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Jul 13, 2011

Coccoli, Surtees, Zayat Win USGPRU Races At Roebling Road Raceway

USGPRU Moto3 race winner Scott Coccoli (center), runner-up Xavier Zayat (left) and third-place finisher Fernando Ferreyra (right).
Zayat, Cocolli, and Surtees Beat the Heat in Georgia

Roebling Road: Round 4 The USGPRU headed down to Savannah, GA this past weekend to join the CCS in a romp around the twisting, turning 2-mile track called Roebling Road Raceway. When not on the track, racers sought out any possible shade they could find, as the temperature and humidity at the track were both just shy of triple digits!

The qualifying sessions on Saturday started out with the Pilot Moto3 class. Rain began misting the heat-drenched track two races before qualifying was set to start. The damp track made many racers scramble to put on rain tires, while some decided to risk a few laps on slicks. Just as qualifying started, the sun came out, and the track began to dry quickly. Qualifying got started, but was red-flagged with only 3 minutes remaining due to an accidental three-way tango between Alex Wisdom, Chris Kosan, and new racer, Sam DeJong. During the abbreviated session, 'Mad' Max Flinders was able to set the fastest time on his hot-rod Moriwaki MD250H, narrowly besting Xavier Zayat and Chris Kosan.

In the Moto Liberty / RS-Taichi qualifying session that followed, Brian Surtees dominated the field on his Yamaha TZ250 with a blistering time of 1:15.829. Local favorite, Steve Wenner, came in second followed by Mike Aboyoun, both aboard their Honda RS250s.

The REV'IT! sponsored Moriwaki MD250H Powered by HONDA qualifying was a chance for the young racers to show their metal. Xavier Zayat stepped up with a lap of 1:20.995 to set the fastest time for the class. Only .8 second separated the top 4 qualifiers as Max Flinders, Alex Wisdom, and Chris Kosan filled out the rest of the front row on the grid.

For the main events on Sunday, the sun and humidity didn't show any signs of letting up, and the racers braced for what would be a grueling 10-lap race in the sweltering conditions.

The races started off with the Moto 3 class. Dave Celento got a surprisingly good start from the back of the grid, and passed half of the riders by turn one. Just ahead of him the leaders were bunched up in a tight knot. Max Flinders was leading on a modified Moriwaki, closely followed by Scott Coccoli, Xavier Zayat, Steve Wenner, and Fernando Ferreyra.

On the third lap, Max Flinders, who was riding brilliantly out front and had pulled about a 2-second gap, almost high-sided in the last of the two left turns. He saved it, plopping back onto the bike, but ran off the track, losing valuable seconds to the pack he had just been leading. The swarm smelled opportunity in Max's mishap and went into a frenzy. Celento ran wide onto the front straight, kicking up a wall of dust and sand that Alex Wisdom and Chris Kosan blasted through in a scene reminiscent of a Hollywood stunt.

The race order was nearly impossible to track at any point in the ensuing laps as almost every rider in the now 7-rider pack took a turn at the front. Ciccolli, Zayat, and Ferreyra led most of the laps, but positions changed often during each corner when the leader would be shuffled back two to three places. On the last lap, no one could predict the finish order going into the final turn as seven racers round the last two turns with fairings rubbing. They hit the front straight and Ciccolli edged out Xavier for the win by a hair. Fernando drafted by Wenner at the line for the final podium spot followed closely by Celento, Kosan and Wisdom. Max Flinders was able to set the fastest lap time of the race, but was not able to reel in the lead pack.

The Moto Liberty / RS-Taichi 250GP was up next and saw some of the same racers take to the track again, but this time on the bigger, faster machines. Local fast guy, Steve Wenner, led the pack early on his beautifully prepared Honda RS250. Mike Aboyoun and Brian Surtees had a battle going for second place, but once Surtees got past Aboyoun, he set his sights on Wenner and by lap 3, he was within striking range. Surtees put the power of his fire-breathing Yamaha TZ250 to good use and was able to slice past Wenner on lap 4. From there on, Surtees put on a show of both speed and consistency, and walked away from the pack to claim his first win with the USGPRU. Wenner claimed second place, and Aboyoun took third.

The final race of the weekend was the spec class for the young racers. The REV'IT! sponsored Moriwaki MD250H Powered by HONDA class is always an exciting race to watch. And this race was no exception as Xavier Zayat led the pack from the start. Max Flinders was right on his rear wheel though, followed by Alex Wisdom and Chris Kosan. On lap 3, Flinders and Zayat pulled away from Wisdom and Kosan, leaving a pair of battles up front. While Flinders seemed to have Zayat covered in the corners, he was down on horsepower and up on weight, so Zayat was able to hold him off on the straights. On lap 6, Flinders finessed his way to the front, only to have it muscled away 2 laps later by Zayat who went on to win the race by the narrowest of margins. The battle for third place was equally tight as Kosan led Wisdom for 9 of the 10 laps. On the final lap, Wisdom made a last-turn pass on Kosan and clinched his first podium finish with the USGPRU.

The USGPRU thanks all of its sponsors that help to make it possible for us to keep coming out and doing what we love to do. Without your help, many more racers wouldn't be able to afford to come out and live the GP dream. Thank you RS Cycles, Motion Pro, Moto Liberty, Pilot, REV'IT!, HONDA, Impact Armor, and RS-Taichi. We also have great contingency support from EBC, Silkolene, Dunlop, Bridgestone, and Michelin. Thank you all!

Full race results as follows:

Pilot Moto3
1. Scott Coccoli (Hon)
2. Xavier Zayat (Mor)
3. Fernando Ferreyra (Hon)
4. Steve Wenner (Mor)
5. David Celento (Hon)
6. Chris Kosan (Mor)
7. Alex Wisdom (Mor)
8. Max Flinders (Mor)
9. Jeff Federici (Yam)
10. Casey Tobolewski (Mor)
11. Crystal Campagna (Hon)
12. Rebecca Henn (Hon)
13. Nick Kosan (Mor)
14. Sam DeJong (Hon)
15. Adrian Jasso (Yam)

Moto Liberty / RS-Taichi 250GP
1. Brian Surtees (Yam)
2. Steve Wenner (Hon)
3. Mike Aboyoun (Hon)
4. Adrian Jasso (Yam)
5. Max Flinders (Mor)
6. Al Campbell (Yam)
7. Eric Moore (Yam)
8. Jimmy Clark (Yam)
DNS Jeff Johnson (Yam)

REV'IT! MD250H Powered by HONDA
1. Xavier Zayat (Mor)
2. Max Flinders (Mor)
3. Alex Wisdom (Mor)
4. Chris Kosan (Mor)
5. Casey Tobolewski (Mor)
6. Nick Kosan (Mor)