Ben Young’s steadfast progress this season earned him 13th overall
The GEICO Motorcycle AMA Pro Road Racing season reached its exciting conclusion this past weekend as the AMA Pro GoPro Daytona SportBike teams returned to Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca to compete on the global stage alongside the eni FIM Superbike World Championship.
Canada’s Ben Young’s steadfast progress this season earned him a 15th place finish in Sunday’s race enabling him to secure 13th overall in the points.
After a 48-hour trip from his home in Thornbury Ontario, Canada, Young and the BYR team were setup and ready to take on the prestigious 2.238-mile natural road course that features the famous corkscrew.
Knowing that the correct gearing at this track was crucial for success the team tried a variety of gearing options during Friday’s first practice session. Young ended up 20th fastest in the session.
“It was tough since we didn’t make the first round at Laguna Seca back in July.” said Young. “We were already way behind on our setup before we even got there.”
Still hunting for the right setup on his #86 Yamaha R6, the BYR crew changed the front end to give Young more feel during the first qualifying session. The Canadian pilot ended up 18th fastest in a very tight field of 41 talented riders.
The second AMA Pro GoPro Daytona SportBike qualifying session of the weekend, originally scheduled for 3:15 pm, was delayed until 4:30 pm due to two restarts in Saturday’s eni FIM Superbike World Championship feature race.
“We were still experimenting to find the right gearing but we weren’t sure that we had it yet. The track was really slick with it being so hot all day so there weren’t too many riders who improved on their lap times. I pretty much ran identical lap times as the day before.” said Young
Young would find himself starting from 22nd on the grid for the final AMA Pro GoPro Daytona SportBike race of the season.
The amiable yet tenacious rider got a solid start and managed to get on the outside line going into corner one.
“I broke really late going into the first corner and I managed to make up some ground.” said Young. “On the first lap there were a few riders ahead of me bumping and banging so at the corkscrew I managed to nip up the inside of three riders and made it through safely.”
Hayden Gillim and Young briefly battled for position however his machine rebuilt onsite at New Jersey Motorsports Park just didn’t have enough top-end speed to stick with Gillim.
Young battled downshifting issues on and off throughout the race and caused him to run wide into corner one allowing Sebastiao Ferreira and Bryce Prince to go by. Ferreira and Prince managed to put a few seconds between them and Young’s #86 Yamaha R6.
With 5 laps to go Young started to catch Ferreira. Under heavy breaking he passed him on the last lap going up the hill into the corkscrew. Young would cross the start/finish line in 15th place matching his result from Laguna Seca last season.
“I knew it was going to be a challenge to get a top ten this weekend starting from twenty-second on the grid.” said Young. “We’d set a goal of fifteenth for today so I’m happy we were able to achieve that and finish the season 13th overall.
Much like the dramatic elevation changes at the Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca circuit Young’s season included a variety of highs and lows.
“He overcame a very challenging weekend at the last round at New Jersey Motosports Park to finish the season strong here at Laguna.“ said BYR Team Manager Scott Young. “He’s proven that with the right setup he can challenge for top ten results as he proved with his eighth place finish at this year’s Daytona 200.”
“On behalf of the entire BYR team I’d like to thank the GEICO Motorcycle AMA Pro Road Racing staff, CBS Sports Network, event organizers, the tracks and the dedicated corner workers for providing a safe and exciting series. To compete at this level takes support from so many amazing people and outstanding organizations.” said Young. “Encouraging family members, friends, fans and supportive sponsors make every season memorable and I can’t thank them enough.”
Ben Young and the BYR team would like to thank; Tim Hortons – Sudbury, Scotbuild Developments, Fogi Racing Development, Arai Helmets, AXO, GP Tech LLC, Hindle Exhaust Systems, DUA Motorsports Bodywork, KICK Energy Drink, K&N Filters, Performance Cycleworx, Thornbury Home Hardware, BCL Motorsports Pit Kit, Vortex Racing, Motul Oils, Bickle Racing Tire Warmers, GB Racing and The North American International Motorcycle SUPERSHOW, the fans and family.
To keep up-to-date on Ben Young throughout the year visit; www.fogi.us, www.facebook.com/BenYoungRacing and on Twitter @bcyoung86.
source: Scott Young, photo: Brian Nelson