Professional rider on closed course competition.
WESTBY FIGHTS FOR THE PODIUM AT ROAD AMERICA
June 2, 2012
M4 Suzuki's Dane Westby made yet another charge up through the order to battle for the podium on Saturday at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin.
AMA Pro Daytona SportBike title contender Westby, who qualified a strong fifth-fastest at 2:20.852, found himself shuffled back to ninth on the opening lap of the 13-lap race.
Westby worked his way into fourth position by lap 4. At that point he teamed up with GEICO Suzuki's Martin Cardenas--both aboard their Team Hammer-prepared GSX-R600s--to track down the early race leaders, transforming the battle for the win into a four-way affair.
While Cardenas made a late escape en route to his fifth victory of the season, Westby ran as high as second and held third place for the final run to the flag but was edged at the stripe by a scant 0.101-second.
“I thought we had it but not quite. I got pushed out wide and lost some spots, but then I hooked up with Martin (Cardenas) and we went up to the front," said Westby. “From that point, it was on. It was a matter of seeing where they were weak and I was strong and seeing how it played out until the end of the race.
“We let Martin get away and in the end my front tire went off just a little bit,” said the Oklahoman. “We’ll make an adjustment for tomorrow to improve a really good bike even more and be better.”
The fourth-place finish saw Westby move up a spot into third place in the championship standings on 127 points.
SuzukiScoopFans SportbikeTrackGear.com Suzuki's Elena Myers registered a strong Saturday ride as well. Qualifying on the second row for the weekend's twin AMA Pro SuperSport races in sixth position (2:23.818), the Daytona winner raced with similar success.
Myers took the checkered flag in seventh position, solidifying her third-place ranking in the SuperSport West Region.
Saturday's AMA Pro Superbike contest was delayed to later in the afternoon after rainfall hit the area immediately prior to the scheduled start. M4 Suzuki's Chris Ulrich made the best of the conditions, moving up from his 16th spot on the grid (2:16.623) to race up to 11th in the race, which was ultimately red flagged and called complete just short of the scheduled distance once the rain returned.
Team Venezuela's Robertino Pietri did not race after suffering broken ribs in a crash during Friday qualifying.
On Sunday Westby, Myers, and Ulrich will look for even stronger results in the second half of the Road America AMA Pro Road Racing doubleheader.
In 2012, Team Hammer, Inc. is competing in its 32nd consecutive racing season and marks its sixth year of offering technical and logistical support through its Contract Services Department. The team has earned 51 AMA Pro National race wins; 117 AMA Pro National podium finishes; 4 AMA Pro Championships; 133 Overall National Endurance race wins; 13 National Endurance Championships and assorted other race wins and titles.
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