Eighteen Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson XR1200s took to the legendary International Motor Speedway yesterday for the first of two days of testing for their two races that will run in conjunction with the Red Bull Indianapolis Grand Prix, August 27-28.Championship leader Chris Fillmore rode his Bruce Rossmeyer Daytona Racing XR1200 to the fastest lap of the day in the afternoon session – a 1:59.577 – after also leading the morning session.
“It was kind of limited this afternoon,” said Fillmore in an AMA press release. “We went out to try to diagnose a problem with the bike – just a funky noise I’m hearing that I don’t want to hear. I don’t think I did more then 10 laps in the second session, but I’m nursing a sore shoulder so it was kind of good that we didn’t do so many laps. I really want to tie up this championship, and if we can get a win or two here, we’ll be solid for New Jersey.”
Other notables taking to the tarck included 2010 AMA Pro SuperSport Top Gun Champion Tyler O’Hara, second fastest in the morning session, followed by Northern Ireland’s Jeremy McWilliams, the 2010 British XR1200 Champion. McWilliams, who’s back for his second appearance in the AMA Pro Vance & Hines XR1200 class following his triumphant win at last year’s season finale in Alabama, said: “It’s been a steep learning curve again, trying to work out all the intricacies of the XR1200, but I think we’re somewhere in the ballpark. It’s not ideal – we can see that Fillmore has got the hammer down and we’ve got a big gap to bridge – but we’re using the same tire and motorcycle and we shouldn’t be that far away. At the end of the day we kind of lost our way a little; not a disastrous day, but you know what [we racers] are like – we can always be better!”
Teammates Steve Rapp and Michael Barnes also posted top-five times in both sessions and were enthusiastic about being at Indy.”It’s cool,” said Rapp. “I’ve never been here before, but the track is really cool. We had a good day. We’re working on getting more traction like everybody else… it’s going to change when we come back for the race, but we’re doing the best we can for now.”Testing will continue today with another pair of sessions, during which 2011 Daytona 200 winner and XR1200 rookie Jason DiSalvo will get his first look at Indianapolis Motor Speedway since he contended the Moto2 event at last year’s Red Bull Indy GP, finishing ninth in the international field.