MNSBR: May '18 Press Release - MNSBR

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May '18 Press Release

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Posted 16 May 2018 - 11:24 AM

Roadracing World Link (includes race results)

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Brainerd, MN – Kyle Ohnsorg came out swinging in the first round of the 2018 Central Roadracing Association season at held on Brainerd International Raceway’s Donnybrooke Course, taking home 14 race wins and breaking his existing track record for good measure. He didn’t have it easy in every race, facing stiff competition numerous times in his quest to take back the Championship title from 2017 Champion, Fisk Brothers Racing’s Brian Hebeisen.

The main attraction for the May CRA weekend is the annual running of the Framstad Cup, named in honor of Don Framstad. The tortoise vs. hare style race always produces a unique and exciting atmosphere and the 2018 edition was no different, aside from the addition of a couple of very special guests: Don’s niece Celeste and her daughter Ava who made the trip to Brainerd to watch the race. After losing out by the narrowest of margins in the 2017 Framstad Cup, Scott Stall was looking to add the Framstad Cup to his long list of CRA victories but former winners Christian Schmidt & Justin Ebnet, along with Kyle Ohnsorg, Chris Spargo, Derek Gallion, Justin Miest and a host of other riders were all planning to bring the victory home themselves. The race started as it always does, one row at a time with 1-3 riders per row at previously determined intervals. Once on lap 4, the field started condensing and it started to become apparent that the race was going to go to Nate Minster, Derek Gallion, Christian Schmidt or Chris Spargo. On the last lap of the race Chris Spargo led into the entry of the final corner on his Honda RS125 when seemingly from out of nowhere, Bell Helmets rider Christian Schmidt charged up the inside on his Schmalenberg Racing Services Kawasaki ZX-10R and powered away to his second Framstad Cup. Christian’s second victory in this classic race showcased exactly what it is all about – the best riders in an all action brawl to the front in five laps on all manner of machinery with the final result in doubt until the winner crosses the finish line.

A new addition to the program for 2018 is the Michelin Cup race, open to any rider with Michelin covering the entry fees for all competitors running Michelin tires. The brainchild of Trackside Labs owner Brandon Punt and David Grey of Sportbike Tire Service, the Michelin Cup is a 12-lap race which was split into two separate 12-lap races due to the large number of entrants in the race (one for big bikes, one for small bikes). Both the GP0/GP1/GP2 and the GP3/GP4 races saw most of the field spread out after a few laps as Derek Gallion took overall victory in the GP0/GP1/GP2 race and Jake Schmotter brought home the overall win in the GP3/GP4 class. The race achieved many of it’s intended goals, to create a new and exciting race to get people talking about Michelin and to get their riders some more track time, with roughly 60% of all riders gridding up for the race running the French rubber.

Aside from the specialty races, the big draw for the weekend was undoubtedly the Unlimited class. Weather conditions throughout the entire weekend were almost perfect and expectations were high for a new track record to be set. During Saturday’s Unlimited Supersport race, Kyle Ohnsorg’s best lap was only .3 seconds away from the lap record, a mighty impressive feat when the fact that he was on Pirelli DOT’s. Lining up for the Unlimited Superbike race, both Kyle Ohnsorg and Scott Stall firmly believed that Ohnsorg’s current lap record of 1:39.412 wasn’t going to be around for much longer. They were right. Ohnsorg and Stall were nose-to-tail right from the start, with Stall leading lap one on his Farrell Performance Kawasaki ZX-10R. Ohnsorg used this to good effect, tucking into Stall’s draft down Brainerd International Raceway’s ¾ mile long front straight on his Husman Race Engineering BMW S1000RR. As the two former CRA champions exited turn ten on lap two, the first timed lap, Ohnsorg dove up the inside of Stall and crossed the timing loop in the lead, setting a new lap record of 1:39.188 on his Pirelli slicks in the process. What followed was one of the closest Unlimited races in recent CRA history, with Stall and Ohnsorg passing each other multiple times per lap. With the battle heating up, the chances of the lap record falling became unlikely but the competition between the two front runners made that just a footnote. Ohnsorg led Stall into the final corner on the last lap but Stall threw it up the inside in a last-ditch effort to take the win. While Stall wasn’t carrying so much speed that he ran excessively wide on the corner exit, Ohnsorg was still able to square the corner off and get the power down to retake the lead in the short section of track between the exit of turn ten and the finish line to add the race win to his new lap record.

The Middleweight/Heavyweight Novice class was all about Justin Miest on his Husman Race Engineering Yamaha R6. Mike Husman brought Miest into the team this year to help them defend their 2017 Novice championship and it was clear when it was announced that he was a good choice. What was a bit of a surprise was that Miest appeared to be a seasoned-expert dressed as a novice with his gap to second place consistently between 30-40 seconds. His performances saw him pass most of the expert field while starting from the second wave of the race and it’s clear that he will be a force to be reckoned with throughout 2018, whether or not he bumps from novice to expert.

The Lightweight class was thrown into a minor tailspin for most of the weekend as undisputed Lightweight champ, John Champ, developing mechanical issues with his two Suzuki SV650s during Friday practice that ranged in seriousness from “well, that bike is done for the weekend” to “No. Way. I don’t know if that can be fixed by next weekend.” With a massive multi-team effort behind them, Champ racing was able to make one functioning engine out of the two troublesome powerplants and get everything finished with just seconds to spare before he needed to go on track for his last race of the day on Saturday. The crew’s efforts were recognized by many as Champ received many high-fives, fist-bumps and even an occasional gentle caress from his competitors when he rolled up to the pre-grid to enter the track for the warm up lap. Champ used that race as a systems check and pulled off before the end, which was unfortunate as the battle between himself and multi-race winner, Derek Gallion, could have been an entertaining one. Champ took up his normal position at the front during Sunday’s races and we are hoping that Brian Rogers, Anthony Marcinek and Bill Plucky can close the gap to Champ a bit during the June event.

The Featherweight class was expected to produce close racing as usual and it did not disappoint, even if the class was essentially owned by Kyle Ohnsorg and his brother Kurt. Saturday’s Featherweight Supersport Expert race was a lonely race for Kyle at the front as the expected challenge from MotoAmerica rider Nate Minster on his Spears Racing Yamaha R3 failed to materialize. Minster clearly felt the love from his many fans at Brainerd International Raceway and took the battle to Kyle in every Featherweight race on Sunday, unfortunately coming home empty-handed in the win column but challenging Kyle down to the line in each race. In the Novice class, Kurt Ohnsorg was stunningly fast, running away at the front and taking easy wins over Justin Miest and the others in each race. With a fleet of Yamaha R6s at the Ohnsorg’s disposal, one can only hope that we will see Kurt back on Middleweight machinery at some point in 2018 to perhaps slow down the big-bike freight train that is Justin Miest.

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Posted 16 May 2018 - 12:48 PM

Great write up, per usual! Thanks for writing these up Kris!
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