The Sturgess Cycle Triumph road race team took on the New Jersey Motorsport Park for round ten of the AMA Pro Daytona Sportbike GoPro National Championships in their third-last appearance in the high speed American series.
Kenny Riedmann, debuting the team’s new Castrol Oils graphics, put in a working mans effort in the first practice session logging a total of twenty-five laps with a fast lap of 1:28.083, ranking him as 20th fastest.
During the first qualifying session Riedmann upped his pace on the Triumph 675 triple to record an improved lap time of 1:26,483 and an improved standing of 18th. He had just six laps to get that job done and would likely have placed better had it not been for a spectacular high-side crash in turn five on his seventh lap. Riedmann was sore after the mishap but good to go for the race, the Sturgess Cycle Triumph was not so fortunate. “The bike was toast.” he lamented. “The short list was what was not broken. The team did a great job, I need to mention them: Jon Cornwell, my dad Roland, John Chemello and Graham Borden. We missed the second qualifier because there was so much work to do. Oh yeah, and I got to test my new Shoei helmet and it worked great, I landed right on my head.”
In the Saturday race of the AMA Pro double-header format Riedmann put in a brave ride in pain and discomfort turning consistent lap times in the 126.8 range and finishing in seventeenth after the twenty three lap contest. “I’m not pleased.” he commented post race. “I’m still pretty sore after this morning’s crash and I was starting to get arm pump, I just wasn’t riding very well.”
On Sunday Riedmann was feeling somewhat better and was mentally buoyed after his ten-lap practice session that saw him fifteenth on the leader board. At the start of the National Championship final Riedmann executed a textbook start urging the British triple into the front-running group right from lights-out. As lap three went on record the Castrol-backed bike was a solid tenth. Then disaster struck. One of the lead riders ran off track and through some standing water splashing muddy water onto the race track and a number of the top group crashed including Tommy Hayden, Aaron Gobert and Kenny Riedmann. The race was red flagged and restarted.
From the restart Riedmann was once more away with the lead group running ninth and pushing hard. By mid race his pace had caused the front tire to wear prematurely. His lap times had dropped dramatically to a 1:25.546 and with just five laps to go that excessive wear caused him to crash once more. “It was just a low side, I was ok.” he explained. “The bike was damaged enough that I didn’t feel comfortable so I just rode it into the pits. I was comfortable at that pace though, I felt really good, like I belong there. Our goal over the last two races is top ten for sure. I won’t be happy with anything less.”
Riedmann was credited with 20th position. Having made just eight appearances in the fifteen races held thus far this year Riedmann is ranked twenty third in the field of sixty six.
The team’s next stop will be at Miami (Homestead) before heading off to the final event in New Orleans.