WAMPUM, Pa. — Travis Wyman’s weekend racing at Pittsburgh International Race Complex could easily have ended Saturday in spectacular fashion. Instead, the BMW rider showed true grit persevering though a leg injury to claim a podium finish Sunday and move up from fourth to third in the MotoAmerica Stock 1000 standings.
The Las Vegas resident suffered a torn calf muscle while keeping his motorcycle from running into a track barrier in the Saturday MotoAmerica Superbike race, but the contender for two MotoAmerica class titles could not be deterred from taking part in two races on Sunday. Thanks to Wyman’s determination to compete, he maintained second place in the chase for the 2021 MotoAmerica Superbike Cup and is ninth in the overall Superbike standings.
Wyman and the other top five riders in the Superbike Cup practiced and qualified with the Superbike Class — something that had been done at previous rounds. Wyman had a good start to the weekend in Friday morning practice. He finished the session 10th overall and was the fastest of the Cup competitors. Later Friday, Wyman ended Qualifying 1 in 10th and was the second-fastest Cup rider.
In Saturday morning’s Qualifying 2 session, Wyman did enough to secure second on the Stock 1000 starting grid and 12th for the Saturday Superbike race despite struggling for grip in the rear tire.
The first Superbike race of the weekend didn’t produce the results Wyman had hoped for, but his great save kept him in the Superbike Cup title hunt. Wyman got a good start, finished the first lap in 11th place and moved up to 10th on Lap 3. He was still in 10th when the violent near-crash on occurred on Lap 6. As Wyman exited Turn 2 – the same corner he had a big crash at two years ago – his motorcycle began bucking uncontrollably. Wyman valiantly tried to get the BMW back under control and managed to keep the bike on the track. Though he stayed in the race, Wyman dropped to 13th in the running order and went on to finish 14th.
Wyman’s first of two races on Sunday was the event’s lone Stock 1000 contest — though that race wouldn’t be restarted until after the day’s Superbike race. Wyman got a decent start and successfully defended second place into Turn 1. He was running close behind the race leader when the race was stopped due to a crash and bike fire.
In Superbike Race 2, Wyman got off the line well from 14th on the grid and was running in 12th place at the end of Lap 1. When another rider dropped out of the race on Lap 5, Wyman moved up to 11th, but ran a lonely race from thereon. He finished the race in 11th, about eight seconds behind the 10th place rider and about nine seconds ahead of the rider in 12th.
About an hour after the Superbike race wrapped up, Wyman was back on the grid for the restarted Stock 1000 race. After a good start, Wyman was the second rider through the first corner – a position he wouldn’t relinquish through the rest of the race. Wyman caught up to the race leader midway through the shortened 10-lap race, but discomfort from the injuries he sustained Saturday forced him to back off his pace. His runner-up finish was Wyman’s fourth Stock 1000 podium this season.
The team has three weeks to prepare for the last two rounds of the 2021 season, which are scheduled for Sept. 10-12 at New Jersey Motorsports Park in Millville, N.J., followed by the season finale Sept. 17-19 at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Ala.
Travis Wyman / No. 10
“I was confident coming into this weekend that we could get back on top of the box here at Pitt Race. Qualifying went great, as we qualified second for the Stock 1000 race. I was looking forward to the first Superbike race, but I had a big moment that set me back a bit. I tore my left calf muscle in the incident, and I woke up Sunday morning not sure if I’d be able to race. I got help from the doctors here and my riding coach, but I knew it was going to be difficult to get through the day. I battled in the Sunday Superbike race to get a pretty good finish – third among the Cup riders. In the Stock 1000 race, I knew if I got a good start and pushed hard early I could break away with the polesitter and battle with him until the end of the race. I just couldn’t push in the last handful of laps due to arm pump and my calf injury. I’m not super happy with second place, but it was great to bring home another podium for the team.”
Header photo credit: Brian J. Nelson