H-D Continues VR1000 Rebuilding Effort

Calvin Kim
by Calvin Kim
The 2001 rebuilding effort for theHarley-Davidson VR 1000 Superbike race team continued at Sears Point Raceway over the weekend, with Pascal Picotte and Mike Smith finishing 11th and 15th respectively. After testing new parts, Harley-Davidson's Director of Racing John Baker said gains were made with the VR 1000, but that greater improvement must happen before the team reaches its competitive goals.

"We tried some new things this weekend and we'll have more to test in the future, a pay off of our new development program and the continued hard work of our race team," said Director of Racing John Baker...

Picotte continued to recover from injuries sustained in a snowmobileaccident in April. On Sunday, Picotte finished 11th, unable to sustain the speed he had shown in practice and qualifying. "I wasn't able to train much the past few weeks and I started cramping right away during the race and lost focus. So, I slowed the pace and tried to defend my position," Picotte said.

Smith struggled to find a good suspension set up all weekend. "It was a long race. We kept missing on our set up all weekend," said Smith, who finished 15th. "Basically it ended up like a test session to try some things and learn a bit more about the bike."

Despite his set up problems, Smith's hard work at Sears Point paid off as he is ranked 8th overall in the AMA Superbike points standings. "We were proud of the efforts of our racers and team, and also proud of our privateer team, Austin-Bleu Bayou H-D, and their rider Jordan Szoke, who ran well all weekend and finished 13th," added Baker.

Yamaha's Anthony Gobert won the Superbike final over the weekend, withHonda's Nicky Hayden finishing second and Suzuki's Aaron Yates third. The Harley-Davidson VR 1000 team will compete again May 18-20, when the AMA Superbike tour heads to Road Atlanta in Braselton, GA for a double-header weekend.

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Calvin Kim
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