Team RidersDiscount.com comes away with their best results this year with two fifth place finishes at the Suzuki White Lightning AMA Pro Superbike Nationals. Thanks to the extra seat time working with Mr. Fitzgerald while competing against other AMA Pros during the previous WERA Cycle Jam weekend, Taylor had a particular confidence in his Yoshimura-prepared Suzuki GSX-R1000 for the AMA Superbike event at VIR. Things started off well with Taylor as high as fourth position on the time sheets and ultimately qualifying at the front of the third row.
For the first race Saturday, VIR’s infamous turn one made a bad start worse with many riders jostling for position, pushing Taylor down to eleventh place on the first lap. From there, he worked hard to obtain the speed which he knew he had from his qualifying pace and slowly made his way to the team’s best finish this year in fifth place.
Sunday’s race was a more intense affair for Taylor who had to battle with a field full of fast riders in order to move forward. After making a pass that would stick on the eleventh lap against Jake Zemke, Taylor came to encounter what he knew to be an insurmountable gap between him and fourth-place. Despite the distance, he used those last five laps to put his head down and clicked off times that were faster than all but the top two finishers and came home in fifth place, again equaling his performance from the day before on the Yoshimura-prepared Suzuki GSX-R1000.
Taylor Knapp – “In race one I got a bad start where I was behind a lot of people and I had to fight to get up to fifth place but we still ended up finishing about two seconds back from fourth place. Without the bad start, I really think we could’ve been fourth. Sunday, we got off the line better but everyone was bottled up in turn one again so I had to fight hard to keep up. It was a lot like Saturday’s race, but I still tried to ride as hard as I could and the Yoshimura-Prepared Suzuki GSX-R1000 did what I wanted and we came home in fifth again. The bike is the best it’s been all year thanks to Thermosman [Mike Fitzgerald]!”
After the best weekend of the year, Team RidersDiscount.com is looking forward to building on the success of VIR during the next two events at New Jersey Motorsports Park and Barber Raceway. With two hard-earned fifths in the bag, Taylor and the team can’t wait to get on the gas in New Jersey!