After another pair of strong finishes in the AMA Formula Xtreme race at Willow Springs on 840cc GSXR750s, Team Valvoline EMGO Suzuki’s Tray Batey and Mike Smith head back to the team’s primary mission–winning the team’s fifth Formula USA Championship.
Batey finished second in Formula Xtreme at blazing-fast Willow Springs, with Smith third.
Batey’s second-place finish in the Willow Springs Formula Xtreme race followed up his third at Laguna Seca and his fourth at Phoenix, showing a steady, improving trend. The three finishes also placed Batey second in series points–but in a series of events Team Valvoline EMGO Suzuki only entered to fill out its primary Formula USA schedule.
Batey and Smith also entered the AMA Superbike race at Willow Springs, riding with kitted 750cc engines in their GSXR750 chassis. Batey finished 13th and Smith was 18th.
“It was fun running in the AMA Series, but now it’s time for us to get ready to take care of some Formula USA business,” Batey said after the race at Willow Springs. “Our Crew Chief, Keith Perry, and our mechanics, Barry McMahan and Tony Romo, have headed back to Alabama to rebuild the bikes and get ready for Formula USA at Pikes Peak (May 15-17). It’s a new track for the F-USA Series and I think we’ll do real well.”
While Batey and Smith raced at Willow Springs, teammates Grant Lopez and Josh Hayes competed in WERA National Challenge Series action at Memphis Motorsports Park, where Lopez won the Formula One race and Hayes took the victory in 600cc Superstock. Lopez also finished second in the 1100cc Superstock and 750cc Superstock events at Memphis.