RACE REPORT: First-Time Winner in AMA Pro Motorcycle-Superstore.com SuperSport Claims Victory at Mid-Ohio on Sunday
NEWS July 10, 2011
Photo by Brian J. Nelson
LEXINGTON, OH (July 10, 2011) – This weekend’s AMA Pro Motorcycle-Superstore.com SuperSport races at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio, were fraught with firsts. Yesterday, the iconic marque Triumph captured its first victory in the class, and today Bell Helmets-backed Yamaha rider Hayden Gillim claimed his career first AMA Pro Road Racing win in the class.
Gillim led exactly one lap -- the final one -- to take the win with a 0.210 second margin of victory on the 15-turn, 2.4-mile track. He overcame his second slow start of the weekend and was forced once again to work his way through the field. That goal achieved, he then battled with series points leader and eventual second-place finisher James Rispoli (Ant-Racing.com Star School Suzuki) right down to the wire for the dramatic victory.
“I was hoping to get a better start,” said Gillim, “but on the back straight I got drafted by two people, went back to sixth, and stayed there for a little bit. James [Rispoli] and Dustin [Dominguez] weren’t getting out front very far, so I figured I could make my move at the end. Halfway through, everybody’s tires started going away and I had conserved mine pretty good. Tomas [Puerta] was hardest to get by, he’s an awesome racer. Then I saw James slowly getting a little bit bigger in my vision, and I pushed a little bit harder than yesterday trying to get up to him. On the last lap I was right there. I felt really strong in Turn 1 and got a good drive up the inside and got by him. I made it into Turn 6 in front of him, and I was happy about that, but then I messed up a little bit coming into Thunder Alley and knew he’d be right there. Sure enough, I saw a white bike come up next to me and I thought, ‘Oh no, this can’t happen.’ I barely made the corner and held it real tight in the last corner and was able to make it stick. Man, I am so happy go be up here on top of the box today.”
Although Gillim won the race, Rispoli led 12 of the race’s 17 laps. Initially, Rispoli was trailing yesterday’s winner, Dominguez (Team Latus Motors Triumph), who led the first four laps before suffering an unfortunate get-off that cleared the way for Rispoli.
“It was a good race,” said Rispoli. “This is what I’m training to do: lead and turn in consistent lap times. Dustin got by me but I knew today I wasn’t going to let him go. I stayed right on his back wheel, trying to reel him in so he wouldn’t get away. Unfortunately, he fell in front of me in Turn 1 and then it was me racing the track. Hayden ran a great race -- he got by me in Turn 1 and I knew it was going to be a race to the finish. We hit some lapped traffic and that kind of helped me out a little, but I didn’t feel confident that the front tire would hold in Turn 9. I got a really good drive out of 11 and thought I was going to make it [past Gillim], but dirt-trackers don’t really let off. It was great, two dirt-trackers going at it.”
Third-place finisher Puerta (LTD Y.E.S. Yamaha) – who’s suffered a bit of a dry spell since winning the first AMA Pro SuperSport race of the season -- was particularly happy to be back on the podium again at Mid-Ohio.
“It was a good race,” said Puerta. “Yesterday, we had some problems with the bike. I was trying to keep up with the guys, but was scared to crash. Today, I put my mind on restarting everything. I went out and tried something in the warm-up that worked good, and then in the race, I put my head down and kept it on two wheels. When I saw I could make the podium, I was trying to get some points back, but my rear tire was done so I held on for third. I wanted to be on the podium again.”
Vesrah Suzuki’s Corey Alexander ended up fourth ahead of Elena Myers (SuzukiScoopFans.com Racing), who took a solid fifth ahead of James Dellinger (35 Motorsports Suzuki) and Miles Thornton, respectively. Eric Stump was eighth with Jeff Wrobel and Ben Young rounding out the AMA Pro SuperSport top ten.
Watch for highlights from today's SuperSport race during SPEED's 12:00 a.m. EST/9 p.m. PST airing of Day 2 AMA Pro action from Mid-Ohio. For complete broadcast details, visit speedtv.com/schedule.
The AMA Pro Road Race Championship next heads to Monterey, California’s Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca for Round 7 on the season calendar, run as part of the Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix MotoGP weekend. For tickets and information, visit mazdaraceway.com or call (800) 327-7322. To learn more and be a part of AMA Pro Racing, please visit amaproracing.com and join us on facebook.com/AMAProRoadRacing and twitter.com/AMAProSBK.
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