June 5th 2010, Freestone AMA National – Wortham, Texas
100+ Degree temperatures and the high humidity would make the 2010 Freestone National a true battle of attrition. All 4 Honda of Troy riders lined up to the gate for the mains this week with Durham once again the Team’s top Qualifier. The riders did their best to hydrate and prepare for the extreme conditions but only time would tell.
When the gate dropped, the #92 of Willard jumped out to a top 5 start and as the field made it’s way through the first several turns the #36 of Durham began to emerge from the pack. At the end of lap one Durham had secured 7th, Willard had dropped back to 14th, and #87 of Smith found himself in 19th place. #505 Sean Lipanovich struggled out of the gate and in his first National Main Event lap was in 32nd. As the moto wore on, Durham hung tough and was in a dog fight with a freight train of Pro Circuit riders. The extreme heat claimed both Willard and Smith and they were forced to retire from the first moto early. Durham was under heavy fire on lap 10 and caught a face full of roost. Blinded momentarily, his bikes front tire caught a rutted edge and put him head first into the ground ruining his chances at a top 10 finish. After taking a solid shot to the head it was later decided that this would end his day of racing. The team’s final competitor Lipanovich rode a solid race and placed a respectable 24th. Not bad for his first National Moto in such extreme conditions.
The rush was on to get the bikes ready for Moto 2 and the Honda of Troy crew had their work cut out for them. The mechanics stepped up and gave each other a lending hand to get the bikes ready to race and the riders did what they could to recover in the short amount of time before the second moto.
Once again, Willard netted a great start and looked to be in 4th place. Les Smith grabbed a mid pack start and Lipanovich once again struggled from his outside gate position. At the end of lap one Willard held 9th position, Smith was in 19th, and Lipanovich sat in 30th. Each of the guys dug deep and fought hard throughout the entire moto. Willard experienced some mid-race fading but with 4 or 5 laps to go he caught a second wind and passed a couple riders to end up finishing the second moto in 17th place. Smith raced a grueling moto and was able to earn a national point with a 20th place finish. Lipanovich seemed to get stronger and began looking more comfortable with each lap. Lipanovich finished the second moto in a familiar 24th place.
Michael Willard 20th
Les Smith 22nd
Sean Lipanovich 24th
Darryn Durham DNF
At the end of the day all the riders left the track healthy and are looking forward to getting back east to Highpoint Raceway.
On weeks like this the unsung hero’s need to be recognized – The Mechanics
David “Butch” Wass, Nathan Alexander, Justin Shantie, and Daniel Casloo deserve a shout out for a job well done. These extreme conditions bring on extreme circumstances and the guys rose to the occasion this weekend.
The Honda of Troy/Kilbarger Racing Team would like to acknowledge the sponsors who make this effort possible.
Honda of Troy, Kilbarger Racing LLC, Eleven 10 Mods, WAR - We All Ride, FOX Racing Shox, Cycra Racing, Motorex, TAG Metals, Yoshimura, Motion Pro, Renegade Race Fuel, Faction Mx, N-Style, Dunlop, DP Brake Pads, QTM, G2 Ergonomics, ARC, Boyesen, LeoVince Carbon Fiber, Hinson, RK/Excel, Ride Eng., Hammerhead, Straight Shot Air Filters, Bell Helmets, Hot Hedz Designs, Von Zipper, Total Image AutoSport, Kicker, ICW, Rock’s Racing Services, Injectioneering, IMS Foot Pegs, Franklin Equipment, and Gabriel Logan