ELKHART LAKE, Wis. (June 1) – In his first GEICO Motorcycle AMA Pro Road Racing Series contest in eight months, GEICO Motorcycle Honda rider Dane Westby finished eighth in Saturday’s GoPro Daytona SportBike event during the Subway Superbike Doubleheader at Road America.
Westby’s last race was the 2012 season finale last October in New Orleans. He missed the season opener in Daytona recovering from an injury suffered during practice for that event.
“Today was kind of like an opener for me after so long without a race,” Westby said. “Everyone else has already been able to rub elbows, ride close and get a feel for how it is. The fact I haven’t done that in several months was most likely the root of our problems today. We should have finished better.” Westby started third but said his discomfort on the bike started to display itself right from the beginning.
“I didn’t get a very good start,” Westby said. “Then I overshot a few corners. It was all little stuff that would have been ironed out in Daytona if I had raced. It was kind of a hard race for us today.”
Westby got plenty of practice running in the draft on the lengthy course. After a mistake that saw him go through the sand trap, Westby kept the bike upright and quickly settled into a pack of four chase riders for most of the race, which was won by Cameron Beaubier.
“We were expecting to finish a little higher in the order after qualifying third,” he said. “We’ll make a few changes to the bike before tomorrow. I’ll get my head wrapped around it all too, which will help us a lot.”
Westby faced a similar crisis of confidence during the first two thirds of Friday’s qualifying sessions before rebounding during the final segment to jump into a spot on the front row.
“I’m expecting the same kind of turnaround I had from qualifying,” Westby said. “I think I’ll get my mojo back. We’ll just have to let it all digest and look at today’s finish as a decent position to build off of.”
Westby gets a second opportunity to put the GEICO Motorcycle Honda on the podium Sunday when the GoPro Daytona SportBikes will race the back half of the Subway Superbike Doubleheader. The race gets started at 1 p.m. CDT and will be carried live on the CBS Sports Network.