LEXINGTON, Ohio (July 14) – After enduring a nearly hour-long delay in Sunday’s GoPro Daytona SportBike race while officials cleaned up Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, Dane Westby guided his GEICO Motorcycle Honda to a seventh-place finish at the Buckeye SuperBike Weekend presented by Dunlop Tire, part of the GEICO Motorcycle AMA Pro Road Racing Series.
“This was the weirdest race we’ve had this season,” Westby said. “I had the most contact in this race than I’ve had in a long time.”
As part of the pre-race festivities, fans run parade laps on their street bikes around the track. One fan’s bike lost its engine and sprayed fluid all over one of the corners of the track, which required extensive cleanup.
Westby, like the rest of the riders on the grid, had to wait an extended time in the heat under the shade of an umbrella waiting for the OK to start racing.
“That was a little bit beneficial for me actually,” Westby said. “I think some guys let it get to them and bubble up in their heads. I felt like I was feasting on their insecurities.”
Once the riders did get a chance to work their way through the impacted section, Westby had to change his race line through that section.
“I didn’t go through the part that had the oil dry on it,” Westby said. “During the warm-up l tried to push it through there to see. I wanted to be the guy who went through there when everyone else was scared. It didn’t work out because I almost crashed.
“During the race I cut my line to the inside a little. That corner and the next corner had the oil dry on it, too. That section was weird but the rest of the track was fine.”
Off the start, Westby made brief contact with another rider, which killed his momentum and his chances of keeping up with the lead group of bikes.
“I got an OK start but I got together with Jake Lewis in the keyhole,” Westby said. “That blew it for me and the front pack got away. I got together with Bobby Fong a little later in the race.
“I know I can hang with that top group, and it’s frustrating we’re not getting any luck.”
The next stop for Westby and the GEICO Motorcycle Honda team is the July 19-21 Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in Monterey, Calif.