WAMPUM, Pa. — Travis Wyman’s fifth-place finish in the Stock 1000 race at the MotoAmerica Championship of Pittsburgh wasn’t the result he’d hoped for, but it took everything he and the Weir Everywhere Racing BMW team had to achieve it.
Despite being the geographically closest track to Wyman’s hometown of Rochester, N.Y., Pittsburgh International Race Complex has been anything by kind to Wyman. As the MotoAmerica series rolled into the western Pennsylvania facility for the Aug. 23-25 event, Wyman and the rest of the team hoped to change his fortunes and better his career-best fifth-place finish at the track. The team was making progress toward that goal until Wyman experienced what he called, “the scariest crash of [his] career. Despite the crash and all the setbacks associated with it, the team worked feverishly to get Wyman back on track and Wyman rewarded their valiant effort with a positive result on a less-than-perfectly set up BMW S 1000 RR.
The weekend started out as well as it could for the team. Wyman posted the fastest time in the Stock 1000 Class’ first practice session on Friday with a 1:45.046 lap around the 2.78-mile, 19-turn circuit. Wyman fell to ninth-fastest in Saturday morning’s practice session as part of the team’s strategy to save its tire allocation for the class’ two qualifying sessions. In Saturday afternoon’s Qualifying 1 session, Wyman posted the eighth-fastest time, and he later had a strong start to Sunday morning’s Qualifying 2.
After coming into the pits midway through Qualifying 2 to get a new rear tire, Wyman experienced a freak crash as he was riding over the Turn 2 hill at about 130 mph. Wyman and his motorcycle slid down the asphalt track about 500 feet and some excess fuel in the bike’s exhaust system caught fire when Wyman tried to restart the bike. Fortunately, the BMW was not severely damaged, which gave the team the opportunity to repair it for the Sunday afternoon race.
During the about four hours between the end of Qualifying 2 and the start of the race, the team worked feverishly to fabricate several parts and prep and replace damaged bodywork. Repairs were completed just in time for Wyman to make it to the Stock 1000 starting grid. In the race, Wyman got one of the best starts of his 2019 season, but the damage to the S 1000 RR threw off some aspects of the BMW’s set up. Wyman rode as hard as he could on untested, freshly repaired machine to a fifth-place finish.
The MotoAmerica series is back in action Sept. 7-8 at New Jersey Motorsports Park in Millville, N.J. Wyman showed off his wet-weather racing skills at the 2.25-mile Thunderbolt road course last year, recording a second-place finish in the Stock 1000 race.
Travis Wyman / #24
“The team and I entered the weekend knowing luck hasn’t been on our side at this track, and I’m grateful for the effort they put in to get me back out on track for Sunday’s race. We started off the weekend strong and decided to save one of our fresh rear tires for Qualifying 2. The bike felt good from the first lap I rode it and it just kept getting better until the crash. I was feeling the best I’ve felt on our BMW S 1000 RR when I came into the pits in Qualifying 2. I was just starting my out lap when the front end tucked really quickly as I was exiting Turn 2. I slid down the track from the exit of Turn 2 along the downhill-then-uphill straightaway all the way to the braking markers for Turn 3. I came off the bike on my stomach and had to flip myself onto my back while sliding when I felt my leathers getting really hot. My team did an amazing job getting our S 1000 RR repaired in time for the race. The crash changed the way the bike handled a little bit, so I rode a conservative race to make sure I rewarded the team with the best finish I could manage. Despite the setbacks, we’re leaving PittRace with some good points and the confidence that we can overcome whatever our back luck throws at us.”
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