“Flashes of Brilliance” for Altus/Tucker/TerpTastick.com/VP Lubricants Team at Road Atlanta.
(Atlanta, GA) – Altus Motorsports Tucker TerpTastick.com VP Lubricants Team rolled into Road Atlanta primed and ready for Round 1 of the MotoAmerica Championships. Altus Motorsports raised the bar again for 2019 with an impressive new team of championship caliber riders and new pit setup which is equally impressive. George and Janette Nassaney, Team owners, have a strong and long commitment to the MotoAmerica Championships and to the sport of motorcycle road racing.
George Nassaney of Altus Motorsports summed up the weekend like this: “Team Riders Miles Thornton and Kevin Olmedo showed flashes of brilliance this weekend. Both riders were on point with their machines and pushing the envelope to be on top of the box. We also suffered some unfortunate difficulties in Supersport and Twins Cup competition. Professional racing is a roller coaster of extreme highs and extreme lows, the teams that can manage and make adjustments under these conditions are the ones that win championships, and we are working to do just that”.
Liqui Moly Junior Cup: Kevin Olmedo showed his skills and grit in Atlanta. In spite of crashing in qualifying, he still ended up 6th on the starting grid. On lap 4 of Race 1, he made contact with another rider causing minor damage to his front tire and wheel. The incident didn’t slow Olmedo one bit. He started the last lap leading a four-bike battle for third. A nail-biting lap put him across the line in 6th, missing the podium spot by just half a second. Race 2 looked to be even better. Olmedo rode the wheels off his bike, barely missing out on second place at the line. Unfortunately, the replacement wheel that was used for that race still had bearings used for club racing. The parts were deemed an infraction, and Kevin was disqualified. “This was an honest mistake, and we feel horrible for the kid. He rode his butt off. We are going to pay him the contingency he lost because of this oversight. It wouldn’t be fair otherwise. He did his job, and we are looking forward to seeing what he can do the rest of the year,” said George Nassaney.
Stock 1000: In spite of a minor mechanical issue that sidelined him for part of Q2, Miles Thornton managed to qualify at the front of the second row in 4th position on his Suzuki GSX-R 1000. During the race, he showed incredible pace and set the fastest lap on several occasions. Unfortunately, a slight mistake on lap six sent him into the gravel trap at 170mph. Thanks to Arai Helmets and RS Taichi, Miles suffered no significant injuries and is excited to grid up at VIR and try again to put the Altus Motorsports GSX-R 1000 on the podium. The final timesheet shows him with the second fastest lap of the race, and Thornton knows he can run with the guys up front and contend for the championship.
Supersport 600: Lucas Silva qualified in P13 on his Altus Motorsports GSX-R 600. In the first 600 race of the year, Lucas scored an impressive top 10 finish. Bringing the bike home in 9th. He scored points again on Sunday by crossing the line in 12th. A great start to the season.
Jaret Nassaney’s first race didn’t go as well. 12 laps into Race 1, some electrical gremlins from an earlier crash began limiting the top speed of his GSX-R 600 forcing him to retire. Jaret started from 16th in Race 2 and quickly jumped into a battle for 14th. In an exciting fight that went from flag-to-flag, Nassaney took the position by a tenth of a second at the line. Despite the DNF on Saturday, he scored points on Sunday and is pleased with the bike, his progress throughout the weekend, and his improvements over last year.
Twins Cup: The weekend started strong for Austin Phillips and the Altus Motorsports MT07; 7th place in the first practice session. Halfway through Q1, the bike started smoking. Adjustments were made Friday night, but the issue was not resolved for Saturday’s Q2 session. The motor was still making good power, but there was clearly an issue, and the decision was made not to run it. Unfortunately, after the test day at Jennings a couple of weeks ago the motor was torn down for inspection and cracks were discovered. Because there were no cases available in the U.S., the spare motor was scavenged to put a bike on the grid for round 1. Austin went to work and found a stock motor to put into the chassis to make the start of Race 1. With the underpowered bike, the race was a struggle and Austin crossed the line in 31st understandably disappointed. After a discussion with the team, Austin has chosen to change direction. “It’s unfortunate. Austin has talent, and I believe we have a great package. I know he had high hopes for this weekend and not being on a competitive bike for the race was hard. We wish him luck in the future.” said George.
“I’ve been in business a long time, and one thing is true to expect the unexpected. We will learn from this weekend, apply it and make adjustments and be ready for the top of the box in Virginia,” said George Nassaney.
The Altus Motorsports team is supported by our great family of sponsors: Altus Motorsports, Tucker Powersports, TerpTastick.com, Conquest CBD, VP Lubricants, RS Taichi, Arai, Moto D, Bonamici, Hotbodies Racing, SBS Brakes, Vortex, Motion Pro, STACYC, Law Tigers, Dunlop, Team Hammer, and Altus Factory Racing
All Photos: Brian J. Nelson