Team Valvoline EMGO Suzuki concluded the combined AMA/World Superbike event at Laguna Seca on Sunday by picking up their second and third top-ten finishes of the weekend. In front of an announced crowd of 93,000 spectators over the three days, the squad did put in a hard-fought effort to overcome a track time disadvantage compared to their rivals and delivered solid results.
After qualifying in ninth at 1:29.790 in the morning, Steve Rapp guided his Michelin-shod GSX-R600 to sixth place in the afternoon Supersport final. The Californian held down fifth late in the 17-lap contest, but missed a shift on lap 16, dropping him down a position in the dash to the checkered flag.
While not overjoyed at falling outside the top five, Rapp was fairly satisfied with his ride. “Considering that we didn’t test here, it was a pretty decent result,” he explained. “It wasn’t my greatest race ever, but it was a fun scrap and we’ll take sixth place today. We figured this would be our toughest event from here on out, and I’m really looking forward to going to Mid-Ohio in a couple of weeks. We tested there and should be ready to fight up front.”
Young Chris Peris made the most of his limited time at Laguna Seca during the weekend. Despite only visiting the technical 2.2-mile circuit once before, he proved a quick study. The Canadian qualified right behind his more veteran teammate in tenth in the morning, posting a best time of 1:30.096. He then made steady progress in the race, climbing up from an early twelfth to place ninth, Peris’ first top ten in AMA competition.
Next up for Team Valvoline EMGO Suzuki is a trip to the demanding Mid-Ohio circuit on July 23-25. Coming off a recent positive test at the venue, hopes are high for even stronger results.