finish.  After a blazing start and holding the lead for 43 laps Jason Ferrell pitted for fuel and a rider change relinquishing the lead to Helmbach's BMW.  Helmbach pitted four laps later handing the lead to Sipp's Buell.  Martinez now on board the Kawasaki took the lead again as Sipp pitted on lap 57.  On lap 62 Sipp re-assumed the lead as Martinez pitted to hand the ZX10R back to Ferrell.  

Ferrell, thinking Sipp's Buell to be a lap down, upon re-entry made no attempt to re-pass Walt Sipp.  Sipp assumed Ferrell would be coming and was managing the fasted pace he dared on a tire that was becoming more of a challenge with each passing lap.

As the pair of riders saw the white flag Ferrell realized that Sipp received it first and that he (Ferrell) would need to make a pass on Sipp on the last lap for the win.  Ferrell made up no time on Sipp through the turn 4-5-6-7-8 complex and could not catch Sipp on the back straight leaving no real opportunity to make up the 3-second gap.

Sipp commented on the podium that he had the Flu and that tire management on a bike without traction control was a chore.  But anyone could see his pride in having overcome those challenges, bringing the burly Buell home for the win.  Eric Helmbach, also sick from a bad cold, finished third in GTO and overall.

The Beggs and Taylor #4 RnR Repsol Kawasaki was the first GTU entry off the line at the green flag.  But by lap four Seth Starnes on the Team Fallon CBR600 slipped by RnR for the lead.  By lap seven XRay had wheeled their Yamaha past RnR and were running second.  The Rog & Don Honda was fourth and the Quicktime Racing R6 was fifth.  By lap 12 Quicktime was up to fourth, and on lap 18 the RnR Repsol #4 entry resumed the lead as Team Fallon pitted.  The Team Fallon Honda would not return to challenge for the lead.

RnR Repsol #4 continued to dominate GTU while Bud Lawter and Derrick Cantrell's Quicktime Racing entry steadily and quietly moved forward to the runner up slot.  Meekma and Hofman brought the XRay R6 Yamaha home third.  It's worth noting that XRay won the last round at Heartland Park-Topeka.  Premier Racing having won Round One at Roebling finished eighth.

GT Lights
For the first two rounds this season G-Baby Racing had their way with the GT Lights class.  For Carolina GMB Now took their first win of the season.  G-Baby maintains their points lead heading into Round 4 at Blackhawk Farms in Beloit, Wisconsin.

Here are the complete results:

Martinez/Farrell Performance Continues Winning Ways

Round Two Michelin Team Challenge Series

Heartland Park-Topeka
April 1, 2012

Topeka, KS – There have been two rounds of the 2012 ASRA Michelin Team Challenge and Jason Farrell aboard the Martinez/Farrell Performance Kawasaki has dominated both races from start to finish. At Heartland Park Topeka, Farrell led the entire race from the first lap to the final lap, with only the Kawasaki of Schaumburg Audi able to keep the winner in sight. While Brian Hall and Matt Hall on the Schaumburg Audi gave it a valiant effort, Farrell was able to keep the lead, bringing home the victory for Martinez/Farrell Performance by 8.039 seconds after the 44 lap event. Thrashed Bike Racing with Walt Sipp riding solo was able to bring the Buell 1125 to the flag in third place, one lap behind the top two teams. The top three teams Overall were also the top three in the GTO class.

The GTU class looked to be a four-way battle early on but as the laps passed, it was clear that the top spot on the podium would be decided between Xray Racing and the Premier Racing team. Team Xray, with Christian Meekma and Ray Hofman,  held the lead until lap 22 when they made their mandatory pit stop and swapped riders. For the next three laps, the Premier Racing team of Daniel Dougherty and Adam Horton held the point, only to return the lead to the Team Xray during their scheduled pit stop. That set up the run to the checkered flag with Team Xray ahead by a comfortable 48.956 seconds.  The Outaline Racing squad of Lucas Walta and Dalton Howard took third in the GTU class in their first Michelin Team Challenge of the season.

