Friday, April 27, 2012

AMA Pro Road Racing Reviews AMA Pro Vance & Hines XR1200 Series Big Kahuna Road Atlanta Round

Tyler O'Hara hauls his #29 Tyler O'Hara Racing XR1200 down into turn one at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway during testing for the AMA Pro Vance & Hines XR1200 Series event scheduled for just one week away in late August 2011.  As part of the Red Bull Indianapolis MotoGP weekend festivities, the XR1200 Series was making it's debut at Indy as the undercard to the 4th Annual MotoGP Indy outing, and Dorna and AMA Pro Road Racing were able to set-up a test session for the series to come in and get ready for their appearance at the international event.

O'Hara went on to win his first-ever event in the  AMA Pro Vance & Hines XR1200 Series at Indy some eight days later, and came home 3rd in the second race of the two-race weekend.  With his strong finishes throughout the 2011 season, O'Hara finished 3rd in the championship hunt behind '11 AMA Pro Vance & Hines XR1200 Series Champion Chris Fillmore, and runner-up Steve Rapp. 

For the '12 season, O'Hara picked up a ride with Bartel's H-D for the XR1200 Series, and instantly made good with his new team, taking his #29 machine into 2nd-place at the season-opening round in Daytona behind winner Kyle Wyman, just .117 seconds back.  Last weekend at Road Atlanta, O'Hara triumphed in just his second race with the team to win the Big Kahuna round over runner-up Michael Barnes, and instantly making himself a threat to become the 3rd-ever AMA Pro Vance & Hines XR1200 Series Champion along with Danny Eslick and Fillmore.

Check out the full press release and the race recap video below, thanks to AMA Pro Road Racing!

Triumph Big Kahuna Atlanta Recap: AMA Pro Vance & Hines XR1200 Series

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (April 27, 2012) - The M1 PowerSports-promoted Triumph Big Kahuna Atlanta presented by Dunlop Tire and LeoVince showcased amazing races in all four AMA Pro Road Racing classes, and the AMA Pro Vance & Hines XR1200 Series contained some of the weekend's most compelling action.

Bartel's Harley-Davidson walked away with a 1-2 in the Vance & Hines XR1200 Series race at Road Atlanta with Tyler O'Hara, who scored a breakthrough win last year at Indianapolis, ending up the man of the weekend after winning pole, leading the most laps and ultimately claiming the victory.

However, races are rarely won easily in the Vance & Hines XR1200 Series and that proved to be the case in Georgia as well.

Pulling double-duty on the weekend, AMA Pro National Guard SuperBike contender Steve Rapp fought for the lead in Sunday's Vance & Hines XR1200 Series slugfest. The Harv's Harley-Davidson pilot swapped the lead back-and-forth with O'Hara before a mechanical issue ended his race a couple laps short of the checkered flag.

O'Hara's Bartel's Harley-Davidson teammate, Michael Barnes, picked up the pursuit from close behind to push the Californian to the line from second position for his second career AMA Pro victory.

"Every win is very special," O'Hara said. "I'm super excited. The whole goal this weekend was to have fun and that's what we did. We put in a good lap in qualifying and won pole. And what a race today. Rapp passed me in a place I didn't think I could be passed. I followed him a little bit and learned a lot and that helped me out when I got back in the lead. And Barney was there the whole time keeping us honest. There's no down time on these Harleys. It's pretty much pinned wire-to-wire."

After receiving his Big Kahuna surfboard trophy, O'Hara added, "It just works out. I'm from California. I don't surf but I think I might start now."

Michael Barnes #34, Kyle Wyman #33, Shane Narbonne #164, Tyler O'Hara #29, Steve Rapp #5 and Barrett Long #2 lead the 18-rider field into turn one during the AMA Pro Vance & Hines XR1200 Series main event at the Big Kahuna Road Atlanta round on Sunday, April 22, 2012.  AMA Pro Road Racing photo by Brian J. Nelson.

Barnes said, "The last couple of laps I was doing what I could, but I know Tyler and he was doing everything he could. He was going so deep into [Turn] 10 and I didn't really have a run on him out of [Turn] 7. He was really strong, as was Rapp until he broke or whatever happened to him. He must have downshifted a bit too hard because I heard that thing pop coming out of 10b. He put his hand up and that made it a little easier for me, but Tyler was just too tough to latch onto. Steve and Tyler were slowing each other down a little bit and keeping me there. Today wasn't the one but it's coming soon. It's been 16 years, I think, since I got one and I'm pretty hungry to get a win and determined to get one, one of these days."

Daytona winner Kyle Wyman made the most of what could have been a championship-killer. The KLR Group/Vesrah crashed in oil on the opening lap of the contest while running in second. He was forced to start from the back of the field after switching to his backup bike for the restart, but still managed to pick his way up to third in the end. 

"I guess there was some fluid down in Turn 10a that I didn't know was there. I guess someone had an issue on the warm-up lap. Before I knew it I was on my head. I just tried to hustle and get back to pit lane to get back out there. I'm glad we did because we got back out there and got on the podium.  I put my head down. I wanted to get back up there as quick as I could. I had only done three laps on the backup bike ever. That one just got built and brought down here. I'm just happy I had an opportunity to get back out there; I've never had a spare bike before, actually. It's really nice."

Gerry Signorelli (Kuryakyn/Racing for a Wish) now leads the Sunoco "Go The Distance" Award, given to the rider that completes the furthest total distance in 2012 AMA Pro Road Racing race-weekend events, with 280.65 miles to second-place Darren James' (Deeley Racing/ Ruthless Racing) 280.02 miles.

Next Event

AMA Pro Road Racing will next head west for Round 3 with a stop at scenic Sonoma, Calif. The Great Clips West Coast Moto Jam will take place at Infineon Raceway in two weeks time, May 4-6. For tickets and event information, please visit

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Next Up
Infineon Raceway
May 4-6
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AMA Pro Racing is the premier professional motorcycle racing organization in North America, operating a full schedule of events and championships for a variety of motorcycle disciplines. Learn more about AMA Pro Racing at

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