The Utah Sport Bike Association hosted their third round of the Utah Motorcycle Law Masters of the Mountains Race Series on June 19th, at the Utah Motorsports Campus’ East Track. Despite the Utah sun beaming on the paddock with temperatures getting close to triple digits, road racers from across the country were out in full force to find the limits of their bikes.
On the Friday prior to Round 3 the UtahSBA worked with partner, Apex Trackdays, to host 10 New Racer Certification (NRC) students as well as 12 Advanced Racer Course (ARC) students. The NRC students were taught about the meanings and importance of different flags, as well as what to do in certain race scenarios to keep themselves and other racers safe. NRC students also learned a variety of techniques on and off track to help simplify the students’ racing season. These techniques ranged from line choices to gearing up before a race. The ARC is a course taught by racers Jerry Hicks and Brian Childree for racers. The course is designed to help racers progress their skills and improve their race season. Racers were taught about bike preparation, season strategy, and on-track skills. The classes were very successful with many many riders safely cutting lap times as the day progressed. On Saturday the UtahSBA also taught the Advanced Rider Training (ART). The ART is in partnership with the Yamaha Champions Riding School (YCRS) and teaches skills developed by the world’s top riders. ART students got classroom time, drill time, and when the racing was finished the ART students took to the track to put it all to work.
As Saturday race day kicked off, UtahSBA was up early getting racers bikes inspected and preparing for a busy day of racing. After riders had their coffee and squeezed into their leathers, they began entering the track for Moto Station/Pirelli and Trackstar/Dunlop King of the Mountain Qualifying. The pace was slower in the early morning Q1 session, Eric Jones set an early 1:39.089 but was quickly outdone by Jerry Hicks with a 1:37.378. Q2 was much more eventful with Hicks setting an early 1:35.926, and Anthony Norton charging closely behind setting a 1:36.713 for P2. On the fourth lap Bill Davis pulled in a 1:37.686 which got him P3, and on lap five Hicks dropped his time to a 1:34.549 to cement his pole position.
With qualifying done it was time to go racing and the late mornings’ Legion of Speed Novice GTO class did not disappoint. The lights went out, engines roared to life, and the mad dash down the front straight began. David Behrend was able to get the holeshot followed closely by Matthew Cooper, who started P4 on the grid. Remington Mathews had a strong start from 12th on the grid and was able to move up five spots before turn one, and then take two more spots on the outside of turn two moving him into P5. As racers came flying down the front straight to begin the second lap Mathews attempted to take an aggressive inside line on turn one to take fourth position, when disaster struck. While he was making the pass, Edwin Hofeling’s rearset popped Mathews rear slick, this sent Mathews and his S1000RR lowsiding out of the race. Behrend, Cooper, and Victor Arias then continued to lead at the start of lap three. As racers came barreling down the front straight into turn one, yellow and medical flags were waving to indicate the incident, and Cooper made a pass on Behrend in the turn. The move caused Cooper to be penalized 30 seconds from his ending result when he failed to return the position, and although he grew a gap on the field it wasn’t enough to hold the P1 spot at the race’s conclusion. Throughout lap three Sam Arquit had begun musciling around his CBR 1000 and was catching Arias in third by the start of lap four. Arquit knew that if he could be smooth in the turns then he could out power Arias on the straight. Arquit made a move on Arias coming down the front straight and made it stick in turn one. A few laps later, Arquit could tell that Behrend was tiring from the Utah sun and the long race. Arquit just bid his time and waited for Behrend to make a mistake. Arquit found his opening when Behrend broke a bit early into turn 13, and made a pass on the inside to take the lead. Novice GTO finished with Cooper leading but taking a 30 second penalty which put Arquit in first. In second podium position was Victor Arias and in third was John Tillotson.
After a break to let everyone cool off, riders began gearing up for the King of the Mountain race. The racers were gridded, marshals cleared the track, and the lights went out. Hicks, who had not been able to figure out how to use his launch control in the previous round, finally took advantage of the launch control on his ZX-10R. As he powered off the grid from pole, he held first and got his Pirelli SCX on the race line into turn one. Norton and Jones followed behind Hicks through turn one and into lap two. Genaro Lopez, who was forced to be at the back of the grid due to missing qualifying, was starting from 14th. Lopez was so confident in his launch that he chose to take an outside line into turn one. By turn one Lopez was able to get himself into mid pack, so he put his head down and rushed himself to start making safe, but aggressive passes. With that, Lopez was able to work his BMW up to fifth going into lap two. In turn seven Lopez made a big move on the outside of Bill Davis and moved into fourth. Hicks led, followed by Norton, Jones, and Lopez. Hicks had begun noticing vibrations and a jingling coming from the left side of his bike. He thought possibly his toe guard had come loose, but it was later found out to be the heel guard from his rearsets. On the fifth lap Ty Bengford crashed out in the Attitudes too close to the track for the race to continue and race control red flagged the race. Racers exited the track and headed into pit lane where they were told the race restart would be determined by the racers last known position. The new starting grid had Hicks on pole followed by Norton, Jones, and Lopez. As the lights went out, Hicks bogged off the line and Jones was able to get the holeshot. Lopez also had a good start and went second into turn one followed by Norton which left Hicks in fourth. Hicks just kept focus and got a hard drive out of turn one. He made a couple of passes stick on the two right-handers and managed to block the line into the following left turn. Hicks then made a move for the lead on the entrance to turn seven and was able to stay consistent from there. As the riders came over the line to start the final lap it was Hicks leading followed closely by Lopez, Norton, Jones, and Davis. Davis powered his race machine through Jones on lap eight to take fourth. Norton finished in third behind Lopez who finished second, and Hicks took home the win at KOM Round 3.