In the GTL class it was the Baltimore MD based GMB Racing team versus the G-Baby Racing team from Overbrook Kansas. The G-Baby Team took advantage of their track knowledge and pulled away from the GMB Racing squad to cruise to a one lap victory, extending their points lead to 14 after the first two rounds of the season.

For complete results click here

The 2012 ASRA Michelin Team Challenge moves to Carolina Motorsports Park on April 15 for Round 3 of the Championship along with the Championship Cup Series and the USGPRU Series.

Sipp, Farrell, Miller Take Michelin PRO Series Openers

Bloomingdale, GA   Temperatures in the mid-seventies set the stage for potentially record-breaking lap times as the paddock prepared to compete in Round One of the 2012 Michelin PRO Series.  A number of past champions were on hand and the action got started with Michelin Pro SportBike.

Michelin Pro SportBike

Ricardo Valdez qualified on pole for the Sportbike sprint, but a jumble of riders on lap one sorted resulted in Valdez dropping to fifth at the back of the lead pack.  Mark Miller, Jr. took advantage and snatched the lead from the other four with his Livengood Motorsports-tuned Yamaha.  Scotty Ryan, whose qualifying effort lunched the motor he had planned to race with, used his R6 to nail down a space right behind Miller.  Stefano Mesa was third on another R6, and Matt Brown was fourth on a Kawaski as the gaggle headed for Turn One on lap two.

As the group cross the line next, it was Miller from Mesa and Valdez, then Ryan with Curtis Murray pulling his Suzuki up to fifth.  On lap three Valdez showed everyone the power exhibited in qualifying by moving to the front of the lead group with Miller, Mesa, Ryan and Murray just milliseconds behind, and one of the hottest contests of the afternoon was stating to come to a boil.

Valdez and Miller duked it out for the next four laps, but as the race was winding down to its conclusion Miller made his move to take the lead on lap nine. Miller maintained the edge around the 2.02-mile road course, and as they came to the checkered flag it was Miller and Valdez literally shoulder-to-shoulder at the flag.  Valdez squeaked across the line first but got some unhappy news at tech inspection with a pretty clear rule violation and his subsequent disqualification, which resulted in the win going to Mark Miller.

Miller told us after the race, "The race was good.  I was throwing my laps down and saw (Valdez) pulling away.  I put my head down to try to time it out perfectly to get him over the line.  I gave him the last lap.  I was right behind him and thought I could get a good drive out of the last corner, but he just took me at the line.  The Dunlops were awesome.  We couldn't do anything without Brian Livengood's motor work.  Hat's off to Tim at JRi; he really helped me out.  I want to dedicate this to Jim, because I know it would mean a lot to him." 

Miller's reference to Jim was to 2011 CCS Mid-Atlantic Champion Jim Cohrs, who crashed on Saturday and was airlifted out of the track. Cohrs returned to the track to visit late Sunday afternoon.  Cohrs was a little banged up, properly braced, and in good spirits.  Cohrs' tumble in turn one was the result of his front brake lever contacting a competitor resulting in a spectacular endo that launched Cohrs from the bike in epic fashion.

In Michelin PRO Sportbike Stefano Mesa finished behind Miller in the runner-up slot, Ryan was third, Murray was fourth and Justin Holderman rounded out the top five on another Yamaha R6.

Michelin Pro ThunderBikes

In Michelin PRO Thunderbike Walt Sipp intended to use pole position to full advantage, but a less-than-perfect start opened the door for Ducati rider Ray Hofman to control the pace for the first three laps.  Sipp, riding a Buell, and Bob Robbins, also a Ducati, trailed Hofman.  Russell Masecar was fourth. 

Hofman and Sipp's duel opened a gap to the field as the pair ran laps in the low 1:16's.  By lap four, Sipp pushing ever harder and made his way past Hofman in Turn One.  With Hofman behind, Sipp shifted his focus to pushed his Buell XB12R to a new ASRA PRO Thunderbike race lap record for Roebling Road at 1:15.872 on lap seven, eclipsing former record-holder Trey Yonces' mark from 2011.

