As if we all needed further proof that Twins Cup is decidedly different than the other four race classes in the MotoAmerica Championship, defending Twins Cup Champion Chris Parrish, who has raced and developed his #1 Ghetto Customs Suzuki SV650 for the past couple of years, will be aboard a Team AP MotoArts Yamaha FZ-07/MT-07, which is painted in Parrish’s signature blue-and-silver livery with his #1 plate on the front and sides.
AP MotoArts owner Andy Palmer, who has been developing go-fast components for the Yamaha (aka, “The Tuning Forks Company”) FZ-07/MT-07 ever since the motorcycle was first launched in 2015, has worked with Twins Cup FZ-07/MT-07 riders Jason Madama and Draik Beauchamp in the past, and he currently works with Twins Cup FZ-07/MT-07 rider Cooper McDonald. As of this weekend, Parrish will race a Yamaha twin for Palmer’s AP MotoArts team, as well.
“I’ve been in contact with Andy for a while now, and we recently got together up at a club racing weekend at Brainerd (International Raceway),” Parrish said. “Andy lives in Minnesota, so I drove up from Tennessee, got there in the middle of the night, got a couple of hours of sleep, and met Andy at 5:30 A.M. so we could make the drive to Brainerd.
“I’d never been to that track before, and I’ve never raced a Yamaha twin before, either, but we did really well up there, and I ended up only a tenth of a second off the fastest lap time for a lightweight Twin at that track.”
Parrish took the bodywork from the Yamaha back home to his Ghetto Customs paint shop in Tennessee, and painted it in his team livery. Yesterday at New Jersey Motorsports Park, Parrish and Palmer put the finishing touches on the bike.
Parrish also painted his new Team AP MotoArts teammate McDonald’s bodywork, and transformed the bike from its primered livery (which Palmer and McDonald referred to as “Ceramic Silver”) to a more colorful, gradient orange and blue paint scheme with McDonald’s competition number 120 on the front and sides.
At Pittsburgh International Race Complex, it was apparent to Parrish (and anyone else watching the Twins Cup class) that The Draik 77 Yamaha FZ-07/MT-07 rider Beauchamp had the measure of Parrish’s Suzuki SV650 on top speed.
“I feel like I’ve squeezed every bit of top-end out of my Suzuki with all the development work I’ve done on the bike, but when I raced Andy’s Yamaha, it really opened my eyes,” commented Parrish.
Whichever phrase you want to use—“if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em,” “imitation is the sincerest form of flattery,” or “beat ’em at their own game”—Parrish doesn’t care. All he wants to do is win and, well, to use another phrase, “all’s fair in love and Twins Cup.”
The Twins Cup class will practice at 1:10 p.m. on Saturday at New Jersey Motorsports Park, have two qualifying sessions on Sunday morning at 9 a.m. and 11:20 a.m., and race on Sunday afternoon at 4 p.m. Stay tuned to find out if Parrish’s big switch pays off for him.
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