FILLMORE FINISHES 5TH AND NEBEL DEBUTS AT INFINEON AMA PRO SUPERBIKE RACE
SONOMA, California – KTM/HMC rider Chris Fillmore topped his career best finish after he placed 5th overall at the second day of racing at Infineon Raceway while his teammate Stefan Nebel joined him on the circuit for his first outing in the AMA Pro Superbike Racing Series.
This round was the third round of the series but the first time in the history of AMA Pro Superbike Racing that two KTM race machines had been present in the Pro Superbike racing class.
During Saturday’s race, both riders were feeling great and were eager to get started. Fillmore had a great jump off the line from the third row and was able to sit 7th after the first lap. Nebel had to start toward the back of the pack and was 16th at the end of lap one.
Fillmore continued to turn impressive lap times and was able to move up two positions passing Steve Rapp for 5th place. He held that position until the final few laps when he had an issue with his brakes that caused him to crash. Unfortunately, his crash caused him to not finish the race and he was credited with 16th for the day. Meanwhile, Nebel had charged from the back of the pack up to 12th place where he finished for his first-ever AMA Pro Superbike race.
The team went straight to work to prep both bikes for the second day of racing. Nebel had to return to the pits after the warm-up lap to fix a mechanical issue and had to start the race from the pit area and was 17th after the first lap. Meanwhile, Fillmore got off to a great start and was 8th at the end of lap one. Both riders moved up one position on the next lap when the current leader, Josh Hayes, went down.
On lap eight, Fillmore set his fastest lap time and two laps later he did it again. At the halfway mark Fillmore was still secure in 7th place while Nebel had climbed to 13th. With six laps to go, Fillmore continued to pass riders making a pass on Danny Eslick to takeover 5th place. With two laps to go, Fillmore ran wide in a turn which allowed Danny Eslick to catch and pass him. With one lap remaining, Fillmore was determined to get his 5th place result. He stayed right on the tail of Eslick and in the final corner made an inside block pass to grab the position. Both riders pushed neck and neck to the finish with Fillmore able to edge out Eslick for the position by .001 seconds.
“It feels so great to get a 5th place finish,” remarked Fillmore. “The entire KTM/HMC team has been working hard for a top five result and it is great to finally earn one for the team. My bike worked great at this track and I felt confident all weekend. We are really looking forward to the rest of the series.”
Nebel was able to finish the second day with another 12th place result. His consistent 12-12 results were a great start to his season in his first AMA Pro Superbike race. Nebel will remain with the series through the next few rounds and is hoping to break into the top ten when the series heads to Miller Motorsports Park for the fourth round of the series.
“I had a very enjoyable weekend in my first AMA Pro Superbike race,” remarked Nebel. “Everyone from my team to the people at the AMA welcomed me with open arms and it was a great first experience. This was a difficult track to learn and each time I made a lap I turned a quicker time. I was very comfortable on my bike and happy to have two consistent results during the weekend. Fillmore and I both made a lot of passes in our races and showed the potential the KTM RC8 has in Superbike racing. I am looking forward to learning another track and improving upon my results at the next race.”
Next Race: May 26-28, 2012; Miller Motorsports Park – Toole, UT
Results AMA Pro Superbike Infineon Race 1
1. Josh Hayes (USA), Yamaha
2. Blake Young (USA), Suzuki
3. Danny Eslick (USA), Buell
4. Josh Herrin (USA), Yamaha
5. Geoff May (USA), Buell
12. Stefan Nebel (D), KTM
16. Chris Fillmore (USA), KTM
Results AMA Pro Superbike Infineon Race 2
2. Roger Hayden (USA), Suzuki
4. Ben Bostrom (USA), Suzuki
Standings AMA Pro Superbike after 6 of 20 races
1. Young, 166 points
2. Hayes, 162
3. Hayden, 114
4. Herrin, 84
5. Larry Pegram (USA), BMW, 82
9. Fillmore, 66
17. Nebel, 18