Team Valvoline EMGO Suzuki Earns Mid-Ohio Top Tens
Published: July 26, 2004
Team Valvoline EMGO Suzuki added to Vincent Haskovec’s Saturday podium finish by claiming four top-ten finishes on Sunday at Mid-Ohio. The placings were hard earned in a pair of chaotic, red-flagged halted finals.
In the day’s opening Superstock race, Haskovec and his teammate Steve Rapp put their Michelin-shod GSX-R750s in contention for fifth, dicing with a huge pack of 1000cc-mounted riders for the position.
Haskovec in particular was on form, charging up from outside the top ten into seventh before confusion spoiled the race. An inadvertent red flag was shown on lap 12, causing a number of riders to ease up thinking the contest was being stopped. After becoming aware of the situation, race control displayed an official red flag on lap 13 of 16. They then called the race complete, but reverted the final results back to lap 11, the last lap completed before any riders had been shown the false red flag.
Haskovec was awarded seventh as a result, with Rapp in ninth.
“That’s not a great way for a race to end, but things like that will happen sometimes in racing,” Haskovec remarked. “I was caught up in a big group because a rider was trying to help another rider’s championship hopes and wouldn’t pass him, I think, and it bunched a lot of us up together.”
“It’s too bad that the red flag came out,” he continued. “My Michelin tires felt just as good when the race was stopped as they did at the beginning, and I think I would have kept going forward. But it was a good finish for us to go along with the podium from Saturday in Formula Xtreme.”
The Supersport race wasn’t much less confusing, with three separate red flag stoppages and a premature ending.
In a race that saw more than its fair share of incidents, Team Valvoline EMGO Suzuki wasn’t able to avoid them completely. A rider made contact with Rapp just before crashing, and the Californian fell himself in a separate incident, a short time later.
Fortunately, a red flag actually worked in the team’s favor, allowing Rapp to rejoin the race. He made the most of the opportunity, going on to claim sixth place when the race was stopped for the last time following lap 13 of a scheduled 16.
Chris Peris came out of the race with a strong result as well. The Canadian took his best AMA finish yet, taking eighth place in what was his second straight Supersport top ten.
The AMA series will take all of August off before heading to Road Atlanta on September 3-5 for Round 10 of 11.
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