USA racer Jason DiSalvo showed his smarts with a startling 9th-place finish in Moto2 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s round of the MotoGP, riding for team GP Tech.
DiSalvo, a native of Western New York, entered the Indy Moto2 race as a wildcard rider, learning quickly how to manage the task of racing a new bike on a new circuit with a new team.
DiSalvo’s American effort with the FTR chassis was managed by Geoff Maloney, owner of GP Tech, and supported by Crew Chief Al Ludington and Öhlins USA Road Racing Manager Mike Fitzgerald, preparing the distinctive FTR bike painted blue with white stars.
Friday’s practice saw DiSalvo lay down the 10th fastest time of the day, but in Saturday’s qualifying he only managed to earn 27th on the huge Moto2 grid.
The parity of bikes results from spec Honda engines and spec Dunlop tires, and use of Öhlins suspension components so endemic it might seem like the spec suspension for the series. The only difference between Moto2 bikes is chassis, paint and rider, making the class basically a race of champions where racer skill and motivation outweigh material and money.
In Sunday’s race, DiSalvo quickly made waste of most of the field, climbing quickly up to do battle for a top-ten position from his 27th grid spot, dicing with seasoned Moto2 racers Anthony West and Dominique Aegerter.
Running speeds comparable to the podium finishers, DiSalvo traded paces during the closing laps, taking one position in the turn off the back straight and another before the finish line, making DiSalvo the top finishing rider on a Moto2 bike on an FTR chassis, with his 9th-place finish.
Jason DiSalvo says: "Having help from Öhlins USA was awesome. Mike knows how to give a rider what he needs. He knows how to talk with a rider and how to interpret what I’m saying about the feel of the bike, and he immediately answers with set-up changes that allow me to go faster. And the faster I go, the more he adjusts the Öhlins set-up to make the bike suit my speed."