Said Sipp, "Ray was riding really well.  I didn't want to make a mistake and look over the wrong shoulder like I did yesterday and let him come around me.  This allowed me to start off the season well and thanks to everybody for helping me out

Hofman added, "I started drifting back towards the end of the race.  There was one lapper that held me up in Turn Three, but I didn't have what it took today to catch Walt.  He had a good race.  The Michelin tires were working great.  Indy Ducati is helping me out on this bike, so I'm real thankful for those guys.

Bob Robbins rode a nice race hanging in ahead of Masecar's Suzuki at the end. Bob added, "Third place is good.  These guys were in another zip code, but that's okay.  I I was out there and held onto it.  Russell Masecar was chasing me down.  Good pace.  The bike is working beautiful."

Gino Angella placed his Ducati fifth behind Masecar.

In the Amateur Thunderbike race Brian Mullen of Deland, Florida, brought his Suzuki 650 home as runner-up to Ducati-mounted Ervin Kollek, who took the class win.  Kollek hails from Atlanta, Georgia.  It's Kollek's second year racing.

Michelin Pro SuperStock

Michelin Pro Superstock brought a strong field of liter bike riders and a mix of machines to the grid for the first race of the season. On pole position was Jason Farrell aboard his Kawasaki with the BMW of Eric Helmbach and the two Suzukis of Tim Bemisderfer and Paul Decouto also on the front row.

Farrell led from the first lap and showed that on this day he had the measure of everyone, setting an ASRA Superstock lap record for Roebling Road at 1:11.826 on lap two.  Bemisderfer and Michael Garner, who rode another Kawasaki, both turned laps within two tenths of Farrell's blistering pace and Bemisderfer also broke into the 1:11's, but no one had enough to catch Farrell.

A red flag stopped the race at just after half-distance, and the race was done.  Said Farrell of the race, "It went really good.  I just went out there and put my head down.  It's the second time I've ever been here, so I just tried to figure the lines out and get the track right.  Yesterday we had a used tire on for qualifying, and I threw on some new tires.  The thing is handling good..I want to thank Farrell Performance and Calvin Martinez, Pirelli Tires, US Chrome, Line2Line and Kawasaki..I heard I just broke the track record so I'm satisfied with that too.  It was good"

Bemisderfer added, "It was good. Obviously you want to come away with the win, but the race got cut a little short. I was hoping a little later in laps I could run him down, you know, but coming out of this place with a second-place finish isn't so bad.  The Dunlops are working great.  My Vesrah Suzuki Tweak Cycle, CTR-sprung bike was working great today. And it was my first time on it this year, so it's just going to get better from here."

Michael Garner was down from his home in Illinois and said of his third place finish, "It was fun.  It was my first time here, so I was just trying to keep up with everybody and have a good time.  The Pirelli tires were awesome.

In Amateur Superstock, Brad Plemmons took his Honda to the victory with Jason Brigmon, who also rode a Honda, finishing on the second step of the podium.

Jason Farrell Scores Round One Win - Michelin Team Challenge at Roebling Road

Bloomingdale, GA – March 10, 2012

Calvin Martinez and Jason Farrell teamed up for the Round One overall victory and GTO top spot on their Martinez Farrell Motorsports Kawaski ZX10R.  Martinez and Farrell fielded two entries, one with Calvin Martinez and Dustin Young sharing duties, but it was Farrell riding solo who out-paced 2011 Overall Champion Eric Helmbach's Chester Auto Repair BMW and the BEI/Vesrah Endurance GSXR entry of Billy Etheridge and Tim Bemisderfer.

