Milwaukee (June 21, 2011) - Parts Unlimited rider Steve Rapp prevailed in an 11-lap duel with series points leader Chris Fillmore (Bruce Rossmeyer's Daytona Racing) to win his second AMA Pro Vance & Hines XR1200 race of the season at Barber Motorsports Park June 20 by a margin of 0.157-second.
At the start of the race, Rapp, the polesitter, and Fillmore broke to the front of the pack along with fellow front-row starter Michael Beck (J&P Cycles), but exiting the track's final turn onto the front straight to complete the first lap, Beck lost control of his motorcycle in a dramatic high-side crash, which he remarkably walked away from uninjured. The resulting chaos as following motorcycles attempted to avoid Beck and his crashed motorcycle allowed Rapp and Fillmore to make a break at the front, which widened as the laps ticked off.
Riding on the ragged edge of control as the sweltering 95-plus degree temperature degraded the track's available grip and tire condition, the pair ran nose to tail for the remainder of the race, but ultimately Fillmore was unable to find a way around Rapp, who earned his second victory of the season.
"I got a decent start. I was in third going through the first couple corners, then got a little bit of a draft going in to Turn 4 and was able to start passing some people. By the end of the first lap I was back in the lead, and then I just went as hard as I could without crashing," said Rapp, who was credited with leading each of the race's 11 laps. "This class really shows bike skill and rider set-up, that's what I like about it. I had fun."
"In the beginning of the race when [Beck] got spit off, it was right in front of me and I ran into the grass," said Fillmore. "I kind of checked out of the race for a second, then realized we had to get back in line. I was pushing hard, pushing hard the whole time, but every time I thought about making a move, the front end would push and the rear would come around. It was really, really greasy out here. I kind of played it conservative. I wish I'd tried some more aggressive moves, but I was pretty much doing everything I could just to stay there."
Some 11 seconds back, a battle for third place emerged as Tyler O'Hara (GPBikeParts.com), who made an exceptional start from eighth on the grid to third place was eventually chased down by Travis Wyman (Harv's Harley-Davidson) and Michael Barnes (Drag Specialties). On the final lap, Wyman crashed while attempting to overtake O'Hara, who earned his first podium finish of the season.
"In the middle of race, Travis was catching me, and on the last lap he really put some heat on me and passed me going into 4 on the inside. [We ended up] drag racing all the way to the Museum Turn, then I just held it wide open and made it work. I'm definitely really happy to be up here," O'Hara said.
Barnes finished fourth, followed by Bruce Rossmeyer's Daytona Racing teammates Michael Corbino and Kyle Wyman, and Dave Estok (Black Hills Harley-Davidson) in tight formation. Chase McFarland (Latus Motors) and brothers Payton and Brett Sassaman rounded out the top 10.
The AMA Pro Racing Vance & Hines XR1200 Series returns to action July 9-10 at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, OH.
Barber Race Result:
1. Steve Rapp (Parts Unlimited), 11 Laps
2. Chris Fillmore (Bruce Rossmeyer's Daytona Racing), +0.157
3. Tyler O'Hara (GP Bike Parts), +11.915
4. Michael Barnes (Drag Specialties), +12.919
5. Michael Corbino (Bruce Rossmeyer's Daytona Racing), +29.104
6. Kyle Wyman (Bruce Rossmeyer's Daytona Racing), +29.213
7. David Estok (Black Hills Harley-Davidson), +29.675
8. Chase McFarland (Latus Motors Racing), +32.773
9. Payton Sassaman (Harley-Davidson of Macon), +37.654
10. Brett Sassaman (Eagle Harley-Davidson), +54.772
11. Gerry Signorelli (Kuryakyn), +1:18.617
12. Matthew Heidel (Shar-Tuff/Davis H-D), +1:18.849
13. Paul James (James Gang/Hoban Brothers/H-D of Appleton),), +1:23.609
14. Travis Wyman (Harv's Harley-Davidson), 10 Laps
15. Bryan Desimone (Kuryakyn), +1:50.698
16. Jeremiah Johnson (BE-EV.com .New Roc Harley-Davidson), 9 Laps
17. Shawn Higbee (HOG Racing/Harley Owners Group), 5 Laps
18. Michael Morgan (Python Exhaust), 2 Laps
19. Michael Beck (J&P Cycles), 0 Laps
XR1200 Series Points Standings
1. Chris Fillmore, 135
2. Steve Rapp, 119
3. Michael Barnes, 80
4. Kyle Wyman, 78
5. Tyler O'Hara, 67
6. Michael Corbino, 65
7. Chase McFarland, 61
8. Michael Beck, 59
9. Danny Eslick, 50
10. Joe Kopp, 45
Harley-Davidson Motor Company produces heavyweight custom, cruiser and touring motorcycles and offers a complete line of Harley-Davidson motorcycle parts, accessories, riding gear and apparel, and general merchandise. For more information, visit harley-davidson.com.