Heavy Rains and Low Rider turnout lead RPS owner Marcus McBain on a search for track time at the WERA National Endurance race held at Hallet Oklahoma. About an hour before the start of the race, Mike Sanchez, Ben Thompson, Logan Young, John Orchard and Marcus McBain agreed to put together a team for the WERA 6-Hour National Endurance. The key ingredient to this combination was that each rider had a list of accomplishments that negated the need for any "ego trips". The result was a good time for each of the riders and a well earned 6th overall, 3rd in class (MSS) for these riders. All riders rode well. Mike Sanchez was the quickest, but no rider averaged more than 4 seconds per lap slower than Mike on the team. Again, this lead to a great team environment. Illustrating this point was when rider John Orchard crashed in the morning practice session. The fact the team did not know if they were riding until right before the race caused each rider to only get about 1-2 laps of practice in the rain to get used to the motorcycle. John was the last rider to go out for practice. John crashed on the first lap of practice and all Mike, Ben, Logan, and Marcus could say was, "John never crashes, I wonder what happened?" Sure enough, a steering damper that was set a little stiff caused the front end to tuck in the wet and trying conditions. Not a single rider on the team was disappointed with the incident, and probably no endurance team has ever been so nonchalant about crash.
Logan Young started the race and did a very credible job by putting the team in 7th overall from a last row start on his Pirelli rain tires before pitting to put DOT tires on. Mike Sanchez rode next, and made up a huge deficit caused by an unusually long pit stop during the tire change. Team owner/rider Ben Thompson took the reigns next, and did a great job. Next up was Marcus McBain and he rode fairly well considering this was the first time he had raced a 600 for some years. After almost 30 minutes, a red flag was thrown and strategy became the dominating factor. At about 30lbs heavier than the other riders, Marcus confessed he was using up the tires to keep his lap times down and the decision was made to put John Orchard on the bike for the restart. The team also agreed to put Logan Young back on the bike after John's stint and let John ride again if he chose. John pulled a flyer of a start on the race re-start and put the team in 5th on the first few turns, John settled in and put in some consistent lap times. John pulled in after about a half hour and Logan took the reigns again. Logan did a great job and continued the climb for the team by putting the team into 5th overall at one point. With all the endurance teams putting their "fast guys" out to secure class/overall position, the team chose to put Mike Sanchez back on the motorcycle. Mike survived a barrage of strategy plays by other teams and kept the team in 6th overall position and 3rd in class. The team elected to have Ben Thompson finish the race as he was gracious enough to let the team use his motorcycle as well as the fact that he rode incredibly well.
In the end, the team did great considering 4 of the 5 riders got about 2 laps of wet practice to get used to a motorcycle for a race that would be run mostly in the dry. An excellent attitude by each of the riders was rewarded several hundred dollars in WERA/Suzuki purse/contingency money. Thank you WERA, Suzuki, and Pirelli.
You can read more about the race at www.roadracingworld.com