Joe Roberts Wins Two More AMA Pro Motorcycle-Superstore.com SuperSport Races at Miller Motorsports Park for Round 6 of GEICO Motorcycle AMA Pro Road Racing
NEWS August 9, 2013
Photo by Brian J Nelson
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (August 9, 2013) - The Miller Motorsports Park round of the AMA Pro Motorcycle-Superstore.com SuperSport series proved to be a decisive round for some of the protagonists for the series of up-and-coming racers and for fast club aces. California Superbike School Roadracingworld.com's Joe Roberts won both races in his last US appearances of 2013 and Roadrace Factory/Red Bull's Tomas Puerta clinched both the West and overall crowns for the season.
For Roberts, Miller was a chance to extend his unprecedented streak of wins to begin his AMA Pro career. The 16-year old shocked the paddock in his first foray at Barber Motorsports Park then won a hot battle with Puerta at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. The Red Bull Rookies Cup regular raced the last of his planned, non-conflicting AMA Pro races in Utah. Both races proved to be more like Laguna Seca than Barber, with Puerta and Meen Motorsports' Wyatt Farris putting up spirited battles each time.
On Saturday, the three-rider group traded the lead and Roberts was able to earn the smallest of margins when he dropped down into the 1:56 range on the last two laps to earn win number four over Farris by 0.795 after 13 laps. On Sunday, it came down to the final lap. This time Roberts found himself in third on the last lap, but was able to make the moves to the front in a spirited battle.
"It's great coming out and winning all the races," Roberts said. "It's been really awesome coming to race in SuperSport with this California Superbike School Roadracingworld.com team. They're a bunch of great guys and really put my bike to the top, so it's great."
Roberts talked about the Sunday's thriller sand the three-wide action. "Coming down on the last lap, I got passed by two riders going into Turn 1. I had two bikes ahead of me so I was freaking out a little because I didn't know how I was going to pass them back," said Roberts. "An opportunity came up in Turn 5 and I just went for the pass to get by Wyatt. I knew if I didn't pass him there I wasn't going to win the race. I got behind Tomas and went through Turn 7 really good and was riding around the outside and just tried to stick it into Turn 8 and make the pass and stay on the track. Then I just tried to hold my line so he couldn't pass me back. It was a really great race and I made some good passes. I'm really happy with the weekend."
Roberts' brief season was as impressive as it gets and although his future plans haven't been determined, he stated that a season in AMA Pro Daytona SportBike is obviously on the list of possibilities for 2014.
Puerta wrapped up his AMA Pro Motorcycle-Superstore.com SuperSport titles in Utah with his second and third place finishes and put the crowns out of reach for everyone else. In a season when five riders won races in the class, Puerta was the one who was consistently fast, earning eight podiums along the way. With the exception of one Mid-Ohio race where his bike developed a problem just after he took the lead, Puerta finished in the top five at every event, East or West. He won two races and finished on the podium eight times. Even the rare times he wasn't on the podium, he was in line for a shot at the win. Puerta was relentless and smart all season and it paid off for the Colombian.
Puerta wanted to beat Roberts badly in 2013 and came about as close as one can at Laguna and Miller without getting it done, but he didn't let that desire cause him to lose valuable points in the process.
"It's been a great season," said Puerta. "I'm really happy about the championship. I've been fighting for it and I want to thank my RoadRace Factory/Red Bull team for supporting me. The team has worked really hard. Last season was tough for us but I am happy to bring the first championship for the team."
Wyatt Farris has also had a remarkable season. When it began, he was finishing outside the top 10 at the first three rounds. By Miller, the Californian was fighting for wins with the likes of Roberts and Puerta. It's been consistent improvement all year long for the Californian and he wasn't afraid to put some moves on his compatriots at Miller Motorsports Park.
Farris credited his team for much of the improvement, but he has grown as a rider all season.
"I am very happy how this weekend went. We had a good pace from the beginning and I think it showed. It was overall great to get on the box in both races, giving my team and sponsors some great results after all their hard work and support this season. I will be taking this momentum to New Jersey and look forward to ending the year on a high note," Farris said.
Two riders earned season best results with fourth place finishes in Utah. Brazil's Sebastiao Ferreira (BP Racing) and Mexico City's Erik Sanchez (EYK) both earned fantastic placings in Utah with spirited rides. Sanchez logged race two's fastest lap as well.
Another racer adding to the international appeal of the class in Stefano Mesa also performed well, earning sixth on Saturday on his Motosport.com RSRacecraft entry. Mesa was even faster on Sunday, but a late crash meant a top five finish disappeared into the Utah dust.
He couldn't repeat his Mid-Ohio podium performances, but Miles Thornton on the CTR Racing Yamaha YZF-R6 was solid, earning sixth and fifth.
Jeffrey Tigert has hoped to keep the West title chase alive heading into the New Jersey round. The Baby Appleseed CM Motorsports pilot was able to earn eighth and seventh, but came up a little short after running well at his previous West races, earning the top five each time out.
Two East title hopefuls and former MMP race winners needed to beat Puerta to have a shot at the overall title, but Corey Alexander (National Guard Celtic Racing) and Hayden Gillim (Team 95) had bad weekends. Both were unable to put it all together during the Miller Motorsports Park round but luckily for both MMP was a West round.
"We have some homework to do to figure out what the issue was with our bike," said Alexander. "I'm really excited for New Jersey and my home town race, and I am looking forward to some good results and hopefully the championship as well."
"Looking back at the weekend I know I had the speed to run up front," said Gillim. "We qualified 2nd and had the pace Sunday in the warmup. I knew I could put the fast laps in but just couldn't put it all together. Sometimes there's something's you can't help from happening."
Other riders earning top ten results included Ryan Matter (Gearzy) Brandon Cleland on the other Motosport.com RSRaecraft entry, and CJ Weaver of BP Racing.
In the season's final round at New Jersey, the focus will be on which contender can win the East title, with Alexander, Mesa, and Gillim all giving it their best shots. With Puerta having locked up the overall crown, he'll be able to go for wins without worry, too.
Roadracing World Young Gun Of The Year Award
Corey Alexander and Garret Gerloff are the top riders in the running for the Roadracing World Young Gun Of The Year Award standings with 200 points. However, Alexander would win the tiebreaker because he has more wins to his credit so far this season. Stefano Mesa and Joe Roberts are having strong seasons in AMA Pro Motorcycle-Superstore.com SuperSport and have placed themselves in contention as well with 188 and 179 points, respectively.
The 2013 GEICO Motorcycle AMA Pro Road Racing season will resume in less than two weeks' time as the series travels to Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, Indiana for Round 7 on August 16-18. For tickets and additional information, please visit http://secure.brickyard.com/Tickets/RedBullIndianapolisGP.aspx.
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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