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September 23, 2012

M4 Suzuki's Dane Westby demonstrated his wet weather prowess on Sunday at Homestead-Miami Speedway en route to collecting his ninth podium result of the 2012 AMA Pro Daytona SportBike season.

Westby immediately sliced his way to the front in the wet from his Row 2 starting position and led the race's opening nine laps.

Expecting the track to dry relatively quickly, the Oklahoman allowed a competitor to overtake him without presenting a significant challenge. Westby thought the race would ultimately reward his approach as riders' tires took a beating on the changing surface.

However, the track stayed wet longer than anticipated, preventing Westby from mounting a late charge for the win aboard his GSX-R600. He did have enough in reserve to rip free from a bid for his position and consolidated his runner-up ranking in the '12 championship with another second-place run.

"I was being conservative with the tire," Westby explained, "I thought it would dry off faster than it did. I knew that we were going to walk away and I was just trying to take it easy on the tire and ended up being a little more conservative than was necessary. We still ended up with some tire left at the end."

"I wasn't too worried about trying to keep up with the leader after I was passed. I figured he'd come back when the tire went away but it stayed wet so there wasn't any of that."

Westby's M4 Suzuki teammate, Chris Ulrich, and Team Venezuela's Robertino Pietri, meanwhile, had to deal with a fast drying circuit in the subsequent Superbike race.

Ulrich and Pietri made stirring charges up through the pack as the track continued to change. Pietri made his way up from 13th early to take the checkered flag in 6th, matching Ulrich's stellar result from the previous day.

The Californian battled his way up from 17th at the conclusion of the opening lap to move into 7th by lap 12 of 23. While Ulrich crashed in the tricky conditions and lost a number of the hard-earned positions, he picked his GSX-R1000 back up and clawed his way back up from 11th to eighth in the end.

Suzuki's Elena Myers completed the Team Hammer's perfect run of top ten results on the day, racing to ninth in the day's abbreviated SuperSport contest. Myers was embroiled in a multi-rider pack when the race was red flagged and called complete following 10 of 18 laps.

Team Hammer will conclude the 2012 AMA Pro Road Racing season in two weeks' time as the campaign concludes at NOLA Motorsports Park in New Orleans, LA on Oct 5-7.

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