Chris Fillmore won a tough seven-lap Harley-Davidson XR1200 race at Road America by just 0.126 seconds ahead of Danny Eslick.
Chris Fillmore won Sunday’s 7-lap Harley-Davidson XR1200 race after a race long battle with eight other riders including Michael Barnes, Steve Rapp, Shawn Higbee and Michael Beck. Second place went to Danny Eslick with Travis Wyman snatching the final podium spot.
“He [Eslick] wanted to give me the position all the way just before Canada Corner,” said Sunday’s race winner. “He pretty much checked up. You really can’t make up that much time. I thought I could make a little bit of a jump and hope no one got me at start/finish—and it worked.”
For the entire duration of the race the lead eight-rider pack routinely swapped positions drafting each other down Road America’s three long straight-aways for position. Barnes, Rapp and Eslick all took turns up front. The key strategy seemed to be to carry as much momentum as possible and utilize the draft to slingshot by the guys in front of you.
“It was similar to miller it took me a few laps to get going,” said Eslick. “Our main focus is on sportbike. Just took me a few laps to get acclimated on the Harley and make my marks. When there is four, five or six bikes ahead of you and you’re the fifth guy inline you get a good head of steam. Someone passed me in Canada corner which was perfect. No one wanted to lead coming out of the last corner. The draft was definitely a huge part of the race today. Chris definitely out smarted me on that one.”
After a big get off last weekend at Miller, Barnes was fit enough to finish in fourth position ahead of Motorcycle USA’s guest sportbike test rider Steve Rapp. Flat track ace Sammy Halbert had a mechanical issue with his bike on Lap 6 and wasn’t able to finish the race.
Danny Eslick had some time up front, but in the end Fillmore out-strategized him when it came to drafting.
AMA Vance & Hines XR1200 Results:
1. Chris Fillmore (Harley-Davidson)
2. Danny Eslick (Harley-Davidson)
3. Travis Wyman (Harley-Davidson)
4. Michael Barnes (Harley-Davidson)
5. Steve Rapp (Harley-Davidson)
6. Shawn Higbee (Harley-Davidson)
7. Michael Beck (Harley-Davidson)
8. Tyler O’Hara (Harley-Davidson)
9. Kyle Wyman (Harley-Davidson)
10. Michael Corbino (Harley-Davidson)
11. Michael Morgan (Harley-Davidson)
12. Paul James (Harley-Davidson)
13. Bryan Desimone (Harley-Davidson)
14. Matthew Heidel (Harley-Davidson)