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Mar 13, 2012

Farrell, Miller, Sipp Win ASRA/Michelin Pro Series Races At Roebling Road Raceway

Sipp, Farrell, Miller Take Michelin PRO - Wenner, Tobolewski & Coccoli Tops in USGPRU

Bloomingdale, GA Temperatures in the mid-seventies set the stage for potentially record-breaking lap times as the paddock prepared to compete in Round One of the 2012 Michelin PRO Series and the USGPRU. A number of past champions were on hand and the action got started with USGPRU 250GP.


In the 250GP, Steve Wenner took the early lead followed closely by Adrian Jasso and Christian Meekma. Stu Aitken-Cade was fourth and Alex Wisdom was fifth. The front trio of Wenner, Jasso and Meekma gapped the field by two seconds holding a tight group, but on lap three Meekma was beginning to wain. Wenner and Jasso knocked another second off lap times by lap four, getting into the high 1:17s, with Wenner starting to pull away from Jasso just a bit. Aitken-Cade and Tobolewski matched the times of Meekma. Alex Wisdom was sixth.

On lap five Aitken-Cade retired after his shifter broke and the bike stuck in third gear. The order of the field stabilized for several laps, and only attrition would deal further blows.

On lap nine of the 10-lap sprint Jasso and Meekma succumbed, leaving the second and third spots in the finishing order to Casey Tobolewski and Alex Wisdom. Jasso was credited with a fourth place finish and Meekma fifth. Stu Aitken-Cade was sixth.

Said Wenner, "They dropped the flag and we took off. I looked around a couple laps in, and there were a couple people around. But I think a couple of guys broke, and we brought it home."

Tobolewski commented, "I didn't expect to podium. I had a really bad start, but a couple people broke and one crashed. I just tried as hard as I could, you know."

Michelin Pro Sportbike

Ricardo Valdez qualified on pole for the Sportbike sprint, but a jumble of riders on lap one sorted resulted in Valdez dropping to fifth at the back of the lead pack. Mark Miller, Jr. took advantage and snatched the lead from the other four with his Livengood Motorsports-tuned Yamaha. Scotty Ryan, whose qualifying effort lunched the motor he had planned to race with, used his R6 to nail down a space right behind Miller. Stefano Mesa was third on another R6, and Matt Brown was fourth on a Kawaski as the gaggle headed for Turn One on lap two.

As the group cross the line next, it was Miller from Mesa and Valdez, then Ryan with Curtis Murray pulling his Suzuki up to fifth. On lap three Valdez showed everyone the power exhibited in qualifying by moving to the front of the lead group with Miller, Mesa, Ryan and Murray just milliseconds behind, and one of the hottest contests of the afternoon was stating to come to a boil.

Valdez and Miller duked it out for the next four laps, but as the race was winding down to its conclusion Miller made his move to take the lead on lap nine. Miller maintained the edge around the 2.02-mile road course, and as they came to the checkered flag it was Miller and Valdez literally shoulder-to-shoulder at the flag. Valdez squeaked across the line first but got some unhappy news at tech inspection with a pretty clear rule violation and his subsequent disqualification, which resulted in the win going to Mark Miller.

Miller told us after the race, "The race was good. I was throwing my laps down and saw (Valdez) pulling away. I put my head down to try to time it out perfectly to get him over the line. I gave him the last lap. I was right behind him and thought I could get a good drive out of the last corner, but he just took me at the line. The Dunlops were awesome. We couldn't do anything without Brian Livengood's motor work. Hat's off to Tim at JRi; he really helped me out. I want to dedicate this to Jim, because I know it would mean a lot to him."

Miller's reference to Jim was to 2011 CCS Mid-Atlantic Champion Jim Cohrs, who crashed on Saturday and was airlifted out of the track. Cohrs returned to the track to visit late Sunday afternoon. Cohrs was a little banged up, properly braced, and in good spirits. Cohrs' tumble in turn one was the result of his front brake lever contacting a competitor resulting in a spectacular endo that launched Cohrs from the bike in epic fashion.

In Michelin PRO Sportbike Stefano Mesa finished behind Miller in the runner-up slot, Ryan was third, Murray was fourth and Justin Holderman rounded out the top five on another Yamaha R6.

Michelin Pro ThunderBikes

In Michelin PRO Thunderbike Walt Sipp intended to use pole position to full advantage, but a less-than-perfect start opened the door for Ducati rider Ray Hofman to control the pace for the first three laps. Sipp, riding a Buell, and Bob Robbins, also a Ducati, trailed Hofman. Russell Masecar was fourth.

Hofman and Sipp's duel opened a gap to the field as the pair ran laps in the low 1:16's. By lap four, Sipp pushing ever harder and made his way past Hofman in Turn One. With Hofman behind, Sipp shifted his focus to pushed his Buell XB12R to a new ASRA PRO Thunderbike race lap record for Roebling Road at 1:15.872 on lap seven, eclipsing former record-holder Trey Yonces' mark from 2011.

Said Sipp, "Ray was riding really well. I didn't want to make a mistake and look over the wrong shoulder like I did yesterday and let him come around me. This allowed me to start off the season well and thanks to everybody for helping me out

Hofman added, "I started drifting back towards the end of the race. There was one lapper that held me up in Turn Three, but I didn't have what it took today to catch Walt. He had a good race. The Michelin tires were working great. Indy Ducati is helping me out on this bike, so I'm real thankful for those guys.

