Mesa, Puerta Start 2013 AMA Pro Motorcycle-Superstore.com SuperSport Season off with Victories
NEWS March 26, 2013
Photo by Brian J Nelson
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla (March 26, 2013) - The two AMA Pro Motorcycle-Superstore.com SuperSport races at Daytona International Speedway on March 15-16, 2013 proved to maintain the high level of competitiveness even after some of its finest riders in 2012 graduated to other divisions for 2013. James Rispoli headed to AMA Pro GoPro Daytona SportBike and Dustin Dominguez joined the AMA Pro National Guard SuperBike ranks. With the departure of these two superstars, the AMA Pro Motorcycle-Superstore.com SuperSport class still put on an unbelievable show filled with action packed racing and even a photo-finish.
Stefano Mesa and Tomas Puerta, two likely candidates to come out victorious at Daytona, did just that. Mesa, a Colombian-born American, and Puerta, a Colombian from Medellin, have a healthy rivalry dating back several seasons, and both triumphed in the 10-lap doubleheader at Daytona.
Mesa won on Friday and claimed his second career AMA Pro victory, emerging on top of a drafting battle by just 0.026 seconds. "It feels great. The MotoSport.com RMR/Triple Crown bike was awesome," he said. "They make such a great bike. We all rode a very solid race, I remember looking back and thinking anybody could win it. We were all in the draft and it came down to the last lap."
Mesa's win was hard earned, as he found himself barely ahead of a six-rider pack when he crossed the finish line. David Sadowski, Jr., Hayden Gillim (Team 95), Matthew Sadowski, Puerta, and Sebastiao Ferreira all finished within 0.274 seconds.
Saturday's race was a chance at redemption for RoadRace Factory's Puerta. After winning the pole and spending most of the race at the front on Friday, he was shuffled back on the final lap and was forced to settle with a fifth place finish. On Sunday, the affable Colombian found himself in a similar situation at the front of the pack. However, this time, Puerta was able to shake the field and pull away on the final lap, eventually winning the second race by 1.03 seconds.
"I made a mistake on the last lap yesterday," said Puerta. "I took a bad angle on the banking on the last lap and couldn't get back to the front. Today, the bike ran great, and I can't thank my team enough. This race was much better."
The battle for the podium was closer, as it took a photo finish to determine who would stand atop it. Young Californian CJ Weaver took second place, rallying from a practice crash to earn his first AMA Pro podium. Corey Alexander took third as the National Guard/Celtic Racing rider pulled ahead of Jeffrey Tigert late in the race.
Travis Wyman (Harv's H-D) finished fifth and David Sadowski, Jr. once again finished in the lead pack, taking sixth.
After claiming victory in the first race, Mesa was in good shape yet again, however, on the last lap, he tried to cut the track and gain an advantage when he missed the chicane and reverted back to an eighth place finish. Miles Thornton (Arai/Sidi/Held) and Miller, Jr. rounded out the top ten. When all was said and done, twelve riders finished within three seconds of Puerta, showing how deep and close the AMA Pro Motorcycle-Superstore.com SuperSport class is this year.
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