Gene "Ghenya" Bazyl - #502

Ride:2005 Yamaha YZF-R6
MRA: Middleweight Superbike, Heavyweight Superbike, Race of the Rockies (ROR) GTU, Middleweight Endurance
ASMA: Middleweight Superbike, Heavyweight Superbike, Formula Arroyo
AMA: Formula Extreme
Racing Since:2003
Goals: Finish the season in the top-10 in ROR GTU
Personal Sponsors:
Bazyl Motorsports
Vanmar Racing - Michelin tires
Rebellion Motorsports
BAB Leathers (303-617-1650)
Gene had always been attracted to race bikes, but his parents refused to buy him a motorcycle, so getting one had to wait until he was on his own & making money. In May of 2002 (5/02, which was the inspriation for his number), he had finally saved up enough money to buy a 1992 Honda CBR600F2. He immediately fell in love with riding. In 2003, he moved up to a 1997 Suzuki GSX-R750 and did his first track day in May at PPIR. He was instantly hooked - there was no going back, he had to race.

Gene competed in 1 race weekend in 2003, just to get his feet wet, then with the help of Justin Meyer (#74) and Jason Leleck (#399), got ready for his first full season.

2004 saw Gene win the Novice GTO championship, and place 3rd overall in Novice GTU.

Moving to Expert for 2005, Gene competed in the newly created ROR GTU class. He finished the season in 10th place overall - quite respectible, considering he crashed out of one race, and started another with a broken hand.

Gene prepared for his assault on the 2006 season by mounting lightweight Marchesini wheels, installing a slipper-clutch, and having a superbike motor built. Unfortunately, the new motor wasn't ready in time for the start of the season, but that didn't prevent him from winning the Solo Endurance Middleweight race in the opening round. This was his first expert win in dry conditions, and it gave him the confidence he needed to raise his expectations for the rest of the season. The superbike motor still wasn't ready for the second race weekend, but Gene once again won the Solo Endurance Middleweight race, and had his highest finishes ever in his other 3 classes, confirming that he was going to be a force to be reckoned with this year.

On July 2nd, 1 week before the 3rd race of the season, Gene was practicing at La Junta with his newly installed Superbike motor, when he collided with another rider on the front straight. The other rider, 25-year old Aaron Aiken of Thornton, CO, died the same day at the hospital as a result of his injuries.

Gene was in a coma for 10 days before finally succumbing to his injuries. He was taken off life-support on July 12th.

It was Gene's wish to be an organ donor and his donations went to help save others' lives. Gene left behind his parents, sister and countless friends. However, he was able to leave this world while doing the thing he loved most in life and in the presence of friends. Those of us that are left behind will sorely miss Gene, but are much better people to have known him and will never forget the joyful memories he has given us.

Rest In Peace, Brother... Rest In Peace

At the 3rd race of the season, while Gene was still in a coma, 502 stickers were made available to anybody who wanted to show their support for Gene and his family. Here are some of the bikes that were running the 502 sticker that race weekend.

Due to a series of coincidences, there were no Solo Endurance Middleweight races run until the MRA's return to La Junta in late August. As a result, Gene still held the points lead in this class going into the 6th round of the season. Friend and former racer, Doug "Lurch" Lyle, decided to create a Memorial Cup in Gene's honor. The Eugene Bazyl Memorial Cup will be presented to the season champion of the Solo Endurance Middleweight class for 5 years, after which, it will take it's permanent home with his parents.

If you would like to know more about Gene, you're welcome to read the speech that teammate Dave "Hoopty" VanDeWeert gave at Gene's funeral.

More photos