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Aug 29, 2018

MotoAmerica: Even More From PittRace, Starting With The Latest From Team RiCKdiculous Racing

Hayden Gillim on the podium at PittRace, receiving his trophy from AMA President Rob Dingman. Photo by Nik Wogen.

Team RiCKdiculous Racing Shines at Pitt Race

With only three rounds left, Team RiCKdiculous’ spirits were high after a successful weekend in Sonoma. All three riders found themselves solidly in the top ten and looked to build on that as the team headed to the beautiful Pitt Race. As the weekend came to a close and the track went cold, all three RiCK racers improved on their results, and either moved up or maintained their place in the points standings! After finishing both races in second place, Hayden Gillim saw his hold of second in the championship grow. Jason Aguilar had an amazing weekend, finishing both races in fifth place, gaining extra breathing room on his position in tenth in the championship. Gauge Rees closed the weekend finishing eighth and seventh, also increasing his gap in ninth in the championship.

Fired up after looking for the win in Sonoma, Gillim arrived at Pitt Race ready to get on the gas, and from the very first practice he made it apparent he was looking to win this weekend. After a tight qualifying, Hayden secured Pole position for the weekend's races, setting him up for a great chance to grab the holeshot. Hayden was able to take advantage of his grid position and got his first holeshot of the year, leading the lead pack of 5 riders for the first part of the race. He got passed a couple laps into the race and saw the leader pull away to a 1.5-second gap within a few laps. Gillim kept his head down and started firing off blistering sector times, but unfortunately, there wasn't enough time for him to make up the gap. He crossed the line .8 behind the leader, but with plenty left in the tank for Race 2. Race 2 proved to be another amazing race as the sun came out just as the race started. Hayden was able to grab a second consecutive holeshot and managed to hold off the other riders for a few laps. Despite an intense battle and a couple red flags, Gillim brought his RiCK R6 home in second position. With his excellent racing and consistent finishes, Hayden extended his hold on second place in the championship with two rounds to go, and looks for a win as the team heads to New Jersey! Gillim states, "I was really hoping for some wins this weekend. My team and I have been working extremely hard all year to put the bike back on the top of the box. I can't thank my crew and the entire RiCK team for all their support. I'm very excited to get to New Jersey and hope to get the team back on top of the box!"

Jason was able to carry his momentum over from Sonoma, his best finish of the year so far. He brought that energy into qualifying and did an amazing job putting his bike on the second row, only a second off the leaders. Jason took advantage of his P6 starting position and fought hard in the pack that was battling for fifth. Aguilar’s toughness shone through as he was able to make his way to the front of the pack and grab his best finish of the year in fifth! With his amazing riding in Race 1, Jason and his crew were excited to get back out and improve on his results for Race 2. After the first red flag, Jason saw himself now battling for fourth position with a bunch of other riders. They kept switching positions, with Jason showing he had the pace to take solid control of fourth. Unfortunately, Aguilar’s race ended early as another red flag came out with two laps to go, erasing his late race charge to take over fourth. No matter what, Jason rode extremely well all weekend and we couldn't be more proud of him! “I had a pretty good weekend at Pittsburgh. I qualified sixth and finished both races in fifth. Bummed that the red flag came out in Race 2 and reverted back an extra lap, moving me from fourth back to fifth. I need to keep trying and pushing harder for the next round. Big thanks to Jason, Rick, Chris, Andy and Ken for giving me a great bike all weekend. Thanks to Adam and Josh for making it all possible!”

Gauge Rees came into Pitt Race hoping to improve on his up and down weekend in Sonoma. With his consistently improving results, Gauge and his crew looked to attack the amazing 2.78-mile track, a track that is perfectly suited for the smaller Junior Cup spec bikes. The competition didn’t disappoint, as the fourth through fifteenth place riders were only separated by a few tenths. Gauge finished qualifying in tenth, a position that would still set up well to stick with the lead pack. Race 1 proved to be an intense battle from the second the lights turned off and the bikes ripped into turn 1. Gauge found himself in a tight battle around tenth position when the race was red flagged. The race was restarted for a 5 lap sprint race where Gauge improved on his start that saw him battling with the lead pack. Unfortunately, there was another red flag, and Gauge finished in eighth as he was closing in on the battle for sixth. Like his 600 teammates, Rees eyed Race 2 as an opportunity to improve on his results. The day seemed to set up just like Race 1, as an early red flag was called causing the race to be restarted. Rees came out of the restart on fire and found himself battling with the lead pack again. After some impressive riding, Rees finished the race in an awesome seventh position, adding to his ninth place in the championship! Rees states, “Pittsburgh was a ton of fun! The track made for some really close racing and some crazy battles. I qualified tenth and finished eighth in Race 1 and seventh in Race 2 after falling back to twelfth with two laps to go. New Jersey is coming up quick and I can't wait to ride!”

