MACEDON, N.Y. (Aug. 11) — It was a wild weekend for Millennium Technologies/KWR team at Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the eighth round of the MotoAmerica road racing series. Travis earned an impressive 6th place finish in the Supersport category, while older brother Kyle suffered two crashes in each of his Saturday races, ending his weekend early.
The event started on Thursday with rainy practice sessions for the brothers. They both kept it upright, and for Kyle, he shook down his brand new Superstock 1000-spec Yamaha YZF-R1 in full-wet conditions.
“I was a little nervous,” said Kyle, who rode the bike for the first time on Thursday. “It’s rare that I have to shake down a brand new motorcycle during a race weekend, let alone in the full wet. Luckily I’ve hired the best crew I know, and they put together an amazing motorcycle for me. It ran great.”
Friday’s dry sessions would prove much more important than Saturday, as their qualifying times would set the grid positions for the weekend. Kyle’s challenge was to secure himself a spot in ‘Superpole,’ which is a second qualifying privilege reserved for only the top-12 fastest riders in qualifying one of the combined Superbike/Superstock 1000 class. On his final lap of the session, he jumped from 14th fastest up to 12th to bump his rivals down the order.
“Getting into Superpole in our first weekend on the big bike was a huge accomplishment,” Kyle said. “We went into the weekend with no expectations, but having that small victory was big for us as a team, because without it we would miss out on a whole 25-minute session. The extra session was pivotal in our ability to develop the bike.”
Wyman then knocked one more rider down the order during Superpole to qualify one spot better, for 11th position overall, only 1.4 seconds off of Superstock 1000 pole.
For the Supersport class, Kyle jumped on his YZF-R6 alongside Travis for a two-brother assault on qualifying. Travis found himself in front of his older brother with a fast lap early on, ending the session seventh on the grid. Kyle was 11th again.
“I did my best to get right out there with the fast guys to see if I could hang with them,” Travis said. “Sure enough I was able to tag along and I felt comfortable doing it.”
In Saturday’s sole Supersport race, Travis would finally line up against the ‘fast guys.’ He fought his way to a strong 6th place finish.
“I’m really happy with how the weekend went,” said Travis, who will return to Superstock 600 competition after Indianapolis. “We found a good setup on my K-Tech suspension and just went for it. I pushed really hard in the beginning of the race to keep up with the leaders but started losing grip mid-race, but I’m happy to finish sixth. Also happy for this opportunity to come out here and race at such a historic track with the fast guys. Big thanks to the whole KWR team for making it happen.”
Kyle’s race didn’t turn out quite as good, as he found himself tangled up with another rider and ended his race with a high-speed crash, destroying his Millennium Technologies YZF-R6 in the process.
“I was just making a routine outbraking pass down into turn ten, and he just kind of closed his line on me,” Kyle said. “I had nowhere to go, ended up hitting him and going over the high-side. I was lucky not to get tangled up with the bike too bad, but I came down pretty hard.”
Kyle then gridded up for his Superstock 1000 debut immediately following his crash. He strapped on a brand new pair of Sidi boots, Cortech leathers and a fresh Shoei helmet for the race. With a great start off the line, he found himself sixth in turn one, only to be hit by another rider from behind and knocked on the ground yet again.
“It was one of the best starts of my life, and everything was going to plan in turn one,” Kyle said. “I just tried to put the last crash out of my mind, and I was able to do that. It just sucks to have been taken out like that, only 45 minutes or so after the last crash. It was a tough day at the track for sure.
The KWR team reassembled Wyman’s #33 Excelsus Solutions YZF-R1 for Sunday’s Superstock 1000 warm-up, and Kyle mounted it once again, only to find out that he was not cleared by medical to ride the bike. After an evaluation in the on-site care center, Kyle was deemed to have concussion-like symptoms and wouldn’t be cleared to race.
“While I’m disappointed to have missed out on Sunday’s race, I sure don’t want to push the limits when it comes to concussions,” Kyle said. “I respect and support the doctor’s decision to declare me unfit. I’m just grateful that I was able to walk away relatively unscathed from the weekend, and healthy enough to take a few weeks off and get ready for the final round at New Jersey.”
Up next is the final round of the 2015 MotoAmerica series at New Jersey Motorsports Park in Millville, NJ September 11-13, 2015. All three Wyman brothers will compete once again.