After the races we caught up with Hicks who wanted to congratulate Genaro Lopez on his win in the Napa Auto Parts Tooele Stock 1000 Series. Hicks said, “As expected, he made another step forward and is consistently a challenger, finally getting the better of me in that race. I hope both of us keep improving all year and hit the lap times I think we’re capable of.”
Hicks would like to thank the Moto Station crew, Pirelli tires, and his wife Carrie for their continued support. Hicks also wanted to give a shout out to Kory Cowan for helping with wheel changes, which allowed him a break from the sun. Hicks also gave a nod to the students that took the ARC on Friday. “The group was very engaged and super fun. I hope they were able to learn a bit from the experience and keep on the path of constant improvement.”
As the race day ran into the late afternoon, it was time for the Vortex Open Superbike race. Norton sat on pole, Hicks held P2, and Davis was on P3. Rev limiters sounded as lights went out on East Track. Norton had a perfect start and was able to take the holeshot in turn one while Hicks followed closely behind. Hicks made a pass on Norton for the lead before lap one was over. As riders came down the front straight to start lap three, it was Hicks leading followed by Norton and Davis. Lopez was late to the grid and didn’t have time to turn his launch control on. By the time racers were going through turn one Lopez was in last, it was time for him to make another comeback. Lopez worked his way through the racers until he was behind Davis on lap three, and from there Lopez made a move on Davis for the third podium position. Lopez still had good pace and was hoping to catch Norton, but due to the race being cut by one lap, it wasn’t going to happen. Lopez finished the race in third, in front of Lopez was Norton for second, and Hicks got the win for the Vortex Open Superbike Series.
Round three was filled with exciting and close racing that forced riders to find the limits of their bikes. The Redline Realty Moto 3 had Mark Taylor fighting Brian Gerwe and Rachel Kuns for the lead into turn one. Taylor began his stretch on the Moto 3 group after lap one. At the start of lap two Kuns made a bold overtake on Grewe in turn two to move into P2, Grewe maintained his spot to finish third on the podium, Kuns took a well-deserved second, and Taylor led the Moto 3 race for the win. In the Toxic Moto Racing/Michelin Middleweight Superstock event Brian Childree sat on pole. As the track went green, it was Peter Hofpointner who was able to take the holeshot. Childree followed Hofpointner closely, until turn seven when he made the move past Hofpointer for first. Richard Findlay held down third across the finish line after a sixth grid position start. Hofpointner maintained second and Childree had the win for Middleweight Superstock.
Although the Utah summer heat made it a bit more difficult, Round 3 was very successful. After the race day ended riders pulled themselves out of their leathers and headed to UtahSBA’s garage for awards and their famous post-race BBQ. As the grill sizzled riders came together to talk about some of the battles from the race day and share excitement for the upcoming Round 4. Round 4 is scheduled for July 10th on UMC’s West track. We look forward to seeing you all then.
The Utah Sport Bike Association is a Utah Non-Profit dedicated to promoting education, safe riding, and competition in the Intermountain West. You can find more information about the USBA, upcoming events, and schools at www.utahsba.com or find us on Facebook.
Motostation/Trackstar KOM Overall:
Motostation KOM GTO:
Trackstar KOM GTU:
AZ Riding Academy Combined GTO
C&R Coatings Combined GTU
The Edge Powersports Deseret Dash – Expert
The Edge Powersports Deseret Dash – Novice
Harrison Eurosports Formula 40 – GTO
Harrison Eurosports Formula 40 – GTU
Bingham Cyclery Lightweight Superbike
Blud Racing Lubricants Middleweight Superbike
Toxic Moto Racing Middleweight Superstock
The Mechanic Modern Vintage – GTO
The Mechanic Modern Vintage – GTU
Karl Malone Powersports Moto 2
Redline Realty Moto 3
Legion of Speed Novice GTO
Brighton Peak Financial Novice GTU
Vortex Open Superbike
MotoUnited Open Superstock
Karl Malone Powersports Open Twins
Velosio Production 500
Monarch Powersports Sportsman
Napa Auto Parts Tooele Stock 1000
Carbonsmith Super Street Bike
1. Victor Arias (HON CBR1000RR-SP)
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