Dragbike.com SuperSport is the ultimate finesse class in motorcycle drag racing. With strict rules limiting modifications, the machines and riding techniques must be finely tuned within tight tolerances with little margin for error – just the lab that Brock’s Performance excels in. Brock’s Performance riders have won the SuperSport championship four of the last five years and can claim seven of the top-10 riders in 2009.
Rickey Gadson and Joey Gladstone
The SuperSport championship battle in 2009 was fought between contrasting players. On one side you have Rickey Gadson, the crafty veteran with numerous championships in multiple classes and a name that is among the most recognizable in the sport. On the other side is Joey Gladstone, a second-year rider in a low-buck race operation. Gadson would be riding a ZX-14; Gladstone a GSX-R1000.
Gadson came out of the gate hard in 2009, winning the first two events. He started the year with the points lead and never gave it up. Not that Gladstone didn’t try. The youngster won three of the next four events, beating Gadson in two of those finals. Gladstone also earned the number one qualifying spot twice in the span.
But Gadson would eventually spoil the party. The one event of the four Gladstone didn’t win – Indy – was won by Gadson, and the Kawasaki rider would take a virtually insurmountable points lead into the Valdosta Finals.
Gadson capped the year with a win at Valdosta to cement the third SuperSport championship of his career, and the first since 2005. Gadson faced another young talent in the Valdosta final in Jeremy Teasley. Gadson won on a holeshot with an 8.96 elapsed time to Teasley’s quicker 8.95.
“Rickey did what I expected him to do,” said Brock. ‘I am a firm believer that if you put a good piece of equipment under a good rider, they can get it done. Last year we did it with Keith Dennis, and they (Rickey and Keith) were on totally different bikes. If you give those guys what they need to go to work, they will win championships.”
“Rickey stayed strong and kept pace throughout the year,” added Brock. “When you are faster than everybody else it is easy to get complacent. When Rickey was challenged, he stepped up.”
Gadson ended the season holding both the 1/4 and 1/8 mile elapsed time records (8.907 5.823 seconds respectively).
As for Gladstone, he asserted himself as a player in the class and one to watch in 2010.
“Joey was giving Rickey all he could handle,” said Brock. “Joey is a state-level wrestler. You don’t get to that level at a young age without incredible drive, determination and focus. He applied those same attributes to his racing, and gave Rickey fits in the last half of the season.”
Gladstone ended the season holding the class 1/8 mile speed record at 128.48 mph. He took the same GSX-R1000 to a third place in points in the Street ET series.
Brock liked the contrast between Gadson and Gladstone as his team riders. “It was old age and trickery verses youth and exuberance,” said Brock. “We gave ‘em both!”
Farlie Hall started on the tear in 2009 with three-straight final round appearances in SuperSport. At the third event on the schedule – Martin, MI – Hall made history, setting the first eight second record for the class with a 8.99 second elapsed time to earn his only number one qualifying spot of the season.
Hall was one of the early adopters of running a ZX-14 in SuperSport competition and brought the first ZX-14 to the SuperSport winners circle in 2008. After his strong start in 2009 he struggled down the stretch, missing both the Atco and Norwalk events. Still, he was able to place 4th in the national points in SuperSport in 2009, matching his 2008 finish.
Danny Payton has established himself as a perennial player in SuperSport competition. His number five plate in 2009 marked his third-straight top10 national ranking.
Running a 2009 GSXR-1000 this season, Payton was not eliminated in the first round at any event. He made the semifinals at Indy, Atco and the Valdosta finals.
BST Real Street
BST Real Street has become the hot class for heads-up, pro-style sportbike drag racing with power adders. Brock’s Performance backs supported riders with suspension systems, clutch components, exhaust systems for nitrous bikes and of course – world-class on-site tuning expertise.
Keith Thompson had a fine year on the HTP Performance Suzuki GSX-R1000 in the BST Real Street class. He won two events and became the first Real Street machine to make a seven second run, recording a 7.98 at 172 mph in Martin, MI.
Thompson was the only legitimate threat to unseat reigning Real Street champ, Jeremy Teasley, this season.
The pair battled for the points lead right down to the Valdosta finals. They met in the semifinals where Thompson got the holeshot, but could not hold off Teasley who would score low E.T. of the event. Thompson lost the match – and the championship – by a .0005 margin of victory.
“That was a heartbreaker,” said Brock. “Keith was our chosen one, and we really would have liked to see him to come away with a championship. It is unfortunate that bad decision making from the previous technical staff had an effect on the national championship.”
Brock, who ran the sport’s first seven-second street bike pass, was particularly satisfied with Thompson’s run at Martin.
“Breaking a barrier like that solidifies a milestone in technology and performance,” said Brock. “It is how the history of the sport is written. Keith may have come in second in the championship, but he was the first Real Street bike in the seven second zone, and no one can take that away from him.”
Anyone who would question Rickey Gadson’s racing chops needs to look no further than his ZX-14 Real Street machine. While Gadson is frequently a hired gun – running a bike that is owned, built and tuned by others – his Real Street program is his own handiwork.
