ROBERTS AND TEAM HAMMER CELEBRATE DOUBLE VICTORY IN ALABAMA
Published: June 23, 2013
Team Hammer celebrated another victorious day at the track as the squad left Barber Motorsports Park with two more wins added to its tally.
Racing under the California Superbike School Roadracingworld.com Racing banner, Team Hammer's Joe Roberts closed out his remarkable AMA Pro Road Racing debut weekend in perfect fashion on Sunday. The 16-year-old phenom enjoyed unprecedented success at his first-ever professional event as he took the SuperSport class by storm; Roberts was fastest in every single practice and qualifying session, led the most laps in both races, and ultimately claimed a pair of dominating victories, including Sunday's SuperSport contest by a 3.690-second margin of victory.
Additionally, the Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup contender lapped under the existing SuperSport lap record, posting a blistering 1:29.019 lap en route to his Sunday win.
Just one week after his 16th birthday, Roberts became the first rider to earn a double victory in his AMA Pro Road Racing debut, let alone register a perfect weekend.
Roberts momentarily dropped to fourth after once again getting a less-than-ideal launch from pole, but he quickly worked his way forward. Once in front, Roberts ran an untouchable pace and broke free to claim his second win in as many attempts.
"The race was very difficult," Roberts said. "I got an OK start--definitely better than yesterday. I had to work a bit to get up front and once I was in the lead I put my head down.
"To be honest, I really didn't think this was possible. I thought I'd run top five and that was really my expectation for this weekend. But to come out and win both races and be P1 in every session is like a dream come true -- it's definitely my birthday wish.
"My Honda CBR600RR was great and my California Superbike School Roadracingworld.com team was so awesome. I was under the Team Hammer/M4 tent this weekend and my crew chief Eric Gray was awesome to work with."
Roberts will compete for Team Hammer again this season at the upcoming Laguna Seca and Miller Motorsports Park rounds in July and August, respectively, the only rounds which don't conflict with Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup events.
M4 SportbikeTrackGear.com Racing's Chris Ulrich continued to up his pace aboard the team's CBR1000RR Superbike despite continuing problems with electronics. The Californian posted a best time of 1:27.963 while fighting up from 14th to 12th, nearly four 10ths quicker than his best lap in Saturday's AMA Superbike race (1:28.360).
"We're chipping away at improving every aspect of the bike, from electronics to chassis," said Ulrich. "Developing a Superbike is a big challenge but we're making progress every time we get on the bike."
GEICO Motorcycle Road Racing's Dane Westby scored his second top-five result of the weekend in Sunday's Daytona SportBike contest.
Westby missed the shift from from first to second gear and was mired down the order at the start but once again demonstrated his ability to charge up through the pack. The Oklahoman slashed through the field from the bottom of the top 10 and ultimately finished fifth aboard his Honda CBR600RR.
M4 SportbikeTrackGear.com Racing's Benny Solis had a similar afternoon. The Californian got away with the front group but made a mistake in Turn 5 on the race's second lap. Dropping outside the top 15, Solis took advantage of an improved set-up to confidently work his way back into the top 10.
Solis improved upon his Saturday result by taking the checkered flag in ninth position on Sunday.
Solis said, "I was at the end of the lead pack, so I was in a good position, and I felt good running with those guys. But going into Charlotte's Web I made a mistake; instead of being a foot off the line of the rider in front of me, I was right behind him, almost in his draft. He got sideways when he braked which I didn't expect and I almost hit him and went off. It was either hit him or go off the track and I barely missed him. I dropped back to 17th but then I was able to get to ninth because today's bike set-up was much better."
MPH Racing's Melissa Paris again improved upon his qualifying position by picking up her second 17th-place result of the weekend aboard her Team Hammer Contract Services Honda CBR600RR.
Team Hammer will next travel to Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course for Round 4 of the AMA Pro Road Racing series on July 12-14.
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