Starting at the Indianapolis race back in August, Barnes was riding for Kyle Wyman’s team. So, he had a well-prepared machine that, in qualifying at NOLA, he took to the second-fastest time, slotting his bike in beside pole-winner Jake Holden. O’Hara, on his Bartels’ Harley-Davidson XR1200, was alongside Barnes with a time that was only 0.187 seconds slower. It was clear that this was going to be a race to the very, very end. Being too aggressive could win it or lose it; being not aggressive enough could only lose it. Each of these racers knew they needed good choices properly executed.