Batey Crashes Out Of First And Takes A Second, Lopez Collects Two Thirds In F-USA At Pocono
Published: August 31, 1997
Team Valvoline EMGO Suzuki's Tray Batey crashed while leading the first of two Formula USA races at Pocono, but came from the back of the grid to finish second in the second race aboard the team's 1997 GSXR1100. Teammate Grant Lopez rode the team's GSXR750 to third place in both races.
Batey looked set for a runaway win in the first race but a misunderstood pit board led to his crash. "I came by the pits the first time and the pit board said +1," said Batey afterwards. "The next time I came back it showed my lap time but no interval and I thought somebody had caught up to me. I decided I better get going and really ran it into in the infield, but lost the front end. I saved it on my knee but ran off the track and was going to hit a chain link fence, and had to lay it down."
In the second race Batey quickly carved through the field and caught the leader, but his last-lap charge came up about a wheel short at the finish line.
Meanwhile, Lopez was putting in workmanlike, drama-free rides to third place in both races, vindicating the team's mid-season decision to replace the team's former GSXR750 rider with Lopez.
Batey now has his work cut out for him in the defense of his F-USA title. He's 60 points behind, in second place, with four races left in the series, each paying 35 points. The series next heads to Loudon, New Hampshire on the first weekend in October. Lopez is 10th in points despite joining the series at the halfway point.