ELKHART LAKE, Wis. (April 24, 2006) – Veatch Motorsports rider David Estok rode a Buell Firebolt XB12R to a second-place finish at the American Sport Bike Racing Association (ASRA) Thunderbike National at the Road America course on Sunday. Hal’s Speed Shop rider Dan Bilansky was third, also on a Buell Firebolt XB12R. The race was won by Ed Key on a Suzuki, who also won several Championship Cup Series (CCS) support races during the weekend.
Estok, Bilansky and Deeley Harley-Davidson/Buell Canada rider Steve Crevier also used various ASRA and CCS races to test new components on the Buell XBRR developed since its competition debut at Daytona. Estok won the Solo Challenge class in the 250-kilometer ASRA Team Challenge race and crossed the finish line first ahead of the overall Team Challenge winner (solo entries are not included in the overall team results) aboard an XBRR. Crevier finished second in the Solo Challenge and charged from the back row of the 22-rider ASRA Superbike field to set a new class track record with a time of 2:22.763 (100.866 mph average) on his way to a fifth place finish aboard an XBRR.
Estok, the 2005 National Thunderbike series champion, took the pole and set a new ASRA Thunderbike track record in qualifying with a lap of 2:31.885 (94.809 mph average) on the four-mile Road America course with his Glen Veatch tuned Buell Firebolt XB12R. Bilansky qualified second with a lap of 2:33.156 (94.022 mph average).
Estok and Bilansky led at the start of the eight-lap Thunderbike National, and the two riders battled and swapped the lead four times in the first six laps. Key held back while the two Buell riders dueled, then caught and engaged Estok and Bilansky in turn one at the beginning of lap seven. Key passed Bilansky for second, and then got by Estok in turn five to take the lead. Bilansky spun his rear tire coming out of the Bend following the Carousel and left the course before regaining control and returning to the track, still in third place but out of contention for the lead. Key held off a determined Estok on the final lap to take the win.
“I was out there battling with Dan (Bilansky), and I think we were both surprised when Key suddenly caught us,” said Estok. “It was a great race and he did an excellent job out there.”
Fourth place went to Nate Kern on a BMW. Appleton Buell/Hoban Brothers Racing rider Jeff Johnson was fifth on a Buell Firebolt, followed by Harley-Davidson/Buell of Frederick rider Bryan Bemisderfer, also on a Buell Firebolt. Ducati riders Rhiannon Lucente and Brian Lacy were seventh and eighth. Blue Springs H-D/Buell’s Walt Sipp was ninth on a Buell Firebolt, and Hal’s Speed Shop/Spyder Leatherworks.com rider Paul James rode a Buell Firebolt to tenth position. Twelve of the 24 ASRA Thunderbike entries were on Buell motorcycles.
Throughout the ASRA/CCS race weekend at Road America, expert and amateur Buell racers accounted for 6 class wins and 26 podium finishes. Friday highlights included a GT Lights class win and 7th overall finish in the ASRA Team Challenge by teammates James and John Fox aboard a Firebolt XB12R; a 1-2 finish in CCS Thunderbike by Bilansky and Johnson; and two class wins by Julian Soell in amatuer Lightweight Supersport and Lightweight Superbike. On Saturday, Johnson, Estok and Bilansky swept the CCS Thunderbike podium.
After two events, Kern leads the ASRA Thunderbike series with 58 points, followed by Bemisderfer with 49 points and Johnson with 44 points. The next race on the eight-round ASRA Thunderbike National schedule is May 28-29 at Summit Point Raceway in Summit Point, W.Va.
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