Copyright 2003, Team Hammer, Inc.
Team Valvoline EMGO Suzuki’s Steve Rapp finished 7th in the debut of the team’s 2003 Suzuki GSX-R1000, in Sunday’s AMA Formula Xtreme race at California Speedway.
Available tire choice had much to do with the finishing order; Rapp’s choices came down to a tire that would for sure last the 17-lap distance in ambient conditions at race time, or a tire that was 1.5-seconds a lap faster and might or might not last the distance. Rapp went with the sure thing, running as high as 5th before finishing 7th.
His teammate, Chris Ulrich, making his Formula Xtreme debut on a 2002 GSX-R1000, gambled on the softer tire, which chunked during the race.
“It will only get better,” said Rapp of the new bike, which hadn’t been on a racetrack before Thursday practice.
Rapp had planned to also compete in the Superbike class at Fontana, but after an unexpected aftermarket engine component failure in practice, the team decided to concentrate on the Formula Xtreme class.