Team Valvoline EMGO Suzuki carried out another day of development and qualifying at California Speedway on Saturday. Rain postponed Vincent Haskovec’s scheduled Formula Xtreme race until Sunday, which will prove to be a busy day for the team. The riders and crew will contest races in three different classes before the day is done.
Steve Rapp and Chris Peris put in solid qualifying performances aboard their Michelin-shod GSX-R600 Supersport racebikes to claim side-by-side third row grid positions. Rapp led the way with a time of 1:29.363 to qualify tenth, while the up-and-coming Peris was one spot behind in eleventh with a best lap of 1:29.665.
Meanwhile development continued on the squad’s GSX-R750 Superstock machines. The team knew that the gamble to use the smaller displacement 750s up against a field of 1000s would take some time to pay off, and that proved to be the case on Saturday. Rapp qualified the new bike in 13th with a fast lap of 1:28.210, while Vincent Haskovec ranked 19th at 1:29.228.
“Today was a work in progress,” said Crew Chief Keith Perry. “There were some highlights, but the majority of the day I didn’t feel we made quite the progress we were hoping to make. But we found some things this afternoon that I feel will help us move forward tomorrow. Even in Supersport we were several positions back from where we should have been. We think we have a solution for that too; we’ll just have to see if we can do it.”
Team Valvoline EMGO Suzuki will have a full afternoon on Sunday, with a 17-lap race in each of their classes — Supersport, Superstock, and Formula Xtreme.
Perry commented, “We have lots of racing tomorrow, and I feel we’re ready for it.”