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Buell Enjoys Plentiful Podiums at Moto-ST Opener

By Motorcycle.Com Staff, Mar. 04, 2008
Despite four podiums by Buell teams, the new 1125R wasn't among them. The new liquid-cooled 1125cc Twin encountered problems and finished a disappointing 25th. Better luck next time.

Congratulations, PJ! A win is a win.

-Motorcycle.com

Penalties elevated two Buell teams onto the podium of the SunTrust MOTO-ST series’ GrandSport Twins (GST) class at the season-opening Daytona 300 held March 2 at Daytona International Speedway.

After the two top-finishing Ducati teams were disqualified for exceeded the class’s 90 RWHP limit in post-race dyno inspection, the No. 70 James Gang/Hoban Brothers Racing Buell XB12R ridden by Paul James and Jeff Johnson and the No. 7 Richie Morris Racing/Hal’s Harley-Davidson/Buell XB12R ridden by Clint Brotz and Tripp Nobles were elevated to Second and Third places, respectively, in the BMW Motorcycles GST class. The GST class was won by the No. 20 Wagner Motorsports Ducati 1000SS.

"We have finished on the podium at all four MOTO-ST events held at Daytona so far," said James Gang/Hoban Brothers team principal Paul James. "It's a credit to our entire team, from bike preparation, to consistent riding, to excellent pit stops and race strategy. It's a total team effort."

Bruce Rossmeyer’s Daytona Racing team brought their Buell 1125R in the Daytona 300. The Moto-ST series is the only place where the new liquid-cooled Buell is sanctioned to compete.

In the Buell Motorcycle Company SuperSport Twins (SST) class, the new Buell 1125R showed promise as a contender in practice and during the race, but was ultimately sidelined with late-race technical difficulties that resulted in a 25th place finish for the Bruce Rossmeyer’s Daytona Racing Buell 1125R ridden by Shawn Higbee and Dan Bilansky. The SST class win and overall victory went to the No. 1 Aprilia USA Aprilia Tuono 1000R.

"It was a roller coaster of a weekend for us," said Bruce Rossmeyer’s Daytona Racing team owner Richie Morris. "We were the quickest in practice, we were up front early, and ran some of the quickest laps of the race. Then we had some radio issues, which cost us some time in the pits. We made that back up and led some laps until we experienced some technical issues. But we proved the potential of the new 1125R and learned a lot that will help us at VIR and the rest of the season."

Estok Third in ASRA Pro Thunderbike at Daytona

Deeley H-D/Buell Canada/Ruthless Racing rider Dave Estok rode a Buell XB12R to third place in the opening round of the 2008 American Sportbike Racing Association (ASRA) Pro Thunderbike National series on March 1 at Daytona International Speedway. The race was won by Nate Kern on a BMW.

Estok, the reigning Pro Thunderbike champion, was forced to start the race from the last row after his motorcycle failed to start for a post-qualifying inspection.

“My engine started getting tight on the last lap of qualifying, and it would not restart for the dyno test, so we had to start the race from the last row,” said Estok. “I rode one of our Deeley team back-up Buell motorcycles in the race, and it worked great. I got a good start and went wide in turn one to pass a lot of bikes, and got up to about sixth place on the first lap. I worked my way up to third but by then the two BMW riders were drafting together and I couldn’t make up the gap on my own. We came out of a tough situation with some decent points.”

Buell riders claimed five of the top ten positions in the Pro Thunderbike race. Walt Sipp (Bison Racing/Eagle H-D/Buell) was fourth, Dan Bilansky (Hal’s H-D/Buell/Hal’s Speed Shop) was sixth, Aaron Holcomb was eighth, Paul James (James Gang/Hoban Brothers/H-D Buell of Appleton) was ninth and Joe Rozynski (Sound Waves/Hal’s Speed Shop) was tenth.

On Feb. 29, James Gang/Hoban Brothers Racing/H-D Buell of Appleton riders James and Johnson rode a Buell XB12R to win the GT Lights class and finish eighth overall in the ASRA Team Challenge 2-hour endurance race at Daytona.

The next stop on the eight-race ASRA Pro Thunderbike schedule is the Heart of America Cyclefest, April 25-27, at Heartland Park, Topeka, Kansas.

In MotoSport.com Championship Cup Series (CCS) sprint racing at Daytona, Ray Price H-D/Buell Rider Jerry Reid rode a Buell XB12R to win Amateur Light Superbike, Amateur Light Grand Prix and Amateur Thunderbike. Hal’s H-D/Buell rider Joel Spalding won Amateur GT Lights, while Kegel’s H-D/Buell rider Jay Smith won the Amateur Light F40 class, both riding Buell XB12R motorcycles.