Bobby Fong won the Dynojet Pro Sportbike race Sunday at the inaugural
GEICO Motorcycle Superbike Shootout Presented by Yamaha event, the Yamaha SoCal
Nationals, at Auto Club Speedway, in Fontana, California.
Fong, a 23-year-old resident of Stockton, California, rode a
flawless race on his Latus Motors Racing Triumph Daytona 675R. Fong got the
holeshot off the start, led each and every one of the 20 laps, built an
advantage that grew to approximately eight seconds and ended up winning by
Garrett Gerloff, on the other hand, had difficulties at the start
and dropped back deep in the field. The Yamaha Extended Service/Monster
Energy/Graves Yamaha rider recovered quickly, however, and worked his way up to
finish in the runner-up spot.
Benny Solis held second place through the middle of the race
but could not hold off Gerloff in the closing stages. Solis had to settle for
third in his first Pro race on his new Team H35 Yamaha YZF-R6.
Jake Zemke challenged Fong when they both dived into Turn
Three at the start. Zemke lost that battle and later succumb to attacks from
Gerloff and Solis, but the veteran hung on to fourth place on his GEICO
Motorcycle Honda CBR600RR.
Gerloff’s teammate JD Beach, CM Motorsports Yamaha’s Chad
Lewin and M4 Sportbketrackgear.com Honda’s Joe Roberts fought over fifth place
right down to the wire. The three riders were separated by less than half a
second at the finish with Beach getting fifth, Lewin taking sixth and Roberts
crossing the finish line in seventh.
Jason Aguilar, a 17-year-old from nearby Placentia,
California, rode a lonely race to eighth on his Tuned Racing Yamaha YZF-R6.
Ochs Racing’s Andre Ochs and CM Motorsports’ Michael
Gilbert, two more young racers from Southern California, dueled for ninth to
the end. Ochs got the spot by just 0.116 second ahead of Gilbert.
Yamaha SoCal Nationals/GEICO Motorcycle Superbike Shootout Presented by Yamaha
Dynojet Pro Sportbike
Auto Club Speedway
April 27, 2014
Provisional Race Results (all on Dunlop tires):
1. Bobby Fong (Tri Daytona 675R), 20 laps, 27:57.968
2. Garrett Gerloff (Yam YZF-R6), -5.784 seconds
3. Benny Solis (Yam YZF-R6), -17.429
4. Jake Zemke (Hon CBR600RR), -26.100
5. JD Beach (Yam YZF-R6), -30.465
6. Chad Lewin (Yam YZF-R6), -30.624
7. Joe Roberts (Hon CBR600RR), -30.913
8. Jason Aguilar (Yam YZF-R6), -52.716
9. Andre Ochs (Yam YZF-R6), -75.999
10. Michael Gilbert (Yam YZF-R6), -76.115
11. Mario Alvarez (Yam YZF-R6), -1 lap
12. Luis Quinones (Yam YZF-R6), -1 lap
13. Melissa Paris (Hon CBR600RR), -1 lap
14. Joshua Picard (Yam YZF-R6), -1 lap
15. Ryan Harper (Yam YZF-R6), -1 lap
16. David Christensen (Yam YZF-R6), -1 lap
17. Andrew Artola (Yam YZF-R6), -12 laps, DNF, mechanical
18. Ryan Matter (Yam YZF-R6), -12 laps, DNF, mechanical
19. Bryce Prince (Yam YZF-R6), -17 laps, DNF, mechanical
More, from a press release issued by Yamaha:
Yamaha Extended Service/Monster Energy/Graves/Yamaha Rider Garrett Gerloff Finishes Second In Pro Sportbike Race At Yamaha SoCal Nationals; Teammate JD Beach Fifth
Fontana, CA - April 27, 2014 – In Round One of the GEICO Motorcycle Superbike Shootout Presented By Yamaha, Y.E.S./Monster Energy/Graves/Yamaha teammates Garrett Gerloff and JD Beach both finished in the top five of today’s Yamaha SoCal Nationals Pro Sportbike Race at Auto Club Speedway. Garrett finished in second place after a spirited charge to the front, and JD netted a solid fifth-place result, while he continues to acclimate to his new team.
Garrett got a good start from the second row of the grid, but a missed shift caused his #8 Yamaha YZF-R6 Pro Sportbike to overrev, and it momentarily shut off as a safety precaution. He quickly got the bike running again and proceeded on his way, albeit a fair distance back in the field. Despite the adversity, Garrett went to work and started moving towards the lead. As the laps wound down, he made his way all the up to second place. Unfortunately, there weren’t enough laps left in race for Garrett to get close enough to challenge for the lead.
After the race, Garrett said, “I got a good launch and kind of missed a shift into second gear. The bike revved and stopped running, so that put me in a difficult situation. I didn’t give up, though, and I decided to just work on putting down fast lap after fast lap. I was happy that I was able to get back up to second place and get on the podium, but not so happy that I had a bad start.
If I could have been a bit little closer to the front, I might have been able to fight for the win. I’m glad that we have a race next weekend at Sonoma (Round Two of the GEICO Motorcycle Superbike Shootout Presented By Yamaha at Sonoma Raceway) because I’m so hungry for a win!”
