Joe Roberts Stays Perfect with AMA Pro Motorcycle-Superstore.com SuperSport Win at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca for Round 5 of GEICO Motorcycle AMA Pro Road Racing
NEWS July 25, 2013
Photo by Brian J Nelson
MONTEREY, Calif. (July 26, 2013) - The AMA Pro Motorcycle-Superstore.com SuperSport class is one of the most unpredictable around and the series regulars were thrown for a loop at Barber Motorsports Park last month when Joe Roberts showed up for the first time and led every session and won both races. When Roberts and the California Superbike School Roadracing World team showed up again at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, the best of the AMA Pro Motorcycle-Superstore.com SuperSport field vowed to at least give him a good fight.
Although Roberts won again in California, but he had a much tougher time of it in the weekend’s only SuperSport race. In fact, the 16-lap affair proved to be the most hotly-contested battle of the United States Grand Prix race weekend.
After a red flag, the race shaped up as a three-man battle, all on different brands as Honda, Yamaha, and Suzuk were represented. With two laps to go, Roberts led but a bad drive meant he lost position to the two riders that shadowed him – RoadRace Factory/Red Bull’s Tomas Puerta and National Guard Celtic Racing’s Corey Alexander, the two young racers that happen to lead East and West points.
Roberts quickly gained his way past Alexander but had to make a move in the Corkscrew on the last lap to get by Puerta. Honda-mounted Roberts almost ran too wide and Puerta was able to pull even in the following turn, but the American had the line.
The Colombian tried to regain the lead into the final turn and dove past, but it was a fleeting lead as Roberts was able to power ahead on corner exit to earn his third win in three tries. Roberts beat Puerta by just 0.117 and Suzuki-mounted Alexander by 0.294.
“It was a really good race. I thought I might be able to pull away and do something like I did at Barber but these guys were really quick this weekend and it was a hard race for sure,” said Roberts of his first-ever race at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. “I made a mistake and Corey Alexander and Tomas Puerta went by me. I had to make some aggressive passes to get back to the front and I did it right away. It was fun on the last lap. I knew Puerta was going to make a move in the last corner. As soon as I saw his bike … I knew I broke really late, so he broke even later. I just got the drive. It’s like a dream come true to come to Laguna and win.”
Roberts will also race at Utah and attempt to extend his unprecedented streak of three wins to start his AMA Pro career.
Puerta had been watching the East riders battle for points at recent races. A West round meant the Yamaha pilot could go to work in the points department and he gained ground. Puerta now leads the championship by 35 points with just Miller and New Jersey left on the schedule.
“As soon as he came by me in the Corkscrew, I knew I had to make a pass. I tried to do it in turn ten but it is kind of a risk to do it on the inside. I tried to make a pass in the last corner and I thought I had it but I got a little sideways going in and I went wide,” said Puerta.
“It was a really fun race,” said Puerta. “I made a little mistake on the last lap. I tried to pass Joe in the last turn but it didn’t work. I’ll wait for Miller and try to keep my head up and hopefully get a win there.”
Alexander’s weekend showed a return to competitiveness. After his shocking double at Road America, he struggled some at Barber before improving at Mid-Ohio, but to run with the lead pack until the very end had to be an encouraging sign for the New Yorker who is embroiled in a tight battle for East points.
“Right from the get-go, I struggled a little bit,” said Alexander. “I was just trying to learn some stuff. I had reeled them back in when the red flag came out. I wanted to put my head down after the red flag and run with them. I wasn’t aggressive enough. That’s what hurt us. They rode an amazing race and there was passing going on. I was banking on something happening in the last turn. I felt like I had a good enough drive to pass them on the straight but the tire spun up and I couldn’t make a move.”
Jeffrey Tigert ran with the leaders before the red flag but the Baby Appleseed CM Motorsports pilot lost a little ground in finishing 6.845 seconds back. The result once again showed the veteran is a factor in AMA Pro Motorcycle-Superstore.com Supersport and was enough to vault Tigert into second place in West points.
Tigert had his hands full with Motosport.com RSRacecraft’s Stefano Mesa and BP Racing’s Sebastiao Ferreira. Less than 0.1 separated this hard-charging trio at the checkered flag.
Wyatt Farris took seventh on the Jon Block Group/Meen Motorsports entry just 8.379 seconds behind Roberts. This wasn’t Farris’s best ever result as he took fourth at Barber, but it is the closest he’s been to the front yet as he continues to improve in 2013.
BP Racing’s CJ Weaver and Gearzy’s Ryan Matter also finished within ten seconds of Roberts. Local rider Cameron Gish earned a top ten result as well on the Z2 Racing Yamaha YZF-R6.
The race was stopped just short of the halfway point when racer Travis Ohge crashed in turn six and was injured. Ohge is recovering at the Santa Clara Valley Medical Center and his condition has been upgraded.
Saturday's Motorcycle-Superstore.com SuperSport race is now available on the AMA Pro Live Online DVR at http://www.amaprolive.com/rr/dvr/.
The 2013 GEICO Motorcycle AMA Pro Road Racing season will resume in two weeks' time as the series travels to Miller Motorsports Park in Tooele, Utah for Round 6 on August 2-4. For tickets and additional information, please visit http://www.millermotorsportspark.com/events/ama-pro-road-racing-race.html.
Stay connected with GEICO Motorcycle AMA Pro Road Racing on social media at http://twitter.com/AMAProSBK and http://www.facebook.com/AMAProRoadRacing.
About GEICO Motorcycle AMA Pro Road Racing:
GEICO Motorcycle AMA Pro Road Racing is the premier motorcycle road racing series in North America and is universally regarded as one of the most competitive road racing organizations in the world. The 2013 schedule consists of nine rounds of competition on the country's finest road courses. The Series is comprised of four production-based classes: AMA Pro National Guard SuperBike, AMA Pro GoPro Daytona SportBike, AMA Pro Motorcycle-Superstore.com SuperSport and the AMA Pro Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson Series. Learn more about GEICO Motorcycle AMA Pro Road Racing at www.amaproracing.com/rr/.
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