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Westby Looks To Finish SportBike Season With Podium Finish At Laguna Seca

By September 26, 2013April 27th, 20212013 News

MONTEREY, Calif. (Sept. 26) – It’s not often in the GEICO Motorcycle AMA Pro Road Racing Series that riders get a second crack at a track in a particular year, but that’s the opportunity in front of Dane Westby and the GEICO Motorcycle Honda team as they race in the GoPro Daytona SportBike season finale this weekend at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.

“It’s nice to get back there,” Westby said. “It’s definitely interesting to have a second go at Laguna; it’s unusual but it’s really nice.”

In his first time at Laguna, he finished seventh during the Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix back in July. With the improvements the team has made over the last few months, Westby is counting on a better result during Sunday’s race at the FIM World SuperBike Championship Monterey Round.

“We’ve been working our way up the ladder, and I think we’ve got something for them this weekend,” Westby said. “The Honda historically does pretty well there. We’ll just have to see what happens. The track has a good flow, except for the last corner, which slows you down.

“I’ve got to take it all the way down to first gear and pick a different line than some of the other bikes that are able to make it through that section in second gear. When I’m racing in a pack, I’ve got to make sure I get into that area right. It’s a fun course, for sure.”

There is still an outside chance Westby can finish the season in the top five in the standings. He’s 10 points behind Jake Lewis and James Rispoli with the one race left on the schedule.

Westby said Sunday’s race may require patience and strategy in the early going because of historically cool weather paired with an early start time.

“I’ve had a couple of issues in the past where I haven’t gotten the tires warmed up and crashed out on the first lap,” Westby said. “You’ve got keep your composure and not be too anxious on the throttle when all those guys are around the first lap because the track can deceive you.

“That’s going to be a big thing in my arsenal. Some guys might crash themselves out, and I’ve got to be aware and take advantage of the situation.”

Practice for the GoPro Daytona SportBikes gets under way at 9:20 a.m. PDT on Friday from Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. The first qualifier will be at 3:25 p.m. on Friday and the second at 3:15 p.m. Saturday. The season finale rolls off at 9:30 a.m. on Sunday.