Team Valvoline EMGO Suzuki’s Grant Lopez led both Formula USA Unlimited Superbike races at Willow Springs Raceway April 22 but came away with fifth in the first race and third in the second. Lopez is now second in series points, 4 points behind.
Lopez led most of the laps in the first race on his Suzuki GSX-R750 but was punted wide in two successive corners by the same overly-aggressive rider on the last lap, and went from first to fifth in two corners.
In the second race, Lopez had just charged into the lead when he carried a little too much speed into horrendously-fast turn eight, lost front-tire traction and slid on his knee for what seemed like forever before popping the bike back up onto its wheels and carrying on in third. A crash-caused red-flag ended the race at the point, on lap nine of 12 scheduled, and Lopez was credited with third, the position he had held across the line on the previous lap.
Lopez’s young teammates did not ride, John Hopkins still recovering from a broken collarbone and Ben Spies recovering from a broken and dislocated left wrist suffered in a motocross training accident a week before the race at Willow Springs.
The team will next race in an AMA event at Sears Point Raceway in Sonoma, California on May 3-6.