Saturday proved to be another difficult day for Team Hammer and Joe Roberts at Road America as Friday’s misfortunate only seemed to magnify overnight.
The day started off promising enough as M4 SportbikeTrackGear.com Racing’s Roberts stepped up his pace considerably during the morning’s Daytona SportBike qualifying session. The 16-year-old hustled his CBR600RR around the four-mile circuit with a best time of 2:22.666, an improvement of 0.988 over his Friday best. That gain saw him advance from 15th to 13th on the grid.
He continued his forward climb in the DSB race, pushing up to 11th early in the contest as he threw in another lap in the ’22s.
Unfortunately, he encountered persistent problems as the race took shape and ultimately crashed out while working lap 10 of a scheduled 12. The Californian’s big fall brought out a red flag and he was unable to continue at the restart.
Roberts said, “I’m still pretty beat up — I landed on the rumble strip on my stomach and went across. It was good I was wearing a chest protector. My finger hurts pretty good too.”
Roberts was later x-rayed. The results found a broken bone in his hand which will render the young racer out of action for at least two weeks.
“I went wide and came out in some real funky stuff and it just highsided me,” said Roberts. “It was bummer — we dropped off a bit because it wasn’t downshifting and I kept running wide.”