THORNBURY ONTARIO – BYR/Fogi Racing’s Ben Young put in an impressive effort at the second round of the AMA Pro GoPro Daytona SportBike Championship despite a momentary off-track excursion in the first race of the weekend at Road Atlanta and a technical oversight in the second race on Sunday.
Within the first few laps of Friday’s afternoon practice session the Scottish-Canadian pilot knew that getting up to speed as soon as possible on Road Atlanta’s 2.55 mile road course was key to achieving the goals he and the team had set for themselves.
This was Young’s first time at Road Atlanta and he quickly learned that this was a very technical and demanding track. Experimenting with a variety of line choices, Young’s lap times dropped throughout Friday afternoon’s practice and first qualifying session. The team made some adjustments to the Tim Hortons-Sudbury/Yamaha R6 in preparation for Saturday morning’s final qualifying session. Young would end up starting 21st on the grid for the first race of the Big Kahuna Atlanta event.
Young got a great start in Saturday’s race and he quickly advanced to 16th place with his sights on the riders just ahead of him. His lap times continued to drop however by mid-race a loss of rear-end grip triggered an off-track excursion onto the grass and heading for the wall. Thankfully the young pilot regained traction and managed to avoid the wall. Young quickly got back on track to finish a creditable 18th.
“Today’s race was a hard one!” said Young. “I had a huge moment that had me heading for the wall and I lost a few positions trying to keep the bike upright. Overall it was a good race and I learned a lot about this very tough track.”
Looking to maximize the bike’s set up the BYR/Fogi Racing team made a gearing and suspension change in preparation for the second race of the weekend which seemed to once again help Young improve his lap times in the morning’s pre-race practice session.
The young resident of Thornbury, Ontario got another impressive start in Sunday’s race placing him in 17th with a pack of six riders within reach. After the halfway flag the group split from Young but in the closing laps Young began to pull closer to the group just ahead of him until he was sidelined by what he originally thought was a fuel pick-up issue.
Team Manager Scott Young explains; “In an effort to minimize the overall weight of the bike we opted to run only as much fuel as we thought we needed to finish the race. It was a gamble and unfortunately it didn’t payoff.”
Although Young was unable to complete the second race of the Big Kahuna Atlanta event he was satisfied with his progression throughout the weekend.
“I ran my fastest lap of the weekend on my last lap.” added Fogi Racing’s 18-year-old apprentice. “I’m happy with that and how my Yamaha R6 ran, it’s just a shame that we couldn’t have ended the weekend on a high.”