New MOTO-ST Motorcycle Series Shakes Down Daytona
M4 EMGO Suzuki rider Michael Barnes and Ed Sorbo participated in the test as the MOTO-ST Series gathered information about the course configuration, lighting, tires and the motorcycle.
The MOTO-ST Series will hold the 8 Hours of Daytona on Saturday, Oct. 21 beginning at 1 p.m. with $100,000 in purse and lap money. MOTO-ST will kick off their 2007 inaugural season in March at DIS during Daytona 200 Week By Honda.
"The goals for this test are mainly the course configuration, just making sure that the ideas they had are going too work for this type of race," Barnes said. "We've got a couple of different options as far as the infield is concerned mainly being the west horseshoe with the new pavement and the old west horseshoe.
"Other than that, we're testing the longevity of the spec Pirelli tires to get an idea how long they are going to last versus fuel load and just see if there any other safety issues that we want to address as far as the track is concerned. It's not really a test session for performance. We just threw some tires and some minor suspension on the bike. It's nowhere near race trim. It's mainly for the sanctioning body and the track."
Barnes, who will ride a Suzuki in the 8 Hours of Daytona with Chris Ulrich and Geoff May, is a veteran of Daytona International Speedway and endurance motorcycle races.
"I've done a bunch of world endurance," said Barnes, who use to live in the Daytona Beach area and attended nearby Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. "I've done 24-hour races. I've done the Suzuka 8 Hour which is very similar to this format (finishing) into the night with the majority of (the race) being during the day. This is going to be easy. You've got a lot of lights and a lot of time to rest on the straightaways and on the banking. It won't be nearly as taxing as some of the race tracks that I've done for endurance racing.
"The biggest thing for any endurance race as far as the rider is concerned is hydration and making sure you're physically ready. Other than that, especially coming here to Daytona, the attrition of the equipment is probably most critical. You want to build a bike that's going to last rather than be the fastest one out there. Eight hours at Daytona is going to be really quite taxing on a motorcycle."
Barnes, who now resides in Boca Raton, Fla., is excited about the opportunity to compete under the lights at the "World Center of Racing." The 8 Hours of Daytona, which will finish under the lights, is the first nighttime motorcycle race at DIS since the 1985 Paul Revere 250.
"Racing at Daytona under the lights is something that hasn't been available in my career," Barnes said. "I've never had a lap around here at night until tonight. It's going to be interesting."
Tickets for Fall Cycle Scene are available at www.racetickets.com or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.