RiCK Technical Riding Director Ken Hill adds, “The entire RiCK crew and athletes were excited to come to the amazing Pitt Race facility. All of the RiCK athletes did amazingly well, with JD Beach and Hayden increasing their lead for first and second in the Supersport 600 championship. I am extremely proud of Jason and Gauge for their continued progression within the RiCK system, and the results show their dedication. Daytona Anderson also had one of his best weekends of the year, and I look forward to seeing him finish off the season strong in the last two rounds. I am also very proud of Mat Scholtz and Jake Lewis for their hard-fought results in an amazingly tough Superbike class. I can’t wait to see what all of our athletes can accomplish in New Jersey!”

RiCKdiculous Racing team owner, Adam Bronfman, states “We had a great weekend at Pitt Race! Gauge, Jason and Hayden all had fantastic results at a challenging track. Our entire team deserves recognition. I am honored to be working with such a great crew!”

RiCKdiculous Racing would like to think all of their sponsors for their continued support and dedication to our program. We couldn’t do it without you! Thanks to Renthal, Galfer, Quicksilver, Motion Pro, Superbike Unlimited, bLUcRU and Graves Motorsports!

RiCKdiculous Racing is a Father and Son owned operation that includes not only a professional race team but the most elite coaching school in the United States. To get the same coaching and training that our professional athletes get, go to www.rickdiculousracing.com for information on our coaching programs. Please also find us on Facebook and Instagram at @rickdiculousracing and like us for updates on the team, the school and general RiCK stuff throughout the season!



More, from a press release issued by Genuine Broaster Chicken Honda:


A new rider, an impressive debut and some crazy races

Bobby Fong (50). Photo by Corey Coulter/GeoCrash Photography, courtesy of Genuine Broaster Chicken Honda.

Wampum, PA - It was supposed to be a pretty smooth weekend for the team. After the chaos of Sonoma which saw Cam Petersen get injured, the departure of Jayson Uribe and the addition of Bobby Fong, Pittsburgh International Race Complex was supposed to be easy going. The weather was supposed to be a non-factor, so many other things were supposed to be non-issues, but this is racing. Things never go as they are supposed to when people are pushing mechanical devices to their limits in the great outdoors. On this particular weekend, despite things not going exactly to plan, it was a pretty awesome weekend!

Like the metaphor of a duck on a lake, where from the shore it appears the duck is nice and calm but underneath the work is being done, this weekend looked easy going while the team was actually in high gear trying to get Bobby and the Genuine Broaster Chicken Honda working as one. With only one day of testing prior to arriving, the crew got immediately to work setting up the Honda CBR1000RR SP2 for the rolling hills course. While the Western PA circuit isn't the most technical of all tracks, it does have a few quirky corners where the riders exit heading up a hill. These would be particularly challenging for the Big Red Machine. Nailing the set-up would be even more critical as this track can be made more difficult by an unknown track surface that doesn't respond well to the wrong compound of tires.

Friday morning and it's time for Bobby and his temp crew (Using Cam's crew) to take to the track for their first taste of the circuit. What became immediately apparent, the track and tires were not going to jive. The track had undergone some improvements and Dunlop, basing everything off of last year's notes, brought a compound tire that was too hard for the surface. While this is a problem, it was a problem shared by all teams equally. What this effectively meant, set-up was going to be a bigger challenge than previously thought. Despite the tire issues, Fong was quick right out of the box. Circulating the track with his typical aggressive style, Bobby was riding with fervor! By the end of QP1 he was in P5 and optimistic about upping the pace for QP2. Giving Scotty and the crew all the information he possibly could cram into a few hours between sessions, Bobby was eager to get back out in the afternoon and make his bid for Superpole. As QP2 got underway, it was clear that the changes were effective. Bobby was again flying around the countryside; problem was that as he made progress, other teams had made even greater progress. While Bobby had upped his pace, he didn't make the leaps that his competition had, and when the checkers flew he crossed the line in ninth for both the session and the day overall.

