Team Valvoline EMGO Suzuki’s Steve Rapp picked up the second spot on the Superstock grid on Friday at Barber Motorsports Park in preparation of Saturday’s 2003 class finale. Adding to his impressive start to the weekend, the Californian also posted a top 10 Superbike qualifying time.
Rapp guided his Michelin-shod Suzuki GSX-R750 Superstock machine around the impressive new complex’s 2.3-mile circuit with a best time of 1:28.157, 0.450 seconds off of pole. And his Superbike mark of 1:29.032 was good enough for ninth and just a scant 0.058 seconds off the provisional second row.
Rapp will concentrate on his Superstock duties on Saturday and compete in Sunday’s second Superbike
contest to close out a successful 2003, one in which Rapp has won twice.
Of his Superstock effort, he said, “I was pretty happy with the bike early on, and then we saw the times of the other guys start to drop. We made some changes, which turned out to be a big improvement. At least we dropped Suzuki’s biggest championship rival off the front row with our late charge. I’m really looking to go out there and get my third win of the year tomorrow and end the season on a high note.”
Chris Ulrich will start tomorrow’s 17-lap Superstock final from the fourth row of the grid. Ulrich posted a best time of 1:30.051 in the afternoon after struggling in the morning.
“I was really having trouble getting everything to work early,” Ulrich admitted. “So I went to my trailer to clear my head and decided just to come out and ride the bike the best I could in qualifying. We improved — not as much as I hoped, but I think we’ll be able to do even better tomorrow. We just want to finish out
the season as strong as possible. My shoulder is still giving me some difficulties, but I’ve gotten to the point where I’ve learned to deal with it.”
Third Team Valvoline EMGO Suzuki rider Matt Furtek is not riding this weekend due to a hand injury he suffered in action last weekend at Barber Motorsports Park.