TOOELE, Utah — Kyle Wyman returned to Superbike racing action this past weekend at Utah Motorsports Campus for the fifth round of the MotoAmerica championship. Wyman rode his Motovation USA/Lucas Oil/KWR Yamaha to 5th and 6th place finishes in race one and two respectively.
Wyman earned a spot on the second row of the grid after a superb qualifying effort, ending 6th overall with a fast lap time of 1:50.009 around the 3-mile Utah circuit.
“On Friday we struggled a little bit, somewhat because of me and my time off but also with the bike setup,” Wyman said. “Normally we have a stronger showing on Friday, but we were down the order in 8th position after the first day. I had a pretty good qualifying lap on Saturday however and was able to put it back on the second row. Being on the first two rows is a big deal come race time.”
Wyman got off to a strong start in race one, battling in the lead group early before settling into a game of cat and mouse with a fellow rider. A last lap pass would put Wyman ahead and into 6th overall, 5th in Superbike.
“The whole first half of race one I was having trouble with the bike on corner entry,” Wyman said. “If you started the season over on me I would be super happy with a 6th overall finish, but considering the progress we’ve made this season I’m not content to settle for the same spot as I qualified. I want to run up front with the factory bikes.”
Wyman finished the race 25.617 seconds off of race winner Toni Elias, a longer margin than the KWR team has seen in prior races. With adjustments to the Flash-Tune ECU and the K-Tech KTR-3 Forks, the KWR team was able to give Wyman an improved bike for Sunday.
“Immediately on Sunday morning the changes were a step in the right direction,” Wyman said. “We got the suspension working better and the electronics calmed down on corner entry, and it was easier for me to put in consistent fast laps.”
Wyman entered the Utah Sportbike Association Superbike Challenge race on Sunday afternoon, scheduled to take place before the second MotoAmerica Superbike race. Wyman took the holeshot and ran away from the field, earning the victory by a margin of 34 seconds over second place.
The setup changes were confirmed as the right direction, and Wyman gridded up for Superbike race two, where he battled with Superbike rival Josh Herrin over 5th place overall in Superbike. Wyman would come up just .155 seconds short of the spot behind Herrin, and only 18.161 seconds behind the race winner.
“After the Superbike Challenge race I was feeling confident about my chances against the big boys,” Wyman said. “I found myself in the same battle in the first laps, but as the factory bikes built up their gap I just tried to maintain my spot in 5th position. My pit board kept saying plus zero for about 12 laps straight, there was someone staying right with me but I wasn’t quite sure who it was. Eventually Herrin came by and was able to squeeze out 5th place over me. I felt like with one more lap I could have had him!”
The MotoAmerica series has a short turnaround as the next stop on the calendar is at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca next weekend, July 7-9, 2017.
Follow Kyle at Utah Motorsports Campus this weekend starting at 11:20am MST, Friday June 23rd.
For more information about Motovation USA, visit www.motovationusa.com