Rob Pearson works it on the #27 Memphis Shades/Yamaha/Wiseco/K&N-sponsored YZ450F during heat race 3 action at round 9 of the 2012 AMA Pro Flat Track Grand National Championship season at the Peoria TT on August 12. After qualifying in the 9th-place spot for the day, the Morton, IL. resident set sail during the heat race to earn a 3rd-place finish to mark his spot in the 18-rider National main event later in the day. Pearson went on to one of his best finishes of the season to card a 7th-place spot, which helped him to finish out the season as the 11th-ranked rider in the overall standings in The Rolling Thunder Show.
Having been associated with his Yamaha program for the last several seasons in the Singles Series events, 'Bugs' announced over the off-season that he was switching teams and would be riding for the Iowa-based Weirbach Racing team for the 2013 AMA Pro Flat Track presented by J&P Cycles Grand National Championship season. And as most know, Weirbach's program has been headlined by their superior Hondas with which they were able to win the 2011 AMA Pro Flat Track Pro Singles Championship with, along with then-rider Mikey Martin.
After running a big handful of the Steve Nace Indoor Dirt Track Series events during the off-season in DuQuoin, IL., Pearson and the Weirbach Racing team were able to get acclimated to one another and get some seat time in for Rob on the team's Honda CRF450R rockets.
The team made their 'official' 2013 flat track season debut during Bike Week activities, and got a chance to see how they would match-up to the rest of the competition. Competing at the Savannah and Volusia events of the Steve Nace Racing AMA All Star Series presented by Golden Tyre before the season-opening rounds at Daytona, the team got a chance to roll out various pieces of their arsenal in preparation for the upcoming Grand National tour.
Rob not only spent more time on the team's fast Hondas, but got a chance to sample their XR750 and Suzuki SV650-based Twins rides, and came away with some great news in anticipation of getting their new Kawasaki 650R-based Twin effort rolling before the first Twins Series event in Stockton come May. And he came away with some great info and confidence that should help both he and the boys in Iowa happy as they get ready for the summer long stretch in the greatest racing series on two wheels in the world.
Check out Rob's insight into their season kick-off in his and Weirbach Racing's press release below, and we'll be keeping a close eye on this great new partnership as we get ready for the full onslaught of racing in the 2013 AMA Pro Flat Track presented by J&P Cycles Grand National Championship season. And a big congrats and good luck to Rob and the team this year, we're looking forward to seeing you guys in action together!
Press release courtesy of Rob 'Bugs' Pearson/National #27 and Weirbach Racing, the 2011 AMA Pro Flat Track Pro Singles Championship-winning team.
Ottumwa, Iowa -- March 22, 2013
Bike Week 2013 is all finished up and it went over pretty well this year. I got my first chance to race a twin this season at Savannah. Dick met me for the practice day and we got the Weirbach Racing XR 750 on the track.
The next day was the ALL Star race, the bike was working well and I finished 2nd place in the heat, we didn’t nail the set up for the main and ended up 7th. Weirbach’s 450 Honda was strong out of the truck and we ended up with a 3rd place finish in the main on the fast red clay half mile.
The speed of the Honda makes me think we should have something good for the Peoria TT. I was right at home on the Harley and I know it’s capable of winning until our Racing Unlimited Kawasaki’s are ready for the track.
A couple days after Savannah we raced at the Volusia County half mile, another Steve Nace All Star event. We left the Harley in the truck and worked on Weirbach’s Suzuki SV 650. This was my first time on the smaller Suzuki twin as I have had some time on the 1000cc model. I really like how the SV ran and how it jumped off the starting line.
I got the start in the heat race and stayed out in front of Brandon Robinson and Jared Mees to sit on the pole for the main. I spun pretty bad coming off the start in the main and ended up coming forward to a 3rd place finish. I also got my R&R Racing Yamaha on the track for the first time this year at Volusia. I was running 2nd in the main but left a little too much room and allowed Mees to take me off the bottom of the groove and fall back to 4th. I have to thank Randy Rothe for the help with the Yamaha.
Daytona round 1 started great with a 2nd overall in qualifying. The Weirbach Racing Honda was working good in the heat but I got moved off the groove by Johnny Lewis and headed for a semi. I worked my way into the main with a 2nd in the semi for a third row start in the main. The track was getting pretty rough and I got bounced around some but still moved forward for an 11th.
Rob 'Bugs' Pearson on the #27 Weirbach Racing Honda CRF450R is shown during a qualifying practice session at round 1 of the 2013 AMA Pro Flat Track presented by J&P Cycles Grand National Championship season at the Daytona Short Track. Photo courtesy of Weirbach Racing by Mia Moore/FlatTrack.com's The Fans in the Stands.
The next day round 2, again went well in qualifying with 5th overall. I had the hole shot in my heat until a first turn crash brought out the red flag. The restart wasn’t as good for me but I challenged Mees for 2nd on the last lap and ended up direct transferring with a 3rd.
This put me in the middle of the second row for the main, which was a tuff spot to start. I got funneled back pretty quickly. I made my way thru traffic for a respectable 9th on the smoother but slick Daytona track.
The best finishes I have ever had in Daytona and just a few points from the overall top ten .
I have to thank Dick and Ted Weirbach for all the help and I am looking forward to getting some time on our new Racing Unlimited Kawasaki twins.
I'd really like to thank my sponsors:
Weirbach Racing, KDM Forrest Products/Michael King, General Engineering, Barnett, Spectro, DynoJet, K&N, Saddlemen, Works Connection, White lightning Retrievers, PMP Sprockets, Motion Pro, Spider Grips, Durelle Racing, Cheney Engineering, G2 Ergonomics, All Balls Racing, Firecoat Custom Powderworks, CP Pistons and Carrillo Rods, Web Cams, Foudree's Graphics, Sunoco, Pro Wheel, Southland Racing/Race Tech, Supertrapp , TNT Honda, Regina Chain, Factory Backing, Hinson, Pit Posse, Jet-Hot, Bell Helmets, Cosmetic gaskets, ProFactoryHoses.com , Engine Ice, Rekluse, and Chicken Hawk Racing,