Now, there’s something we haven’t seen in a while. Two Hondas at the front in a MotoAmerica race. Photo by Brian J. Nelson.

Random notes, comments, statistics, musings, and bits of trivia from the MotoAmerica Superbikes at Barber event:

Winging It

Defending Stock 1000 Champion Hayden Gillim became the first MotoAmerica rider to win a race on a Honda literbike when he took the checkered flag in a dominant race one performance on Saturday aboard his Real Steel Motorsports CBR1000RR-R Fireblade SP. The Kentuckian was joined on the podium in race one by fellow Honda rider Gabriel Da Silva who raced his GMR/Jones Honda Fireblade SP to a runner-up result. And then, Gillim became the first MotoAmerica rider to win two races on a Honda when he also took the victory in another dominant performance in Sunday’s Stock 1000 race two. AMD Motorsport RK Racing Honda’s Richard Kerr just barely missed out on a podium result as the Irishman finished fourth in Sunday’s race two on his Fireblade SP.

Prince And The Revolution

I’m not too shy to admit that one of my favorite riders of the past decade-and-a-half or so is Bryce Prince. The former Superstock 600 Champion has been on hiatus from MotoAmerica for the past couple of years. He’s got a very successful motorcycle dealership in Bakersfield, California, called Kern County Powersports that employs about two dozen people and, through BPR Racing, he keeps hundreds of riders supplied with race-winning engines built by Prince and his crew.

In 2022, as a wild card, Prince put his Champ School BPR Yamaha YZF-R1 on the Stock 1000 podium with a runner-up finish at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca. This year, Prince debuted his new four-rider team at Barber, and Bryce himself finished third aboard his BPR Racing Yamaha R1 in Stock 1000 race one, then he was runner-up in Sunday’s Stock 1000 race two. What’s more, two of his three other riders–Wyatt Farris and Deion Campbell–recorded finishes inside the top-10 in both of the weekend’s Stock 1000 races.

Oh, and here’s a fun fact for you: Bryce Prince’s last name is actually not “Prince.” Are you ready for this? His actual, legal surname is Kornbau. That’s right, all this time, Bryce has been a Kornbau in Prince clothing. By the way, “Kornbau” is German and it means “producer of grain.” Look for Bryce Kornbau, er, Prince, to produce more podium results as the MotoAmerica Stock 1000 Championship progresses this season.

JD Beach went more than 160 miles per hour aboard his Tytlers Cycle Racing BMW at Barber Motorsports Park. Photo by Brian J. Nelson.

Alabama Alacrity

The fastest overall rider throughout the weekend at Barber Motorsports Park was Tytlers Cycle Racing BMW’s JD Beach, who reached a maximum trap speed of 160.2 miles per hour in Saturday morning’s Steel Commander Superbike Qualifying 2 session. Beach reached that velocity on lap 6 of the 13 circulations he made during that final qualifying session.

Here are the riders whose motorcycles topped the charts in the other four race classes:

Stock 1000: GMR/Jones Honda’s Gabriel Da Silva reached 153.2 miles per hour three times at Barber Motorsports Park. Once during Friday afternoon’s Qualifying 1, then again during Saturday morning’s Qualifying 2, and finally, a third time during Saturday afternoon’s race one.

Supersport: N2 Racing/BobbleHeadMoto’s Blake Davis went 143.6 miles per hour on lap five of the six laps he did during Saturday’s Time Attack session.

BellissiMoto Twins Cup: Giaccmoto Racing Yamaha’s Dominic Doyle had the highest trap speed in the two-banger class when he went 131.5 miles per hour on his 11th and final lap during Saturday’s Qualifying 2.

Junior Cup: BARTCON Racing Kawasaki’s Matthew Chapin maxed out at 111.2 miles per hour on lap eight of the 11-lap Junior Cup race one.

Royal Enfield Build. Train. Race.: The pride of Wyoming, Minnesota, Shea MacGregor went 102.3 miles per hour on lap seven of the nine laps she did during BTR Qualifying 2 on Saturday.

Smashing Records

• Real Steel Motorsports Honda’s Hayden Gillim was absolutely flying aboard his Fireblade SP at Barber Motorsports Park. The 2023 Stock 1000 Champion and double race winner at Barber set a new race lap record of 1:24.334 in Saturday’s race one.

• In Supersport, Maxi Gerardo and his TopPro Racing team maximized the performance of his Suzuki GSX-R750. Gerardo set a new Supersport lap record of 1:25.742 at Barber during Saturday’s Time Attack session.

• Fifteen-year-old phenom Alessandro DiMario set a new BellissiMoto Twins Cup lap record during Friday’s Qualifying 1 when he did a blistering lap of 1:28.269 to shatter Kaleb De Keyrel‘s two-year-old record by nearly a full second.

