Roebling Road Raceway
August 31, 2014
Stefano Mesa swept his classes August 31 at Roebling Road Raceway, winning seven out of seven races in the middleweight and unlimited classes during the CCS Southeast/Florida regional event presented by Pirelli Tire.
Mesa started the day with his first victory in the GTO race. Camilo Correa had nabbed the holeshot on his Suzuki GSX-R1000 and led the first lap of the race with Mesa close behind in second on his Westside Performance Suzuki GSX-R1000. With no traffic ahead of him, Mesa was quick to make his way around Correa and take over the lead. By lap two Mesa was in first place and opening a gap. Five laps in, the race was cut short by a red flag incident in Turn Four and clean up that ran over the allotted 25-minute time limit scheduled. Mesa was leading at the time of the incident and was declared the winner with only four laps completed when the clock ran out.
Mesa was out front from the start of the GTU race on his Yamaha YZF-R6, with Jason Duplantis, Tim Hunt and Jim Cohrs in hot pursuit. Less than halfway through the race, Mesa started working his way through lapped traffic in the Amateur field and putting some distance on the competition. Hunt had worked his way up to second place on his Yamaha YZF-R6 but couldn’t catch the leader. Mesa took his second victory of the day.
“In Saturday practice, I was feeling really good,” Mesa stated. “There were a couple of people up to pace, so I know we were going to have a couple of great battles on Sunday. When the races came, I was going faster and faster every lap. The GTU and GTO races were good, but I pulled away really quick, so my crew decided to start from the back to go catch the pack and pass them.”
So, for the remaining five races he entered, Mesa started in the back of the grid, playing catch up and overtaking the leaders in the Middleweight Supersport, Middleweight Superbike, Unlimited Superbike, and Middleweight Grand Prix classes.
And finally, in the Unlimited Grand Prix race at the end of the day, Mesa had a lot more catching up to do. Bruno Silva got a great start and led the first half of the race on his Kawasaki ZX-10R, with Josh Paladeni close behind on his Suzuki GSX-R1000. Lap after lap, Silva dominated the top spot, until the halfway mark when Mesa was finally able to pass Paladeni, and then Silva to take over the lead. The top five ran close together the entire race with not much more than a bikelength separating them through many of the corners. At the finish it was Mesa with his final victory of the day, followed by Silva, Paladeni, Camilo Correa, and Carlos Ortiz.
“My lap times were great for the shootout,” said Mesa. “I started from the back. I went out with a soft tire. Bruno was right next to me and it was really close. My races this weekend were pretty amazing,” he continued. “We started with a bit of problems on both bikes, but Thermosman (Mike Fitzgerald) got them on point and ready to race Saturday. The R6 was feeling pretty amazing since the first practice we went out with Tim Hunt. He was the fast guy and I had a bunch of fun in the practice with him. We were going at a really good pace, so I was feeling pretty comfortable. On the 1000, it was a different story. The bike was fast, but the setup wasn’t really there. Mike and I were busting our heads open to figure out what was going on, but we couldn’t. So, we decided to go with the setting I most liked, but the bike wasn’t great. I went out and just rode around the problems, and believe it or not, I was going pretty fast and I was learning a completely different bike. I won all of my races and was feeling good on top of the bikes.” Mesa is sponsored by Dunlop, Westside Performance, Thermosman, Addict by Bosi, Shoei, and Sidi.
Tim Hunt had turned the fastest lap during Saturday’s practice sessions and had one of the best battles of the day with Jim Cohrs during the Heavyweight Supersport race on Sunday. After nailing the holeshot lead on his Yamaha YZF-R6, Hunt had maintained the advantage for most of the eight lap race with Cohrs close behind and pulling alongside him at every opportunity also riding a Yamaha YZF-R6. Cohrs saved his winning move to the very end of the race in a side-by-side ride across the finish line for the checkered flag that was so close, officials had to check transponders for timing. Cohrs took the win with a .004 margin of victory.
“Amazing battles with Mesa, Hunt, and Melka,” stated Cohrs. “Mesa with amazing talent and dazzling his competition as he drifted his bike in and out of the turns. Hunt with the best saves I’ve ever seen, and Melka running iron man races in that heat, making everyone work hard! We push and we push and created some great racing,” he exclaimed. See y’all next time!” Cohrs Racing, Livengood Motorsports and Pirelli Tires are credited with helping push the Cohrs machines.
Mike Eaton was the second winningest racer of the weekend, winning four of his classes on his set of Moto Corse Performance prepped Ducatis. Eaton was out front early in the Thunderbike, Supertwins, Formula 40, and Lightweight Formula 40 classes, to claim his victories with little challenge. He finished second to Greg Melka in the GT Lights class on his Ducati Depot backed 1100. Melka also won the Lightweight Grand Prix and Heavyweight Superbike races, making him the third winningest expert of the weekend.
“This weekend was a lot of fun…starting with the GTL race,” Eaton exclaimed. “Just to be in the same zip code with Melka across the line was very fun, and somewhat encouraging. I think he had another second a lap to drop if he really wanted to, but I’ll take second to him any day.” New to the Florida region, the New York transplant commented, “Since most of the tracks I’m used to are stop and go, I had a lot of bike tuning going on this weekend. A huge thanks to the Moto Corse guys and Mike Fitzgerald for all the help and attention. I learned a lot this weekend. And, also thanks to Hero Clean.”
For full results and lap times from the event, and for information about upcoming events, please visit www.ccsracing.us.