Tuned Racing entry finished second in race one and won race two at UMC to lock up title.
Bryce Prince arrived at Utah Motorsports Campus for the MotoAmerica Superbike Championship of Utah with one goal in mind: win the Superstock 600 title.
“We had a huge lead in the championship coming into this race,” said the 23-year-old Riders Discount Tuned Racing rider, “and I really wanted to win.”
Prince was third in opening practice, first in the second, and top qualifier, nearly half a second quicker than HB Racing/Meen Yamaha’s Richie Escalante, who is back in top form following an off-season leg injury.
“Richie was riding really well,” Prince admitted, “and I knew he would put a lot of pressure on us.” On Friday, Prince finished second in 16-lap race one, 15 seconds behind Escalante.
Saturday’s race was much closer. “Depending on how the start went, that is how the race was going to go,” Prince said. “I made sure I got up to the front by the first couple of corners.
“I was right behind Richie. I kept pressure on him the whole time. My plan was to pass him with one lap to go, put my head down, and gap him to the line. I thought drafting him down the front straight would probably be the best bet, and that’s exactly how it worked out.”
Margin of victory after 16 laps was 0.340 seconds. Prince is the first MotoAmerica rider to lock up a championship this season.
“We’re still on the fence as far as what we’re going to do for the last two rounds,” Prince said. “We might try to ride Supersport or we might stay in Superstock 600. We’re not sure yet.”
“I would like to do Supersport to help elevate my game going into next season. I think it would be a smart move for my career. I don’t have any expectations of winning, but hopefully I can be competitive with some of the guys up front.”
Superstock 1000 is also on their radar. “We have talked about doing Superstock 1000 next year,” Prince said. “We even debated Laguna Seca. Problem is, I don’t have any test time on a liter bike. We might do it at New Jersey.”
That’s a discussion for another day. For now, during their 14-hour drive back to Bakersfield, California, Prince and Pond can bask in the glow of their first national championship.