KWR Racing’s Kyle Wyman is ready to go for this weekend’s fourth round of the 2020 MotoAmerica Series, though the New Yorker will compete with the same Ducati Panigale V4 R back-up motor with which he completed race two at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta.
Wyman lost his Superbike-spec motor in Saturday’s HONOS Superbike race one when the motor overheated after the radiator suffered damage, but not in typical fashion.
“When you are braking hard enough and the forks compress, typically you can tell if the wheel is going to hit the radiator or not,” Wyman explained. “But the forks were flexing so much under hard braking that the wheel was getting into the radiator.”
With the front wheel damaging the radiator, the bike overheated and Wyman had his first DNF of the season. On Sunday, he finished sixth using what is basically a stock motor. After a great start to the 2020 season, the weekend at Road Atlanta was a letdown and it knocked him from fourth in the championship standings. But Wyman, as always, has a plan to remedy the situation.
“We are going to a run a different radiator, a different brand, so we can get the right routing with the hoses and get it away from the front wheel a little more,” he said. “It would work for how the stock motorcycle is set up, but we want to be able to make all the adjustments to the geometry that we can. We don’t want to be restricted by a radiator if we want to go a certain direction with the bike, so it’s an adjustment we are making for the next round.”
When asked if other Ducati teams around the world have had the same issue, Wyman said: “They probably didn’t skimp on a radiator to begin with. I kind of got a super stock one instead of a Superbike one. It works great and we don’t actually have cooling issues. But because we hit the radiator, we ended up melting a motor and therefore it would run hot. Once we put the stock motor in, it ran at a perfect temperature. The other one was as well before it popped.”
Wyman and his team have opted to run the stock motor again this coming weekend at Pittsburgh International Race Complex rather than do the rebuild on the Superbike-spec motor.
“We decided to not rush that,” Wyman said. “It’s the first one that we’ve done ourselves. So far we have just bought motors from the Barni team (the World Superbike team that currently fields Marco Melandri) and this is the first one that we are rebuilding in house and we didn’t want to have to do that in 18 hours. We want to do it when we have time and that will be after this weekend. If we were going to Road America this weekend or Indianapolis or a place where we really need an engine, we would just do it. But we don’t think Pittsburgh is actually going to hurt us in that department. I can confirm that there will be a number of Panigale V4 Rs that will be onsite if somehow we need another motor. We’ve lined up our spare, spare, spare.”