Broken elbow, be damned. Kyle Wyman is the 2021 MotoAmerica Mission King Of The Baggers Champion. Wyman did what was needed to do to earn the title on his factory Harley-Davidson Screamin’ Eagle Road Glide as the three-round series culminated on a sunny day on the Monterey Peninsula.
Mission King Of The Baggers: Wyman Crowned!
The three-round Mission King Of The Baggers Championship wrapped up on Sunday at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca, and Harley-Davidson Screamin’ Eagle rider Kyle Wyman left no doubt, from the beginning of the race, that he would not only win the race, but clinch the title in dominant fashion.
Wyman started from the pole and was never headed in the eight-lap race. He gained more than a full second on second-place finisher and Mission Foods S&S Cycle Indian rider Tyler O’Hara on almost every lap of the race until he decided to slow his pace just a bit towards the end. At the checkers, he took the win by just under four-and-a-half seconds over O’Hara. Third place went to DTF Performance/Hoban Brothers Performance Racing Harley-Davidson’s Michael Barnes, who added yet another podium finish in yet another motorcycle road race class on yet another brand of motorcycle.
Wyman, who had broken his elbow in a crash last month at Road America, made a miraculous recovery from his injury, and he talked about it after the race.
“Those guys are world-class doctors and surgeons, putting me back together, knowing exactly the timeline and how he needed to fix everything for me to be able to get what I needed to get done,” Wyman said. “Honestly, we didn’t make any changes to the bike ergonomically for me to ride it. It was just a matter of Friday it was like, okay, this is the lap time I can do without braking so hard that I’m screaming in my helmet. Then here’s a lap I can do when it really sucks. Then just decided from there how hard I wanted to push. I pushed pretty hard in the beginning of the race and saw the board grow pretty quickly, so I was pretty happy with that. I could kind of keep a steady rhythm from there and not have to brake too hard. That’s all it was. It was just more brake force and the more I have to hold my body weight, especially these downhill left-handers in 2 and 11 and stuff like that. Structurally it’s been good. It’s been a very fast recovery. If I was only racing Superbike this year, I probably would have ridden the Superbike, but both would have been a lot. I would have jeopardized both. So, my plan was just to focus on this. Pretty minimal laps for a race weekend. After doing double duty riding on the Harley only is like a vacation, so it was pretty awesome. Got it done.”
Stock 1000: Wyman By An Inch
Sunday at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca started off with a bang as MotoAmerica’s literbike riders put on an amazing show in their only Stock 1000 race of the weekend. Motul Travis Wyman Racing BMW rider Travis Wyman showed his tenacity when he started from back in seventh on the grid and methodically worked his way to the front. Meanwhile, HONOS HVMC Racing Kawasaki’s Corey Alexander was in the lead and heading for the win…until Wyman descended upon him from seemingly nowhere with four laps to go in the 14-lap event. Wyman stalked Alexander, and then, on the final run to the checkers, he nipped Alexander at the finish line by a scant .032 of a second. Altus Motorsports Suzuki’s Jake Lewis also emerged from way back in the pack – a victim of a bad tire choice – to take the final spot on the podium just .286 0f a second behind Alexander.
“The guys got my bike dialed in where I can get off of that corner (turn 11) really well,” said Wyman about his race-long surge to the win. “That was my focus going into this weekend, was figuring out 11. Overall, the guys just figured out a great setup for me. We struggled in qualifying and they threw something together for me in the Superbike race and it was a gamble and it paid off. We didn’t change the bike one bit from yesterday’s race to this race because I knew we had pace and I just wanted to focus on riding and not having to take another gamble, because we were good. I just got a terrible start and I had to work my way through the field, and I knew Cory and (fourth-place finisher) Andrew (Lee) wouldn’t make it easy for me. Lapped traffic came into play. I actually thought that I was going to settle for second because of how far back I was from Cory coming down the hill, but when I got up behind him in 11, I was like, ‘Man, I haven’t made a pass by the start/finish yet, but I think if I can get a killer drive, I could do it,’ and I did and obviously it paid off. So stoked for BMW and everyone.”
Super Hooligans: Fillmore Over DiBrino
Round one of the Roland Sands Design Super Hooligans QuaTTro Championship took place on Sunday with the road race portion of the multi-disciplinary series. Two KTM-mounted riders battled at the front with Chris Fillmore prevailing over his teammate Andy DiBrino by just .045 of a second. SportbikeTrackGear.com Junior Cup regular David Kohlstaedt rode his Indian to third place.
“We didn’t ride together really at all these past three days,” Fillmore said in reference to his teammate DiBrino. “So, I wasn’t sure where I was going to be strong. I just figured it out throughout the race. I decided to kind of play the wise old thoughts and kind of sit back and watch and pick my place where I was going to make my move. I saved it for the last corner because I didn’t want to give him another chance to come back by me. So, it would have been nice to battle back and forth a little bit because we, for sure, could have done a little bit of that, but I went for the safe last-lap pass.”
Supersport: Kelly Again
M4 ECSTAR Suzuki’s Sean Dylan Kelly and HONOS HVMC Racing Kawasaki’s Richie Escalante continued what has been a season-long, round-by-round and race-by-race battle, but as has been the trend this season, Kelly, who started from the pole, prevailed with his seventh race victory of the season over Escalante.
The two riders had their usual paint-swapping skirmishes during the 19-lap event, but they were joined this time by CV28 Racing Yamaha’s Cory Ventura, who followed up his podium finish from Saturday’s race one with a turn in a lead for at least a brief few moments. As the race approached its conclusion, things became processional with Kelly beating Escalante by a little over four seconds, and Ventura just under two-and-a-half seconds adrift of Escalante.
“That wasn’t an easy race,” Kelly said. “I was really happy about the weekend. Truthfully, another solid job. We got the double. Did the pole yesterday. We’ve been in the fight the entire time. Just working away. Really happy, honestly, with how I’m working with the team. This is exactly what I want to be doing every single weekend. Definitely proud of the job. Today’s race was a little bit more tough than yesterday. Richie and I started off with some close battles and a few rubs, which is honestly one of the best ways to race. We’re tough competitors, but we have a level of respect, which is definitely necessary just to keep human. But it’s good. Cory definitely surprised me. I struggled to get by him for a lap or two. Just a different riding style I had never seen. Just a couple different things here and there. I actually almost hit him twice and decided to take it a little easy and study him a little bit more to do it the right way. So, I’m definitely happy about the job. Overall, just excited to get the double this weekend. We just have to continue. The goal is higher than this, so we’re just going to keep on working away.”
SportbikeTrackGear.com Junior Cup: Scott Again
The final race of the weekend was in SportbikeTrackGear.com Junior Cup, and Saturday’s winner Tyler Scott did the double aboard his Scott Powersports KTM despite facing a very strong challenge from Landers Racing Kawasaki’s Ben Gloddy. Scott started from the pole, but Gloddy was undeterred and kept Scott in his sights throughout the race, which included overtaking Scott on lap eight. Scott was equally undeterred, however, and he quickly took back the lead and maintained all the way to the checkers. Veloce Racing’s David Kohlstaedt, who was third in Saturday’s Junior Cup race one and third in Sunday morning’s Super Hooligans race, finished third in Junior Cup race two to record his third podium finish of the weekend.
“It feels great to go back-to-back this weekend,” Scott said. “I couldn’t ask for a more perfect weekend. Great race today with Ben. It was definitely tiring. I knew he was there the whole time. Way more competitive than yesterday, in my opinion. We started going back and forth battling and saw our lap times going down, so in the last couple laps I decided to take the lead and try to set the pace for the last lap.”