• Since this was the Royal Enfield Build. Train. Race. Program’s first-ever visit to Barber Motorsports Park, defending BTR Champion Mikayla Moore set the bar for the class with a lap record and race lap record of 1:44.466 during Sunday’s race two.

Superbike rider Mathew Scholtz is quickly adapting to his Supersport Yamaha. Photo by Brian J. Nelson.

Scholtz Schools The Supersport Class

Mathew Scholtz raced in MotoAmerica’s Superbike Championship for nearly a decade, and when Westby Racing dissolved at the end of 2023, he was like a fish out of water. Finally agreeing to race a Yamaha YZF-R6 in the Supersport Championship for Strack Racing, Scholtz has decided to make the most of his season in the hopes that his success will return him to the Superbike ranks in 2025.

It’s been a long time since Scholtz raced a Supersport machine. The South African competed in the Spanish CEV, German IDM, and FIM World Supersport Championships in 2011, 2012, and 2013. In just the second weekend of his return to middleweight motorcycle racing, Scholtz did the double.

I asked him how different racing a Yamaha R6 is from racing a Yamaha R1 Superbike. “It’s completely different,” Scholtz answered. “My racing line is completely different here at Barber compared with the Superbike. With the R6, you have to carry a lot of corner speed and roll through the turns. On the R1 Superbike, it’s point-and-shoot. You go into the turn hard on the brakes, square it off, and pin the throttle at the exit.”

Firsts That Last

There were a lot of “firsts” this past weekend at Barber Motorsports Park. In Junior Cup, Speed Demon Racing’s Logan Cunnison not only got his first career MotoAmerica race win, but he also won on Sunday to record his first-ever MotoAmerica double-win. In BellissiMoto Twins Cup, TopPro Racing’s Avery Dreher notched his first race victory in the class in Saturday’s race one, while Rodio Racing – Powered by Robem Engineering rider Alessandro Di Mario got his first career MotoAmerica win with his victory in BellissiMoto Twins Cup race two. Also, Chiefs Racing Team’s Cassidy Heiser got his first MotoAmerica podium finish with a runner-up result in BellissiMoto Twins Cup race two.

Is That A Three-Speed Bike You’ve Got There?

With the exception of the Energica Eva Ribelle RS electric motorcycle that has no gearbox and races in the Mission Super Hooligan National Championship, all of the the motorcycles that compete in the MotoAmerica series have six-speed gearboxes. However, that doesn’t mean that every motorcycle uses all six gears while racing.

The 17-turn, 2.38-mile road course at Barber Motorsports Park is known more as a technical track than a speed-burner circuit, and for the Steel Commander Superbike riders, they actually only use three of the six gears around the circuit. “When you get to the end of the front straight, you’re just hitting the rev limiter in fourth gear,” Hayden Gillim said. “So, you don’t even use fifth and sixth. And, we don’t use first gear, either. It’s just second, third, and fourth gear at Barber.”

My hero Robert Conrad as James T. West.

The Wild Wild West

When I first saw the Royal Enfield Build. Train. Race. entry list, I immediately knew who she was. After all, her father was one of my heroes growing up. He played the dashing and debonair James T. West, a James Bond-like secret service agent who used futuristic gadgets and unconventional tactics to vanquish various dastardly villains in CBS’s steampunk series The Wild Wild West, which ran from 1965 to 1969. Then, in 1976, he played Marine Corps ace pilot and World War II Medal of Honor recipient Gregory “Pappy” Boyington in NBC’s “Baa Baa Black Sheep.”

Robert Conrad was…a dude. Every guy wanted to be him, and every girl wanted to be with him. He was the guy in the Eveready Batteries TV commercial with a battery on his shoulder and a tough-guy stare who coined the phrase, “I dare you to knock this off.”

When I first spoke to Royal Enfield Build. Train. Race. competitor Camille Conrad about her father, rather than wanting to avoid the topic, she actually “leaned in” and appreciated how much I admire her late father, who sadly passed away four years ago at the age of 84. With my own father passing away last December at the age of 86, just two months after my mother passed in October at 85, it was comforting for me to talk to Camille about her heroic father, who I still watch on The Wild Wild West when I am out in my garage working on my motorcycles while the TV is tuned to MeTV.

Camille Conrad is a rare talent just like her father. Photo by Brian J. Nelson.

A professional skier, snowmobiler, as well as an actress and avid club motorcycle racer in California, Conrad was very gracious as we discussed the similarities between schussing down a ski slope and ripping around a racetrack. She completely understood the comparison I was making, and I knew she had talent just from talking to her. Her runner-up result in BTR race one and third-place finish in BTR race two underscored that notion.

Look for more from Camille Conrad at Road America as the BTR Championship continues. Will she beat the seemingly unbeatable Mikayla Moore, whose nine-race winning streak goes back to the beginning of last year’s BTR Championship and extends through both BTR races at Barber Motorsports Park? Stay tuned.

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