The third round of the 2020 MotoAmerica Superbike Championship heads to Road Atlanta in Georgia this weekend with Ducati riders Kyle Wyman (KATO Fastening/KWR Ducati Team) and PJ Jacobsen (Celtic HSBK Racing) ready to face the challenge of one of the world’s premier road courses.
It will prove a grueling event for America’s top road racing stars as they battle around the picturesque 2.54-mile venue while fighting high humidity and the chance of thunderstorms on Saturday and Sunday.
After securing a double podium at round two of the 2020 MotoAmerica Superbike Championship at Road America, Wyman is enjoying the best start to a season in his professional Superbike career. The Arizona resident sits fourth overall in the standings—just two points off third-placed Bobby Fong—and will be looking to hoist himself into the top three at Road Atlanta, a track at which he secured a sixth place in Race One of 2019.
For Jacobson, the move to Road Atlanta comes with a chance of redemption following a morning warm-up crash at Road America’s round two that forced the New Yorker to withdraw from the meeting in both the Stock 1000 category and Superbike Cup.
Jacobsen was dominant during round one at Road America, showing the race speed of the Panigale V4 R in Stock 1000 trim, and will be looking to hoist himself back into championship contention at the ultra-fast Road Atlanta, a track that will play to his machine’s strengths.
His will be an extra strenuous encounter, as he’ll be doing double duty with two Stock 1000 races compared to the traditional single outing, plus two full length races as part of the Superbike Cup for Stock 1000 machines that runs in conjunction with the MotoAmerica Superbike field.
Kyle Wyman (#33 KATO Fastening/KWR Ducati Team)—Fourth (Superbike)
“It’s good to go somewhere else,” Wyman says. “It feels like months of focusing just on Road America. Road Atlanta will be almost like a new track for us because last year Atlanta was the first time we rode the V4 R. It was all stock, and the bike has developed a long way since then. Our focus on Friday will be getting the electronics dialed as we didn’t have the Marelli electronics on the bike last year. I really like the track, and I think we can pull a good result out of the Ducati. The counter-rotating crankshaft makes a difference on the direction change, and this track has a ton of quick direction changes in the first part of the lap. Then there’s a crest on the straight where you normally have to take power out, but we don’t need to because of the winglets. These are two very specific characteristics of the V4 R that are going to help us here.”
PJ Jacobsen (#99 Celtic HSBK Racing)—Fifth (Stock 1000), Second (Superbike Cup)
“I’m really looking forward to getting back out there on the Celtic Racing Panigale V4 R,” Jacobsen said. “Last year I was riding the Supersport 600 bike so this year will be much faster on the Panigale. We are always learning with this bike as it is new to both myself and the team. After the disappointment of round two at Road America I’m looking forward to making that up this weekend in Atlanta.”
Circuit: Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta, Braselton, Georgia
2019 Fastest Lap: Cameron Beaubier (Yamaha) 1:24.882
Lap Record: Garrett Gerloff (Yamaha, 2019) 1:23.844
Track Length: 2.54 miles
Races: 2 x 19 laps (Superbike), 2 x 13 laps (Stock 1000)
Bike: 2020 Ducati Panigale V4 R
Residence: Tucson, Ariz.
First Pro Race: 2009
Bike: 2020 Ducati Panigale V4 R
Residence: Westtown, N.Y.
First Pro Race: 2010