Farrell started from the third row behind Bemisderfer and BMW-mounted Nate Kern on the outside of row one.  At the drop of the green flag Walt Sipp on the Thrashed Bike Racing Buell 1125 edged out Kern down the front straight.  But by the entry to turn one Jimmy Cohrs muscled his way past the duo for the lead.  By the middle of lap two Cohrs opened a two-second gap from Bemisderfer, Kern and Sipp.  Farrell was missing from the lead pack as on the first lap a shifter bolt backed out forcing him to pit for a quick repair.  As Cohrs and the field came around, Farrell rejoined a lap down but even with the leaders.

By lap four Helmbach had moved up to second behind Cohrs with Bemisderfer trailing.  Dan Heverly on the Angry Peaches GTU entry secured the GTU lead from the #62 RNR Repsol Kawasaki by lap four.  RNR's #4 Repsol entry was third in class.

In GT Lights the GMB Now Racing Suzuki 650 of Clayton Fisk led from the start.  Mark Gage on the DaytonaSportbikes.com SV ran second and G-Baby Racing's Jim Doyle was third on another Suzuki 650.

Bemisderfer passed Cohrs on lap eight for the lead.  Helmbach, Kern & Sipp trailed the pair.  Cohrs got back past Bemisderfer on lap nine but on lap 11 Cohrs pulled his GSXR behind the wall.  On the following lap the order in GTO was Bemisderfer from Kern with Sipp turning one of his best laps a 1:14.747.  Helmbach was fourth and Justin Neyra was fifth on a ZX10R.  RNR's #62 machine led GTU just ahead of Dan Heverly riding the Angry Peaches entry.  Ray Hofman lay third in GTU on Christian Meekma's XJR Racing.  Fisk led from Doyle in GT Lights with Gage was third.

On lap 48 Tim Bemisderfer pitted for his rider change and Jason Farrell had the chance he was looking for to take the lead.  Said Farrell, "A bolt backed out on the first lap.  I came in. We fixed it and when the field came around I was a lap down.  The bike was good and we did the whole race on the same tires."

Farrell scored the win with Helmbach second and Bemisderfer and Etheridge rounding out the podium for the Overall and GTO.  

After the race Billy Etheridge said, "Tim started and went to lap 50 where the team took on a rear tire and fuel and then I took over and brought home."  Etheridge managed a third with Eric Helmbach taking the second slot for Chester Auto Repair.  Walt Sipp finished fourth.  Sipp said, "When the ignition problem went away we were doing some good times.  Only the rear tire degradation kept us from bring it to the other guys today."

Kern and Alfredo Braca teamed on the BMW.  Kern started the race from the front row and they switched riders on lap 38.  Braca commented, "I took the bike from Nate.  Everything was good, but I started to lose rear traction towards the end of the race.  I pulled in to check the pressure, but there was nothing wrong so I continued.  We had zero issues on the BMW."

In GTU Premier Racing's Daniel Dougherty snagged the top step and finished sixth overall.  Second in GTU went to Angry Peaches' riders Dan Heverly and Allison Fournier.  Said Allison, "Dan started the race and with about 25 to go he handed off to me.  The bike was good but the tire was starting to go off a little toward the end."  Third in GTU were Rick Beggs and Jason Ebbens on the #62 RNR Cycles Repsol Kawasaki.

Nicole Ayers teamed up with Jim Doyle on the G-Baby SV.  Nicole started the race and did 25 laps, her first time at Roebling.  And they won GT Lights.  The G-Baby team is going try and do at least five rounds in 2012 in their hunt for the GT Lights Michelin Team Challenge title.

Bill Wissinger and Mark Gage ran the DaytonaSportbikes.com entry with Mark starting and handing off to Bill just over halfway.  Other than Bill reporting he was 12" taller than an SV rider should be there were no problems and they came home second in GT Lights behind G-Baby.  Third in GT Lights, Clayton Fisk and Brad Faas shared the GMB Now SV650.  Clayton started the race and handed of to Brad.  When Brad put it into gear to leave the pits the clutch basket had failed.  The engine stalled and they could not re-enter the race.   The failure put them third.


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