LEXINGTON, Ohio (July 12) – Friday’s first qualifying session at the Buckeye SuperBike Weekend presented by Dunlop Tire left rider Dane Westby and the GEICO Motorcycle Honda team with a lot to think about overnight.
Westby qualified a provisional ninth in the GoPro Daytona SportBike field, but the team knows there’s a lot more in the bike and they’ll get back to work overnight to prepare for Q2 at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, this weekend’s stop in the GEICO Motorcycle AMA Pro Road Racing Series.
“We made some changes based on the way the track was this morning,” Westby said. “The track came in a lot better than we expected, and it just didn’t work out for us.”
Westby’s best lap was in 1 minute, 31.088 seconds, which while it was an improvement from practice – where Westby was No. 2 on the board – it wasn’t the kind of dramatic leap the team was expecting from the bike.
“We made a radical change from our teammates for qualifying,” Westby said. “It looks like we’ll be going back to their direction tomorrow morning.”
Westby and the GEICO Motorcycle team are still working out all the kinks on their Honda, which at times like this requires patience.
“It’s hard to be patient when you want to run up front,” Westby said. “It’s hard when you are not turning the laps you know are possible on this bike, especially after doing so well in the first practice.”
The team knows there’s a bright side because there is time to make adjustments before Q2 on Saturday morning and Race 1 in the afternoon.
“There’s something big that went wrong today,” Westby said. “It’s actually a little easier to wrap your head around that. We’ve got more time tonight to look at all of our notes and compare data, so I think I’ll have a good package for them tomorrow morning.
“I placed first and second here last year, so I know how to get around this track quickly. I want to start on the front row for tomorrow’s race, and with the changes we’re going to make I think we’ll have a good chance to do that.”
Saturday’s second qualifying session gets under way at 8:50 a.m. EDT from Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. The weekend’s first GoPro Daytona SportBike race rolls off at 1 p.m. on Saturday and the second race at 1 p.m. on Sunday. CBS Sports Network will broadcast the races starting at 1:30 p.m. EDT on Saturday and 2 p.m. on Sunday.