Bel-Ray Weekend Racing Wrap-Up
Bel-Ray Weekend Racing Wrap-Up – June 4, 2012
Bel-Ray’s professional racing teams compete for championships across the world each weekend in various forms. This past weekend, racing took place in the United States, Spain and France with motocross and road racing events.
The 2012 AMA National Motocross Championship continued on Saturday in Lakewood, Colorado for the Thunder Valley National.
Bel-Ray backed Rockstar Energy Racing Suzuki’s Jessica Patterson extended her points lead with commanding 1-1 moto finishes for first overall in Saturday’s WMX class action. She now holds a 16 point lead over her nearest competitor after 3 of 8 rounds completed.
Blake Wharton was the top Bel-Ray backed Team Rockstar Energy Racing Suzuki racer for the second week in a row. His 6-9 moto finishes were good for 7th overall. Teammates Jason Anderson (12-15) and Hunter Hewitt (15-16) finished 13th and 15th overall respectively.
The privateer duo of Tucker Saye and Derek Anderson have been travelling the national series, filming for the Driven to Ride web series. Colorado is the home state for the Bel-Ray backed riders and each had high hopes coming in the weekend. Anderson was able to back up his 9th place second moto finish a week ago with 2 solid 16th place moto finishes, while Saye made the first AMA national of his career and raced to respectable 28-35 moto finishes for 35th overall.
The AMA National motocross series continues this weekend in Pennsylvania for round 4 of the 12 round series.
Tire choice and bike setup are critically important to success in the MotoGP, especially to the CRT series of bikes competing. As the top CRT team in the series, the Bel-Ray backed Power Electronics team of Aleix Espargaro and Randy DePuniet has consistently performed at the top, just off the factory racing teams. This weekend in Catalunya Espargaro again finished as the top CRT racer in 13th with teammate DePuniet close behind in 15th. Espargaro has been pleased with his season thus far, “I think that we are doing things well and I am happy with that. It was a great feeling to give my all and achieve my objective in front of such great home fans." DePuniet spoke about his tire choice and the issues he encountered following the day’s racing. "I think that we made a mistake with our tire choice. We had good feedback from the hard rear yesterday and the times were good, so we decided to go with it for the race. However, today, the track conditions were different from the start and I began to feel strange with the bike. I knew that my teammate and the other CRT riders had gone for the soft compound, so I waited, thinking that at the midway point, I would have things easier. That didn't happen with the rear, and to add to that, I made a few mistakes changing gears that lost me over a second. Now we have to analyze what happened today and see where we went wrong with the tire choice. We still haven't finished a race 100% happy, so we will continue fighting, so that this can happen at Silverstone."
Both of the Mapfre Aspar team members came to Montmeló with fond memories of past performances. Unfortunately, a 15th for Terol and DNF for Elias were not what they had in mind. Terol was fortunate to score points for the second race in a row, while Elias was running just outside the top 5 when he succumbed to an unfortunate crash. Terol spoke about the continual improvements of the team and his riding. "At Le Mans, we got points and we have done the same here, but we were expecting more. Nonetheless, these results keep us optimistic and we can see that we are improving. I am satisfied with the start and although I made an early mistake, I was able to hold my nerve and maintain a good pace throughout the race. This weekend hasn't been easy but we can look back on it positively now. Taking points is good for us and we have taken a step forward, so we have to keep working in order to keep this evolution going." Although he was disappointed about the final result, Elias spoke positively about the race. "I am a little disappointed because I expected more from this home race. It is a shame because we had done a very good job all weekend, but we never found the necessary grip on the rear. I gave everything in the race, trying to follow riders in order to get as high up the order as possible, but pushing too hard meant that I crashed. We aren't going to get down about it though. The positive from this weekend is that we have taken another step forward and we are progressively getting closer to the lead riders."
The Bel-Ray backed Bankia Aspar team of Hector Faubel and Alberto Moncayo came to the Spanish circuit in Montmeló with high hopes. Considered a home race for the team, both racers were looking to impress their home fans. Both riders experienced difficulties during the race with Faubel coming in contact with another rider and Moncayo running wide off the race line. Neither rider went down in the altercations, but the delay caused Faubel to finish 7th and Moncayo 14th. Faubel was disappointed with the racing event that took place but was happy with the final results. "Today was a positive race for me in which I was able to feel competitive again. I was in the podium fight the whole time and I think that I had things under control. My strategy was to stick in third or fourth and then attack second place on the home straight of the final lap. However, one of Márquez' passes on one of the latter laps knocked my handlebars and meant that I had to go very wide in order to avoid a crash. I lost time and positions, but I was still able to pass two riders before the end. It is a shame, because we were hoping for a better result, but we are happy with how competitive we were and with how much we fought.” Moncayo spoke about the events of the race following the checkered flag. "After a difficult start, I focused on setting my pace in order to get past as many riders as possible. I was setting some good times, but on the penultimate corner of the third lap, I ran off track and got caught by a group of riders. I pushed hard on the final two laps and was able to claim back some positions and get a gap between myself and the group. I was able to take fourteenth in the end, which is two points, but obviously not our objective. "
The 2012 FIM World Motocross Championship Series continued this weekend at the St. Jean D’Angley circuit for the GP of France.
The Bel-Ray backed Team CP377 Monster Energy Kawasaki Pro Circuit team of Christophe and Sebastein Pourcel came to their home race this weekend expecting fine finishes. Christophe’s momentum from his excellent finishes in South America and Sebastien’s French Championship victory from just a week ago put high hopes in both riders’ minds. Christophe’s 3-2 moto finishes earned him a 2nd overall with Sebastien’s 11-6 scores earned him his best overall for the season in 8th. Sebastein spoke about his day following the conclusion of the second moto. “It’s good to be back twice in the points in both races after a bad day in Brazil, so I’m pretty happy with this. I didn’t find a good rhythm during the first race, but the second one was much better. It’s great to score a sixth position, especially because I was only twenty seconds from the winner at the end.”
The Bel-Ray backed Floride Monster Energy Kawasaki Pro Circuit team of Tommy Searle and Joel Roelants have been front runners in nearly every moto this season and this weekend in France was no different. Searle maintained his sight of the championship points lead with excellent 3-1 moto finishes on Sunday. His second overall Grand Prix finish keeps him just 22 points away from the number 1 spot. Searle spoke about his day following the second moto. “After winning the qualification on Saturday, we decided to take gate one, but the ground at the start had been graded and my rear wheel dug into the soft gravel, so I was nearly last off the start. By the time I got to third, the leaders were gone. I was soon second in race two and once I found a way past the leader, I put my head down and opened up a gap." Teammate Roelants appeared to have recovered from the concussion he received in a crash last month. He finished 4th in both motos for 4th overall. He maintains 4th overall in the series points standings as well. The series continues in Portugal this upcoming weekend.
Round 5 of the 2012 AMA ATV Motocross National Championship Series took place this weekend in Oakland, Kentucky. For the first time in the history of the sport, racing would take place at night, under the lights at Balance MotoX. Bel-Ray backed Baldwin Motorsports racer Josh Upperman has been a consistent top 5 finisher in the first 4 rounds thus far this season and round 5 wasn’t any different. His 3-4 moto scores were enough for 4th overall. Upperman is currently 4th in the standings, just 5 points out of a podium spot. The series continues at High Point Raceway in Mt. Morris, Pennsylvania on June 16th and 17th.