Valvoline EMGO Suzuki’s Steve Rapp won his second consecutive Suzuki Genuine Parts Superstock race on Sunday, emerging victorious after a race-long battle on the 3.0 mile Minnesota circuit. Rapp, a former series runner-up, won the 13 lap final by a scant 0.143 seconds. It was quite a follow-up to his Elkhart Lake win just two weeks ago.
“That’s like almost my whole entire AMA win total in two weekends!” laughed Rapp, who has in fact doubled his Superstock win total in the past month. “It was awesome. I knew it would be a tough race, and I was prepared for a battle every lap, every single corner. And it turned out that way.” Rapp not only had to race the competition, he also was forced to fight the local wildlife. A heard of seagulls obstructed the lead pack at the end of the race, nearly causing several of the lead riders to crash.
After being at the top of the time sheets most of the weekend, Rapp used his Michelin tires to make a late charge. “The team is really fantastic, and I think working with them has really helped my riding. The results are proving that.”
Chris Ulrich finished eleventh in the Superstock final despite being the last man to leave the grid after an equipment problem caused some pre-race drama. “I lost my knee puck,” Ulrich said. “I didn’t really know what to do, since I use my knee for feel more than most riders. By the time we had everything sorted out, the field had gotten the green light. I feel great for the team because Steve won again, but I wish my race had gone differently because of all the progress we’ve made lately.
“I guess the only thing you can do is chalk it up to bad luck. If I had to do it all over again, I would have just raced,” commented the second generation competitor. “Despite all that, I built a lot of confidence over the weekend. Passing guys in the race, making a few set-up changes on the bike, getting my shoulder a little healthier, it all helped me become a confident rider again. I’m ready to go to Laguna Seca, a race I won two years ago. I wish it was tomorrow.”
The team’s third rider, Matt Furtek, crashed out of Sunday’s Superstock final.
A rain delay early Sunday afternoon caused the Superstock race to be rescheduled to accommodate TV schedules, and Rapp elected to concentrate on the Superstock feature.
The team will race next at Laguna Seca, July 10-13.