MILWAUKEE (September 5, 2011) -
Chris Fillmore raced to his first AMA Pro Road Racing career championship with a determined victory over challenger Michael Beck in the season finale of the AMA Pro Vance & Hines XR1200 series September 4 at New Jersey Motorsports Park.
The win was the Bruce Rossmeyer's Daytona Racing rider’s fifth of the season and it was enough to hold off championship challenger Steve Rapp (Parts Unlimited), who was the only rider in the field with a mathematical chance of wresting the title from the 24-year-old Michigan racer, who earned podium finishes in all but one of the series' nine races. However, the potential for a championship battle quickly took an anti-climatic turn when Rapp, who had qualified second on the grid behind polesitter Fillmore, chose to start the race at the back of the grid after his motorcycle experienced a fuel pump issue during the warmup lap.
Instead, it was Beck (J&P Cycles) who took the fight to Fillmore, racing tooth-and-nail until the final corner of the 12-lap contest, with Fillmore eking out the victory by a 0.135-second margin. A few seconds back, Tyler O'Hara (Tyler O'Hara Racing), who ran off track earlier in the race while dicing with Fillmore for the lead, and Kyle Wyman (Bruce Rossmeyer's Daytona Racing), battled for the final spot on the podium, with Wyman nipping O'Hara for the position by 0.296 second. Rapp recovered to finish sixth in the race and second in the championship points.
"I feel really good," said Fillmore. "The XR1200 series, now that I went through the year and got used to the bikes, I think I learned a lot. It's a great series. I had a lot of fun with it. I stayed in it and learned a lot about lines, and I'm really glad that at the end of it, Richie [Morris] and I hooked up and I got the opportunity to ride with him. What AMA Pro and Vance & Hines have done with this series gave guys like us, guys who haven't really had a chance to develop a name, a place to go to develop our names and learn the tracks. It's been great."
"For sure I gave it my all," said second-place finisher Beck, who placed fourth in the overall championship. "It was a fun race. I got a little bit of a lazy start and a couple of the guys got by me, but I never gave up and reeled them in. I had a little bit of back-and forth with O'Hara, but didn't want to let Fillmore go because I knew he'd be running away with it. I saw that O'Hara ran off halfway through, but Fillmore was still right there and he had a good pace today. I gave it all I had."
New Jersey Race Result:
1. Chris Fillmore (Bruce Rossmeyer's Daytona Racing), 12 laps
2. Michael Beck (J&P Cycles), +0.135 second
3. Kyle Wyman (Bruce Rossmeyer's Daytona Racing), +13.789 seconds
4. Tyler O'Hara (Tyler O'Hara Racing), +14.085
5. Chase McFarland (Latus Motors Racing), +21.057
6. Steve Rapp (Parts Unlimited), +21.226
7. Shane Narbonne (Suburban Motors Harley-Davidson), +21.315
8. Gerry Signorelli (Kuryakyn), +35.899
9. Michael Morgan (Python Exhaust), +39.016
10. Michael Corbino (Bruce Rossmeyer’s Daytona Racing), +39.798
11. Josh Chisum (Troy Lee Designs), +1.07.376
12. Jeremiah Johnson (BE-EV.com ·New Roc Harley-Davidson), +1:10.148
13. Pete Demas (Bob Schaefer/Jim Howard/Dave Duffin), +1:10.284
14. Paul James (Hoban Brothers/Dark Horse Crankworks), +1:25.467
15. Thomas Montano (HOG Racing/Harley Owners Group/Cycle News), 8 laps, crash
16. Michael Barnes (Drag Specialties), 0 laps, crash
XR1200 Series Final Points Standings:
1. Chris Fillmore, 231
2. Steve Rapp, 202
3. Tyler O'Hara, 153
4. Michael Beck, 135
5. Kyle Wyman, 132
6. Michael Barnes, 131
7. Michael Corbino, 118
8. Chase McFarland, 90
9. Paul James, 65
10. Michael Morgan, 64
Harley-Davidson Motor Company produces heavyweight custom, cruiser and touring motorcycles
and offers a complete line of Harley-Davidson motorcycle parts, accessories, riding gear and apparel, and general merchandise. For more information, visit harley-davidson.com.