Subway SuperBike Doubleheader Recap: AMA Motorcycle-Superstore.com SuperSport
NEWS June 8, 2012
Photo by Brian J. Nelson
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (June 8, 2012) - Add another winner to the AMA Pro Motorcycle-Superstore.com SuperSport list. The Road America races are in the books and a sixth different rider has won in the class this season, with Stefano Mesa of Kneedraggers.com Yamaha putting on a show with some big-time passes both days. On Sunday, Mesa earned his first AMA Pro win in a three-way fight with class stalwarts James Rispoli (Orient Express Celtic Racing) and Jake Lewis (Riders Discount Vesrah Suzuki) at the 4.05-mile track.
Mesa, from Colombia, has shown speed in his time in Motorcycle-Superstore.com SuperSport and finished second at Daytona but now the diminutive pilot can claim his status as an AMA Pro race winner.
On Saturday, Mesa ripped second away from Rispoli with an outside pass in Canada Corner on the last lap. It looked like a move Mesa's role model and countryman Martin Cardenas could have completed.
On Sunday, the final lap showcased the aforementioned three riders sparring. The first action spot was turn five. All three riders tried to dive into the turn ahead of the others. Rispoli came in hot -- too hot, in fact. He overcooked it and ran wide, which forced Lewis (who had led most of the race) to take evasive action. Mesa got out of the turn the best, but Lewis was on him in short order and repassed to take the lead. Mesa, though, made an inside pass on Lewis at Canada Corner this time and with it came a sweet win.
"In the last lap, we all went way too deep," said Mesa. "(James) crashed, and it was a bummer for him, but I got the drive out of there."
On his pass of Lewis, Mesa said, "I was drafting Jake and trying to make a move like I did on Rispoli yesterday. It was really close."
Lewis had a strong weekend, winning on Saturday. He won the red-flagged race by 3.247 seconds, although it was closer than that for most of the event. Lewis got away in second on the restart but passed Dustin Dominguez in short order to reassert his authority on that race.
"I wanted to pass him right away because I knew it was a short sprint," said Lewis. "Once I got out in front, I put my head down."
Victory eluded Rispoli but he gained points on second place SuperSport West contender Hayden Gillim on the weekend. The West Division points leader took third place on Saturday and regrouped after the turn five incident to take 6th on Sunday.
"We struggled a bit here, but it's all about points," Rispoli said.
Corey Alexander (National Guard Fairhills Group Celtic Racing) took third on Sunday after Rispoli's mishap, but the podium was a hard-fought affair for the New York state resident. Alexander fought through shoulder trouble from a crash earlier this year to earn it.
On Saturday, Team Latus Motors Racing's Dominguez took fourth on Saturday after running with the lead group until he overcooked turn five.
The RoadRace Factory/Red Bull teammates finished in order both days, with Tomas Puerta coming home in front of teammate and Utah winner Gillim both days. They finished 5-6 on Saturday and 4-5 on Sunday.
Spots 7-10 remained the same both races. Elena Myers (SuzukiScoop Fans SportbikeTrackGear.com M4 Suzuki) topped newcomer Tyler Linders (Nexx Yamaha), Ryan Matter (Gearzy Yamaha), and Devon McDonough Motorcycle-Superstore.com Yamaha).
With Barber Motorsports Park next, the focus goes back to the East division championship, currently led by Lewis.
Top 10 Finishers from Road America Race 1:
Top 10 Finishers from Road America Race 2:
AMA Pro Motorcycle-Superstore.com SuperSport West Point Standings:
Year-End Award Updates
Stefano Mesa has now logged 1102.03 miles in 365 laps and leads the chase for the $2,500 Sunoco "Go The Distance" Award.
Current Sunoco "Go The Distance" Award Standings After Round 5:
AMA Pro Road Racing heads to Birmingham, Ala. for the Triumph Superbike Classic at the highly-acclaimed Barber Motorsports Park June 22-24. Tickets can be purchased at barbermotorsports.com.
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