Erik Buell Racing has become the first American manufacturer to score points in the World Superbike Championship on home soil at Laguna Seca, albeit unexpectedly via its privateer wild-card entrant Larry Pegram.
One of nine manufacturers competing in 2014, the official factory Team Hero EBR outfit made the move into the WSBK this season but has endured a difficult time in bringing the new 1190RX Superbike up to speed with its main rivals.
Having concentrated its resources for a stronger performance on familiar territory at Laguna Seca, factory riders Geoff May and Aaron Yates duly showed notably improved pace over the course of the weekend, with the former very nearly cracking Superpole for the first time.
However, come the races it was Pegram – who usually rides his eponymous Foremost Insurance Pegram Racing EBR 1190RX in the domestic AMA series – that would emerge as the manufacturer's leading contender, benefiting from the high attrition rate in race two to finish 16th, which became 14th at the expense of the two Bimotas being excluded.
With May classified in 16th place and just out of the points, it meant Pegram would emerge with the honour of becoming the first rider in history to take an EBR machine into the points.
Despite the unexpected turn of results, May was nonetheless satisfied with the upturn of performance at Laguna Seca and believes it stands EBR in good stead for the remainder of its first year.
“I gave 110 per cent. I really wanted two solid results here at home, for the fans, for the team and for everyone at EBR. I love riding here at Laguna and the results are for the whole team who have worked so hard all season long and have never given up.
“I hope that we can continue with the steps forward in the last four rounds and hopefully at Jerez I can also take us into Superpole for the first time.”