LE Tonglet, who has dominated the action in this year’s Mello Yello Pro Stock Motorcycle competition, displayed similar mastery in this year’s edition of the Mickey Thompson Tires Pro Bike Battle as he won an eventful final-round contest against Eddie Krawiec. The starting-line edge went to Krawiec, who had a deadly .015-second reaction time, but when his Harley-Davidson Street Rod began to drift to the center line, Krawiec was forced to lift. Tonglet went ahead to take the win stripe with a time of 6.827.
|LE Tonglet, near lane, outran Eddie Krawiec to win this year's Mickey Thompson Tires Pro Bike Battle.|
Tonglet’s victory came in his first-ever appearance in the bonus race-within-a-race and snapped a three-year streak for the Harley contingent at the bonus event in Sonoma. Andrew Hines won in 2016 and 2014, while Krawiec took the title in 2015.
“This means a lot,” said Tonglet. “It was the first time I’ve been in the Battle, and to be able to win it on the first go-around is pretty amazing. Hopefully, we can get in it next year and do the same thing. My brother won the Battle back in 2005, and just to be able to follow in his footsteps means a lot to me.
“Any time that you can win rounds and win events just builds more and more confidence, and right now we are very confident, and that’s not good for all the other racers. I wish we could have had an all-WAR final, but we’re just lucky to get the victory away from the Harleys. They’re struggling right now, which is pretty surprising to me, but eventually they’re going to figure it out, and they’re going to be right back at the top. Hopefully, they just struggle a little bit longer. [Laughs]”
In the semi’s, Tonglet advanced with his best run of the eliminations, a 6.783, to turn back Hines, while Jerry Savoie, Tonglet’s teammate, negated a solid 6.800 by leaving .008-second too soon against Krawiec’s slower time of 6.840. Interestingly, Savoie won on a -.006 red-light start by Hector Arana Jr. in the first round, where Arana also had the quicker time, 6.773 to Savoie’s winning 6.784. Other first-round highlights included Krawiec outrunning Chip Ellis, 6.851 to 6.950; Hines topping Matt Smith, 6.866 to 6.879; and Tonglet besting Angelle Sampey, 6.830 to a 10.261.
Tonglet earned $7,500 for his win, while Krawiec pocketed $2,500.