RPSRaceTeam.com sponsored Danny Kelsey posted two top-15 finishes during the AMA Pro Racing Daytona Sportbike races held at NOLA Motorsports Park. The team had worked all season to secure equipment and funding for the AMA season. Even though challenges had prevented a successful AMA ProRacing season campaign, the team and Kelsey persisted and received permission and agreement to use an R-6 for the event from fellow CMRA competitor Chris Hamilton for the final round of Daytona Sportbike racing action to be hosted in Louisiana.

The team and Kelsey faced some substantial obstacles as they had never run the Dunlop DOT/Spec tires before, nor had they ever raced a Yamaha R-6 prior to the event. Friday started off with challenges as the “hard compound” Dunlop’s didn’t agree with the setup on the R-6 that the team had provided the Georgetown, Texas rider. Danny and the team lost about 25 minutes in the precious first practice session making repairs to the Yamaha R-6 during the first practice session. As the team worked to provide Kelsey an acceptable setup, Friday ended in disappointing fashion with a 28th place qualifying position.

During Friday evening discussions, the team came together and realized that they were not “far off” from a strong race setup. Changes were made again for the current CMRA #1 plate holder. “Friday night was critical as some teams would have let the frustration overwhelm the crew and rider goals. Danny (Kelsey) really came through for the team by overcoming the issues and staying focused on what we came here to accomplish. At the same time, I was frustrated too. We only got about 10 laps to even ride the bike prior to this event and my guess on the initial setup was off. We all stayed calm and although the qualifying was well below our expectations, we knew we had the chemistry, talent, and work ethic to make the weekend a success despite the obvious challenges”, reflected crew chief Marcus McBain after Friday’s efforts.

When the Saturday morning qualifying #2 session was completed, Kelsey let the team know that the setup was now “good enough to let him race and move up”. Move up is just what Kelsey did. With the team getting their hands around the Dunlop setup quickly, Kelsey dropped the hammer on the Yamaha R-6 to push forward quickly as race 1 started. As the red flag was shown after just a few laps with Danny moving up 6 spots on the grid on the restart, Kelsey focused on how to launch the R-6 which was distinctly different from his usual Suzuki GSXR. As the green flag dropped for the second time, Kelsey now moved into the top 20.  As Kelsey continued to pick off riders, it was apparent that his race pace was really strong.  At the checkers, Kelsey posted a 15th place.

The strong finish quickly rejuvenated the team and they focused on making some critical changes to provide a better finish for race #2 on Sunday. One of the problems the team also chased was a “dead spot” between 13k and 14k on the motor. Believed to be a frayed wire on the Power Commander Autotune module, it was problematic as the weekend developed. “When we got the bike, the Power Commander was not working as it had wires pulled out of at least one of the connections. The guys at the Dynojet dyno onsite have been a great help. We needed to get this figured out as it was causing Danny (Kelsey) critical issues as he drove out of the turns during his race”, noted crew chief Marcus McBain.

As the team completed some small changes for Kelsey for Race #2, former AMA Superbike racer Ottis Lance gave Kelsey a little advice on starting the R-6 so that he would quickly establish himself within the top 15 in the Daytona Sportbike class and possibly have a chance for a top-10 finish. As the green flag dropped for race #2, Kelsey quickly moved into the top 20 from the 28th starting spot. By lap 4, Kelsey was now part of a 7 rider freight train consisting of Galster, Riedmann, Peris, Nash, Kelsey, and Pascarella fighting for positions 11-17. The grouping strategically swapping positions as the race progressed and the fans took notice of the intense battles being waged.  4 laps from the end, the engine miss that had plagued the team all weekend began to worsen and Kelsey was now fighting to keep a top-15 position.  As he continued to battle with Chris Peris, he lost touch with front of the pack and at the checkered flag Kelsey claimed 15th position. 

The team was happy with the effort and results that were achieved during the weekend. “I am very pleased with the results, but at the same time I really wish we had an opportunity to setup the bike before we got here (to NOLA). We actually planned to ride it at a CMRA event last week, but that mostly got rained out and we only got 10 laps to ride the bike I think. I think if we had our GP Suspension cartridges and JRi shock installed with our setup, I would have gone much quicker. At the same time though, I am really happy with the fact we were able to get the bike to go as well as we did in the amount of time we had to figure everything out. Marcus and I have joked around that we could tape 2x4’s to the rims and probably figure out a way to make the race bike go around the track and this weekend proved that we can get a bike going well no matter what the conditions and situation are. I have to thank Rig Tech and Chris Hamilton for letting us use the Yamaha R-6. He just gave us the bike and told us (the team) to do our best and bring back what is left over. We were glad to provide his bike back shiny and mostly new”, noted lead pilot Danny Kelsey.

The team prepares for 2013 still looking for support to keep Danny Kelsey at the AMA full time. “Kelsey is an incredible rider, he has as much or maybe even more talent than any rider I have ever worked with…and I have worked with some great riders. I hope we are able to secure more support for him for 2013. He would without a doubt be able to run at the front of AMA Daytona Sportbike or Superbike with the proper support”, crew chief Marcus McBain observed. For more information about the team and Danny Kelsey, please go to www.RPSRaceTeam.com.

RPSRaceTeam.com would like to thank its sponsors KMC Controls, Rig Tech, Chris Hamilton, JRi Shocks, Motopiacafe.com, Shoei Helmets, Eagles Canyon Raceway, Komodo, Lone Star Track Days, GP Suspension, Dynojet, DP Brakes, LP Racing, Hotbodies, Arata, K's Motorsports, Vortex, WRW Racing, Sam’s Cycle Salvage, and Island Racing Services for their continued support.

   Associated Links:

  • RPS Team Photos by Brandon Bones/Studio 819

  • Official Race #1 Results

  • Official "Fastest Times" R1

  • Official Race #2 Results

  • Official "Fastest Times" R2

  • RPS Official Press Release on RRW

  • Superbike Planet results write up R1

  • Superbike Planet results write up R2

  • RRW results and write up R1

  • RRW results and write up R2