Garrett Gerloff came from behind to capture his career-first
Dynojet Pro Sportbike race Sunday at the Arai Pacific Nationals, Round Two of
the GEICO Motorcycle Superbike Shootout Presented by Yamaha series, at Sonoma Raceway.
Gerloff took the race lead on his Yamaha Extended
Service/Monster Energy/Graves Yamaha YZF-R6 shortly before the halfway point
and held it until lap 17. That’s when Latus Motors Racing’s Bobby Fong and his
Triumph Daytona 675R slipped past Gerloff in the Carousel to take over first
place. Gerloff shadowed Fong for the next two laps before making his move to
retake the lead in the Carousel on lap 19 of 20. Gerloff then sealed his
victory by turning his fastest lap time of the race – and the weekend -- on the
Fong said he was struggling for grip at the end of the race and
cruised across the finish line 1.8 seconds behind Gerloff. Gerloff and Fong are
now tied for the Dynojet Pro Superbike Championship lead with 45 points each, setting up a dramatic title showdown at the third and final round May 24-25 at Miller Motorsports Park.
Four riders – Jake Zemke, Joe Roberts, Benny Solis and Bryce
Prince – were contesting third place, but on lap 13 Zemke lost traction and
crashed in Turn 3A. Roberts and Solis each crashed trying to avoid Zemke, but
none of the three riders were seriously injured in the incident. Prince was
able to escape the pile-up and rode on to finish third on his Tuned Racing
Gerloff’s teammate JD Beach crossed the line alone in
fourth, well clear of CM Motorsports’ Chad Lewin (fifth) and his teammate
Michael Gilbert (sixth). Tom Montano earned seventh place on his Munroe Motors
Triumph 675R by winning a race-long battle with ARC Racing’s Stephen Rue, AP
Moto Arts’ Jason Catching and Ruthless Racing’s Darren James.
Arai Pacific Nationals hosted by AFM
GEICO Motorcycle Superbike Shootout Presented by Yamaha
Sonoma Raceway, Sonoma, California
May 4, 2014
Dynojet Pro Sportbike Race Results (all on Dunlop tires):
1. Garrett Gerloff (Yam YZF-R6), 20 laps, 33:18.834
2. Bobby Fong (Tri Daytona 675R), -1.803 seconds
3. Bryce Prince (Yam YZF-R6), -24.962
4. JD Beach (Yam YZF-R6), -32.393
5. Chad Lewin (Yam YZF-R6), -69.804
6. Michael Gilbert (Yam YZF-R6), -80.806
7. Thomas Montano (Tri Daytona 675R), -1 lap
8. Stephen Rue (Hon CBR600RR), -1 lap
9. Jason Catching (Suz GSX-R60), -1 lap
10. Darren James (Yam YZF-R6), -1 lap
11. Roi Holster (Yam YZF-R6), -1 lap
12. Jason Aguilar (Yam YZF-R6), -2 laps, DNF, crash
13. Jake Zemke (Hon CBR600RR), -8 laps, DNF, crash
14. Joe Roberts (Hon CBR600RR), -8 laps, DNF, crash
15. Benny Solis, Jr. (Yam YZF-R6), -8 laps, DNF, crash
16. Michael Barnes (MV Agusta F3 675), -9 laps, DNF
17. David Christensen (Yam YZF-R6), -12 laps, DNF
18. Mario Alvarez II (Yam YZF-R6), -16 laps, DNF, crash
19. Erick Yahir Sanchez (Yam YZF-R6), -16 laps, DNF, crash
20. Charles "CJ" Weaver (Yam YZF-R6), DNS
Championship Point Standings (After 2 of 3 events):
1. TIE, Fong/Gerloff, 45 points
3. Beach, 24
4. Lewin, 21
5. TIE, Solis/Prince/Gilbert, 16
8. Zemke, 13
9. TIE, Roberts/Montano, 9
More, from a press release issued by Yamaha:
New Kid In Town Garrett Gerloff Wins Pro Sportbike Race In First-Ever Visit To Sonoma Raceway; Teammate JD Beach Finishes Fourth
Sonoma, CA - May 4, 2014 – There aren’t many racetracks in the U.S. where Yamaha Extended Service/Monster Energy/Graves/Yamaha rider Garrett Gerloff hasn’t raced, but Sonoma Raceway was one of them. The first time was a charm for the Texan as he followed up his pole position from Saturday with an exciting Pro Sportbike win at Sonoma Raceway in Round Two of the GEICO Motorcycle Superbike Shootout Presented By Yamaha. Garrett’s teammate JD Beach, meanwhile, improved on his qualifying position and finished just off the podium in fourth place.
The race was an exciting one from start to finish, and Garrett battled hard for the lead throughout the 20-lap contest. He moved to the front a couple of times, but he just couldn’t make it stick until the closing laps.
“I felt like I had something during those last couple of laps, and I was able to get back into the lead,” Garrett said. “It wasn’t an easy race, and (second-place finisher) Bobby (Fong) gave me all I could handle. We both ran a clean race, and it was fun. It’s been a little while since I’ve won, so I’m really glad to get the victory, especially here at Sonoma Raceway, where I’ve never raced before. I hope the fans enjoyed it as much as I did.”
After two rounds of the Superbike Shootout, Garrett is tied for the championship lead. The final round of the Shootout, to decide it all in Pro Sportbike, will be May 24 and 25 at Miller Motorsports Park in Tooele, UT.
