Matt Smith claims second Mickey Thompson Professional Bike Battle title in three years
It could not have been the prettiest win of his profession, however for the second time within the final three years, Matt Smith claimed a victory within the Mickey Thompson Professional Bike Battle, held Saturday at Indy. Within the ultimate, Smith, rode his Denso EBR previous teammate Scotty Pollacheck to earn the $25,000 high prize. Smith additionally received the Professional Bike Battle in 2018, when the occasion was held in Sonoma, Calif.
The ultimate spherical formally ended on the beginning line when Pollacheck red-lighted by a thousandth of a second, however the actual drama occurred close to the end line when the rear tire on Smith’s Denso EBR locked up as he crossed the end line. Trailing an enormous plume of tire smoke, Smith managed to get the bike stopped safely earlier than accumulating the particular Professional Bike Battle trophy from Mickey Thompson.
“I feel it killed the motor; I used to be in fifth gear and pulled the clutch in and it dead-locked the motor and skidded the tire,” mentioned Smith. “I’m unsure precisely what went unsuitable however in some way we bought the win. Thanks Mickey Thompson for placing this race on and thanks to Denso and Mark Stockseth and everybody who helps me. This race is a giant deal for us [Pro Stock Motorcycle racers] and it means loads.”
The Mickey Thompson Professional Bike Battle is a particular invitational occasion that’s open solely to the highest eight Professional Inventory Bike riders based mostly on the earlier yr’s qualifying outcomes. Smith was the highest seed within the eight-bike area and opened eliminations with a 6.850 to six.843 holeshot win over Angelle Sampey’s Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson. Smith made his greatest run of the weekend within the semifinals the place he used a 6.792 to get previous Jerry Savoie’s Suzuki.
Though Pollacheck misplaced within the ultimate, he definitely had a memorable day on Saturday at Indy. Using his Strutmasters EBR, Pollacheck ran a 6.789 to qualify No. 1 for the second time in his profession and he additionally locked up the fourth spot within the Denso 200-mph Professional Inventory Bike Membership following a monitor file 200.26-mph run. A runner-up on the 2014 Professional Bike Battle, Pollacheck earned his spot within the ultimate with wins in opposition to Steve Johnson and Eddie Krawiec.
Circumstances for NHRA’s two-wheel racers improved dramatically from Friday to Saturday and because of this, almost each one of many eight riders within the Professional Bike Battle area was capable of make a marked enchancment. Pollacheck was quickest together with his historic 6.789, 200.26 mph run, which was simply sufficient to get previous Steve Johnson’s 6.821. Eddie Krawiec additionally discovered the 6.7’s with a 6.790 to beat Hector Arana Jr. Krawiec had been to the ultimate spherical of the final 5 Professional Bike Battle occasions together with a win in 2015.