Team Valvoline EMGO Suzuki’s Steve Rapp rode his GSX-R750 to victory on Saturday at Road America, winning the AMA Superstock race in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin. Rapp quickly moved to the front of the field in the 10-lap Superstock final and withstood a determined pursuit by the eventual second and third place finishers to take the checkered flag over the duo by less than second.
“It was a close race,” Rapp said after his brilliant charge. “I could see my board and every time I went by it was ‘plus zero.’ It was tough, but it was kind of easy in a way, too, because my bike was working so great. It was easy to be where I wanted to be.”
The easy-going Californian gave high marks to his Michelin tires and finely tuned race machine for allowing him to ride up to his potential today. “My tires were so good. I’ve never had a tire like that — it got better as they got older. It let me ride aggressively, which is more my style. The bike was really fast, too. When you have a fast bike and good tires, you expect results like this.”
Rapp’s younger teammates, Matt Furtek and Chris Ulrich, didn’t have as memorable a day. Furtek rode a steady race to claim a top 15 finish in his return to action, while Ulrich fought his way back up to 19th after being forced to come in for a “stop-and-go” penalty after race officials claimed he jumped the start, a charge the team vehemently denies, pointing out that one race official said Ulrich jumped and another was certain that he did not jump.
Rapp will look to add to his Road America success in Sunday’s Formula Xtreme final.