Triumph Superbike Classic Recap: AMA Pro SuperSport

NEWS June 28, 2012

Triumph Superbike Classic Recap: AMA Pro SuperSport

Photo by Brian J Nelson

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (June 28, 2012) - At Barber Motorsports Park, the AMA Pro SuperSport class was once again a competitive battle with multiple young riders and brands fighting for victory. Jake Lewis (Riders Discount Vesrah Suzuki) and James Rispoli (Orient Express Celtic Racing) split the wins in what was an important race weekend for everyone because it was a combined East-West race; everyone's points counted in the championship.

Lewis won on Saturday, taking an impressive run to the front. After a protracted battle with Rispoli for second, the Kentuckian ran down polesitter Dustin Dominguez (Latus Motors Racing Triumph) to take the win. The two traded the lead back and forth five times on the penultimate lap before Lewis finally made the race's decisive pass in what was one of the weekend's biggest highlights. The two aggressive and fast riders truly put on a show in the Alabama heat.

"I just settled in and saw what the pace was going to be and tried to manage my tires to save them for the end," Lewis said. "Dustin ended up breaking away a little bit. I set my eyes on him and he was running really well. He had a little gap but I slowly reeled him in, bit by bit and was right there on him. With two laps to go I passed him and we had a good little battle for a bit and then on the last lap I really put my head down."

Dominguez ran strong but a win just eluded him. "The lap leader point was important," said Dominguez. "We put our head down and got a little gap and then had a little tire fade, but that's no excuse. Jake rode an awesome race."

Rispoli took third in the race. He said he missed the setup and had to settle for third on Saturday. "I couldn't really get a run anywhere," he said. "I was spinning."

Stefano Mesa ( Yamaha) won a three-rider battle for fourth ahead of Corey Alexander (National Guard Fairhills Group Celtic Racing) and Tomas Puerta (Roadrace Factory/Red Bull). Elena Myers (Suzuki, Tyler Linders (Rotobox Yamaha), Ryan Matter (Gearzy Data Driven Performance) and Ryan Kerr (RFC Kawasaki) rounded out the top ten.

Sunday's race was less conventional, with two red flags slowing the action. The first came at the battle at the front, when Mesa ran off and then reentered the track, collecting Dominguez. Another red flag flew shortly after the re-start.

When the race finally commenced again, Rispoli emerged with a solid win, a narrow escape of just 0.039 over Lewis. Lewis tried to outrace Rispoli to the line exiting the final corner but the defending champ held off his rival.

Rispoli said, "I just got as small as possible and said 'Come on, baby, let's go!' It seemed like every time we went back out, the tires got greasier and greasier. Us dirt trackers were really sliding it around."

"I wasn't really where I wanted to be on the last lap and couldn't make a move at turn five," said Lewis. "In the right hander, (James) hugged it pretty tight. My only chance was to try to draft by him at the line."

RoadRace Factory Yamaha riders Tomas Puerta and Hayden Gillim were also in that group, with Puerta taking the position over his teammate. 

"It was a good race, and I felt the bike worked better on Sunday," Puerta said. "We switched from a medium tire on Saturday, and the bike felt better getting out of the turns."

Gillim chose the medium tire while the others picked the softer rubber, and Gillim said he just lacked a little grip to make a bid for the win, even though he managed to lead at one point.

Myers improved to fifth and finished much closer to the lead on Sunday. She topped Dominguez, who was unluckily gridded at the back of the field after the first red flag when he became tangled in the airfence.

Stefano Mesa rebounded from his earlier adventure to take seventh, ahead of Matter, Eric Stump ( and Alexander.

Rispoli ( SuperSport West) and Lewis ( SuperSport East) are leading their divisions, with James having a 56-point gap on Gillim and Lewis a 38-point margin over Mesa and 39 over Dominguez.

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