Bob Robbins rode a nice race hanging in ahead of Masecar's Suzuki at the end. Bob added, "Third place is good. These guys were in another zip code, but that's okay. I I was out there and held onto it. Russell Masecar was chasing me down. Good pace. The bike is working beautiful."

Gino Angella placed his Ducati fifth behind Masecar.

In the Amateur Thunderbike race Brian Mullen of Deland, Florida, brought his Suzuki 650 home as runner-up to Ducati-mounted Ervin Kollek, who took the class win. Kollek hails from Atlanta, Georgia. It's Kollek's second year racing.

USGPRU REV'IT! MD250 Powered by Honda

Casey Tobolewski converted his Saturday pole position into a Sunday trophy in the REV'IT! MD250 powered by Honda. Tobolewski turned a best lap time of 1:19.748 finishing ahead of runner-up Alex Wisdom.

Michelin Pro Superstock

Michelin Pro Superstock brought a strong field of liter bike riders and a mix of machines to the grid for the first race of the season. On pole position was Jason Farrell aboard his Kawasaki with the BMW of Eric Helmbach and the two Suzukis of Tim Bemisderfer and Paul Decouto also on the front row.

Farrell led from the first lap and showed that on this day he had the measure of everyone, setting an ASRA Superstock lap record for Roebling Road at 1:11.826 on lap two. Bemisderfer and Michael Garner, who rode another Kawasaki, both turned laps within two tenths of Farrell's blistering pace and Bemisderfer also broke into the 1:11's, but no one had enough to catch Farrell.

A red flag stopped the race at just after half-distance, and the race was done. Said Farrell of the race, "It went really good. I just went out there and put my head down. It's the second time I've ever been here, so I just tried to figure the lines out and get the track right. Yesterday we had a used tire on for qualifying, and I threw on some new tires. The thing is handling good..I want to thank Farrell Performance and Calvin Martinez, Pirelli Tires, US Chrome, Line2Line and Kawasaki..I heard I just broke the track record so I'm satisfied with that too. It was good"

Bemisderfer added, "It was good. Obviously you want to come away with the win, but the race got cut a little short. I was hoping a little later in laps I could run him down, you know, but coming out of this place with a second-place finish isn't so bad. The Dunlops are working great. My Vesrah Suzuki Tweak Cycle, CTR-sprung bike was working great today. And it was my first time on it this year, so it's just going to get better from here."

Michael Garner was down from his home in Illinois and said of his third place finish, "It was fun. It was my first time here, so I was just trying to keep up with everybody and have a good time. The Pirelli tires were awesome."

In Amateur Superstock, Brad Plemmons took his Honda to the victory with Jason Brigmon, who also rode a Honda, finishing on the second step of the podium.


USGPRU Moto3 produced one of tightest races of the weekend. Scott Coccoli started from pole position on his Honda RS125. Honda rider and 2011 CCS 125GP National Champion Stu Aitken-Cade and MD250 rider Palmer Kling were both on the front row to give Coccoli some trouble. Aitken-Cade snatched the lead on lap one, but could not draw away from the field. Coccoli traded positions with Aitken-Cade for lap two with Honda-mounted Steve Wenner bringing up third, Kling laying fourth and Alex Wisdom fifth on a Moriwaki. And they let the sawing commence.

Back and forth went Aitken-Cade and Coccoli lap after lap with young Palmer Kling looking for a way around the pair. It came down to the last few feet on start/finish straight, and Coccoli got the job done.

Palmer Kling commented, "It was pretty good. I started off good, but then I started sliding and kept running wide. I was trying to get these guys on the outside, but it just wasn't working. I'd like to thank Four Feathers Racing, Hi Qo Solutions, ACT Racing, Lucas Oil, and Toyota."

Aitken-Cade had a few words from the podium too, "That was a repeat of last year. Scott and I did the exact same thing with the exact opposite results. I eked it out at the end. This was his turn. He did exactly the same thing. This year he had motor on me. I was trying to figure how to stay in front of him on that last lap, and he just barreled down the inside of me in Turn One and held onto it. I kept trying to sneak around him, but he didn't leave me any room. Thanks to CCS for putting on a great event, Pilot Leathers, EBC, Rising Sun Cycles, Motion Pro they all do a great job helping me out."

Scott Coccoli after the race, "Perfect weekend. I never had one like this. I qualified on pole for this event, took the win in CCS 125 Grand Prix and finished off the weekend with a first in the final. Zambrana Performance is where the motor comes from. I've been saying it since last year: My riding has improved greatly due to Bridgestone tires. Every time I get on them they impress me. I had them on the limit, the sun went in and I had to trust them."

The American Sportbike Racing Association (ASRA) is the parent organization of the Championship Cup Series (CCS), the largest amateur motorcycle road racing organization in the United States. ASRA sanctions eight Michelin Pro Series and eight Michelin Team Challenge road racing events for 2012.

The CCS Series runs 50 events in 2012 at popular tracks around the united states. Tracks include Road America, Daytona, Loudon, Heartland Park, and Virginia International among other fine venues. In 2012 ASRA and CCS provide riders with access to nearly $10,000,000 in sponsorship awards through participation in it's sanctioned events.

Join CCS and ASRA in the greatest road racing experience available today. Race CCS! To learn more visit our website at or call us at (817) 246-1127.