Gadson just squeaked into the top 10 national rankings by one point but the accomplishment is impressive considering he only entered the bike at half of the events in 2009. He debuted the bike at Martin and made the final. His second final of the year came at Norwalk.
Nephew of Rickey, Richard Gadson, has made a name for himself running in multiple classes – and winning races. He is supported by Brock’s Performance on the HTP Performance nitrous Hayabusa running in Real Street. Richard placed 7th in the Real Street points in 2009, going to the semifinals at Valdosta and Indy. Gadson competed in only one Real Street event in 2008.
Corey Ballard took the eighth spot in the Real Street points, marking his second-straight top 10 finish. Ballard made every event in 2009, starting the year with a final round appearance at Valdosta and later making the quarterfinals at Atco.
Orient Express Pro Street
Pro Street has evolved to become high-tech missiles based on modern sportbike platform. They are the quickest sportbikes on the planet.
Victor Gotay made quite a story in 2009. Running Ken Edwards’ “No Joke” Pro Street turbo Hayabusa, Gotay had a top end crash at Norwalk, only to return to competition later in the event.
At the finals at Valdosta, Gotay went all the way, coming out of the sixth qualifying spot and running as quick as a 7.20 at 204 mph and taking out Mike Kavos, who was looking for his second win of the year, in the final.
Gotay is no stranger to the winner’s circle, earning four wins en route to his 2007 Super Street championship.
Gotay ran Edwards Pro Street bike for most of the season, going to the semifinals at Martin and Indy. Edwards runs his Suzuki “B-King” in Street Fighter competition and had gone to the winners circle himself. He is known for immaculately prepared machines and his Pro Street Busa is a pretty piece. Although it got scratched up in Norwalk, it was shining bright at the Valdosta finals.
Gotay placed fifth in the Pro Street national championship points.
Help Me Ride Super Street
Super Street has been cancelled as an eliminator class in the 2010 AMA Dragbike schedule. Still the competition was strong in 2009 and Brock’s Performance riders made their presence known.
Stacy Smith came out strong in Super Street in 2009. Riding the turbo GSX-R1000 that Nick Mazeika took the championship a year earlier, qualifying number 1 at the first two events and going to a final.
The team struggled mid-season, and Smith missed both the Indy and Atco events.
Smith received some unexpected help from Bryan Snyder at Quantum Motorsports who relocated his shop from Ohio to Texas in the middle of the year.
Smith finished the year as strong (actually stronger) than he started it. He won the Norwalk event, and then qualified number one at Valdosta and went to the final. His strong late-season surge propelled him to the number two spot in the championship points.
Joe Franco, Jr.
Second-generation racer, Joe Franco, Jr., took his nitrous Hayabusa to a number three plate in Super Street in 2009. Franco asserted himself as a player, winning Atco and going to the semifinals at the opening event at Valdosta as well as Atlanta, Norwalk, and the Valdosta Finals.
Eric Sanzoterra, the veteran sportbike racer from St Louis placed fourth in Super Street competition despite missing the required Valdosta Finals. Sanzoterra, who run’s out his brother Rudy’s Quicktime Motorsports speed shop, had his best finish of 2009 at Martin where he went to the final.
Sportsman Streetbike Classes
Charlie Tyre and Joe Huto
The Rampage Racing team of Charlie Tyre and Joe “Cool” Huto made their mark on the sportbike scene at the AMA Dragbike series this season garnering respective championships in Schnitz Street Fighter and Brock’s Performance Street ET.
Running out of Georgia, Tyre and Huto are on Brock’s technical support program, and you would think they are on a full sponsorship as their bikes are painted “Brock Blue”. Merely a coincidence is it said.
Tyre took an Atco win and quarterfinal finish into the Valdosta finals were he was locked in a championship battle with sportsman dragbike legend and Brock-equipped Andy Baumbach. Baumbach went out in round one, and Tyre went to the quarterfinal to cement the #1 plate.
Huto started the season strong with a semi and a quarterfinal appearance at the Saturday-Sunday events at the opening race at Valdosta. Midway through the season he came on strong with a win at Indy on Saturday and Atco on Sunday.
It was all but done by the Valdosta finals. Huto went out strong with a semifinal finish on Saturday. His victory lap was short-lived on Sunday as he went out in round one.
Andy Baumbach went to the Street ET winner’s circle on Sunday, but came up short for season, putting him second in the championship, 90 points behind Huto. Baumbach must be hating those black and blue bikes.
Team Brock’s Performance thanks the following partners
* Brock’s Performance
* Quantum Motorsports
* Scantek, Inc.
* Hindle Products Ltd.
* BST Carbon Fiber Wheels
* World Wide Bearings
* Kawasaki Team Green Racing Program
* Web-Cam Racing Camshafts
* Bates Custom Leathers
* Vanson Leathers
* Dynojet Research Inc.
* Alisyn Synthetic Lubricants
* Öhlins Advanced Suspension Technology- USA
* Innovate Motor Sports
* Vortex Racing
* Millennium Technologies
Davidson owns and operates Brock’s Performance Products, which specializes in a vast array of performance products for sport bikes, for racing, and for street applications. For more information log onto www.brocksperformance.com
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