The Factory Aprilia Millennium Technologies Team Finishes Top Ten in the Daytona 200posted Mar 11, 2009
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Daytona Beach, FL - March 8, 2009 - The Factory Aprilia Millennium Technologies team finished in the top ten at the historic Daytona 200. Even more incredible is that this is the first event for the Aprilia squad. During the race, Chaz Davies turned the fastest lap of the entire event on a motorcycle that had less than less than 50 practice laps on it and finished seventh on the track. Despite some bad luck, Ben Thompson made up 27 positions in the race and finished 24th.
The KWS Motorsports team went to Daytona with a whole new program to figure out. This was a new bike, in a new class, with a new set of rules, and one new rider - Chaz Davies. Most of the crew was new as well.
In qualifying Thompson was only able to turn a handful of laps due to some minor problems. This left the young Alaskan rider to start the race from the 49th position. Davies was able to stay out for the entire twenty minute session and was able to turn a lap of 1:50.750 to qualify in the 14th position. This was a mixed blessing at the time because the team did not make the Superpole competition to decide the top ten qualifiers, but it did mean the team had more time to get caught up.
The new night time format of the Daytona 200 created an electric atmosphere before the start of the race and the LeoVince sponsored Aprilia team was confident despite all the uncertainties going into the longest race of the season. During the Friday afternoon warm up session both riders had found chassis settings that allowed them to lap faster and the team had practiced the pit stops for hours. Once the race started both Thompson and Davies started working their way to the front. The team decided to use a single pit crew for both riders so the stops had to be staggered. During the pit stops the team was able to give Davies and Thompson an advantage with super speedy stops. These fast pit stops where possible because of special equipment built by Millennium Technologies, Pit Bull, and Britt Lynn.
The race was going according to plan and both riders where working their way to the front with each lap until the pace car came out for a lighting failure in the chicane. Davies and Thompson had just pitted so the team elected to stay out. Unfortunately the race went from full course caution to a red flag situation when two riders fell down in the chicane.
The last segment of the race was a ten-lap sprint to the finish. When the race restarted, Chaz was able to get a great start and moved immediately into the top ten. Thompson also moved up on the start but was hit by another rider and ran off in the horseshoe. Fortunately Thompson was able to reenter the race, but had lost some positions at a critical time. Three laps from the end Chaz was able to turn the fastest lap of the entire event with a time of 1:48.947 and passed Dane Westby at the line for sixth place on the race track. Thompson worked his back to twenty-third position after his off track incident.
Aprilia riders Ty Howard, Ridesmart Motorcycle Schools / Lloyd Brothers Racing, finished strong in the 25th spot and Black Hole Racing's, Scott Jensen finished 60th.
Chaz Davies - "The weekend was fairly difficult trying to get the bike sorted in the limited time was had. Rocky Stargel and Jimmy Le did a fantastic job though. They took a huge gamble before the race with the set-up and it worked. The bike handled awesome and being able to turn the fastest lap of the race is very encouraging for the future. I would like to thank Aprilia for all of the support - the bike is excellent and I am very much looking forward to rest of the season."
Ben Thompson - "Twenty-forth is definitely not the finishing position we were looking for, but we made a lot of progress with the Aprilia RSV1000R and I am very excited about going to Fontana to apply what we learned in the normal sprint racing environment we are used to. The team did a fantastic job and I need to thank Michael Godin and Rick Bretl for all their hard work. The pit stops were awesome!"
Kevin Hunt (Team Owner) - "We are very happy. We had a lot of new challenges to overcome this weekend and to come away with a top ten finish and the fastest lap of the event is very encouraging. I really want to thank Aprilia, Millennium Technologies, Motul, Pit Bull, and LeoVince for all of their help at the track. This is a team effort and our sponsors are an active part of the team. Thank you."
Rick Panettieri (Aprilia USA) - "We are very pleased with the team's race results from Daytona. They did an excellent job of preparing the bikes and had some very fast pits stops during the race. Both riders showed great improvement during the week as they came to grips with the Aprilia. We are looking forward to the rest of the season as the riders and team continue to improve and become even faster."
The Factory Aprilia Millennium Technologies Team is proudly sponsored by:
Aprilia USA, Millennium Technologies, KWS Motorsports, Pit Bull, LeoVince Exhaust, Motion Pro, Bazzaz Performance, Sebimoto Bodywork, Yoyodyne, Slednecks, EK Chains, Motul, Performance Friction Brakes, Worldwide Bearing, K&N Filters, Zero Gravity Windscreens, Suzuka Tire Warmers, Stomp Grip, Hel Brake Lines, Spider Grips and ASV Inventions.
For Information: http://www.kwsapriliaracing.com
Photography by: Michel Fortier - firstname.lastname@example.org
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