Pro Diary - Hooters-Moto XXX Tamer Daytona Supercross Race Report - Dirt Rider Magazine

When the sky opened up on the tenth round of the AMA Monster Energy Supercross series this past weekend things started to get ugly. Heavy rains pummeled Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Florida and flooded the one-off track leaving more than two feet of standing water. But while everyone else was complaining about the conditions, team Hooters/Moto XXX Tamer quietly put three riders into the main events and pulled together a top five and a top ten finish in the highly competitive Supercross class.The Daytona Supercross presented by Honda started off with sunny weather allowing most of the practice sessions to run in their entirety. The second sessions had to be cut a bit short but all four team riders had put down their fast lap and easily transferred into the night program.Lites class riders Mitch Dougherty and Vernon McKiddie were lined up together in the second heat race of the night. Dougherty was able to get out to a good start as the pack slid into the sloppy first turn. McKiddie would not be as fortunate as he would get sucked into a mud hole and round the corner in near last place. Up front, Dougherty was riding well putting together consistent laps and hanging on to a qualifying position. The qualifier was shortened to four laps due to the weather and before you knew it the checkered flag was flying. Dougherty was consistent enough to place seventh and put his Honda in the main event for the first time in only his third attempt. McKiddie would cross the line 17th and be forced into the last chance qualifier.The Supercross class teammates of Antonio Balbi Jr. and Eric Sorby lined up together in the first heat which had been shortened to only six laps. Both riders got out of the gate really well with Balbi rounding the first turn inside the top three and Sorby not far behind. Within a few turns Balbi had worked his way into the lead and with a clear track in front of him began putting some distance between himself and second place. Sorby was also riding well just outside of the top three. For the next five laps Balbi focused on hitting all his lines and when the checkered flag flew the Brazilian had won the race! Shortly after Balbi took the checkered flag Sorby crossed the line in fourth. The heat race win marked the fof Antonio's career and the first for team Hooters/Moto XXX Tamer this season.Vernon McKiddie lined up for the three lap Lites LCQ needing a solid ride to secure his spot in the main event. An excellent start virtually ensured a transfer to the main event, however, the conditions would get the better of him and the Texan would pull off after struggling through the first lap.When the Lites class main event loaded the gate the rain continued to fall. The normal 15 lap race had been shortened to 10 laps making the start even more critical than normal. Mitch Dougherty nailed a top five start as the 21 rider field skidded into the flooded first turn. Unfortunately the bottomless mud holes presented some problems for Dougherty and he would complete the first lap toward the back of the pack. For the remaining nine laps hfocused on staying upright and finishing. Despite the treacherous conditions Dougherty was able to complete the event ultimately being credited with 20th place. Even though it wasn't exactly where he wanted to finish, Mitch was still glad to have made the main event. Armed with a ton of confidence, Mitch is looking forward to next weekend's dry track where he can show everyone what he is capable of.With the track quickly deteriorating the Supercross class headed to the line for their abbreviated 12 lap main event. On the start, Antonio Balbi used his powerful Moto XXX Performance motor to catapult himself into third place. Right behind him, teammate Eric Sorby was within the top five until he lost his front end heading down the muddy start straight and would narrowly miss getting hit as the riders filed into the first turn. He was able to quickly remount and work his way up to 10th by the lap's end. Then, on the third lap, Balbi made a mistake and hit the ground. He picked himself up and got going again without losing too many spots and when the half way mark came out he was holding onto seventh. Sorby had improved one spot and at the half way mark was only two spots behind Balbi. Both riders focused on making as few mistakes as possible and on the next to last lap Balbi was able to pick-up two more spots and move into fifth place. A couple of minutes later Antonio would cross the line as the final rider still on the lead lap and would be credited with an impressive fifth place finish. Shortly after, Eric crossed the line in ninth.After the race both Antonio and the team were excited to celebrate his fifth place finish. Antonio said the first thing he did when he arrived back at the truck was to call him mom and sister back home in Brazil and tell them the good news. Needless to say they were ecstatic!The Hooters/Moto XXX Tamer team hopes to carry the momentum they have built this weekend into Minneapolis, Minnesota next weekend where the 11th round of the AMA Monster Energy Supercross series takes place in the HHH Metrodome. Supercross is back in the Metrodome after a brief hiatus and everyone is glad to have this race back on the schedule as it has historically been one of the most exciting rounds of the series. See you there!Moto XXX Tamer Racing is proudly supported by:
Hooters, Cumberland, Moto XXX, Tamer Racing, Perfex Corp, Akrapovic Exhaust, American Honda Motor Co., Race Tech Suspension, Pirelli Tires, Wiseco, Sidi Boots, O'Neal MX, Motion Pro, Ti Lube, Moto XXX Performance, Honda Genuine Parts, Pro Honda Oils & Chemicals, Enjoy Graphics, Deluge Sport, Vortex Sprockets and Bars, JD Jetting, Excel A60 Wheel Sets, RK Chains, Tamer Billet Starting Devices, VP Fuels, Mock Racing, ARC Levers, Honda Rider's Club of America, Cometic Gaskets, Metaltek, Crower Power, Group D Pit Wear, Interlakes Sport Center, KG Clutch Factory, SDG USA, Polisport Plastics, Ogio, Ready Filter, Vortex Ignitions, Scott USA, Carbon Fiber Works, Bud Racing, Clutch Wipes Hand Cleaner.