SONOMA, Calif. (May 6) — For the second AMA Pro Vance & Hines XR1200 Series race in a row, KLR Group pro rider Kyle Wyman watched rival teammates Michael Barnes and Tyler O’Hara cross the finish line ahead of him. While it’s always an accomplishment to end the day on the podium, Wyman admits he expected more from the Great Clips West Coast Moto Jam at Infineon Raceway.
“Any time you’re the No. 1 qualifier coming into a race you know you’ve got a bike that can win,” said Wyman, who ultimately finished third. “Today, I had the winning bike, but physically I wasn’t capable of winning the race.”
Aside from a fractured right heel suffered at the last race two weekends ago in Georgia, Wyman has been battling flu-like symptoms for several days. He believes an adjusted diet and a reduced fitness routine combined to leave him at less than 100 percent.
“I haven’t felt like eating much and on top of that I can’t do any physical activity where I’m on my feet so it’s set me back a little bit,” Wyman said. “I got arm pump really bad and I could barely hold onto the bike. I tried my best to stay with Tyler and Barnsie but once arm pump starts there’s no turning back. I was just holding on those last few laps.
“To get another podium finish for the KLR Group, Vesrah, Spykes, and GK Motorsports is pretty cool. We wanted more today, for sure, but we held our own.”
The term “arm pump” is used to describe a unique phenomenon experienced by motorcycle racers where lactic acid builds up in the forearms. In most cases, a fit rider will be circulating enough blood through their arms to avoid the affects, but at times, it’s impossible to escape.
“Your forearms actually get really big and pumped up and for road racers that makes the problem even worse because they get really constricted inside your leathers,” Wyman said. “I could hold the pace fine for the first several laps but when the arm pump kicked in I had to let them go.”
After leading the first 10 laps, O’Hara was passed by Barnes in the final circuit. The two crossed the finish line .149 seconds apart. Wyman followed 10.238 seconds later.
Wyman will have three weeks to recover for the next AMA Pro Vance & Hines XR1200 Series race, which takes place May 26-28 with the BigM Weekend
at Miller Motorsports Park Tooele, Utah, in the suburbs of Salt Lake City.
“I can’t wait to get there,” Wyman said. “The way this KLR Group Harley-Davidson is running right now gives me so much confidence. If I wasn’t sick, I think we would have been right there with Tyler and Barnsie at the end. It would have been a great finish. It’s okay, we’ll be ready for Salt Lake.”