Kelsey scores at AMA Barber
June 25, 2013
Kelsey scores at Barber
RPSRaceTeam.com lead pilot Danny Kelsey scored valuable AMA Pro National Guard Superbike series championship points en route to two solid finishes during the Triumph Superbike Classic hosted at scenic Barber Motorsports Park. This would be the first time that Kelsey would enter superbike class competition in 2013.
Kelsey faced formidable challenges as he prepared for competition. The team was unable to complete any tire testing prior to the event and Danny would need to get baseline geometry, gearing, and suspension settings during the one practice and two qualifying sessions to obtain a worthy race bike and quality finishes. Compounding the challenge for the team was that neither of the two mechanics the team was comfortable was using were able to make the event. This meant that that Crew Chief Marcus McBain would have to undertake the responsibility of setup/breakdown, suspension, maintenance, and rider coaching alone.
The team struggled greatly on Friday. It was tough going for the team as they tried to gain solid geometry and chassis settings. As the day completed and the team returned to the pits frustrated, tire technician Tony Romo stepped in to really help the team and guide them to a better tire selection. The team quickly realized Saturday morning that the selection(s) were going to help immensely along with some spring and geometry changes.
Kelsey rolled up for the start of the first race of the weekend with new found confidence. As the starting lights set the field off into turn one, Kelsey quickly took advantage of the new changes and moved into the top 15 quickly. As the race progressed, Kelsey kept the pace going and looked in position to start moving up turning his fastest lap of the race on lap 15. On lap 16 the clutch suddenly began to stop slipping. Kelsey compensated, but was now forced to back off from any charge forward. On lap 20, Kelsey was passed as he struggled with a seriously deteriorating clutch. At the checkered flag Kelsey posted a 16th place finish.
With new shock valving and a new clutch, Kelsey started race two by being easy on the clutch to protect it from premature wear and consequently rolled into T1 nearly last. He quickly put the hammer down though and joined a tremendous battle for 14th place. On lap 9, he posted his fastest lap of the weekend with a 1:28.940 and moved into 15th place on lap 12. With the gap to 14th closing, Kelsey focused on a final charge for the position. Unfortunately for Danny, the clutch problem from the previous day emerged again on lap 16 with Kelsey unable to maintain his faster pace. At the checkered flag, Kelsey accepted the top 15 finish with some frustration over his clutch performance.
Lead Rider Danny Kelsey
“This was a tough field and I am pleased we accomplished what we did. I also look forward to competing again soon as I got a lot of the tire setup and performance under my belt now. I want to really thank Marcus for his hard work. I didn’t have to do much but ride, and when I saw most teams with 3 or 4 guys working I realized how hard he was working doing everything by himself. I believe we will be at Mid-Ohio and I look forward to making the next step with the team there.”
Crew Chief Marcus McBain
“I am really proud of what the team accomplished. We obviously were shorthanded, but we got a lot done and Danny (Kelsey) distinguished himself as one of the top privateers in his first weekend of figuring out the Dunlop spec tire and getting the bike setup. I am really looking forward to the possibility of competing at Mid-Ohio as I believe we have the baseline settings we need to move forward in a big way.”
Danny Kelsey and RPSRaceTeam.com will continue to participate in select AMA Pro National Guard Superbike events. The team would not be able to compete at this level without the special efforts of KMC Controls, RS Taichi, Dynojet, Vortex, Motoliberty, South Central Race Center, Motopia, M4 Exhausts, DP Brakes, K’s Motorsports, GP Suspension, JRi Shocks, Lone Star Track Days, Shoei Helmets, Hotbodies Racing, Silkolene, WRW Racing, Barnett, Chicken Hawk Racing. Kelsey is scheduled to resume AMA Pro National Guard Superbike events at Mid-Ohio in July.