XR1200: Round #6 – Indianapolis GP Race #2 Report
For the second consecutive day, a rider from outside the XR Showdown title chase stepped forward to claim victory in AMA Pro Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson Series action at the Red Bull Indianapolis GP.
And yet again, it came down to a photo finish as PETRONAS/KWR’s Hafizh Syahrin earned his first career AMA Pro Road Racing win by drafting past Steve Rapp at the checkered flag by just 0.060 seconds.
The Malaysian, nicknamed “The Fish” during his time racing in Spain, led his home Grand Prix at Sepang en route to a fourth-place result in the Moto2 World Championship race last season and showcased world-class adaptability throughout the Indy weekend. He continually built up speed as he adapted to the unfamiliar Harley-Davidson XR1200 machinery. On Saturday he managed to fight his way to third position, and he took another big step forward on Sunday to battle up front with XR Showdown favorite Rapp, who came into the Indy weekend riding a wave of four consecutive victories.
The two went back and forth throughout the contest; Rapp repeatedly owned the infield only to find himself outclassed down the long start/finish line straight, which ultimately proved his undoing for a second straight day.
Syahrin capitalized on his top-end advantage, setting Rapp up for a slipstream maneuver on the final lap to storm past just before they hit the stripe.
Syahrin, who competes as a Spanish CEV Moto2 regular, said, “I tried to keep improving every session. We found a very good setting in the first race and then we just tried to improve the rear suspension just a little bit for today’s race because yesterday I had just a little bit too much slide.
“It improved a lot and that’s why I was able to run up front. Steve Rapp and I were the only two in the front and I kept in the second position until the very end. I passed him in the slipstream. I’m very happy to come away with a first place and third place this weekend.”