Gillim Earns the Podium for RoadRace Factory/Red Bull at Mid-Ohio
NEWS July 19, 2012
Photo by Brian J Nelson
Courtesy of RoadRace Factory / Red Bull:
Lexington, OH (July 18, 2012) - Hayden Gillim and the RoadRace Factory/Red Bull team earned third place in Sunday's AMA Pro SuperSport race at Mid-Ohio last weekend. Gillim showed fine form at the 15-turn circuit and improved for the second race of the weekend and challenged for the win, finishing less than a second off the win.
Gillim finished sixth on Saturday, but he was able to find the speed to run in the lead pack for the second race.
"It was a lot of fun. I got a good start and was up to second early. James Rispoli caught up with Jake Lewis and me, and he was rolling pretty good. We all kicked up the pace. I was in third and sitting back a bit, hanging on and seeing how the race went for us. At the end of the race, Dustin wicked it up and James did, too. It was a hard-fought race. Thanks to the team for helping me get up there to run with them after we struggled some on Saturday. I did the fastest lap I'd done here, and it feels good to get back on the podium."
Tomas Puerta earned another top-five finish on Saturday after leading briefly. The Colombian fought for the podium in the race and was involved in a fierce scrap for third the last half of the race. On Sunday, Puerta was poised to go even quicker, but he crashed just after turning his fastest lap of the weekend.
"It was a tough weekend for me because I didn't qualify where I wanted," said Puerta. "The first race was pretty good for me. I took the lead for a couple of turns and was up there with Rispoli and Dominguez. Then a couple of other riders got up there, and I got shuffled back to fifth. It was kinda crazy in that group. They were making a lot of moves and stuffing each other, and the lap times were not as good. I decided to wait for the last two laps, but the lines were closed when I tried to make some moves."
"On Sunday, I tried to make it happen and felt faster, but early in the race I ran into another guy, and I hit him pretty hard. I tried to make up the lost ground, and I did my best lap, but I crashed right after that. I was pretty sad, but we're working hard to improve. The team is doing a great job, and we're looking forward to Laguna."
Jake Gagne has been having a bad-luck season despite showing impressive speed, and Mid-Ohio followed the same plot line. Gagne has been bothered by arm pump that has limited him to just a few laps before it affects the feeling in his arms so, after Barber, he had surgery to correct it. Gagne ran strong in the first race before crashing and had bike issues in race two but finished 12th.
"I had arm pump surgery two weeks prior, and I was a little sore but ready to go. I hadn't been to Mid-Ohio since 2008 when I was in Rookies Cup, so I had to relearn the track," said Gagne. "In practice, we had a couple of problems and then qualifying didn't go well. It rained a little bit in final qualifying, and I didn't get as much track time as we needed. In Race One, I was in the front group for the first eight laps, making some moves and feeling pretty good. Then I lost the front in the Keyhole, and I was really disappointed. I was pretty bummed and frustrated. Every time I've crashed this year has been in the race, never in practice. On Sunday, we had some bike problems and something wasn't right in the front, and I was slow. I had some moments out there, but we finished. I haven't had much good luck this year, but I'm still having a lot of fun and learning, and I know we'll get there sooner or later. The team is good, and I feel I can get the job done. We just need to get some momentum."
J.D. Beach earned two top-ten finishes at Mid-Ohio, sixth on Saturday and eighth on Sunday despite a bad start that threatened to ruin his contest. Beach accomplished one of his primary goals of the weekend, as well.
"It was a pretty good weekend. One of our main goals is to get up to speed quicker because it's been taking too long during the weekend, so we really focused on that," said Beach. "The first session, I was fourth or fifth and then I qualified eighth, so we made progress there. Race One was really good battling for fourth most of the race. Late, I had some bike issues and ran off track, but we got it back together, and I still got sixth."
"Sunday morning, we were fourth-fastest had a good setup, and we were hoping for a little better. On the second start, I got too excited, and I jumped the start, so I did what AMA Pro has said to do -- get to a complete stop and when the light turned green, I let some guys get past me so I wouldn't get penalized. I did some pretty good lap times and got eighth, but we had a good enough bike to get top-five."
"Hayden got on the box and that was the best part of our weekend. We had some high expectations going in because of how things are going, but apart from Hayden's race, we were a little short of what we expected," said RoadRace Factory/Red Bull's Danny Walker. "It wasn't a bad weekend, but we didn't get the finishes we were hoping for. More positives were J.D. and Jake running at the front in DSB on Saturday. Tomas has made some big strides, but he's continuing to work on being able to push harder earlier in the weekend. We have lots to do before Laguna, including some testing, but we're really looking forward to the next race."