Tune In To MAVTV For The Yamaha SoCal Nationals Pro Sportbike Race
Today’s Pro Sportbike race was taped for airing later on MAVTV. Log on to www.MAVTV.com for the exact time and channel, and don’t miss it!
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More, from a press release issued by GEICO Motorcycle Road Racing:
GEICO Motorcycle rider Zemke scores a top five, Ulrich a top 10 in Fontana
FONTANA, Calif. (April 27) -- GEICO Motorcycle Honda SportBike rider Jake Zemke may have gotten off to a slow start in the GEICO Motorcycle Superbike Shootout, but at the Yamaha SoCal Nationals he showed the competition that he will be a force to be reckoned with this season.
Even though Zemke fell short of his personal goal of scoring a win in Fontana, he did manage to end the day with a fourth-place finish after leading during the first lap and battling the top riders the entire race.
"Sunday definitely was not the result we were looking for," Zemke said. "With only having two practice sessions and one qualifying attempt before the race, I think missing that first practice session definitely put us a little bit behind. In the race we were lacking a lot of rear grip, so the tire was spinning up quite a bit. We just couldn't get the bike to drive forward off the corner and that's really what hurt us overall.
"I'm happy to bring the GEICO Motorcycle Honda home in fourth place at least. It's a definite improvement from where we were at in Daytona (Fla.). The team is moving in the right direction and I'm glad we'll be racing again in one week in Sonoma (Calif.). I know we can redeem ourselves up there."
Zemke's teammate, GEICO Motorcycle Honda American SuperBike rider Chris Ulrich, also ended his day at Auto Club Speedway on a high note. After initial struggles throughout qualifying and practice, Ulrich was able to snag an eighth-place finish in the first round of the Superbike Shootout.
"I'm really pleased with my performance in the race," Ulrich said. "Qualifying and practice both could have been better in my opinion. When it came to the race though, we made a small change at the front of the bike and it really helped with my comfort level on the motorcycle and helped me improve my lap times.
"Initially I was running with Chris Fillmore and Chris Clark in sixth and seventh, but then I made a slight mistake and they started inching away from me. After that, two laps in a row, I made the same mistake in the same corner. I could see Clark right in front of me, but I couldn't get to him no matter what I tried and ultimately made the tire go off. At the end of the day it's a top-10 finish, which is great since we were racing against all the same players we usually battle."
Both Zemke and Ulrich will get ready to fight it out with the rest of the pro competitors when round two of the GEICO Motorcycle Superbike Shootout heads to Sonoma Raceway, May 3-4, for the Arai Pacific Nationals.
More, from a press release issued by Team Hammer:
ROBERTS CHARGES TO SEVENTH AT AUTO CLUB SPEEDWAY
Team Hammer registered a solid performance today at Auto Club Speedway as the highly-anticipated GEICO Motorcycle Superbike Shootout Presented By Yamaha kicked off with its inaugural race action.
M4 SportbikeTrackGear.com Racing's Joe Roberts and MPH's Melissa Paris were determined to continue the improvement they showed on Saturday in Fontana, California and come out swinging in the first of three Dynojet ProSportbike races set to be featured in the three-stop GEICO Motorcycle Superbike Shootout Presented By Yamaha.
16-year-old Roberts, who took the nation by storm with a remarkable debut professional season in 2013, continued to showcase the skills that have brought him serious acclaim in a short amount of time. The Californian engaged in aheated three-rider battle for a top-five result in Sunday's 20-lap Sportbike contest, ultimately falling less than a half-second short of fifth.
Roberts ultimately equaled his qualifying position by taking the checkered flag in seventh, but flashed the potential for even more. In the heat of competition, the up-and-comer circulated the 2.36-mile circuit with a fast lap of 1:28.672aboard his M4 SportbikeTrackGear.com Honda CBR600RR. That lap was over a second faster than the time he posted during qualifying and was quicker than all but the podium finishers during today's race.
"It went well,” said Roberts. "We made a lot of progress on the bike and figured out a lot of things about the bike and continued to get it dialed. I think we made a big jump. We were one second off the pace for the win, which is closerthan we were at Daytona. Some really good riders were here so this is the fast pace and we’re closer.
“I feel like we’re in good shape for the next races as we continue to make progress. This race today was a lot of fun and I am glad we had the opportunity,” Roberts continued. “I haven’t been to Sonoma before so it will be good to get ashot there as well. I am looking forward to it. I have plenty of experience getting up to speed at tracks I haven't raced before so I think we will do fine."
Paris also continued to pick up the pace as the race weekend progressed. She piloted her Team Hammer Contract Services-prepared MPH Honda CBR600RR to a best race lap of 1:33.979, essentially a half-second improvement on herqualifying effort (1:34.476).
Paris managed to pick up a couple of spots in the process, finishing in 13thafter starting in 15th.
There's little time to relax now, as Team Hammer will immediately head to the second round of the GEICO Motorcycle Superbike Shootout Presented By Yamaha, which will take place next weekend (May 3-4) for the Arai PacificNationals at scenic Sonoma Raceway, in Sonoma, California.
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.