Warhorse HSBK Racing Ducati’s Loris Baz went nearly 190 miles per hour at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta this past Saturday. Photo by Brian J, Nelson.

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

“Do You Have Any Idea How Fast You Were Going?

Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta saw the debut of the 2024 Steel Commander Superbike Championship, and as you would expect, the Superbike riders continue to produce MotoAmerica’s highest trap speeds.

The fastest overall rider throughout the weekend was Warhorse HSBK Racing Ducati’s Loris Baz, who reached a maximum speed of 189.2 miles per hour on the lap 3 of Saturday’s 19-lap Superbike race one.

Here are the riders whose motorcycles topped the charts in the other four race classes that competed over the weekend at Road Atlanta:

Mission King Of The Baggers: 168.0 miles per hour by S&S/Indian Motorcycle Challenger rider Tyler O’Hara on lap 4 of the 8-lap KOTB race one on Saturday afternoon

Supersport: 165.7 miles per hour by N2 Racing BobbleHeadMoto rider Blake Davis aboard his Yamaha YZF-R6 on the 18th and final lap of Saturday’s Supersport race one.

BellissiMoto Twins Cup: 148.7 miles per hour by Rodio Racing – Powered by Robem Engineering Aprilia rider Alessandro Di Mario on lap 6 of Saturday’s 8-lap Twins Cup race one.

Junior Cup: 123.2 miles per hour by BARTCON Racing Kawasaki rider Matthew Chapin on lap 8 of Saturday’s 11-lap Junior Cup race.

Troy Herfoss was the latest Mission King Of The Baggers rider to break a track record. Photo by Brian J Nelson.

For The Record

There was only one new lap record set this year at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta, and no surprise, it was set in Mission King Of The Baggers. During Saturday’s Qualifying 2 session, S&S/Indian Motorcycle Challenger rider Troy Herfoss earned the pole position with a new fastest lap of 1:28.509. Herfoss set the record on lap 7 of the 8 laps he did during the Q2 session.

Hurtin’ You Don’t Come Easy

As the old saying goes, “Crashing sucks” and it really sucks when a rider crashes and gets hurt. Among the walking wounded over the weekend was Vision Wheel M4 ECSTAR Suzuki rider Rossi Moor who suffered what Moor said was “the biggest crash of (his) life” going into turn one at about 120 miles an hour during Saturday’s BellissiMoto Twins Cup race one. Moor spent some time in the hospital, but miraculously, he was declared fit to compete in Sunday’s Twins Cup race two. Moor gave full credit to his safety equipment for protecting him.

Somehow, Richie Escalante (left) and Loris Baz (center) crashed after the checkered flag flew in Superbike race one. Photo by Brian J Nelson.

At the end of Saturday’s Steel Commander Superbike race, after the checkered flag flew, there was an incident involving Warhorse HSBK Racing Ducati’s Loris Baz and Vision Wheel M4 ECSTAR Suzuki’s Richie Escalante. Baz injured his right leg–the same one he badly broke last year when he was racing in the FIM Superbike World Chmpionship–but he was somehow able to race again on Sunday. Escalante, however, got the worst of the incident. According to a medical update issued by Vision Wheel M4 ECSTAR Suzuki team principal Chris Ulrich, Escalante “was awake and alert (after the incident) and was able to move away from the crash site under his own power. He was evaluated at the track and then transported to a local hospital for further evaluation. Scans at the hospital revealed a fracture of his left wrist along with compression fractures of L1, L2, and L4 in his back. Escalante was held overnight at a local hospital but was released and was able to fly home to Mexico for further medical evaluation and treatment.” We send our best wishes for a speedy recovery to Richie.

Max Flinders took an Uber to the press conference for KOTB race two. Photo by Bob Granger.

He Ain’t Heavy, He’s Max Flinders

Another rider who got hurt was Thrashed Bike Racing Yamaha rider Max Flinders, who crashed in the wet during Sunday’s Superbike race two and injured his hip. The fan favorite somehow managed to climb aboard his Mad Monkey Motorsports Indian Challenger and compete in the weekend-concluding Mission King Of The Baggers Championship race two that immediately followed the Superbike race.

It would have been a heroic effort just for Flinders to finish the race, but despite the pain of his injury and the treacherous conditions due to a wet-but-drying track, the British expatriate had an incredible save from a near high-side on his way to finishing third and earning a trip to the podium, as well as to the post-race press conference in Road Atlanta’s media tower. Race winner Troy Herfoss gave Flinders a piggyback ride up the steps and onto the podium, and one of Flinders’s crew members then gave him a piggyback ride all the way across the walking bridge and up to the press conference on the second floor of the tower. Flinders entered the media center to the raucous applause of the photographers, videographers, and journalists who greeted him like the conquering hero that he is.

You Can’t Win If You Don’t Troy

Triple Australian Superbike Champ Troy Herfoss on a MotoAmerica Superbike? Stay tuned. Photo by Brian J Nelson.

Troy Herfoss is a three-time Australian Superbike champion currently competing in the Mission King Of The Baggers Championship. Due to Richie Escalante‘s injuries suffered in Saturday’s Steel Commander Superbike race, chances are, he may not be recovered in time to race in MotoAmerica’s next round on May 17 through 19 at Barber Motorsports Park, if not longer. Because of that possibility, I asked Herfoss if he would consider being Escalante’s fill-in rider on the Vision Wheel M4 ECSTAR Suzuki team. Herfoss’s answer was straight and to the point:

“I’ve got an itch that I think I need to scratch, in regards to riding a Superbike,” Herfoss said. “But, I’m employed to do my best on this bike, and that’s something that I’ve got to not only talk to that team about but discuss with my team. With Barber the next round, I’ve known the whole time since I signed a contract with Indian that, one, yes, I’m allowed to ride a Superbike, and two, Barber is a free round for us. Now this has happened. I’m like a kid right now. I’m so excited to race motorbikes. It’s too hard of a question to answer. I think you know the answer.”

Stay tuned.

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