TOOELE, Utah (July 23) — Kyle Wyman and Bryce Prince bested and matched their top finishes from this season at Utah Motorsports Campus during the 6th round of the MotoAmerica championship. Wyman finished 7th/6th in his races while Prince finished 6th in race one and a season-best 4th in race two.
The KWR team, which was title sponsored by SC Project Exhaust for the Utah round, entered the weekend with momentum from the previous round at Laguna Seca and a recent test at Buttonwillow Raceway.
“We tried a new setup at Buttonwillow that immediately felt like a better motorcycle,” Wyman said. “There’s just been a point in this development curve where you have to go through growing pains, and I think we are finally back on an upward trend. In the two qualifying practice sessions at Utah it was all about learning the new setup and how it reacted in different parts of the track.”
Wyman’s SC Project/KWR R1 reacted well, and he posted his personal best time around the Utah Motorsports Campus circuit, a 1:50.869. The lap time was good enough for 10th fastest, and only a half second improvement out of 4th place. In Saturday morning’s Superpole session, Wyman was only able to improve to a 1:50.378, which put him 8th on the grid for the weekend.
Wyman got a good start in Race One and found himself in another battle with Danny Eslick. The two of them have been fighting all year long. Wyman was able to pull away from Eslick in the second half of the race, and bring home a 7th place finish.
“The bike felt better than it did all of Laguna Seca and Road America, probably the best it has felt since the new 200/60 rear tire was brought in,” Wyman said. “We are slowly but surely climbing our way back to the front, and understanding this new motorcycle. We’ve added a lot of new parts, like an adjustable swingarm pivot, different steering offsets, there’s just so much that you can adjust on a superbike that we are doing our best to find our way with limited testing time.”
With not much to lose, the SC Project/KWR team made a big change to the bike for race two, something that was closer to what Wyman has run in the past. The goal was to make sure they hadn’t overshot the chassis “sweet spot,” and to simply find something that would stick and put the team back in top-5 contention. Wyman got a better start and was 6th into turn one. After dropping to 8th, Wyman fought his way through for a 6th place finish while riding a bike that he thought was actually tuned into the wrong direction once again.
“6th place matches our best dry race finish of the season, and that’s a good thing,” Wyman said. “But it’s frustrating to know that we haven’t been in the hunt for the podium in some time. My crew chief Gary Dean and the entire SC Project/KWR team is committed to doing whatever it takes for us to be successful. I believe in them and as a unit we are all working together to reach our common goal, which is to win. I believe it is possible for us to win Superbike races once our small issues are sorted. That is our mission.”
Bryce Prince found himself in the podium battle once again in the MotoAmerica Supersport category at Utah Motorsports Campus.
Prince fought for 3rd place the entire second race on Sunday with fellow competitors Braeden Ortt and Nick McFadden, and held that podium spot for much of the race. In the end Prince came up just a hair short and missed out on his first podium result of the season.
“We’ve been working really hard lately to get the bike setup, and it’s really good now,” Prince said. “After Laguna we really had a good idea of what the bike needed and our test at Buttonwillow verified everything we were thinking. I felt fast all weekend in Utah and I’m really happy to be back in the podium fight. I’m looking forward to another one of my strong tracks at Sonoma in a few weeks and hopefully standing on the podium.”
The next round of the MotoAmerica championship is at Sonoma Raceway in Napa Valley, California August 10-12, 2018. Stay tuned on the @kylewyman and @kwr_sbkInstagram pages to check in on the team’s progress.