Erik Buell Racing 1190RX at Laguna Seca World Superbike
When Erik Buell Racing entered the 2014 World Superbike Championship, the Team Hero EBR 1190RX was the first American manufacturer to enter the series.
With tough competition from the others, including the Big Four Japanese motorcycle manufacturers, Ducati and Aprilia, EBR had much work ahead.
The EBR team has struggled amid such competitive machinery, but made a huge breakthrough at Laguna Seca Mazda Raceway last weekend. With wildcard rider Larry Pegram at the controls of the #72 Foremost Insurance/AMSOIL/Hero EBR 1990RX, the Ohio rider earned the first-ever SBK points for EBR.
Pegram, who competes in the AMA SuperBike Championship, finished 14th on the 1190RX in race two. In race one, Pegram suffered a DNF due to bike issues.
“This was such an amazing weekend for me and Pegram Racing,” said Pegram. “To realize my dream of getting points in WSBK on America’s Superbike, and to do it in my initial WSBK outing with the EBR just is incredible. I want to thank Foremost, AMSOIL, Hero, Superbike Family, all my other sponsors and of course Erik and the EBR guys for building such a great bike.
“This was my first time on the EBR at Laguna, and it was on tires I hadn’t ridden before, so we were busy learning as fast as we could. Now I’m looking forward to running again, because I know I can go faster next time!”
Usual WSBK pilot Geoff May finished 19th in race 1 at Laguna, and 16th in the second race. As for the other EBR pilot, Aaron Yates suffered a DNF in race 1 due to mechanical issues, and didn’t start race two due to the bike not being fixed in time.
Geoff May on the #99 Team Hero/EBR 1190RX had a solid consistent weekend running right behind Larry in both races, with finishing positions of 19th in the first round and 16th in the second, equaling the best EBR finish prior to the event.
“This was a very valuable weekend for us,” said EBR founder Erik Buell. “Not only did we get our first points, but we and the teams we work with learned a whole lot about the 1190RX, including a much deeper understanding of bike setups and the respective teams’ engine builds.
“Geoff and Larry both ran engines we put together in East Troy and they performed very solidly and reliably. So, now we understand where to make performance improvements and can start on a path forward. This is an extraordinarily high level of racing, very far removed from street versions of the bikes, and it takes extreme commitment and plenty of time to get better.”