ALTON, Va. (May 7) — 6D Helmets/KWR riders Kyle Wyman and Bryce Prince fought hard in their respective classes at Virginia International Raceway this past weekend for the third round of the MotoAmerica Championship. Wyman finished 7th/6th in Superbike races, while Prince brought home 10th/8th place finishes in Supersport races one and two, respectively.
Wyman’s weekend started off on a rough note when rogue back pain issues arose on Thursday during set-up day for the teams. Wyman spent three hours at a nearby chiropractic clinic in Danville, Va. while the KWR team set up the paddock area and prepped motorcycles.
“Thursday at the track I was in so much pain that I was using one of our Motion Pro paddock chairs as a walker around our pit area,” Wyman said. “If I had to ride in that condition, I don’t think I would have been able to safely. I decided to find a chiropractor nearby to help sort my back out. He said it would get worse before it got better, and he was right. Thursday night was miserable but at least I was on the right path.”
Wyman pushed through Friday practice, posting the 9th fastest combined time of the day, but not without seeing the MotoAmerica track doctors in between sessions for ultrasound and massage treatment to mend the back pain.
Saturday morning, with his back in relatively better shape, Wyman qualified 11th overall on his 6D Helmets/KWR Yamaha Superbike, his worst qualifying result of the year. In race one, an early red flag situation cut the race distance for Superbike and Wyman was gifted 3 laps, to make the race a 20-lap shortened event. He finished 7th after an initial three-way battle with fellow racers Cameron Peterson and Jake Lewis.
“Saturday’s race was mostly like a test for my body,” Wyman said. “I had only done 4 or 5 laps in a row for all of the practice and qualifying sessions, so I wasn’t sure how my back would react to 23 laps race distance. Luckily it got shortened a little bit. Honesty it was tougher to walk than to ride, but maybe that’s the adrenaline. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t relieved to see the checkered flag.”
For the Sunday morning warm up, Gary Dean and the KWR crew made some changes to the chassis to get Wyman more comfortable on the bike, and they were able to post Wyman’s best ever time around the VIR circuit: 1:24.977. The lower back must have been feeling better.
A horrible start in race two made things tougher for Wyman, who was buried in 12th place into the first corner. He made quick work of Peterson, Bobby Fong and Danny Eslick, the third of which would follow Wyman all the way to the checkered flag.
“My back felt pretty good and I was moving forward in the beginning from my bad start,” Wyman said. “From then on I saw plus-zero on my pit board every lap, and I took a look over my shoulder half way through the race to see Danny right on my ass. He was pushing me hard and I was riding with everything I had. Fortunately I was able to remain mistake-free and kept the pace really consistent, and he wasn’t able to show me a wheel.”
Despite the physical challenges, Wyman is content with his results and the consequential overall championship points standings leaving Virginia, where he sits 6th overall in the series, just three points out of Jake lewis in 5th.
“This is by far my best start to the season from a points perspective, despite the issues we have faced the last few weeks,” Wyman added. “Race two for me was an amazing feeling, only because I had such a good battle with Danny where we were pushing ourselves to the absolute limit. When I crossed the line I was fully exerted, and I could see that he was too. It’s what this sport is all about and I can’t wait until I’m exerting myself at the front instead of over 6th place. The KWR team belongs up front.”
KWR Supersport rider Bryce Prince finished 10th and 8th in Virginia aboard his 6D Helmets-sponsored Yamaha YZF-R6 this past weekend, but the results don’t tell the story. Prince was in the podium fight in each of the Supersport races Saturday and Sunday.
“VIR was a very positive weekend for us,” Prince said. “After qualifying 4th overall I knew we had found the comfort I had been looking for. I was off to a great start in race one battling for the podium, and unfortunately hit the kill switch on my bike when I went to pull a tear off on my 6D Helmet. I lost a bunch of time and worked hard to catch up but I burned my tire up in the process.”
“For race two I had another great start and held 3rd place for the first ten laps or so,” Prince added. “My tire slowly degraded and I struggled to maintain the same pace throughout the race, there was a large pack of us and I fell to 8th to finish. Overall I am extremely happy with the progress we’ve made since Atlanta, and now that we have a month off to regroup before Road America I look forward to coming into our third round more prepared than ever. I know when we get our setup dialed in we will be fighting up front!”
The MotoAmerica series heads next to Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin June 1-3, 2018. In the mean time, stay tuned for news and announcements in the coming weeks.
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