Local wild-cards Steve Rapp and Aaron Yates, riding freshly built CRT motorcycles, reached the finish of Sunday's Indianapolis MotoGP.
Rapp, who had failed to qualify at the previous Laguna Seca event, brought his Kawasaki-powered Attack Performance machine home in 15th place, with Yates 16th and last of the finishers.
However a later protest moved Rapp up to 14th at the expense of James Ellison. 22 riders started the race.
“The bike was amazingly good all weekend. I can't think Richard [owner Richard Stamboli] and the guys enough,” said Rapp
“We improved the bike every second, every session. I was completely happy with the bike, and I got a decent start and ran with some of the guys who have been racing all year. I learned a little bit, picked up a few things and just ran to the end.
“I wanted to run with the guys the whole race, but I dropped off maybe seven or eight laps into it, and from then on, I was on my own the rest of the race. At that point, it was actually easier for me because I could just concentrate on what I was doing, riding my own pace, trying to be smooth and doing the best I could.
“Our plan was Laguna Seca and Indy, so we have no plan as of now. That was our goal, and that's what we have done. We were successful and we can hold our heads high, and I will go back to AMA Superbikes.”
Team owner Stanboli added: “It took every bit of our group, everyone, to make this happen. Hopefully someone will notice, and we will get a chance to do it again. That's our goal. We couldn't ask for much more ([than to score points in the first race for the bike]. We'll continue to work on the bike and see if we can get on the racetrack again soon.”
For Rapp's fellow AMA veteran Yates, Indianapolis marked his and the GPTech team's MotoGP debut. Like Colin Edwards
(13th), James Ellison
(14th) and Rapp, Yates crossed the finish line one lap down.
“I wish we could have been a little more competitive, but we did what we could with what we had to work with. Everybody's happy. We finished the race, and we were 16th – that's better than where we started,” said Yates, who was riding a Suzuki powered bike.
“The start of the race was the first time I've ridden a bike with a full load of fuel. Man, it did make a difference. I ran into the corner and couldn't get the bike to slow down or get it to turn.