MONTEREY, Calif. (Sept. 29) – An early-race misfire ruined what was a promising start to the GEICO Motorcycle AMA Pro Road Racing Series finale for GoPro Daytona SportBike racer Dane Westby and the GEICO Motorcycle Honda team Sunday at Laguna Seca.
Westby made a mistake right off the starting line, which ultimately buried him in the pack. He still charged through the field but crossed the finish line in seventh place.
“The start was my whole race,” Westby said. “I missed the shift from first to second; that was all she wrote. From there it was just trying to do damage control and work my way up through the field.”
Westby went into the race brimming with confidence. Qualifying and warm-ups went well and hopes were high for a podium finish to end the season. But after the bad start, he found himself trapped as far back as 10th place. From there, Westby did his best to chip his way through the pack.
“We had the pace to keep up with the top guys,” Westby said. “I thought I’d be able to recover quickly, but I got caught behind some other guys in the beginning. I kept going back and forth with those guys and wasting time as the leaders pulled away.
“I was really abusing the tire trying to get up through the pack. I wasn’t able to roll the corner the way I wanted to. Once I got though that traffic, the top guys were long gone.
Westby ends the season in sixth place in the Daytona SportBike standings despite missing the season opening race due to injury. His best finish of the year was a fourth he earned at Barber Motorsports Park in Alabama.
“We had our highs and lows this year for sure,” Westby said. “We made a lot of progress getting our GEICO Motorcycle Honda dialed in. The season ended too soon for us. I wish we would have been able to make it on the podium this season.
“I think this result will give us all a lot of motivation to put in extra work during the off-season and come back stronger than ever when we get to Daytona next year.”