Team Valvoline EMGO Suzuki spent Labor Day racing at Virginia International Raceway, with Steve Rapp scoring another top-10 finish in the Superbike race. The second Superbike National was held on Monday morning in overcast conditions, shortened from 28 laps after an oil spill and rains forced the AMA to postpone the race for one day.
“We used the shortened Superbike race as a bit of a test,” said Crew Chief Keith Perry. “It turned out pretty well for us. We needed the track time. It was a fairly odd situation with the delay yesterday. Twenty laps was okay with us. We were actually prepared to run in the rain with our bike and the Michelin rain tires (on Sunday), but we made the best out of the situation.”
Steve Rapp was 10th on his GSX-R750 Superstock machine, a change from his usual Superbike — a Suzuki GSX-R1000. “We tried a new Michelin tire in the race and I liked it,” Rapp said. “I ran by myself for most of the race, and my lap times were pretty much what I thought they would be going into the race.”
Chris Ulrich finished 20th, racing his Superstock GSX-R750 bike as well. “I was faster than the racers in front of me. Unfortunately, they were riding 1000s,” Ulrich said. “VIR is a tight course and I wasn’t able to get past them when I needed to, before my shoulder faded.”
The AMA finale could be considered a “home race” for the team since it will be held at nearby Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Alabama. “It’s only an hour and a half from the shop,” Perry added. “We’re looking forward to getting some more good results at the first AMA National held there.”