After a strong showing at the Pittsburgh test the Ricks were fired up and ready to do battle at the newest track on the circuit. Gauge Rees had tested well and came into the weekend confident. Practice sessions showed him to be in a good position as we moved into Qualifying on Saturday morning. Gauge was able to put in a strong session and qualified 11th on the SuperStock timesheet. With some minor tweaks to the bike the Team was confident in a top 10 finish.
When the flag dropped for Race 1 Gauge got a strong start and was battling within the Top 10 when disaster struck. At the beginning of lap 2 another rider came into turn 1 too hot and cleared out Gauge and Brandon Cleland along with himself. The damage to the bike was extensive and the team knew it had a long night ahead.
After working late into the night the Team had rebuilt the bike and was excited for the morning. Gauge was not so lucky and missed morning warm up while the MotoAmerica medical staff tended to some injuries suffered in the crash. “I couldnt move when I got out of bed. I felt like I had been hit by a truck.” said Rees regarding the injuries. “Dr. Rossi worked on my back and neck for nearly an hour to get me loosened up and ready.”
Race 2 started and Gauge was running well until a strange crash took him out. The team later found hidden damage to the radiator that had caused the cap to fail once the bike had hit temperature. Gauge suffered a broken wrist in the crash.