As the sun came up on Saturday morning, the team arrived to the track one main goal, "Get the most out of Superpole." There's no time to think ahead to the race when qualifying will be set during the fastest 15 minutes in racing. A night spent reviewing data and tweaking settings would be put on full display when Bobby leaves the pits for his first stint on the super sticky Dunlops. With his two flying laps completed, Bobby pulls into the pits and has a fresh rear tire put on so that he can go back out and push his machine to its absolute limits. With time winding down, Bobby heads back out on track to put his chips on the table. Timing it perfectly, he began his flyer with just enough time. Pushing and pushing, Bobby made quick work of the 19 turns and crossed the line as the seventh fastest rider just missing out on the second row.

Now that Superpole is finished, it's time to prep for race one in a few short hours. At this point in the day the weather was giving no indication that it was plotting its own surprise. The crew was prepared for a dry race believing that they had found a working combination of set-up and tires that would allow Bobby to rise through the pack during the race. As the bikes sat on the hot pit with tire warmers on, the ten minute call comes over the radio. At that exact moment, the skies opened up and the water began to fall. What had been a humid and cloudy day became a wet mess that looked to bring utter confusion to the awaiting superbike grid. A hold was called, then came the news that the teams would be given a 10 minute session to determine their comfort level with the changing track conditions. Wet or Dry? That was anyone's guess. In the words of Bobby, "It's too wet for slicks and not wet enough for rains." When the three minute call came out, the team would have to decide on slicks or rains and the choice was made to roll on slicks and gamble that the track would dry during the race. The teams made their decisions but the weather was still wavering and as the riders took to the grid, it was still anyone's guess as to what would happen. The track was a complete mixed bag of conditions and as the lights went out, the superbike grid was a mixed bag of comfort. Josh Herrin was clearly the rider with the most positive attitude. He made a gigantic leap of faith and was rewarded with a few second lead by halfway through the first lap. Bobby made a start similar to everyone else, cautious and calculated. Coming down the chicane on the first lap, the entire field was spread all over the place. No-one was going to be setting lap records in race one.

As the race progressed in a rather frustratingly odd pace, the other rider making headway was Jake Lewis who had come from the back of the pack and stayed on the dry line to move up to the sixth position. The majority of the grid waited until almost the three quarter race distance before the pace was picked up. In what may go down as the most confusing race of the season, Bobby crossed the line in eighth place. Not one to accept external factors as a reason for results, Bobby shook his head, apologized and said, "I have to be better in the wet! The bike was great but I just have to do better in the rain."

Overnight storms that lasted well into early Sunday morning would make for a very muggy venue with a green track surface. Sunday morning warm-ups are only 15 minutes long and that provides just enough time to try out basic setup changes. The weather was supposed to be decent but the dark clouds caused anxiety that Race Two would be a repeat of Race One. However, as the teams began their preparation, the sun began to shine and cautious optimism began to permeate throughout the team. As Bobby approached his starting position, there seemed to be a small issue with the electronics. Thankfully, a few button pushes was all it took to clear the issue and Bobby was all set for a 15 lap fight. Making a solid start, Bobby was firmly in the lead group as the superbike field made its way around the 2.8 mile circuit. Some incidents ahead of him created a gap that allowed Toni Elias to begin opening a gap ahead of the chase group. For more than half of the race Bobby was battling in that main chase pack and was showing competitiveness that the team couldn't help but be proud of. However as the race wore on and the tires began to fall off, Bobby would find himself loosing contact with that group and circulate on his own until the final lap. Bobby would end Race Two in the team's highest finish of the season in P6.

What makes this result so significant, is that it showed the competitiveness of the Genuine Broaster Chicken Honda. The team has been closing in on the leaders all season with the development of Cam and now with Bobby riding the second machine, that gap will continue to shrink and the team is eager to finish the remaining rounds stronger and even closer to the coveted top five.

Bobby Fong - #50

"I'm happy about the weekend as it's a positive step to build on for New Jersey. I feel like we got the bike more dialed in for my riding style. Race one was a bit of a weird one but in race two I think we showed the capabilities of the bike and that's encouraging. When we get to New Jersey, we'll have different tires available and that's great because the Honda really responds well to a softer tire. I'm expecting better results out of the last couple of rounds.

