Twenty-nine Harley-Davidson XR1200s will line up tomorrow at 4:10 p.m. ET for the first of two weekend AMA Pro Vance & Hines XR1200 presented by Harley-Davidson Insurance races at the historic Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Tomorrow’s action — which runs as part of the Red Bull Indianapolis GP — will mark the first time since 1909 that Harley-Davidson motorcycles have competed at the “Brickyard.”
A red flag flew with approximately fifteen minutes remaining in the second qualifying session, ramping up intrigue for tomorrow’s race. Necessitated by fluids on the track following a crash by Paul James, AMA Pro Racing officials — working within the guidelines of a MotoGP event – were required to rule the session complete, as cleanup would have exceeded the allotted track time.
Series points-leader Chris Fillmore (Bruce Rossmeyer Daytona Racing Revolution Performance GEICO) got the job done regardless, however, taking the coveted pole position with a time of 1:56.448 while shaking off the effects of an earlier crash. “I had a wicked crash in [morning] practice,” said Fillmore. “I got on the marbles and got on the gas, and it took me for a ride, head over heels. I’m pretty sore right now, so to pull out pole is great.
“I got a little bit lucky there with the red flag,” Fillmore continued. “Some of those guys didn’t put their qualifiers on right away and we did, [but] I’ll take it, for sure. I’m in it to win the championship, and I’m going to try my hardest to get a race-win [here] but my ultimate goal is the championship in the XR class. I used the same bike in qualifying that I crashed this morning,” he added, “but the guys did a great job putting my bike back together and I’m ready to go.”
Second quickest was Fillmore’s closest championship rival, Parts Unlimited’s Steve Rapp, who came in just short of pole with a time of 1:56.455. “I missed all of the session this morning [due to a mechanical issue], and I think one more session would have been worth seven thousandths for sure,” said Rapp. “We didn’t really change anything [in the second session because] I didn’t have time, so I just rode it and it felt pretty good. I came in and got new tires and went faster … but then the session ended early with the red flag. Maybe I could have gone faster, you never know. I did some full, ten-lap runs at the test, though, so I definitely have a bike I can race.”
Taking the third and final front-row spot on the MotoGP-style grid was 2010 AMA Pro SuperSport Top Gun Champion, Tyler O’Hara, fielding his own XR1200 machine. “I‘ve wanted to race here at Indianapolis my whole life,” said O’Hara, “and now that I’ve finally gotten the opportunity, I’m trying to make the most of it. The main thing is getting the bike to work, and that’s why we came to the test and tried a bunch of different stuff. K-Tech stepped up and helped me out with some suspension, and now we’re starting to go faster.
“My qualifying went way better than practice,” O’Hara continued. “I was riding tight and really couldn’t put a lap together. In qualifying, I just went out and got hooked up with Fillmore, and we put in a couple of good laps drafting back and forth and at one point we were one-two for a while there. I actually tripped a code or something on the bike and had to pull in. This class is pretty stacked and the race is going to be a tough one,” Tyler added, “but that’s the reason I bought a Harley: because of the rules, a guy like me can buy a bike and compete, and this is where I want to be.”
Other notable performances were turned in by 2010 British XR1200 Trophy Champion Jeremy McWilliams, who just missed the front row with a time of 1:57.942. Behind McWilliams’ fourth-place slot, Canadian XR1200 Cup race-winner and Rapp’s Parts Unlimited teammate, Michael Barnes, grabbed fifth, followed by Daytona XR1200 race-winner Kyle Wyman on his RMR Bruce Rossmeyer Daytona Racing Harley-Davidson. Jason DiSalvo (Latus Motors Racing) will start seventh for his debut in the Vance & Hines XR1200 class after turning in the fastest time in morning practice.
With the grid now decided, the AMA Pro Vance & Hines XR1200 presented by Harley-Davidson Insurance event is set to make history. For those unable to join this weekend’s crowd at the legendary Indianapolis Motor Speedway, SPEED TV will be broadcasting full coverage of both XR1200 races on Sunday, August 28, at 6 p.m. ET.
For Red Bull Indianapolis GP tickets and information, visit www.indianapolismotorspeedway.com. For detailed results from today’s qualifying — and for more information about the series — visit www.amaproracing.com. To be a part of the AMA Pro Road Racing Championship, join us on facebook.com/AMAProRoadRacing and twitter.com/AMAProSBK.
AMA Pro Vance & Hines XR1200
Indianapolis Motor Speedway
Qualifying Results (all using Harley-Davidson XR1200s and Dunlop tires):
1. Chris Fillmore, 1:56.448
2. Steve Rapp, 1:56.455
3. Tyler O’Hara, 1:57.021
4. Jeremy McWilliams, 1:57.227
5. Michael Barnes, 1:57.478
6. Kyle Wyman, 1:57.942
7. Jason DiSalvo, 1:58.566
8. Shawn Higbee, 1:58.888
9. Steve Crevier, 2:00.198
10. Gerry Signorelli, 2:00.422
11. Michael Corbino, 2:00.939
12. Barrett Long, 2:01.332
13. Shane Narbonne, 2:02.017
14. David Estok, 2:02.113
15. Cody Matechuk, 2:02.297
16. Darren James, 2:02.705
17. Samuel Prouix, 2:02.783
18. John MacRae, 2:03.214
19. Josh Chisum, 2:03.261
20. Michael Morgan, 2:03.341
21. Chase McFarland, 2:04.430
22. Chris Harmon, 2:04.504
23. Patrick McCord, 2:04.973
24. Olivier Spilborghs, 2:05.201
25. Jeremiah Johnson, 2:05.784
26. Gene Burcham, 2:06.425
27. Pete Demas, 2:06.960
28. Paul James, 2:07.643, crash
29. Shelina Moreda, 2:08.978 *
30. Michael Beck, no time recorded, mechanical problem **
* Shelina Moreda will be allowed to start the races because the requirement to turn a lap time within 110% of the fastest time was waived due to the qualifying session being stopped prematurely with a red flag.
** Michael Beck will be allowed to start the races because he turned a lap within 110% of the fastest time during Friday morning’s practice session.