Man in a Van with a Plan 2.0 Race Report: Road Atlanta

The reinforcements are coming

Civil War General William Tecumseh Sherman would be proud of Hayden Gillim. Gillim, our beloved Cycle World-backed Man in a Van with a Plan, is doing his best at holding the fort with the knowledge that reinforcements are coming. In this case Gillim doing his best with a well-used weapon, racing the opening rounds of the 2017 MotoAmerica Bazzaz Superstock Championship on last year's race machine.

Hold on Hayden - help is on the way!

The team has the new 2017 Suzuki GSX-R1000 and Gillim's crew chief Rick Matheny is burning the midnight oil in order to get the 2017 Gixxer race ready. The 2017 Suzuki is totally new, so performance pieces are still are to come by. Matheny was up against it trying to get an exhaust for the bike. On Friday at Road Atlanta, Yoshimura Suzuki's Don Sakakura lent Matheny a spare exhaust from the factory Superbike. Matheny rushed back to his Grayson, Georgia, shop to see how it fit.

“The bike was a frame and a swingarm sitting on my bench,” Matheny explained. “I put a shock in it, the triples on it, forks on it with the engine in it then the exhaust to find out what the fitment issues with the race pipe were. And then took it all apart and put the exhaust back in the package. I was up ‘til midnight and then got up at 4:30 to finish it.”

hayden gillim road atlanta action
MotoAmerica, Round 2. Road AtlantaBrian J. Nelson

Matheny figures he can sleep when he’s done racing.

The hope is to have the 2017 ready by the MotoAmerica round at Virginia International Raceway in a couple of weeks.

Attack Performance has the team’s B bike where Richard Stanboli is making rearsets and triple clamps. When the team gets that machine back they’ll have their spare.

As for rider and van driver Gillim, the week between COTA and Road Atlanta was a mix of training and relaxation, which included a fiercely competitive round of Cornhole.

hayden gillim road atlanta race action
MotoAmerica, Round 2. Road AtlantaBrian J. Nelson

"I did a little driving and went to Josh Herrin's compound (in Dublin, GA) and met up with Josh Hayes, his wife Melissa and Jamie Astudillo (new KTM RC Cup racer) and watched her do a couple of laps on the KTM there just to get her in the flow. I hung out there for a couple of days and then we came up here (to Road Atlanta) and played some Cornhole and a round of golf. I kind of took a couple of days to relax and gather my thoughts as we got ready to race here this weekend."

At Road Atlanta Hayden scored a fifth and fourth-place result in Superstock 1000. In the overall Superbike results he just missed cracking the top 10, with a pair of 11th-place results.

Next up is testing of the new 2017 when it’s ready at the Jennings GP circuit in north Florida, before heading back up to Virginia for round three of MotoAmerica. With new armament Gillim is hoping to get a little thicker into the battle.

That’s the plan.

hayden gillim road atlanta action
MotoAmerica, Round 2. Road AtlantaBrian J. Nelson

Road Atlanta MVP Results Recap

Session/Race Position Best Time
Race 1 12th overall, 5th in class 1:27.818
Race 2 11th overall, 4th in class 1:27.550
Current Superbike Standings 12th

Scroll down for even more MVP photos from Road Atlanta

hayden gillim road atlanta pit action
MotoAmerica, Round 2. Road AtlantaBrian J. Nelson
hayden gillim road atlanta pit action
MotoAmerica, Round 2. Road AtlantaBrian J. Nelson
hayden gillim road atlanta pit action
MotoAmerica, Round 2. Road AtlantaBrian J. Nelson
hayden gillim road atlanta action
MotoAmerica, Round 2. Road AtlantaBrian J. Nelson
hayden gillim road atlanta action
MotoAmerica, Round 2. Road AtlantaBrian J. Nelson
hayden gillim road atlanta action
MotoAmerica, Round 2. Road AtlantaBrian J. Nelson
hayden gillim road atlanta action
MotoAmerica, Round 2. Road AtlantaBrian J. Nelson
hayden gillim road atlanta race action
MotoAmerica, Round 2. Road AtlantaBrian J. Nelson
hayden gillim road atlanta race action
MotoAmerica, Round 2. Road AtlantaBrian J. Nelson