Local and regional motorcycle road racing have always been the lifeblood of AMA-sanctioned professional road racing in the U.S., and when the MotoAmerica Twins Cup class was first conceived, hopes and expectations were that riders from WERA (West-Eastern Roadracing Association), AFM (American Federation of Motorcyclists), ASRA (American Sportbike Racing Association), CCS (Championship Cup Series), and other organizations would join the MotoAmerica grid aboard their quintessential club-racing bikes like the ubiquitous Suzuki SV650, the Yamaha FZ-07/MT-07, and the Kawasaki Ninja 650/650R – all relatively inexpensive motorcycles that have proven to be highly capable lightweight road racing machines.
At VIRginia International Raceway last weekend, that concept came to full fruition, and a lot of the credit for the expanded Twins Cup grid at VIR goes to one man: Russell Masecar.
A long-time regional and club racer in the Southeast, Masecar has competed for years in WERA, as well as in Suzuki Cup events. At 54 years old, he still races and is still fast, but he’s also very involved in developing young racers. According to Masecar, he has “about eight SV650’s out there” that he’s given to other Southeast racers to compete on in various events.
Masecar can rightfully be called the Pied Piper of Twins Cup, since he led, or had a part in leading, a total of eight riders to the Twins Cup grid at VIR, under the team name, or partially associated with the team name, of RBoM Racing.
And the results were eyebrow-raising, as three of the eight “R-BoMers” swept Saturday’s Twins Cup podium at VIR aboard their Suzuki SV650 machines, with Xavier Zayat taking the checkers over Chris Parrish and Curtis Murray. Parrish and Murray also competed, and podiumed, at round one of the MotoAmerica Twins Cup Championship at Road Atlanta, and they now sit first and third, respectively, in the points standings.
So, what exactly does “RBoM” mean? Well, Russell Masecar doesn’t like to bring a lot of attention to himself, and the true meaning of RBoM has been somewhat lost in the annals of regional road racing over the years. It’s an acronym that refers to Masecar himself: Russell’s Band of Misfits.
At VIR, there was nothing “misfit” about Russell’s Band. Masecar, RBoM Racing, and their Suzuki SV650’s fit perfectly into the MotoAmerica Twins Cup class. And not only that, they dominated the field.
But Masecar and the RBoM Racing gang are regional racers. Will they take their Band on the road? “Chris (Parrish) will be going to Road America, for sure,” commented Masecar. “Since he’s leading the championship, he’s going to try to race the whole series. But, I’m not sure about the other guys. A lot of the SV650 racers look at the rules for MotoAmerica Twins Cup and think, the way, they’re written, that the SV’s are no match for the Yamaha (FZ-07/MT-07).”
Perhaps, Russell’s Misfits changed that perception a little bit, based on the results from Road Atlanta, and especially from VIR. Masecar says there is room on the bandwagon for other SV650 racers to climb aboard.
“I’m from North Carolina, so I’m mostly focused on the Southeast. But, maybe what we did at Road Atlanta and VIR will light a fire under some of those West Coast SV650 riders. We’ll have to see as the MotoAmerica Twins Cup season goes on.”