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More, from a press release issued by Team Hammer:
ROBERTS STRONG BEFORE SONOMA PILE-UP
Team Hammer had the pace to finish on the podium at Sonoma Raceway on Sunday, but luck simply wasn't on the team's side at Round 2 of the GEICO Motorcycle Superbike Shootout.
M4 SportbikeTrackGear.com Racing's Joe Roberts opened today's 20-lap Dynojet Pro Sportbike final from the front row, having qualified fourth fastest aboard his Honda CBR600RR. The 16-year-old backed up his qualifying performance by running in that same position over the race's opening half, deeply embroiled in a five-rider brawl for the lead.
As the contest entered its second half, Roberts ratcheted up the pressure and actively looked for a way around GEICO Motorcycle Road Racing's Jake Zemke, who had controlled third to that point in the race.
The two Honda-mounted riders waged an intense battle for the spot over the next two laps. Unfortunately, Zemke highsided in Turn 3a on lap 13 while attempting to maintain his podium position. Roberts took evasive action to avoid hitting his teammate and crashed in the process. A third rider was collected in the fray as well, but all escaped relatively unscathed.
"I’m just a little bruised,” said Roberts. “I was running a good race and I thought I had a better pace than some of the guys in front of me and I was looking for someone to make a mistake and then take advantage. Coming out of Turn 3A,Jake Zemke got on the gas too hard and had a high-side. I checked up and lost the front trying to avoid him and another rider ran into me. It’s a big bummer because it is the closest we’ve been to the front yet. To crash isn’t great but we’re getting closer and battling for the lead and so there’s some positive, too."
Roberts and Team Hammer will get their next shot later this month as the GEICO Motorcycle Superbike Shootout completes its inaugural season at the world-class Miller Motorsports Park facility on May 24-25 with the Arai Mountain Nationals.
About Team Hammer: In 2014, Team Hammer, Inc. is competing in its 34th consecutive racing season, and is marking its eighth year of offering technical and logistical support through its Contract Services Department. Riders on Team Hammer-prepared racebikes have earned 59 AMA Pro National race wins; 135 AMA Pro National podium finishes; 5 AMA Pro Championships; 133 Overall National Endurance race wins; 13 National Endurance Championships and assorted other race wins and titles.
More, from a press release issued by GEICO Motorcycle Honda:
Podium finish slips away from GEICO Motorcycle pro Zemke
SONOMA, Calif. (May 5) -- GEICO Motorcycle rider Jake Zemke was staring at a podium finish in the Arai Pacific Nationals, the second round of the GEICO Motorcycle Superbike Shootout, when the unthinkable happened Sunday at Sonoma Raceway.
Zemke's Honda slipped out from under him, and while trying to regain control Zemke was clipped from behind. Three riders, including Joe Roberts and Benny Solis Jr., tumbled off the track and out of the SportBike race.
"It was unfortunate for the GEICO Motorcycle team," Zemke said. "We were definitely looking at the podium this weekend. I guess we'll just have to roll on to Utah and Miller Motorsports Park, take that momentum, and go forward."
SuperBike teammate Chris Ulrich is looking forward to the race at Miller as well after making significant progress in Sonoma. Ulrich had a wild race, starting eighth before getting pinched in Turn 1 on the start and slipping back to 12th.
Ulrich, however, had one of the fastest bikes in the race, gaining two spots on the second lap and one more on Lap 4 and was eighth five laps into the 20-lap event. He was closing on seventh place with seven laps remaining when a tire issue slowed his progress.
"We were marching forward," Ulrich said. "I got to eighth and was closing on seventh and sixth, and then one lap in Turn 4, all of a sudden the back comes around on decel, and I was like, 'Uh, oh.' "
The rear tire got progressively worse on the right side, so all Ulrich could do was ride out a 10th-place finish.
"Overall, I was happy with my performance in the race," Ulrich said. "We moved up, we made progress, we went faster. We got the bike finally working a lot better for me this morning and bested my qualifying time by about a second. That's always pleasant to do in the race.
"With the SuperBike class, when you unload with no data it's always tough. We'll move on to Miller and we have data from Miller, so that's a positive."
Zemke made a solid start to his SportBike race, challenging for the lead on the opening lap before settling into second. He remained third past the halfway point while battling with Roberts and Solis.
"We had made some changes to the bike and kind of took a little bit of a gamble going into the race," Zemke said. "We're always trying to make things better, but we actually took a half-step backwards with the bike setup. It was a very small change, just a little tweak to try and make things better, and it probably made it a little bit worse. But we were still able to run competitive times."
Heading uphill into the right-hand Turn 3A, Zemke's bike started to slide.
"The rear end of the bike just broke around, broke traction really fast," Zemke said. "It was a bit unexpected and I was in the process of saving that, and at the same time I believe Joe and Benny had both lost the front end of their bikes. I'm not sure if there might have been something on the track or if they might've been reacting to what they were seeing happening in front of them.
"I thought I just about had mine saved, and then all of a sudden the rear end of my bike just shot out from underneath me and threw me over the high side. I think one of the bikes behind me must've gotten into my bike. It sent me for a bit of a flip, and one of the bikes ended up hitting me in the helmet and I ended up down in the wall. It was an interesting ride."
Zemke's bike was banged up and so was he but otherwise he was fine.
"Yeah, a little beat up, a little bit sore, but all in all we'll live to do it again at the next one. It'll be all right. We'll definitely be looking for that podium at Miller."