Larry Pegram and the Foremost Racing Ducati 1098 R won after a race long dual at historic Road America- only three months after Ducati’s return to Superbike racing in America.
Larry Pegram used the stable chassis and massive horsepower of the Ducati 1098 R Superbike to defeat the long dominant Suzuki squad today. The fast, flowing circuit has historically suited Ducati well, and entering the weekend Pegram was confident of a win.
Larry Pegram Speaks…
"I told my guys we’ve got past Barber and Sears Point. Those are my two worst circuits and after finishing third at Sears Point I knew we could win anywhere else," commented Pegram. "The bike went well in the wet yesterday and I felt confident going into today’s race."
"I got a good start and out-broke everyone into turn five," said Pegram in the press conference. "Once I made it out front I rode a good pace until Mladin caught me. I didn’t want a four or five way battle come the last few laps so I had to stay on Mladin in order to gap the others. The Ducati was working better than the Suzuki over most the track so I just fought to keep Mat behind me. On the last few corners I kept telling myself to keep my head down and not screw it up! It feels so good to win on my own factory team. It’s been a long time since we set started out in 2004, and my last Superbike win was at Willow Springs in 1999. To be able to do it on a factory Ducati, with the team I built means a lot to me. It hasn’t fully set in yet but it feels so great."
Pegram’s primary opposition came from Suzuki’s Mat Mladin, who pressured Pegram from flag to flag; stating later that the Ducati 1098 R must have had a "10 mph advantage" over the Suzuki on the straightaway. In an effort to take control of the race Mladin attempted a series of risky passes, only to find Pegram blowing back by. With two laps to go Pegram built up a gap, and put his head down to take the checkered flag.
The race win was popular with both fans in attendance as well as historians of the sport, all delighted to see Ducati back on top of the podium in America. After a three year absence from the Superbike class Ducati returned to action only three months ago; with today marking their 40th win in the class. Looking forward to the next round at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca July 3-5th; Pegram has another reason to smile- this weekend’s finish promotes him two spots to fourth overall in the Championship.