With only a few days remaining until the MotoAmerica season opener this Friday-Sunday at Circuit of the Americas (COTA) in Texas, Superbike rider Chris Ulrich is anxious to put his GEICO Suzuki GSX-R1000 to the test.
“With just days until the season starts, you know you should have done all your homework by now,” Ulrich said. “It also means the nerves start to set in. The test we held a few weeks back at COTA was a little bit of a preview of what the pecking order will be like this season, or at least for this first round. In our case, we’re ready to put the improvements we’ve implemented since the test in place and see how we do.
“One aspect for us was sorting out the suspension and changing the specifications to more of what I like. That change alone is going to help us right away to pick up some speed, which is always good. There’s still a lot of hard work to do, but I’m excited to go out and see where we stand after a little bit of a reset from the test.
“To be able to race in front of the world championship guys at Circuit of the Americas is exciting for us and is a great opportunity for motorcycling in the United States. We’re pretty excited to be on that stage. We still have some questions that need to be answered, but I’m for sure ready to get going and see where we stack up.”
With the first race of the season always bound to bring excitement as well as unknown factors, Ulrich also may have the element of weather to deal with this weekend with scattered rain in the forecast.
“Hopefully by Saturday afternoon when our race rolls around it’ll be dry,” Ulrich said. “It looks like it might rain a little bit for both days of racing. Even without the weather, there’s always crazy stuff going on. The first race of the season always has those riders that are really excited and do funny stuff and then those riders who are a little more cautious. We’ll see what happens once we get there.
“We’ve got 18 races this season over nine events. It’s going to be a long season for sure, and you definitely don’t want to wreck anything in the first round. But then again, you don’t want to give away too much by being cautious.”
Qualifying for the Superbike class will take place at 5 p.m. CT Friday, followed by the first of two 15-lap races at 5 p.m., Saturday. The weekend’s racing action will conclude with the final Superbike race on Sunday at 3:30 p.m.