I just can't wait to get back on the bike and continue improving upon the eighth and sixth place results we got here in Pitt Race. Thanks to everyone for their support on my first weekend on the Genuine Broaster Chicken Honda and let's get to Jersey!"

Danny Walker - Team Principal

"Coming into the weekend I was pretty bummed about Cam's freak injury. It came just as he started showing his potential and really began clicking with the bike. I was excited however, to have Bobby coming off that solid test at HPR where he set the new track record. We were a little disappointed when we showed up and were told what we had for tire selection. We haven't had the time to really get our bikes to work with the harder compound tires. We understand why the decision was made with respect to the track conditions, but we just haven't been able to wrap our bikes around those tires to any degree of satisfaction.

Bobby did a great job under some really sketchy conditions in the first race; he was able to secure a solid result in conditions that looked terrible. Race two was awesome. Being in the hunt for a podium for most of the race was exciting until Bobby lost some grip and then just tried to hang on as well as he could.

We're very optimistic now heading into NJMP that we're getting the Genuine Broaster Chicken Honda closer to the top with both our riders. I feel like we're finally getting to full strength with having two riders fighting for top positions. It's taken us longer than expected but we're finally taking those big steps forward and I'm very excited to finish this season with stronger results."

Scott Jensen - Crew Chief

"Pittsburgh was our first event with the newest addition to the Genuine Broaster Chicken Honda team, Bobby Fong. Unfortunately Cameron Petersen was still injured from the freak incident with his foot at Sonoma raceway and we await his return at the upcoming NJMP races.

Immediately in FP1 Bobby was up to speed. By the end of qualifying and Superpole he was 7th on the grid. It was also clear his dedication to racing runs very deep, he is a very focused individual.

Race 1 was not the ideal situation to run his first race under as the skies opened up right before the start and rained enough to fully wet the track but then stopped. Meaning it was a half dry half wet track for his first race with our team. He kept his head on and brought home 8th after battling with Roger Hayden. Race two was even better bringing a 6th place finish after being in the battle for 3rd for over half the race.

And now on to New Jersey Motorsports Park!"



More, from a press release issued by Attack Performance/Herrin Compound Racing:

Attack Performance Herrin Compound Racing

Anthony’s home race spoiled by unfortunate crash, injury at MotoAmerica Championship of Pittsburgh

Gavin Anthony (76). Photo by BrockImaging, courtesy of Attack Performance/Herrin Compound Racing.

Attack Performance / Herrin Compound Racing rider to be ready to race at next round

WAMPUM, Pa. -- Gavin Anthony’s hopes of a strong performance at his home track were dashed during Saturday’s MotoAmerica Junior Cup race.

The Hillard, Ohio, resident came into the MotoAmerica Championship of Pittsburgh carrying positive momentum from the previous round and a wealth of experience racing at Pittsburgh International Race Complex. His goal of achieving his first MotoAmerica win in front of friends, family and sponsors was not to be, as a small mistake resulted in a weekend-ending injury. The event took place Aug. 24-26.

Anthony had a good start to the weekend. He finished the class’ first practice session in seventh place and ended up qualifying in fifth place on Saturday morning. He got a good start in the race and was in a battle for fifth place when he made contact with another rider as they went through the chicane near Turn 16. Anthony lost control of his Yamaha YZF-R3 and crashed hard. He was taken to the medical center after the incident where he was diagnosed with a concussion and was not permitted to return to racing for the remainder of the weekend.

Despite his injury, Anthony plans to be ready to race at the next round of the MotoAmerica Junior Cup at New Jersey Motorsports Park, Sept. 7-9. The team will aim to use Anthony’s experience on the tight and twisty, 2.25-mile, 12-turn circuit to get back to the front of the Junior Cup field.

Gavin Anthony / #76

“It was looking to be a good weekend. We had a good qualifying session Saturday morning, and I was feeling good heading into the race. I got a good start but lost touch with the front group a little bit and was battling for fifth place. I was going through the chicane and made contact with another rider and crashed. I got knocked out in the crash and was later diagnosed with a concussion that ended the weekend early for me. I want to thank my team for their hard work this weekend and all of my sponsors who came out to the track to support me. I should be okay to race at the next round and am eager to get back out on track at New Jersey Motorsports Park.”