MILLVILLE, N.J. (Sept. 9)— The KWR Ducati team scored two top-10 finishes this past weekend at New Jersey Motorsports Park for the ninth round of the MotoAmerica Championship. Kyle Wyman finished 9th and 6th in Superbike races one and two respectively on his Lion Fuel/BlackBerry Cylance sponsored Ducati Panigale V4 R.
Wyman started the two-day event strong by finishing 3rd fastest in the first qualifying session with a time of 1:21.796, then followed up with a slight improvement to 1:21.674 for QP2 which was good enough for 7th place on the starting grid.
“I felt strong out of the gate on the bike,” Wyman said. “I was able to put down a fast time on new tires, but it was difficult for me to maintain the pace once we had more laps on them and the grip started to go away. With so little time in the two day events, we didn’t have an opportunity to experiment too much with the chassis setup, so we went into race one with a similar bike to what we started the day on.”
Wyman got an excellent start from the third row and rolled into turn one 4th on track, but lost positions battling a lack of grip on the bike and finished a lonely 9th place result. Wyman could not hold the pace and fought the bike all the way to the checkered flag.
“Race one was very difficult for me, and disappointing after such a good start to the day.” Wyman said. “From the start of the race it seemed we went the wrong direction with the setup and I was suffering from a lack of grip front and rear. It was frustrating, but it gave us valuable data to make a decision for Sunday.”
In comparison to Wyman’s 2017 total race time, where he finished 2nd in the Superbike race to Toni Elias, Wyman finished race one Saturday 49 seconds slower than his previous best race at New Jersey Motorsports Park. Changes for Sunday would net the team a big step in the right direction.
Wyman was promoted to 6th on the grid for Sunday after pole-sitter Garrett Gerloff scratched due to injury, and got off the line with another great start. He battled with Mathew Scholtz, Jake Lewis and Toni Elias over 3rd for the beginning laps, eventually losing out to the trio of challengers but settling into a 6th place spot and a 13 second gap back to Josh Herrin, in 7th. Wyman finished Sunday’s race two 17 seconds faster than Saturday, and recorded the 4th fastest lap of the race with a 1:21.174.
“Sunday’s race was probably our best result of the season on the Ducati, even though we’ve finished 6th earlier in the year,” Wyman said. “The two-day events are tough, but fortunately we made a great decision on Sunday and found some pace by softening up the front and rear of the bike. The Jersey track doesn’t have a ton of grip, so we were too stiff with the bike on Saturday. We’ve learned so much over the past few weeks that we can apply to Barber and I’m looking forward to getting down there.”
The final round of the 2019 MotoAmerica championship wraps up September 20-22 at Barber Motorsports Park in Leeds, Alabama.