Team Valvoline EMGO Suzuki’s Marty Craggill, the two-time Australian Superbike Champion who showed up at Sears Point to substitute for injured Josh Hayes–finished a close third in the Formula Xtreme race despite mistaking the start of the race for a sighting lap and getting run off the track by a competitor on the last lap!
Craggill was confused at the start of the Formula Xtreme race, after watching the Supersport race, which as part of the pre-race action for live TV, features a sighting lap, a return to the grid, a warm-up lap, a return to the grid, and then the start.
The Formula Xtreme race, which is not televised live, has a warm-up lap, a return to the grid, then the start.
Craggill, who had qualified on the front row, said he was caught off guard and let about six riders pass him before he figured out that the race was on!
Craggill still was quickly in the battle for second place, and was still in contention until a few bad breaks in traffic late in the race, and then held off strong challenges for third.
It was still a remarkable performance for Craggill’s first race in the U.S., first time on the tortuous Sears Point Raceway, and first time on Team Valvoline EMGO Suzuki’s potent GSX-R1000 on Michelin tires.