Travis Wyman claims first podium finish in more than a year at MotoAmerica Superbikes at Pittsburgh
BMW rider also scores two top-10 finishes in Superbike races aboard repaired motorcycle
WAMPUM, Pa. — Travis Wyman is no stranger to making the podium in MotoAmerica competition, but the third place he scored in Sunday’s Stock 1000 race at Pittsburgh International Race Complex was a symbolic triumph over adverse circumstances.
Despite racing through pain in his surgically repaired left elbow to contending with numbness in his right arm and leg late in races –- and having to do a motor swap on the team’s 2020 BMW S 1000 RR on the Thursday before the race –- Wyman’s performance at the Aug. 7-9 event was his best of the season. It was his first podium appearance since Round 3 of the 2019 season at VIRginia International Raceway.
Wyman had his freshly repaired BMW’s potential on full display Friday. He finished both qualifying sessions in second place and claimed his first front-row starting grid spot of the 2020 season. He missed taking pole position by 0.072 seconds.
Saturday ended on a high note for the team. In the morning practice session, the team opted to test a new set-up, but it didn’t work out as planned and Wyman ended the practice session in seventh. In the Saturday Stock 1000 race, Wyman got good start and was running in fourth when the race was red flagged due to a crash that collapsed a section of air fence. When the race restarted with eight laps to go, Wyman got another good start and was running in second for the first two laps of the race. Though he dropped to fourth place on Lap 3, Wyman was in the group vying for the race lead when a false neutral at Turn 1 sent him off-track. He rejoined the race in eighth place and was able to make up a position to finish seventh. In the Saturday Superbike race, Wyman finished 10th and had the best finish of the Superbike Cup riders.
Sunday’s Stock 1000 race was the team’s shining moment so far in 2020. Wyman got another good start and was running second – hounding the race leader – in the race’s early stages. However, numbness in Wyman’s right arm and leg – a result of Wyman having to change his riding style to accommodate his nagging left elbow injury – caused his pace to slow. Despite the setback, Wyman still finished on the podium and showed that he will be contending for Stock 1000 victories as soon as his elbow has fully healed. In the Superbike race, Wyman was able to maintain a consistent pace – even with the pain in his elbow increasing as the race went on – to claim his second top-10 finish of the weekend in Superbike.
Though there were some setbacks, the Travis Wyman Racing BMW team ended the weekend in as good a position as it had started it. Wyman maintained fifth place in the Stock 1000 Class standings and second place in the Superbike Cup points. It will be Wyman’s first time racing at Ridge Motorsports Park in Shelton, Wa., when the next MotoAmerica round takes place there Aug. 28-30.
Travis Wyman / #10
“We were fast right out of the gate this weekend, and it was the first time I’ve been able to push the bike from the get-go. I felt really good about the bike heading into Saturday’s races, and I was hanging with the leaders for most of the race. The false neutral was unfortunate and caused me to run off track, but we still came away with good points from that race. We made an adjustment to the shifter before the Superbike race, and it was great being the top-finishing Superbike Cup rider on Saturday. We made some setup changes to our BMW S 1000 RR Sunday morning, and my fastest lap in the day’s Stock 1000 race was about two seconds faster than my previous best lap at Pitt Race. I got a good start and was pushing hard to stay with the race leader as long as I could. Though the numbness in my right limbs kept me from maintaining the pace of the leaders, it was great to be back on the podium. The weekend as a whole was a win for the team, because we keep progressing even with all the setbacks we’ve had with me and the bike. We’re finally getting into the cusp of it and running up front. Steve Weir and Alex Torres did a stellar job again this weekend, and I can’t thank Mark Buche from BMW North America enough for getting us this new engine that we raced this weekend.”
More, from a press release issued by LaRoche Racing:
Bellaire business owner LaRoche scores top-10 finish in pro motorcycle races at Pittsburgh International Race Complex
Ohioan puts in best career performances in MotoAmerica competition at home track
WAMPUM, Pa. — Bellaire, Ohio, resident C.J. LaRoche put in the best performances of his professional motorcycle racing career when MotoAmerica — the nation’s official motorcycle road racing championship — visited Pittsburgh International Race Complex Aug. 7-9.
The owner of Bellaire’s LaRoche Tree Service scored 11th- and ninth-place finishes in MotoAmerica’s Supersport Class races on Saturday and Sunday, respectively. It was his first time finishing in the top-15 and top-10 in Supersport. He raced aboard a new-to-him 2019 Yamaha YZF-R6, which he had not had many opportunities to ride on a racetrack before the PittRace event.
LaRoche began racing professionally in 2016 and has competed part time in MotoAmerica’s Supersport and Superstock 600 classes. His previous best performances were two top-10 finishes in Superstock 600 at Pitt Race in 2017. Superstock 600 was a feeder class for Supersport, MotoAmerica’s premier middleweight class.
LaRoche had endured challenging weekends the last two years at his home round on the MotoAmerica schedule. He qualified 22nd and 18th in 2018 and 2019, respectively. In 2018, he finished 16th in one race and failed to finish the second contest. At the 2019 edition of the event, LaRoche finished 16th in the Saturday race and crashed out of the Sunday race.
LaRoche credits his improved racing performance to Ken Hill, a motorcycle road racing instructor LaRoche met through teaching at several Yamaha Champions Riding School events.
MotoAmerica’s Supersport Class features lightly-modified production-based motorcycles – road-legal sportbikes that can be purchased at a local motorcycle dealership.
MotoAmerica took over operating the AMA Superbike Championship in 2015 and features the nation’s top motorcycle road racers competing in five competition classes at racetracks across the country. The series is sanctioned by the American Motorcyclist Association, which also sanctions AMA Supercross and thousands of recreational and competition-oriented motorcycling events throughout the nation each year.
C.J. LaRoche / #20
“It was a great weekend and, without a doubt, the team’s most successful to date. There are a lot of very talented riders competing in MotoAmerica’s Supersport Class, and working with Ken [Hill] helped close the gap to them. I’m surrounded by a fantastic team that kept my Yamaha R6 in top condition. It felt great rewarding them for their hard work with two strong finishes. The entire team is looking forward to more good results at the Indianapolis round.”
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