Henning takes two wins at M1GP round 6
Photos: Kevin Hipp, M1GP staff
Eager to race whenever possible, Werkstatt rider Ari Henning headed out to the Streets of Willows in Rosamond, CA, to compete with M1GP last weekend.
Henning missed practice and qualifying on Saturday due to other obligations, so was gridded last for both of his races on Sunday. An excellent start in the CBR250R Cup race saw Ari slotted into 2nd place going into Turn 1, tucked in behind Javelin Broderick. Javelin – having just raced his GSX-R600 at Laguna Seca with the AMA during the MotoGP weekend – was undeniably Ari’s biggest threat. “It was my first chance to size Jav up,” said Ari of lap one, “and I didn’t intend to give him any leeway since I figured he’d be hard to beat.” Henning didn’t waste time making a pass, slipping under Jav going into the esses on lap two.
“I wasn’t sure if he was holding back, but I wasn’t going to take any chances, so I struck early and then put the hammer down,” says Ari. Corroborating his claim, the timing charts show that Henning clicked off the fastest lap time of the race the following lap. Henning rode well, maintained the lead for the rest of the race, and took the win. Jav came in second, although the overall second place went to 85 GP rider Jason Takamoto on a CRF150R-powered RS125.
The second race of the day was Open GP, which played host to 85 GP racers as well as several Zero electric motorcycles, many of which had just returned from the Pikes Peak event. The e-bikes fired off the line like rockets, putting their superior torque to use to jet out ahead of the internal combustion bikes. Henning closed the gap on the e-bikes on the brakes going into Turn 2, and then slipped under lead rider Brandon Nozak-Miller going through Turn 3. “I fully expected Brandon to blow by me on the back straight,” recalls Henning, “but I found out later that he crashed shortly after I passed him.” That left Takamoto and Broderick to battle for second, while Henning remained out in front, safely out of striking distance.
Henning won Open GP, but he thinks it would have been different if Brandon had stayed upright. “The Zeros are just so much faster, at least in a straight line,” says Ari. “It’s really pretty freaky when they pass you, because the closing speed is so great, but there’s no noise.”
Henning will be back to battle with the high-voltage Zeros and an army of Ninja 250s at Chuckwalla Valley Raceway in mid-September.
Broderick (814), Henning (211), and Takamoto (obscured) arc through Turn 1 early in the 250 Cup race. The 250 Cup race was gridded with the 85 GP machines, yielding some close racing for 2nd place.