Reigning Flat Track Canada Champ Doug Lawrence is struggling to make it through the heat races at the first-ever Superprestigio of the Americas presented by Yamaha at the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas. Lawrence must qualify through the “Flat Track” class, against his fellow AMA Pros, to have a chance to face-off against the “All Stars” category in the final, 15 lap race for the top eight racers from the busy evening of activity.
The Schedule is running Speedway-style, with no brakes, each class starting just seconds after the previous group cleared the short, dirt oval track. With no red flags through the opening two sets of races heat, the event truly moved at break-neck speed.
Town Moto Honda pro pilot Lawrence was briefly as high as second in his first heat, but was bumped to the rear by the end of the 6 laps. In his second Heat race, Lawrence got an amazing start from the outside of the unique, motocross style drop-gate starting area, and was in the lead into the bumpy first turn. But Lawrence was clipped and stalled his bike, and while he was able to restart the Town Moto Honda, he could not catch the lead group during the very brief Heat.
In heat three, Lawrence was in the middle of things on the first lap, only to get squeezed in the second turn, again stalling and losing the pack.
Perhaps the best race so far at the Orleans was one of the “All Star” heats, when pre-race favorite Roger Hayden on a Suzuki battled against the Yamaha of Jake Gagne. After much pushing and shoving, Gagne won from a none-too-pleased Hayden. Also showing well is a strong Spanish contingent of road racers, including former Moto2 World Champ Toni Elias.